The presentations for the 2012/2013 academic year are ready. The following is a list of this year's presentations.
Presentations below are available from September 2012 to early June 2013. All presentations are FREE. The program is supported by outreach grants from the Archaeological Institute of America and private donations. The topics that follow draw on a broad range of subjects, and we hope at least one will complement your curriculum. There is even an opportunity for classes to visit the University of Cincinnati and experience the collections of the Classics Department first hand. Our goal is to increase your students’ understanding of life in the ancient world and to share our enthusiasm for teaching. When you see a topic that you like, contact the Department of Classics Program Coordinator, Ms. Deema Maghathe, who will connect you with the presenter and help plan the visit. Call 513 556-3050 or email email@example.com.
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AND THE CROWD GOES WILD!: A DAY AT THE GLADIATORIAL GAMES
Charlotte Lakeotes and Desiree Gerner, Ph.D. Students
We’ve all seen Hollywood’s depictions of gladiatorial combat, but what was a day at the games really like? Through the eyes of the Roman citizen Marcus, you’ll experience the full program of events at the spectacle that defined the Roman Empire and literally set the stage for many of today’s entertainments, including mixed-martial arts events and Spanish bullfights. Enjoy the history of the Colosseum, the greatest amphitheater of the Roman world, and watch as the action pits man against beast in the venationes. Hear about the training of the fighters, learn to tell the difference between types of gladiators based on their armor, and cheer on your favorite fighter in a final battle as an experienced retiarius attempts to win his freedom. Finally, exiting the amphitheater, you will discover the true meaning of what the Romans referred to as a vomitorium!
SHERD NERDS: TRACING THE HISTORY OF ROME THROUGH ITS CERAMIC EVIDENCE
Kristina Neumann, Ph.D. Student
Wherever the archaeological site, whatever the time period, chances are the majority of the material remains uncovered will be pottery. This is certainly the case for an excavation focused on the Roman world, where the pieces range from transport vessels to elegant dishes. But how do archaeologists study these broken pieces? How can they tell a larger historical story? Join me – a “sherd nerd” who has participated in excavations in both Israel and Italy – as I explain how pottery was produced, moved and used around the Mediterranean. We will also dig in to the ongoing excavations at the Porta Stabia project at Pompeii to see how pottery is removed, sorted and studied.
RESURRECTING A DEAD LANGUAGE: WHO SPEAKS LATIN ANYMORE, ANYWAY?
Elizabeth Barnes, Ph.D. Student
Latin has long been considered a "dead" language, and perhaps rightly so. But while it is no longer used as a common language, it still has survived to this day as the common source of several modern languages. And it is especially alive in the classroom. Practicing Latin as a living language can be helpful for students in building vocabulary, reinforcing grammar, and improving reading comprehension. The aim of this presentation is to give a history of the use of living Latin throughout the ages, including modern times, and hopefully, to show why treating Latin in this way can make it more enjoyable and meaningful to study. Students also will be introduced to, and practice speaking with one another, some basic, brief conversational phrases in Latin.
THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY: HEROES, VILLAINS, AND MONSTERS IN GREEK MYTH
Bill Weir, Ph.D. Student
Superman. Lex Luther. The Dark Knight. The Joker. In modern film, literature, and art, we regularly encounter fictional characters who represent ideals of heroism and villainry. Far from just pure entertainment, these stories of heroic and villainous types also reveal information about what behavior our society values, and what behavior it rejects. The same was true for ancient Greeks, who used stories about an entire host of mythological heroes to express complex ideas about ethics, education, civic pride, and cultural identity. In this presentation, we'll consider what functions heroic stories serve for the societies in which they circulate. In particular, we'll focus on how heroic stories were used to build ancient Greek city-states. And of course, no discussion of heroic feats would be complete without talking about the monsters, beasts, and savages that heroes take on along the way!
DIGGING UP HOMER
Emily Egan, Ph.D. Student
Did the Trojan War really happen? This presentation is designed to give the audience an introduction to the archaeological evidence for one of the most gripping stories of the ancient world, Homer’s Iliad. Discussion focuses on archaeological excavations at Bronze Age palaces in Greece including those of Agamemnon and Nestor at Mycenae and Pylos, and from the citadel at Troy. Different forms of archaeological evidence including ceramics, fortifications, weapons, wall paintings, bones, and bathtubs paint a varied and dynamic picture of an ancient way of life. But is this enough to prove Homer’s tale? To answer this tantalizing question, this presentation looks at the problems involved when Homer and archaeology are brought together and what archaeologists are doing to figure out the best ways to determine if “X” truly marks the spot.
MONEY, MONEY, MONEY!
David Schwei, Ph.D. Student
We use money every day to purchase things we need or want, but how often do we stop to think about the coins or bills that pass through our hands? What do the designs on the bills and coins mean? Who or what do they honor? Currency provides a unique insight into a culture, and coins are an incredibly common artifact from ancient Greece and Rome. In this presentation we will discuss some of the ways in which Romans used coins as part of their propaganda machines (and which still continues today!), and ways in which we can learn about the ancient economy from the discovery of extraordinary coin hoards.
LATIN ALIVE!: READING LATIN POETRY ALOUD
Charles Campbell, Ph.D. Student
Reciting poetry in Latin is a fundamental skill for any student of Latin, but it can be difficult to get started. This workshop-style outreach presentation is designed to give students the basic tools they need to begin reading aloud authors like Vergil and Catullus, whose work is included in the AP Latin curriculum. We will review syllabification, syllable quantities and rules of accentuation, and two poetic meters (the hexameter and the hendecasyllable) that Latin students will encounter during their high school careers. After the students complete a worksheet testing these basic skills, we will move on to written scansion of real Latin verse. Finally, we will work on reading aloud in meter. Students will come out of this workshop equipped to practice scansion and recitation of poetry on their own. This presentation is best for High School Latin Classes.
STEAMER TRUNKS AND STATUES: THE BEGINNINGS OF MODERN TOURISM IN ITALY
Meg Sneeringer and MaryBeth Banovetz, Ph.D. Students
Tourism as we know it today began in the 18th century, when the upper class of Europe and America flocked to Italy as part of the “Grand Tour.” This popular itinerary included stops throughout Italy, and was considered a travel experience essential to the education of every young person of good breeding. Travelers visited the Bay of Naples, Rome, and Pompeii and Herculaneum, where excavation had already begun. They often wrote about their experiences; authors of these early travelogues included famous figures such as Mark Twain and Charles Dickens. Interest in the ancient ruins of Italy was driven by romantic notions of life in antiquity and the belief that the seeds of western civilization lay in Roman culture. Early travelers were also collectors of antiquities, inspired by an admiration of the aesthetics of ancient art. This presentation will follow travelers along the Grand Tour, exploring the links between early tourism, the collection of antiquities, and the beginning of archaeology at Pompeii and Herculaneum.
COUSINS OF ROMULUS: ITALY BEFORE ROME
Amanda Pavlick, Ph.D. student
Have you ever wondered what Italy was like before the Romans? Who were the people and what were the cultures that predated the group of huts on a hilltop that would eventually grow to rule the known world? The key element to Rome's success was its ability to incorporate elements of neighboring and subdued cultures, making itself a blend of the best - so who were the people who contested with Rome and helped create its culture? This presentation will give an overview of the major players in early Italy, including the Etruscans, the Latins, and the Samnites, blending their descriptions in Livy and other early authors with the materials found in archaeological excavations throughout Italy. The audience will gain a mental picture of the people who gave Rome a run for its money, and an appreciation for the kind of savvy and strategy that Rome needed to possess Italy and beyond.
