2013 UCL Classical Play: Trojan Women

seen on the Classicists list:

The UCL Classical Drama Society and the Department of Greek and Latin, in association with the Bloomsbury Theatre, present the 2013 Classical Play:

Euripides’ Trojan Women

Directed by Rebecca Speller

Translation by Alan Shapiro

Tues 5th February at 7.30pm 

Wed 6th February at 2.30pm and 7.30pm 

Thu 7th February at 2.30pm and 7.30pm

For tickets to the production, please visit http://www.thebloomsbury.com/event/run/1744

Ancient Plays for Modern Minds: A Public Engagement Programme

To complement the production of Trojan Women, the UCL Department of Greek & Latin is offering a series of talks and workshops which aim to illuminate the play and its context and to bring Euripides to life for a modern generation. This exciting programme includes talks by academic experts on ancient drama and its reception, as well as interactive workshops by contemporary theatre practitioners. There are events on every day of the play’s performance, and each talk or workshop deals with an important angle of interpreting or performing the play. All of our speakers have experience in working with schools, and the events will be suitable for students of Classics, Classical Studies, and Drama, as well as accessible to those without prior experience of Greek drama.

Spaces are still available for the following events:

Wednesday 6th February

6.00-7.00pm – Public Talk by Professor Chris Carey (UCL): ‘In Search of Meaning: the World of the Trojan Women’

Thursday 7th February

3.15-5.15pm – Participatory Workshop: Deborah Pugh: ‘Pushing The Space in Choral Work’

6.00-7.00pm – Public Talk by Dr Rosa Andújar (UCL): ‘Good Grief: The Lamenting Women of Tragedy’

All events are free of charge and open to all. Please reserve places for your group by emailing Dr Rosa Andújar at r.andujar AT ucl.ac.uk. The workshops will last approximately 2 hours; the talks will last approximately 45 minutes, with time for questions at the end. Please note that workshop participants should be aged 16 and above.

For more information, including venue information for each event, please visit our website:


CJ Online Review: Yardley-Wheatley-Heckel, Justin Epitome v. 2

posted with permission:

Justin: Epitome of the Philippic History of Pompieus Trogus. Volume II: Books 13–15: The Successors to Alexander the Great. Translation and Appendices by J. C. Yardley, Commentary by Pat Wheatley and Waldemar Heckel. Clarendon Ancient History Series. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2012. Pp. xxx + 342. Hardcover, £75.00/$135.00. ISBN 978-0-19-927759-9; Paper, £29.99/$99.00. ISBN 978-0-19-927760-5.

Reviewed by Charles E. Muntz, University of Arkansas

This excellent book is a follow-up to Heckel’s commentary on Books 11–12 of Justin’s epitome of Pompeius Trogus. Books 13–15 cover the tumultuous period following the death of Alexander down to the Battle of Ipsos (301) and the death of Kassander (297). The translation is excerpted from Yardley’s 1994 translation of the entire Epitome of the Philippic History (Atlanta, 1994), along the with the so-called prologues (actually, tables of contents for individual books of Trogus) that have been preserved separately. This is a clear, straightforward translation. This edition also includes fragments of these books preserved by other sources, and translations of several texts relevant to the period that are not otherwise widely available, including entries from the Suda and the Heidelberg Epitome. No Latin text is included, but there is an appendix on the language of Trogus and Justin identifying particular word usage by each author.

The commentary is extensive—over 250 pages of notes on a mere 20 pages of text—and very well organized. The authors break it down into topical sections, which are further subdivided as needed. Individual sections are prefaced with a list of parallel ancient sources and modern bibliographies. Additional sources for tangential topics are frequently given in the notes. A unified bibliography at the end of the book would have been useful, given the sheer number of references made throughout the commentary. The commentary is detailed and thorough, a model of what an historical commentary should be. Obviously, it is impossible to highlight every outstanding feature, but I would note the level of detail about even some smaller issues in the text. For example, when Justin remarks that the successors were all good looking (13.1.11), Wheatley and Heckel note the importance of good looks in Hellenistic royal ideology, and then give an extensive list of ancient references to Leonnatos for comparison, along with citations of modern scholarship on Alexander’s own image.

