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*Except for select events noted

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 2018 SPRING    



SATURDAY, APRIL 7th               10:30 AM

28th Annual Phyllis Williams Lehmann Lecture

The Archaeological Institute of America, Western Mass Society

Jack Davis and Sharon Stocker, University of Cincinnati

Excavation of the Griffin Warrior's Grave at Pylos

 Smith College, Brown Fine Arts Center, Graham Hall

THURSDAY, MARCH 29th           5:30 PM

New England Ancient Historians Colloquium (NEAHC)

Joseph McAlhany, University of Connecticut

"One Head is Better than Three: Varro's So-Called Trikaranos and the First Triumvirate."  

Britta Ager, UMass- Amherst will provide the commentary. 

Mount Holyoke College,Willits-Hallowell Center, Wiese-Meriwether room.

Registration required.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 28th        4:30 PM

Mark Abbe, University of Georgia

Mimesis and More: The Polychromy of Greek and Roman Marble Portraits

Today the “realism” of the white marble portraits that survive from Greek and Roman antiquity is frequently associated with their highly detailed physiognomy and apparent specificity, which suggest a relationship to an individual subject. In antiquity, of course, the engaging and often arresting appearance of these sculpted images was defined in no small part by their nuanced lifelike painting and rich polychrome detailing. Although now most of the painting and other forms of polychromy that defined these images in antiquity is lost to us, detailed examination increasingly allows us to glimpse vestiges of ancient polychromy and thereby how the visual language of portraits was defined not by form alone but in combination styles of coloration varying from lifelike naturalism to sumptuous radiance. This talk presents case studies of marble portraits – royal, imperial, and private – with extant polychromy that, upon close examination, elucidates the definition and meanings of these subjects in antiquity.

Amherst College, Beneski Earth Sciences Building, Paino Lecture Hall  

TUESDAY, MARCH 20th              5:30 - 7:00 PM

John Matthews, Yale University

The Foundation of Constantinople: Four Problems and Three Answers

John Matthews is John M. Schiff Professor Emeritus of Classics and History at Yale University. Professor Matthews’ research interests focus primarily on the social and cultural history of the later Roman period. His many published works include most recently The Journey of Theophanes: Travel, Business and Daily Life in the Roman East (Yale University Press, 2006), the winner of the 2007 James Henry Breasted Prize of the American Historical Association. He is currently working on the early history of the city of Constantinople.

Amherst College, Frost Library, Center for Humanistic Inquiry

Sponsored by UMass Dept. of History

THURSDAY, MARCH 8th              5:00 PM

Archaeological Institute of America presents:

Hillary Becker, Binghamton University - SUNY

Counterfeit goods in the Roman commercial landscape

UMass- Amherst, Herter Hall- room #601

MONDAY, MARCH 5th                  5:00 PM

The 14th Annual David F. Grose Memorial Lecture

Patty Baker, Senior Lecturer of Classics & Archaeology, University of Kent at Canterbury

Salubrious Spaces: Gardens and Health in Roman Italy (c. 150 B.C. - A.D. 100)

UMass Amherst, Integrated Learning Center (ILC) 131

THURSDAY, MARCH 1st               5:00 PM

Egbert Bakker, Yale University

The Odyssey between Canon and Fan Fiction

Egbert Bakker will present on the theme of the multiple possible endings to the Odyssey, both Homer's surviving version and other versions known from the epic cycle.  Prof. Bakker writes on oral poetry, poetic performance, the linguistic articulation of narrative, and the differences between speaking and writing.

Smith College, Seelye Hall 201 

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 27th       5:00 PM

John Oakley, William and Mary 

Daily Life on Athenian Vases

John is the Chancellor Professor and Forrest D. Murden, Jr. Professor of Classical Studies at the College of William and Mary. A classical archaeologist with a specialty in iconography, in particular the iconography of Greek vase paintings, he is the recipient of numerous academic and teaching awards and the author or editor of more than a dozen books. He has been honored by professorships around the world, including a term as the Mellon Professor at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens.

Amherst College, Beneski Earth Sciences Building, Paino Lecture Hall 

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 24th      4:00 PM


Jackie Murray, University of Kentucky

Apollonius and the Ptolemaic Court: Current Research and New Questions

Amherst College, Frost Library, (2nd floor), CHI Think Tank

* Open to Five College faculty

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 26th        4:30 PM

Jackie Murray, University of Kentucky

W.E.B. Du Bois' Quest for the Silver Fleece: the Education of Black Medea



UMass- Amherst, Integrated Learning Center (ILS) S140

Sponsored by: UMass Classics, UMass HFA, W. E. B. Du Bois Library

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 20th        5:00 PM

Five College Faculty Seminar in Classics

Turn, Turn, Turn: Reflections of Flexion in Lucretius

Paula Debnar, Mt. Holyoke College

Amherst College, Frost Library, (2nd floor), CHI Think Tank

* Open to Five College faculty


David Gilman Romano, University of Arizona

Recent Discoveries at the Sanctuary of Zeus at Mt. Lykaion, Arcadia

Important new discoveries continued to be made at the Sanctuary of Zeus at Mt. Lykaion in Arcadia during the 2017 summer season.  Known as the ‘birthplace of Zeus’ by ancient authors, the mountain top sanctuary served as a primitive ash altar for burnt animal sacrifices to Zeus, and the lower mountain meadow hosted famous athletic festivals.  Since 2004 a Greek-American team has been working at the sanctuary and the results have been very informative and rewarding.

Amherst College, Beneski Earth Sciences Building, Rm. 107 (Paino)   

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 30           5:00 PM

 Denise McCoskey, Miami University of Ohio

Classical Studies, Race, and the Alt-Right: Contesting the Modern Meanings Made from Ancient Bodies

Denise McCoskey is the author of Race: Antiquity and its Legacy and many articles on this and related topics.  Prof. McCoskey has become a prominent voice on constructions of race in the ancient Mediterranean and on how the classical world has been enlisted in ideological, often racist, causes in subsequent eras.  This historical and cultural analysis/background is of obvious interest in our current political climate.

Smith College. Seelye Hall, Rm. 201

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 16         6:30 - 8:00 PM

Five College Faculty Seminar in Late Antiquity

Prof. Laetitia La Follette 

"What's a Nice Boy Like You Doing in a Place Like This?"

Her paper will examine the mid to late 2nd century marble portraits found together with sarcophagi in an underground burial chamber on the Via Salaria that probably belonged to descendants of the Licinii Crassi.

UMass, Herter Hall, Rm. #601

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 10            4:00 PM

Annual Classical Legacy Lecture

Jessica Wolf, University of North Carolina~Chapel Hill

"'Men are lived over again': Thomas Browne and the Pythagorean transmigration of souls"

 UMass Renaissance Center, 650 E. Pleasant St., Amherst

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 3rd               3:00 - 6:30 PM       Reception following.

UMass Annual Fall Colloquium

THE TENTH MUSE~ Resonances of Sappho in Greek and Latin Poetry

Speakers: Leanna Boychenko (Loyola U. Chicago), Lauren Curtis (Bard College), Laurel Fulkerson (FSU), Melissa Mueller (UMass Amherst), Teresa Ramsby (UMass Amherst)

 UMass Amherst, Campus Center, 10th floor (Amherst Room) 


Lisa Maurizio, Bates College

The Pythia's Oracles and the Nymph's Dice: Types of Divination at Delphi

This talk explores literary, visual, and archaeological evidence to distinguish the divinatory ritual of the Pythia, Apollo's priestess at Delphi, from divinatory activities in the cave of the Corycian nymphs near Apollo's temple. A brief demonstration of how ancient divinatory dice worked- with opportunities to use them- will follow the talk.

Amherst College, Beneski Building, Paino Lecture Hall (rm. #107)

MONDAY, OCTOBER 30th          4:30 PM

Becky Martin, Boston University

The Perennial Struggle Between East and West: The "Alexander Sarcophagus" Reconsidered

Becky Martin is Assistant Professor of Greek Art and Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of History of Art & Architecture, Boston University.  She is a Smith alumna who graduated in 1997 with a major in Ancient Studies. She received her PhD in the history of art from Berkeley in 2007. Professor Martin recently published a book entitled The Art of Contact: Comparative Approaches to Greek and Phoenician Art (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017). 

Her public lecture will stem from her recent work on art produced by the interaction of Greeks and Phoenicians. She will explore the difficulty of using visual art to interpret group characteristics, what scholars describe as ethnicity, culture, or simply identity.

Smith College. Seelye Hall, Room 106

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 24th       4:30 PM

Isabella Tardin-Cardoso, University of Campinas, Brazil

The Saint and the Sow: Poetics of Illusion in a Brazilian Imitation of Plautus

Written in 1957, the popular Brazilian comedy O Santo e a Porca (The Saint and the Sow) has its classical source of inspiration already stated in its subtitle: a “Northeastern Imitation of Plautus”. Its author, Ariano Suassuna (1927-2014), alludes in particular to the play Aulularia (The Pot of Gold) by Titus Maccius Plautus (3rd- 2nd century BC). As we shall see, the allusiveness of the play goes beyond its subtitle: it is apparent in Suassuna’s plot, in his imitation of Plautine speaking names, word-games, and other comic techniques. Professor Tardin-Cardoso will first illustrate the way the Brazilian play calls attention both to its proximity to and distance from its Roman model. By means of such a dialogue, Suassuna underlines (just as Plautus had) his inspirations in popular culture. She will also argue that in Suassuna’s reception of the way Plautus represents deception in his theater, the modern playwright provides a fresh kind of illusion that reflects the image of life and Brazilian culture represented in his drama. 

Amherst College, Fayerweather Hall #115 (Pruyne Lecture Room)

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 19th               5:00 PM

Elizabeth Marlowe, Colgate University

(author of Shaky Ground: Context, Connoisseurship and the History of Roman Art. Debates in Archaeology)

Antiquity and the Art Market: Why We Can't All Just Get Along?

Mount Holyoke College, Art Museum, Gamble Auditorium B

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 17th              5:30   

Emily Greenwood, Yale University

A Human Being is Not a Thing: Aristotle's Politics, Slavery, and the complex legacies of Classics

Mount Holyoke College, Dwight Hall- rm. #101

MONDAY, OCTOBER 16th      4:30 PM

Professor Stanley Chang, Wellesley College

Mathematical Models for Minoan Civilization and Archaeology

Archaeology is a subject that generates a great amount of numerical data, but in practice the research is usually qualitative in nature. The presence of large datasets promotes the possibility of a new line of inquiry perhaps called digital archaeology. In this talk, Professor Chang will be discussing the ongoing research taking place on Mochlos, an island settlement off the coast of Crete which experienced unbroken and continuous occupation from 3000-1500 BCE. In particular, we will examine the ways in which mathematics and statistics might be useful to support or refute hypotheses about architecture, cultural practices, and economy. Conversely, we will deliberate the limitations of mathematics in archaeological studies in such cases as network theory.

Amherst College, Seelye Mudd- rm.#206.     

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 12th            5:00 PM

Five College Faculty Seminar in Classics (5CFSC)

The theme will follow that of the November 3rd UMass Colloquium

"The Tenth Muse: Resonances of Sappho in Greek and Latin Poetry"

UMass, Herter 301