IT’S ALL GREEK
Austin Chapman, Ph.D. Student
You didn’t really think Latin was the only ancient language, did you? Sure, there were lots of ancient languages, and most of them disappeared, never to be seen again. But some survived in ancient texts, and we can read them if we learn them. Come, join me for a day of learning Greek, the language spoken by the other major civilization of Classical Antiquity, as it was spoken and written in the times of Socrates, Plato, and Alexander the Great! You will learn to recognize its unique alphabet, pronounce its words, and compare its forms with Latin.
ALL PORTS LEAD TO ROME: ROMAN TRADE
Catherine Baker, Ph.D. Student
Tin from England, grain from Egypt, oil from North Africa – trade was certainly an important part of the Roman Empire! In this presentation, we will discover how different goods, like olive oil, made its way from olive tree to amphora, from ship to port, and into the hands of Romans in cities all over the Empire. Who were traders in the ancient world? What were their lives like? What kinds of goods did they trade, and why were they important? How can a broken pot tell us about more about Roman trade? Using literature, inscriptions, graffiti, pottery, and archaeological evidence from towns and ports like Pompeii and Ostia, we’ll explore the lives of traders, merchants, and shopkeepers in the Roman world and discuss why trade was so important to the success of the Roman Empire.
ALL IN THE FAMILY: THE PTOLEMIES COME TO EGYPT
Andrew Connor, Ph.D. Student
When the Greek historian Herodotus described Egypt, it was as a backwards land, where everything familiar was strange. By the time of Cleopatra, it was ruled by Greeks but reliant on traditional Egyptian religion to keep the peace. The path of this country along the Nile River from great temples, tombs, and pyramids to the Lighthouse and Great Library of Alexandria was both long and strange. This talk will offer a brief introduction to one period in the history of Egypt—when Alexander’s general Ptolemy and his descendants controlled the country and defined the intellectual, religious, economic, and political life of the Hellenistic period. The efforts of Ptolemies to stimulate Greek literature, philosophy, and science, while engaging with their Egyptian subjects produced a mélange that, while racked with revolts, palace plotting, and unsuccessful wars, was always interesting. The final ruler, Cleopatra, captivated the ancient world and remains a fascinating figure. Through this talk, one can, as it were, meet the Ptolemies, from Alexander’s battle-hardened general to his son, the intellectual patron of the Great Library, Ptolemy VIII, who married his sister and his niece, and Cleopatra, whose attempt to preserve the kingdom in the face of growing power cost her her life and found her a place in Latin literature and popular culture.
POMPEII: LIFE FROM THE ASHES
Taylor Coughlan, Ph.D. Student
Walk with ancient Romans! This presentation will take students on a virtual tour of Pompeii, a Roman city buried in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. Tour stops will include the town forum, an elite house, a “fast food joint,” the theatre district, the amphitheatre, and the cemeteries outside the city walls. At each stop, we will examine the ways in which the Latin language and the material remains of the town come together to bring the Roman past to life. The presentation will conclude with an interactive project. Students or residents, working in groups and with the aid of a glossary, will translate several inscriptions from Pompeian tombs. The entire group will then reconvene to discuss what the tombs tell us about the individuals buried there, and to imagine the places within the city where those individuals might have lived, worked, and played.
STEP RIGHT UP: A TOUR OF THE ACROPOLIS OF ATHENS
Natalie Abell, Ph.D. Student
A stone outcrop rising over the heart of Athens, the Acropolis was an important center of ancient Athenian religious worship and community gathering, and remains one of the most iconic images of the ancient world. In the 5th century BC, the Acropolis was the site of a large-scale building program, instigated by the general Pericles. During this time, the Acropolis and its new monuments, especially the Parthenon, became the symbol of Athens and Athenian greatness in the ancient Greek world. This richly illustrated presentation offers an overview of the history and monuments of the Acropolis, emphasizing the important roles the Acropolis played in how the people of Athens related to their gods, themselves, and others.
HOME SWEET HOME: ROMAN HOUSES AND EVERYDAY LIFE
Bea Peruzzi, Ph.D. Student
Hollywood didn’t invent high living and lavish houses! Some of the residences recovered in Pompeii and Rome by archeologists have intricate mosaic floors, marble bathrooms, and sophisticated gardens, complete with famous statues and even private pools and saunas! We will investigate the architecture of these houses and the lifestyle of their inhabitants. Did you know that every morning rich Romans would be visited by dozens of their neighbors? Or how many slaves worked behind the scene to keeps these houses clean and their owners happy? Let’s live one day in the life of the rich and powerful in Rome and see how they ate, where they slept, where they conducted their business and, more importantly, where they partied!
HAVE A COKE AND A SMILE: GREEK AND ROMAN RHETORICAL DEVICES IN THE 21ST CENTURY
Jamie Fishman, Ph D. student
Have you ever wondered why newspaper headlines can be so catchy, or why advertisements are so clever? Has a politician ever caught your attention with their words, or Eminem with his lyrics? Have you ever been struck by the stark, powerful language of Yoda in Star Wars? Although rhetorical devices are often cast aside merely as the work of Greek and Roman orators and poets, they are very much alive--and just as persuasive--today. This multi-media, interactive presentation highlights some of the most effective ancient rhetorical devices by looking at them in their Greek and Roman contexts, and then demonstrating how these same devices apply to our culture today. Journalists, writers, singers, politicians, corporations, and 900-year-old Jedi masters all use Greek and Roman rhetorical devices in their work--and so can you! Whether you want to spice up your public speaking, color your conversation, or maybe just impress your friends, this presentation will offer you the tools to create fun, inventive, and persuasive word structures just like the Greeks and Romans.
THINGS THAT WENT BUMP IN THE NIGHT: VAMPIRES, WITCHES, WEREWOLVES AND GHOSTS IN THE ANCIENT WORLD
Desiree Gerner and Charlotte Lakeotes, Ph.D. Students
Tales of supernatural beings have experienced a rise in popularity in recent years, but did you know that the ancient Greeks and Romans had their own versions of these creatures? This presentation explores the myths and legends surrounding these characters in antiquity. We will also take a look at some of their modern counterparts in contemporary entertainment. Along the way, we’ll find out that when it comes to the imaginary things that both frighten and amuse us, we’re not so different from the ancients after all!
THE MEMORY PALACE: A WORKSHOP ON THE HISTORY AND SCIENCE OF MEMORY
Charles Campbell, Ph.D. Student
Computers are now able to store the contents of entire libraries in their memory, but how did people remember information not just before computers, but even before printing and the availability of mass-produced books? This workshop explores ancient mnemotechnics, the technology of memory developed by the ancient Greeks and Romans and used for more than a thousand years afterwards. This method, sometimes called the “memory palace”, taps into human beings’ incredible ability to remember physical places quickly and in minute detail. After a brief presentation on the discovery and development of this method, participants will build a “memory palace” in their minds and use it to remember some information. We will also share some tips and tricks for improving our memory palaces.
“A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO FOUNTAIN SQUARE:” ROME AND THE ROOTS OF THE MODERN CITY
Kristina Neumann, Ph.D. Student
If an ancient Roman traveled to modern-day Cincinnati, what would he or she think? Certainly the technology would be shocking, but in many ways, both cities have much in common. Indeed, modern cities trace their roots back to the ancient Greek "polis" and the Roman "civitas," including governmental structures and entertainment facilities. With Rome and Cincinnati, however, the similarities are all the more striking. Let's take a walk along the Ohio and Tiber rivers, comparing the many buildings in terms of their architecture, arrangement and the different functions they play (for example: the Colosseum and Paul Brown Stadium!). We will discover how alike the modern city and its citizens are to the ancient civitas.
