CONF: Belief and its Alternatives in Greek and Roman Religion

Seen on Classicists (please send any responses to the folks mentioned in the quoted text, not to rogueclassicism!):

Belief and its Alternatives in Roman Religion
School of Classics, University of St Andrews, 2-3 July 2010

Organiser: Ralph Anderson (St Andrews)

Speakers: Robert Parker (Oxford), Tom Harrison (Liverpool), John Cottingham
(Reading), Peter Harrison (Oxford), John Scheid (Collège de France), Hugh
Bowden (King’s College London), Pramit Chauduri (Dartmouth College), Esther
Eidinow (Newman University College, Birmingham), Ido Israelowich (Tel Aviv),
George van Kooten (Groningen), Jennifer Knust (Boston), Jacob Mackey
(Stanford), Teresa Morgan (Oxford), Peter van Nuffelen (Ghent), Ivana and
Andrej Petrovic (Durham), Shaul Tor (Cambridge), Ralph Anderson (St Andrews)

Full details, including a booking form, are available at the conference
website and
registration is now open.

Carin Green on Tutulina, Sessia, and Messia

A vestal virgin, detail of an engraving by Sir...
Image via Wikipedia

I think this will be the last one from the Toledo series that I post today … one could kill a lot of time with these:

The Circus Maximus is generally considered a place of spectacle where emperors indulged an impotent public with displays of power and largess to ensure public complacency. Romans gave up their freedom for “bread and circuses” Juvenal famously says. It makes good copy (or Juvenal would not have said it), but it overlooks the importance of the goddesses whose place on the spina, the central spine of the Circus, put them at the heart of the drama, both in the races and in the theater, that took place there. Three goddesses, the protectress Tutulina and her companions Sessia and Messia, goddesses of Rome’s vitality and wealth, and the goddess Victory, all had shrines on the spina, which, not coincidentally, marked the sacred boundary of Rome. Rituals and ritual drama of crisis, sacrifice, and triumph, performed by the Vestal Virgins, among others, throughout the year at these shrines taught the audience about the power these goddesses had to defend Rome. The significance of the Circus as the place in which protection and safety were reified by divine power in feminine form was so much part of Roman culture that even after non-Christian rites were officially suppressed in Rome (ca. AD 380), Romans turned to it in times of crisis. Both St. Augustine and Pope Leo bitterly lament the fact that when the Goths sacked Rome in 410, and for decades after, the Romans sought the reassurance of the Circus at the times of the old rituals, rather than attending to the martyrs’ churches. Interestingly, the earliest martyrs’ churches in Rome seem to have been built in imitation of the layout of the Circus.

Carin M. C. Green is Professor and Chair of Classics at the University of Iowa. She received a B.A. in Latin from San Jose State College, an M.A. in Latin from the University of Texas, and a Ph.D. in Classics from the University of Virginia. She teaches courses in Latin composition, Augustan poetry, Roman religion, Lucan, and Greek prose. Her book, Roman Religion and the Cult of Diana at Aricia, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2007. She is currently—when not occupied with departmental administration—working on a monograph about the Roman deity Consus and the Vestal Virgins.

via Dr. Carin Green | ”Women, the Circus and the Defense of Rome” | March 20, 2010 | Toledo Museum of Art.

Andrea Mall on Roman Domestic Decor

Leda and the swan, House of the Gilded Cupids,...
Image by Tintern via Flickr

I suspect this one from the Toledo Museum of Art will be popular among our readers:

Andrea Mall discussed room groupings in Roman domestic architecture and their decoration at the Toledo Museum of Art. These suites of rooms, or diaetae as they were called in Latin, likely had their origin in lavish villas along the Bay of Naples. She first examined the extraordinary prototypes at the Villa of the Mysteries and the Villa at Boscoreale, then shifted to explore how Pompeians incorporated these decorative schemes into their urban homes. The Romans used several ways to distinguish suites from the rest of the home. Rooms could be associated through their architectural design, as in the House of Vettii; which has a suite consisting of successive rooms that recede into the residence. Rooms could also be linked through mythological depictions as in the House of the Centenary, whose frescoes display several myths, all tied together by a common theme of sacrifice. In the House of the Gilded Cupids, a suite likely intended for use by a woman, is completely devoid of men and focuses on feminine iconography.

