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Lecture Schedule 2013-2014
Classics lectures in the Valley -- open to the public.
David F. Grose Memorial Lecture
Thursday, March 13, 2014 5:00PM Dr. Alan Shapiro, Johns Hopkins University
Orientalism and Greek Identity on a Masterpiece of Athenian Vase-Painting
Amherst Room, Campus Center 10th floor, UMass campus map
Friday, March 28th 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. Eleanor Windsor Leach, Indiana University
Italian Pliny: Sesterces and Status for a Transpadane Senator
24th Annual Phyllis Williams Lehmann Lecture
Thursday, April 17th 5:00 p.m. Prof. Andrew Wilson, All Souls College, Oxford University
Water, Nymphs and a Palm Grove: The so-called 'South Agora' at Aphrodisias
Graham Hall, Smith College campus map
Sponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America, Western Mass. Society
Thursday, April 24th 4:30 p.m. Denise Demetriou, Michigan State University
Beyond Polis Religion: Aphrodite in Multiethnic Settlements
Denise Demetriou is an Associate Professor of History at Michigan State University. Her book, "Negotiating Identity in the Ancient Mediterranean: The Archaic and Classical Greek Multiethnic Emporia" was published by Cambridge University Press in 2012
Paino Lecture Hall, Beneski, Amherst College campus map
Seminar for Five College Faculty:
Thursday, September 11 4:30 - 7:00 p.m.
Seminar topic: TBA
The Boston Area Classics Calendar lists events of importance in the New England area.
It is updated weekly.
Thursday, March 6th 4:30 p.m. Maria Liston, University of Waterloo
Death comes to the Theban Band: Skeletons from the Battle of Chaironeia (338 B.C.)
The Battle of Chaironeia was a turning point in Greek history. Macedonian forces under the command of Phillip II and his son Alexander defeated a combined Greek force of Athenians, Thebans, and others near the town of Chaironeia, establishing Macedonia dominance over much of the Greek mainland. Anchoring the Greek line on the right was the Theban Sacred Band, an elite military unit consisting of 150 pairs of hoplite soldiers, who were purportedly lovers as well as comrades in arms. Opposite them on the Macedonian left was the cavalry force led by Alexander, then 18 years old. In the course of this decisive defeat of the Greeks, the Theban Sacred Band was almost entirely annihilated. Excavations in the 19th century recovered skeletons of the Theban soldiers interred at a battle monument near the acropolis of Chaironeia. This lecture presents evidence from these skeletons for death on the battlefield and subsequent mutilation of the corpses, and explores the use and efficacy of weapons and armor in ancient warfare.
Sponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America, Western Mass. Society, the Georges Lurcy Lecture Series Fund at Amherst College and the Department of Classics at Amherst College.
Amherst College, Paino Lecture Hall, Beneski campus map
Tuesday, March 4th 5:00 p.m. Egbert Bakker, Pofessor of Classics Yale University
In and Out of the Golden Age: The Temporality of Odysseus' Return
Smith College, Dewey House Common Room campus map
Sponsored by The Lecture Committee of Smith College and The Department of Classical Languages and Literatures
For Five College Faculty:
Five College Faculty Seminar in Classics
January 27 4:30 p.m. Craig Russell, Amherst College
Imaginary Futures in the Iliad
Chapin Lounge, Amherst College campus map
November 18th 5:00 pm Richard J. Tarrant, Harvard University
Witness to Catastrophe: The Chorus in Senecan Tragedy
Dewey House Common Room, Smith College campus map
Sponsored by The Department of Classical Languages and Literatures and the Lecture Committee of Smith College.
November 19th 4:00 pm Professor Craig Kallendorf Texas A&M University
The Protean Virgil: Book History and the Reception of the Classics in the Renaissance
The Renaissance Center announces its fourth annual Classical Legacy Lecture.
Free and open to the public.