THE QUAKE THAT KILLED KOURION
William J. Weir, Jr., Ph.D. Student
When most people think of natural disasters in the ancient world they think of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius and the destruction of Pompeii. Although Pompeii provides the best evidence of volcanic destruction there other cities in the Roman world that suffered from earthquakes, fires, and tsunamis. This talk will explore the city of Kourion on the island of Cyprus, which suffered from a massive earthquake around 365 AD. This earthquake was responsible for the destruction of Cyprus’ Pagan temples and helped Christianity gain power on the island. Churches were built instead of Pagan temples after the quake. No less dramatic than Pompeii, one house contained the bodies of a family (a man, woman, and 13-month old child) along with all their personal belongings enabling us to study how this particular family lived, what their jobs were, and how life was for them one day in 365 AD. In this talk we will see the destruction and resurrection of a city, study how the buildings collapsed, how the residents responded to the destruction of their homes, markets, and temples, and more importantly how the city rebounded from this disaster and planned for the years to come.
ALEXANDER THE GREAT: MAN OF GLORY, MAN OF MYSTERY
Emilia Oddo, Ph.D. Student
Alexander the Great lived in the faraway land of Macedonia, at the northern borders of Greece. He was an extraordinary man but a mysterious one who continues to puzzle and fascinate the modern world as he did the ancient one. Many questions concerning Alexander are still very difficult to answer. For example, what does and did it mean being from Macedonia? Was Alexander a Greek or was he a Macedonian? Has it ever mattered? What we know about his life is connected to his deeds and public role as a conqueror and a leader, but we still know very little about his late life, his death, or even the place where he was buried. Let’s embark on a trip to Alexander’s homeland, Macedonia, where we can explore together the rich royal tombs of his family in the town of Vergina, looking for clues that can help us unveil the mysteries of this “Great” leader. On the road, we will uncover what we still have in common with Alexander himself.
GODS, AND HEROES, AND MONSTERS, OH MY!
Bea Peruzzi, Ph.D. Student
Have you followed the adventures of Percy Jackson? Or maybe you have heard of Medusa who could petrify you with her gaze, or Hercules-- the great hero who could kill lions with his bare hands! Ancient Greeks loved to tell stories about their gods who lived on Mt. Olympus and spent most of their time meddling in human affairs and falling in love with human women. The children of these gods were the great Heroes, who were sent on quests to prove their abilities and to help keep the land safe from monsters and brigands. This interactive presentation starts from the stories of the twelve Olympian gods, and uses examples from material culture to explain what can we learn about the ancient Greeks, from their mythology.
RETURN TO SENDER: LETTER WRITING IN THE ANCIENT WORLD
Taylor Coughlan, Ph.D. Student
Today most of us communicate with our friends and family through email, skype, text messaging, or our cell-phones. In the ancient societies of Greece and Rome the only way to reach someone who lived on the other side of Italy or the Mediterranean was to send a letter. Many letters of many different varieties have survived from the ancient Graeco-Roman world. This presentation will examine what information about the history, culture, and people of the ancient world we can glean from these interesting sources. From letters recovered from the sands of Egypt that provide a glimpse into the life of locals, to Cicero’s private letters to his friends covering the tumultuous end of the Roman Republic, to more “literary” letters such as those of Pliny and Ovid’s fictional letters between mythological characters, the ancient letter is a treasure-trove of exciting information. Reading these letters together we will learn just what personal correspondence can tell us about the ancient world and the people who inhabited it.
WHAT DO ARCHAEOLOGISTS DO, ANYWAY?
Natalie Abell, Ph.D. Student
This presentation explores the work of archaeologists and our place in society. The word “archaeologist” usually brings up images of Indiana Jones, treasure-hunting, or reanimated mummies. Real archaeology is not usually so Hollywood-friendly, but the field is full of both dangers and rewards. We will first discuss the goals of archaeology and how this discipline has contributed to our understanding of human history. We will then consider exactly what archaeologists do, including excavation, laboratory work, and experiments. We will look at a typical day on an excavation, including work, meals, accommodations, and recreation. Finally we will explore the role of archaeologists as advocates for the protection of our past.
