CFP Locating Popular Culture in the Ancient World

Seen on the Classicists list:

Locating Popular Culture in the Ancient World

School of History, Classics and Archaeology
University of Edinburgh, 4-6th July 2012


While the representation of the ancient world in modern popular culture has received a great deal of scholarly attention in recent years, ancient popular culture has generally been neglected. However, Jerry Toner’s recent Popular Culture in Ancient Rome (Cambridge, 2009) and Nicholas Horsfall’s The Culture of the Roman Plebs (London, 2003) have shown the possibilities offered by this fascinating field. This conference aims to bring together scholars representing a diverse range of subjects, interests and approaches, to explore the challenges of investigating a field ignored by traditional classical scholarship.

Crucial questions include: Was there such a thing as popular culture in the ancient world? How can we, as scholars, locate it? What defined it? Which themes were prominent? What are the political implications of studying the ‘popular’ in the ancient world?

Papers are invited on a broad range of subjects related to ancient popular culture: including (but not exclusively):

• theoretical and comparative approaches to ancient popular culture
• culture and class
• popular visual culture (e.g. graffiti, artefacts)
• popular performance (e.g. comedy, mime)
• popular literary texts (e.g. fiction, oracles, fables)
• popular religion (e.g. festivals, the role of Christianity)

Confirmed speakers include Jerry Toner, Pavlos Avlamis, Serafina Cuomo and Ruth Webb.

30-minute papers are welcomed from scholars at all stages of their career.
Please send abstracts of up to 500 words by 1st February 2012.

Please send abstracts, queries or expressions of interest to the conference organiser:

Dr Lucy Grig, Classics, University of Edinburgh
lucy.grig AT

The Getty and ‘Chasing Aphrodite’

I’ve only watched a few minutes of this one, but it looks really interesting … Jason Felch and Ralph Frammolino give a lengthy talk on their Chasing Aphrodite tome and how the Getty managed to get itself entangled in all that mess:

So … What Was in the Benghazi Treasure?

We mentioned a few days ago that there were reports that the Benghazi Treasure had been looted from a vault in, of course, Benghazi (see: Benghazi Treasure Looted from Libya!!!!) and there have been plenty of subsequent reports, all very vague as to the contents of the ‘treasure’, with passing mention of coins and statuary. Outside of the latest report from the BBC (Libya’s historic treasures survive the revolution) there really have not been any more details given, save the passing mention in the latter that this looting took place back in May (!). Given that, Dorothy King’s latest post — which details what is actually known to have been in the treasure — is a very useful read: