Department of Classics
410 Blegen Library
PO Box 210226
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0226
Phone | (513) 556-3050
Fax | (513) 556-4366
This year we welcome several new faculty members and one new Senior Research Associate.
Barbara Burrell, Associate Professor
After four years as Associate Professor at Brock University, Barbara Burrell has rejoined the UC Classics faculty as Associate Professor. Burrell is a Roman archaeologist who has dug at sites across the Mediterranean, including Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, and Israel. It may have been this diversity that has led to her being chosen as editor of the forthcoming Blackwell's Companion to the Archaeology of the Roman Empire. She is also in the midst of writing and co-editing the two-volume final report of her excavation of the Promontory Palace at Caesarea Maritima in Israel, and publishing the coins found at Mount Lykaion in Arcadia, Greece. Beyond fieldwork, her interests include reception and interpretation of the ancient city in the Roman empire, and Roman provincial coins, architecture, and art.
Lauren Ginsberg, Assistant Professor
Lauren is interested in Roman narratives of civil war and the literary strategies authors use in order to commemorate and make aesthetically pleasing events which Rome thought best forgotten. This tension between conflicting memories and conflicting desires to remember/forget brings her work into contact with cultural memory studies, especially studies of how literature acts as a vehicle for and agent of perpetuating difficult or "traumatic" memories. She is currently working on a monograph on the pseudo-Senecan Octavia - a play that she argues reimagines Julio-Claudian Rome as a civil-war landscape - but is also exploring through various articles in progress Roman praetextae, Tacitus' Histories, Senecan drama, Statius, and Caesar's Civil War.
Duncan MacRae, Assistant Professor
Duncan is a Roman intellectual and cultural historian. Most of his work has focused on the history of Roman religion, particularly in the Republican period. His Harvard PhD dissertation looks at the phenomenon of books in Roman religion, and seeks to re-evaluate modern stereotypes about Roman religion as coldly ritualistic and unintellectual. In fact, he argues, Roman writers on their own religion were involved in the definition of a "Roman religion" in the interests of the Roman aristocratic elite.
His research goes far beyond the walls of Rome: he is also very interested in the history of Judaism in the Hellenistic and Roman periods and in the history of the ancient Near East."
Rose MacLean, Visiting Assistant Professor
Rose comes to Cincinnati from Princeton, where she recently finished her dissertation on the exchange of values between freed slaves and the ruling orders during the Early Empire. Her research focuses on imperial social and cultural history, with particular emphasis on the practices and ideologies of slavery and on the Roman "epigraphic habit." In addition to revising her thesis for publication, Rose is working on several articles, including a study of how Roman soldiers stationed in the provinces used their status as slave-owners and patrons to identify themselves as Roman. At UC this fall, she is teaching intermediate Greek and a section of the Greek history survey. Her spring courses will be tandem graduate and undergraduate seminars on the Greek and Roman slave systems.
Sharon Stocker, Senior Research Associate
Sharon is an archaeologist who has participated in excavations in Greece and Albania. She directs the publications program for UC excavations at the Palace of Nestor in Greece. She has served as co-director of archaeological surveys in the hinterlands of the Greek colonies of Epidamnus and Apollonia in Albania and of excavations at a recently discovered Greek sanctuary near Apollonia. Since 2011, she has represented the University of Cincinnati at the Palace of Nestor in excavations conducted in collaboration with the Greek Ministry of Culture.
UC Classics Assistant Professor Steven Ellis has won the prestigious Rome Prize in Ancient Studies. Ellis was just named one of 30 national winners of the Rome Prize in ceremonies held in New York City. With the award, created to further significant achievements in the arts and humanities, he will spend the next academic year at the American Academy at Rome, where he will conduct research into aspects of working-class and middle-class life at ancient Pompeii, a site where he has led archaeological digs since 2005.
For more information see here.
UC Classics podcasting Pompeii.
A once vibrant city forever frozen in time by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in AD 79, Pompeii provides an evocative glimpse into life and death in the ancient Roman world. To explore what Pompeii can tell us and understand why it has captured our imagination for nearly 2,000 years, scholars in the Department of Classics at the University of Cincinnati have produced a series of podcasts about the ancient city. Delving into Roman food, medicine, burial, gladiators, and taking a closer look at ancient accounts of the city’s destruction, and the remains of the inhabitants who lost their lives, these podcasts breathe exciting new life into the remains of Pompeii.
Each podcast, between 6 and 12 minutes long, is perfect for the curious listener, or can be used to enliven and supplement high school Latin and history classes or college courses on Roman archaeology and history. Coinciding with the opening of the exhibit “A Day in Pompeii” at the Cincinnati Museum Center on March 2, 2012, these entertaining and informative recordings are a fun way to prepare for a museum visit or to learn more about Pompeii after seeing the show.
Join UC professors Holt Parker, Peter van Minnen, and some of the department’s distinguished graduate students as they discuss aspects of ancient Pompeii and travel back in time to visit the doctor’s office, the dining room, and the arena!
Subscribe to the podcast from here.
2012 Graduate Student Paper Award
For the second year in a row, a UC Classics graduate student has won the Graduate Student Paper Award at the annual Archaeological Institute of America meetings, held this year in Phildelphia.
Allison Emmerson won for her paper titled: "Repopulating an "Abandoned" Suburb: The Case of Pompeii's Tombs." This paper re-examines the place of necropoli in roman society. Upon excavation many of the tombs in Pompeii were found to be surrounded by garbage: animal bones, charcoal, broken pottery and architectural material. The tombs also had a considerable amount of graffiti on them. The traditional view was that the necropoli were neglected areas of a city in decline between the AD 62 earthquake, and the destruction of the AD 79 eruption of nearby Mount Vesuvius.
"We tend to assume things like that are universal, but attitudes toward sanitation are very culturally defined, and it looks like in Pompeii attitudes were very different than ours," said Allison. She compares the garbage found in the necropoli with the general state of garbage found inside the city walls. Her conclusions are that the patterns of graffiti, garbage, and overall use of space was very similar in the two spaces.
Allison's paper has received a great deal of attention in the press including:
See a short video summary of the presentation below.
AIA Poster Contest
Our own Bice Peruzzi (left below) and Amanda Reiterman from Penn (right below) won the First Runner Up prize in the AIA poster contest for their work: "Learning from Their Mistakes: Try-Pieces, Wasters and Other Evidence for Ceramic Production from the Potters’ Quarter at Corinth."
The full poster can be viewed as a pdf here.
The American Philological Association will be awarding their Pre-Collegiate Teaching Award to Sherwin Little, a UC Classics alumni. Sherwin teaches Latin and Greek at the Indian Hill Exempted Village School District here in Cincinnati.
A full profile of Sherwin is posted at the APA website.
Graduate student Allison Emmerson has published two articles recently on the necropolis outside of one of the main gates at Pompeii that are part of the PARP:PS field project run by Steven Ellis from our department.
“Reconstructing the Funerary Landscape at Pompeii’s Porta Stabia” in Rivista di Studi Pompeiani 21 (2010), pp. 77-86.
As one of Pompeii’s most heavily trafficked gates, the Porta Stabia must have been a desirable and high-status location for burial, and the roads around the gate must have been lined with densely packed tombs. Presently, four tombs stand outside the Porta Stabia: the two well-known semicircular benches (schola tombs) just outside the gate, and two lesser-known tomb podia located to the south, hidden behind an embankment and concealed under overgrowth. This situation does not reflect the ancient reality. This article repopulates the burial landscape around the Porta Stabia by examining the standing tombs as well as the excavation reports of tombs that were reburied following their discovery, concluding that the extensive necropolis around the Porta Stabia is not something that must be imagined; rather, it is well-documented and worthy of a place in future scholarship.
"Evidence for Junian Latins in the Tombs of Pompeii?" in Journal of Roman Archaeology 24 (2011), pp. 160-190.
Junian Latins, former slaves who had been freed informally and therefore had not received Roman citizenship along with their manumission, existed in large numbers in both Italy and the provinces. Nevertheless, their lives and the ways in which their status differed from that of other freedmen remain little understood. This paper identifies fourteen tombs at Pompeii as belonging to Junian Latins, a group that has not previously been identified among the thousands of personal names preserved in the city's epigraphic record. The tombs suggest that Junian Latinity had an effect on social status: Junian Latins who were promoted to citizenship after manumission apparently held a higher status than other freedmen. Junian Latinity might also have impacted marriage patterns, with Junian Latins more likely to marry outside of their familiae. The distinction between Junian Latins and other freedmen at Pompeii points to the complexity of the Roman social system and ads a new dimension to the study of the Roman sub-elite.
Associate Professor Kathleen Lynch has published her first book titled The Symposium in Context: Pottery from a Late Archaic House near the Athenian Agora. This is the latest volme in the Hesperia Supplement series published by the American School of Classical Studies in Athens.
From the publisher:
This book presents the first well-preserved set of sympotic pottery which served a Late Archaic house in the Athenian Agora.The deposit contains household and fine-ware pottery, nearly all the figured pieces of which are forms associated with communal drinking. Since it comes from a single house, the pottery also reflects purchasing patterns and thematic preferences of the homeowner. The multifaceted approach adopted in this book shows that meaning and use are inherently related, and that through archaeology one can restore a context of use for a class of objects frequently studied in isolation.
For Greek readers, there is an article about the book here.