650 East Pleasant Street, Amherst
November 7th 5:00 pm Morag Kersel DePaul University
The Politics of Public Display: Archaeology, Museums and Artifacts from the Holy Land
In 2002 the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) displayed the James Ossuary – a commonplace limestone burial box from the 1st century CE bearing the Aramaic inscription “James, Son of Joseph, Brother of Jesus”. Timed to coincide with the annual meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature and the American Schools of Oriental Research, the ROM brought the ossuary together with an audience of experts. With this display the museum took on simultaneous roles: custodian of a sacred relic, a shaper of public interpretation, and as a fiduciary institution. Recent acquisitions of Dead Sea Scrolls and other biblical artifacts by academic institutions like Azusa Pacific University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary demonstrate that the desire to “own”, display and interpret the past continues to an important aspect of institutional missions., missions which also have competing roles. This lecture will examine the differing strands of obligation – obligation to the public; to students; to board members; the academic community; the country of origin; and ultimately to the archaeological record. Using case studies of artifacts from the Holy Land we will investigate the politics of public display and the role of the museum.
UMass, Herter 301 campus map
November 4th 4:30 p.m. Professor David Schloen,University of Chicago
Economy and Society in Ancient Israel
Professor Schloen specializes in the archaeology and history of the ancient Levant (Syria and Palestine) from ca. 3000 to 300 BCE. Over the past two decades he has conducted archaeological excavations in Israel and Turkey. As a historian of ancient culture, his longstanding ambition has been to understand the structure and operation of the small kingdoms that flourished in the eastern Mediterranean region during the Bronze and Iron Ages, and especially to explicate the interaction between day-to-day social practices and the shared metaphors and narratives that sustained, and were sustained by, those practices. He is the author of The House of the Father as Fact and Symbol focuses on the Bronze Age (3000–1200 BCE) and he is currently completing a book entitled The Bible and Archaeology: Exploring the History and Mythology of Ancient Israel which explains how ancient artifacts, inscriptions, and other archaeological discoveries shed light on biblical narratives.
101 Chapin Hall, Amherst College Campus map
Sponsored by the Religion Department and the Willis D. Wood Fund
Thursday, October 31st 4:00 p.m. Dr. Joseph A. Howley, Columbia University
How to burn a book in ancient Rome
Professor Howley’s lecture is the second of a two-part series aimed at considering the history of books, libraries, and readers while Amherst is thinking about their future as well. He will discuss the representation of book-burning in connection with the civic order and forms of censorship in the Roman Empire.Frost Library, 1st floor, Amherst College campus map
November 1st 4:30 pm Dr. Elizabeth Bartman, President Archaeological Institute of America
A Closer Look: Amherst's Roman Sea Nymph Sarcophagus
Join renowned Roman sculpture expert Elizabeth Bartman for a closer look at Amherst’s recently acquired Roman sarcophagus. Amherst’s marble sarcophagus, beautifully decorated with sea nymphs riding marine centaurs, was made for ten-year-old Laberia Alexandria and her six-year-old brother Sylvanus. An inscribed poem, newly translated by Richard Wilbur, records the grief of their mother. Dr. Bartman will offer a brief overview of Roman sarcophagi and discuss the significance of this major new addition to the Mead’s collection.
Mead Art Museum, Amherst College campus map
Friday, October 25th 9:30 a.m. Lucilius colloquium at UMass
Speaking of the Republic: Lucilius and His Contexts
The Department of Classics at UMass Amherst, with the support of the UMass College of Humanities and Fine Arts and the Classics Departments of Smith, Amherst, and Mt. Holyoke College, will host a one-day colloquium on the fragments of Lucilius, Rome’s first satirist, in their republican linguistic, social, and literary contexts. Speakers are Brian Breed (UMass), Anna Chahoud (Trinity College Dublin), Sander Goldberg (UCLA), and Angelo Mercado (Grinnell College).
For more information, contact the organizers:
View the full conference program at http://umass.academia.edu/BrianWBreed/Events.
Student Union Ballroom, UMass campus map
Thursday, October 24th 4:00 p.m. Sander Goldberg, UCLA
The Roman Face of Learning
Sander Goldberg's lecture is the first of a two-part series aimed at considering the history of books, libraries and readers, while amherst is thinking about their future as well. His address will look at the ways in which physical objects, including books, were essential to the ancient learning. It will include illustrations of ancient books to help explain the mechanics of reading in antiquity.
Frost Library, Amherst College campus map
Friday, October 18th 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
For Five College Faculty: Reading and discussion session devoted to the Lucilian corpus.