GREEK ATHLETICS: THE BIRTH OF SPORTS
Andrew Connor, Ph.D. Student
Every four years, the Olympic torch leaves the modern country of Greece to make its way around the world. Why is Greece the world’s spiritual home of athletics? This presentation will examine the rich history of Greek athletics, from the earliest running races to the hugely popular horse races and no-holds-barred fights, as well as the material remains of those games, including the great sanctuaries of Olympia, Nemea, and Delphi. In addition, we will explore what athletics meant to the average Greek, and why a gymnasium was one of the first buildings erected in a new city. Fans of modern sports will see many of the same problems—cheating scandals, untimely injuries, and amateurism questions, for instance—as well as less familiar ones—the sacred truce during competitions, Olympic glory for heralds or trumpeters, and how best to create new competitions in foreign lands. We will, in short, explore the role of Greek athletics in shaping not only the modern Olympics but modern culture.
LIFE AND DEATH IN ANCIENT EGYPT
Simone Bates-Smith, Classics Major
King Tut, Pyramids, and Mummies. What is the first thing you think of when you hear Ancient Egypt? Their society is not much different from ours. The glamour and wealth of the rich over shadows the existence of the citizens and slaves who keep the country running. In this presentation, we'll consider the life of powerful Pharaohs together with common, working class Egyptians. We'll focus on their monuments including their tombs, art, literary evidence, and mummies to understand class differences better and the importance of the afterlife to all classes.
RUB A DUB DUB, ROMANS IN THE TUB
Chris Cloke, Ph.D. Student
Nowadays, most of us have a bathtub or shower in our home, but in ancient Rome, this was something only the very wealthy could afford. Early on, most people washed themselves with wash-basins (kind of like taking a bath using your sink), but over time very elaborate forms of social bathing developed, and public bath-houses became very popular hangout spots. The baths of ancient Rome, Pompeii, and other Roman cities were massive, lavishly-decorated buildings which made use of some of the ancient world’s most advanced engineering knowledge, and were places where people would go to swim, get clean, hold business meetings, discuss philosophy, and do all sorts of other things! This presentation takes a firsthand look at the archaeology of ancient baths and their descriptions in Greek and Latin literature to explain why going to the bath with everyone else in town became so popular among the ancient Romans, and why this practice disappeared over time.
ANCIENT ART FROM THE UC CLASSICS STUDY COLLECTION
Carol Hershenson, PhD student and Curator of the Classics Study Collection
Get up close and personal with genuine objects of ancient art! This presentation brings a selection of artifacts from the Classics Study Collection to your classroom and community to encourage a hands-on discussion of their place in Greek art and society. We’ll consider the full life of the piece of ‘art’, including its creation utilizing local resources, the techniques of producing Greek pottery (illustrated with actual examples), a discussion of “What is Art?”, and an exercise on how archaeologists learn from these fragments of the past. Students and residents have the opportunity to handle the artifacts, and to examine our finest vases more closely than they will ever see them in a museum.
YES, IT’S REAL! VISIT THE DEPARTMENT OF CLASSICS STUDY COLLECTION
Professors Eleni Hatzaki and Kathleen Lynch
The Department of Classics owns a modest study collection of ancient objects: ceramics, coins, tablets, seals, and small statues. Much of the pottery is fragmentary, which permits hands-on activities. Groups of 20 or fewer are invited to arrange a visit of one to two hours. Students and residents would be introduced to the relationship of use to form and decoration of pottery, the way archaeologists learn from broken pottery, how pictures convey messages on pots and coins, and how museums care for objects. A great opportunity for your students and residents to interact with objects over 2500 years old! Contact the Outreach Coordinator to make arrangements.