Andrea Mall received her undergraduate degree in Classical art and archaeology and Latin from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and her master’s degree in Art History from the University of Texas at Austin with a focus in ancient art. In 2002, she participated in an Etruscan excavation at Poggio Colla in Tuscany, Italy. She moved to Toledo in 2006 to work with Dr. Sandra Knudsen on the exhibition In Stabiano featuring frescoes from villas located on the Bay of Naples. She has since taken a permanent position at the Toledo Museum of Art as the Assistant Registrar for domestic loans and exhibition. She recently made her publishing debut by contributing entries to the Toledo Museum of Art’s Masterworks publication.

via Andrea Mall | “Extreme Makeover: Decor in the Ancient Houses of Pompeii” | February 12, 2010 | Toledo Museum of Art.

CFP: Scholia 20 (2011)

Seen on various lists (please send any responses to the folks mentioned in the quoted text, not to rogueclassicism!):

Studies in Classical Antiquity
ISSN 1018-9017

Information about SCHOLIA and its contents is available at

After a period of three years of not accepting submissions in order
to clear a large backlog, SCHOLIA began list year to accept articles
for publication in volume 19 (2010). SCHOLIA is now accepting
articles for publication in volume 20 (2011). Potential contributors
should read the ‘Notes for Contributors’ located at the SCHOLIA
web site and at the back of the journal and follow the suggested
guidelines for the submission of manuscripts. Electronic submissions
are preferred and should be sent directly to the editor at
william.dominik AT

SCHOLIA features critical and pedagogical articles on a diverse
range of subjects dealing with classical antiquity, including late
antique, medieval, Renaissance and early modern studies related
to the classical tradition. It also includes review articles, reviews
and other sections dealing with classics.

SCHOLIA and SCHOLIA REVIEWS (volumes 1–18) have
published 954 contributions by 360 scholars and academics at
179 universities and other institutions in 32 countries. SCHOLIA has
been distributed to institutions and scholars in 43 countries.

SCHOLIA is archived in ProQuest and Informit, indexed and
abstracted in L’Année Philologique, indexed in Gnomon and
TOCS-IN, and listed in Ulrich’s International Periodicals
Directory. SCHOLIA REVIEWS, an electronic journal that
features the pre-publication versions of reviews that appear in
SCHOLIA, is available at

Sinclair Bell on Chariot Fans

Winner of a Roman chariot race
Image via Wikipedia

Here’s another one from the Toledo Museum of Art … here’s the official description of an interesting talk on the fanaticism of fans ar Roman chariot races:

Dr. Sinclair Bell, Professor in the Department of Art History at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL, presented his program “Fans and Fame in the Roman Circus”.

In the first century CE, the funeral for Felix, a charioteer of the Red team, made headlines in Rome’s daily gazette when one of his fans immolated himself on his favorite’s funeral pyre. While an extreme example, fan behavior in ancient Rome is not unknown. Yet where charioteers assumed a highly visible presence in Roman society and have been much studied, the fans whom they inspired remain largely overlooked and poorly understood. This talk drew upon a wide range of literary, artistic, and archaeological evidence in reconstructing and reclaiming the interactive experience of the sport’s various followers.

Sinclair Bell is a specialist in the archaeology of ancient Italy and the history of ancient art. He has excavated in Italy and Tunisia, and worked as a curatorial assistant at museums in Germany and Greece. He studied Classical Art & Archaeology at the universities of Oxford, Edinburgh, and Cologne, receiving his Ph.D. in 2004. Currently an Assistant Professor of Art History at Northern Illinois University, he has taught previously in the School of Art & Art History at the University of Iowa and in the Department of Classics at the University of Winnipeg. Dr. Bell’s research is broadly concerned with Etruscan and Roman material culture and art, especially its social history, Renaissance reception, and contemporary theorization. He has published numerous articles, book chapters, and reviews on these and related topics. In addition, he has co-edited five books, including Role Models in the Roman World: Identity and Assimilation (Ann Arbor 2008) and New Perspectives on Etruria and Early Rome (Madison 2009). He is currently completing a monograph about the role of circus spectacles in Roman imperial culture.

via Dr. Sinclair Bell | “Fans and Fame in the Roman Circus” | March 20, 2010 | Toledo Museum of Art.