Lecture Schedule       2015-2016




Classics lectures in the Valley -- open to the public.




Hildegard von Bingen's Ordo Virtutum


Composed by Hildegard von Bingen around 1151, Ordo Virtutum depicts a struggle for the fate of a soul, Anima. The Virtues encourage Anima to stay on a righteous path while the Devil taunts and tempts. The Devil's laughter clashes with Hildegard's gorgeous lines of Plainchant in Ensemble Musica Humana's fully staged production of this battle of wills.

First Churches of Northampton, MA


      ARCHAEOLOGY DAY event        

Amherst College, Mead Museum

 OCTOBER 6          4:30 PM

"Hatshepsut: How a Woman Ascended the Throne of Ancient Egypt"

      KARA COONEY, LEHMANN LECTURER, University of California

 Smith College, Graham Hall


SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 7      9:00 - 5:00  

Colloquium:     Urban Disasters and the Roman Imagination

The Department of Classics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, with the support of the UMass College of Humanities and Fine Arts, will host a one-day colloquium on the theme of “Urban Disasters and the Roman Imagination”, Saturday, November 7, 2015. Speakers are Brigitte Libby (Harvard University), “Out of the Ashes: Rome’s Beginnings at Troy”; Tom Zanker (Amherst College), “Horace and the Rhetoric of Decline”; Virginia Closs (University of Massachusetts Amherst), “The Unmaking of Rome: Clades Publica and Censorship in Senecan Thought”; Joseph Farrell (University of Pennsylvania), “The Sacks of Rome”; Andrew Johnston (Yale University), “Ruin, Reconstruction and History”; Jessica Clark (Florida State University), “The Spoils of War: Victory as Urban Disaster”; Elizabeth Keitel (University of Massachusetts Amherst), Caesar and the Urbs Capta at Massilia”; and Honora Chapman (California State University, Fresno), “Josephus’ Memory of Jerusalem: A Study in Urban Disaster.”

For more information and to register, go to

University of Massachusetts Campus Center


NOVEMBER 9   4:30 PM  

                                          "A 5th Century BC Supper Club:                                                          evidence of semi-public dining from the Athenian Agora"       

KATHLEEN LYNCH, University of Cincinnati  

Smith College, Graham Hall


 NOVEMBER 16    4:30 PM

Apocalypse When?  The End of the World in Ancient Thought

CHRISTOPHER P. STAR, Middlebury College

Visions of the end of the world, familiar today from several sources ranging from the Bible to Hollywood films, are largely absent from Greek and Roman literature.  There is one striking exception: the philosophy and tragedies of Seneca the Younger (c. 4 BCE-65 CE).  After a survey of some of the ways in which the fate of humanity and the cosmos was conceived in the ancient world, we will focus on the visions of the end in Seneca’s writings.  Our investigation will consider the various motives—poetic, rhetorical, philosophical, and political—that may lie behind Seneca’s fascination with universal destruction.

Amherst College, Frost Library, Center for Humanistic Inquiry- Think Tank


FEBRUARY 23       5:00 PM

"New Discoveries at Sardis in Anatolia"

NICHOLAS CAHILL, University of Wisconsin- Madison

 Mt. Holyoke, additional details to follow                      

MARCH 22              5:00 PM

"Law, Ethics, and Underwater Archaeology: The Wreck of Cesnola's Napried"

   ELIZABETH S. GREENE, AIA LECTURER, Brock University~ St. Catherine's, Ontario

 UMass, additional details to follow       


                   The Boston Area Classics Calendar lists events of importance in                          the New England area. It is updated weekly.




SEPTEMBER 22     5:00 PM

Erring, Errors and Female Work: Women's Rituals in Homer 

ANDROMACHE KARANIKA, University of California, Irvine

Smith College, Seelye Hall- Room 106              


SEPTEMBER 9-12                            PERICLES                                        Amherst College, HoldenTheater

North Carolina Stage Company brings Shakespeare’s Pericles to Amherst's Holden Theater for one weekend only. Pericles is an epic story of one man’s quest to solve a riddle — a quest that takes him on a high-seas odyssey, complete with shipwrecks, assassins, pirates, romance and the heartbreaking story of a family torn apart. The production is the creation of director Ron Bashford and the NC Stage cast, who worked together to create an imaginative, five-actor version that the Asheville Citizen-Times called “a spectacular experience of cutting-edge theater.”

Tickets are free, but reservations are recommended; call (413) 542-2277. Performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m., with an additional matinee performance on Saturday at 2 p