110 Morgan Hall, Amherst College campus map
Thursday, October 10th 5:00 p.m. Theresa Huntsman Washington University, St. Louis
"Sometimes you CAN take it with you:Etruscan Banquets and Burials at Chiusi"
Sponsored by the Department of Classics and The Center for Etruscan Studies
301 Herter Hall, UMass campus map
Tuesday, September 24th 4:30 pm Tessa Rajak, Professor Emeritus of Classics University of Reading
"Josephus: Everybody's Historian"
Professor Rajak will discuss all of Josephus' writings as formative of a post-destruction Jewish identity in a Greek and Roman context.
This lecture is sponsored by the Departments of Classics and Judaic and Near Eastern Studies at UMass.
301 Herter Hall, UMass campus map
Sept. 19, 2013 5:00 PM Prof. John Younger
Dept. of Classics, University of Kansas
"The Temple of Zeus at Olympia: an Archaeological Biography"
Technical observations on the sculptures from the Temple of Zeus at Olympia allow a reconstruction of their appearance at installation and of the major changes made afterward. At installation, many sculptures were unfinished; the west pediment had more centaur groups than are preserved today; and the horse blocks on the east pediment were separated, one in front of the other. By the time of Pausanias’s visit in a.d. 174, the sculptures had suffered major damage at least twice (in the mid-4th century and the early 2nd century b.c.); his identification of Kaineus in the west pediment may refer to a headless Apollo propped up on his knees, flanked by centaurs. To resist the Herulean Raid (267), the temple had been converted into a fort, and afterward were outfitted with the last series of rainspouts. In the 4th century, a Byzantine village had grown up around the temple, which was left to deteriorate. The Zeus statue was transferred to Constantinople in the early 5th century and destroyed by fire by 475. Earthquakes in 522 and 551 completed the final destruction of the temple. Soon after, the Alpheios River flooded and covered the entire site with some 3–4 m of silt.
Mount Holyoke College, Gamble Auditorium campus map
AIA Lecture Hosted by the Mount Holyoke College Department of Classics & Ancient Studies
Tuesday, September 3rd 4:15 p.m. Pavel Onderka, Egyptologist from Prague
Archaeology in Sudan
Thanks to a grant from the European Union, an Egyptologist from Prague, Pavel Onderka, will be giving a lecture on his ongoing archaeological research in present-day Sudan. The lecture shall present the current state of our knowledge about the ancient site and the role it played within the Meroitic state.
Wad Ben Naga. A Royal City in the Heart of Africa
Wad Ben Naga is the name of a village and archaeological site in the present-day Republic of the Sudan, located some 130 km north of the capital, Khartoum. The archaeological site, which covers an area of almost four square kilometers, encompasses the remains of a royal city dated to the period of the Kingdom of Meroe (ca. 300 BCE – 350 CE), as well as extensive cemeteries dated to both Meroitic and Post-Meroitic times. The culture of the Meroitic period combined Egyptian and Hellenistic influences with native traditions, producing a unique African civilization. The site of Wad Ben Naga is known as the place where, in 1844, Carl Richard Lepsius discovered a bark-stand with bilingual names of the pyramid builders King Natakamani and Queen Amanitore, which later provided a clue to the decipherment of Meroitic script by Francis Llewellyn Griffith in 1911.
Based on the decision by UNESCO, the archaeological site should in the near future be added to the serial cultural property of “Archaeological Sites of the Island of Meroe,” which has since 2011 been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
In 2009, the National Museum of the Czech Republic launched its excavations at Wad Ben Naga. After initial seasons dedicated to revising excavations unearthed by previous excavators of the site, the mission began with exploration of a long-lost temple, the so-called Typhonium, known from accounts of early European and American travelers.
Pavel Onderka is the Deputy Director, Keeper of Collections, and Curator of Ancient Africa at the National Museum (Náprstek Museum) in Prague, Czech Republic. Since 2009, he has served as Director of the Archaeological Expedition to Wad Ben Naga in present-day Sunday. He is the author of numerous publications and exhibition catalogues (including Thebes. City of Gods and Pharaohs [2007, with Jana Mynářová], The Tomb of Unisankh at Saqqara and Chicago  and Wad Ben Naga 1821–2013 
This lecture is co-sponsored by the Center for Heritage and Society.
601 Herter Hall, UMass campus map