I especially appreciated Wheatley and Yardley’s discussion of the knotty problems of chronology for the period. This is refreshingly undogmatic, and includes helpful lists of the major chronological events around which scholars try to date the period. The overview of the various types of evidence besides literary sources is admirably clear and accessible to a non-specialist, with extensive bibliography and suggestions of areas for future research. Ultimately, Wheatley and Heckel adopt a mixture of high and low dating, based largely on T. Boiy’s Between High and Low: A Chronology of the Early Hellenistic Period (Frankfurt am Main, 2007), but in both the introduction and the commentary they make clear the uncertainties and difficulties that remain and provide references to the various schools of thought.

In regards to the source issues, Wheatley and Heckel identify the main sources of Trogus as Hieronymus and Duris, and discuss in some detail the reasoning for the presence of Duris. However, they also suggest several times (pp. 2, 8, 255) that Trogus was relying extensively on Timagenes of Alexandria (FGrHist 88) rather than necessarily using the original historians. This hypothesis was argued in more detail in the volume on Books 11–12 (30–4, with detailed references), but Timagenes is so poorly attested (15 fragments in Jacoby) that this is somewhat speculative. All this is traditional Quellenforschung, but it does tend to downplay the creativity and ability of secondary historians like Trogus and epitomators like Justin to reinterpret their material in accordance with their own interests and concerns (see Bosworth, ClAnt 22 (2003) 167–97).

In this vein I was disappointed that Wheatley and Heckel do not discuss how the context of the late Republican/early Augustan period may have impacted Trogus’ presentation of history in more detail. For example, they note the similarity between Trogus’ remark that “one might have taken each of [the Diadochoi] for a king (13.1.10)” to the sentiment that “Rome was a city of kings” found in Plutarch, Appian, and Trogus himself (18.2.10). But nothing is made of this connection, or why Trogus might be making it. More and more I think it is important to consider an historian’s own context when interpreting his work rather than just to consult him for historical facts.

Ultimately, this are minor quibbles that should not distract from the high quality of this commentary. It both informs and stimulates further thought on the Diadochoi, while being accessible enough for advanced undergraduates to consult. Now can the authors perhaps tackle the next few books of Justin/Trogus?

Big Bucks for Bulgarian Baths!

It isn’t often that archaeologists get more than ten times the funding they asked for … from the Sofia News Agency:

Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Simeon Djankov, has pledged the significant amount of BGN 3 M for restoration and conservation of the historical Roman Baths in the Black Sea city of Varna.

The sum came as a pleasant surprise to archaeologists who have asked for BGN 200 000.

Djankov made the pledge during a discussion organized by the Bulgarian Standard daily in Varna in the frame of the newspaper’s campaign “The Miracles of Bulgaria.”

The Minister stated the idea to provide significant funds under the Via Pontica program was not to give more money for archaeological research, but to make existing archaeological sites more attractive in order to boost tourism. He called on archaeologists to be creative in inventing names and stories around their discoveries.

The program is named after the Via Pontica bird migration flyway.

Djankov noted the Roman Baths are located in the very heart of Bulgaria’s Black Sea capital and are a great tourist attraction, thus the goal would be to make them even more interesting and accessible.

The idea was firmly backed by prominent Bulgarian archaeologist Professor Nikolay Ovcharov, nicknamed the Bulgarian Indiana Jones.

The Finance Ministry’s list of sites for funding includes several medieval fortresses and the former royal palace and now government residence “Evsinograd” near Varna.

Varna Mayor, Kiril Yordanov, noted his city had 125 years of history in tourism, and in recent years the City Hall had slated BGN 11 M of its own funds for cultural events.

The Roman Baths are one of the most valuable monuments of culture in Varna, situated in the central part of the city, on the corner of the streets San Stefano and Khan Krum. This is one of the sites of the Archaeological Museum in the city.

The Public Baths of Odessos are one of the most preserved architectural monuments of the Roman Age in Bulgaria (1st – 4th century AD). They are of the so called “small imperial style” and their construction refers to the end of the 2nd century AD. This is the largest roman bath on the Balkan Peninsula – with an area of 7000 square meters. It is the forth in size in Europe – among the baths of Karakala and Diocletian in Rome and Trevira (Trier, Germany). It was used by the end of 3rd century.