The Marion Rawson Visiting Scholars Program welcomes scholars of exceptional merit in any field of Classics to share the intellectual resources of our community of faculty and students at the University of Cincinnati. Typically such individuals will have retired from other institutions and plan to spend time in Cincinnati to continue their programs of research. The program honors native Cliftonite Marion Rawson, who, after graduating from Bryn Mawr College, returned to the University Cincinnati to study architecture. Her association with our department began in 1927 and continued until her death in 1980. During that time she was a creative and academic contributor to several of the most important archaeological excavations sponsored by our department, including Troy and Pylos.

Next year we introduce two new Rawson Scholars to our department.

Portrait of Jan Driessen standing in front of wallJan Driessen by Julien Pohl

Jan Driessen, professor at the Université Catholique de Louvain, is a prehistorian specializing in the archaeology of the Minoan civilization in Crete. Professor Driessen has studied the architecture of the Minoans, as well as the contexts in which Linear B tablets were found at Knossos in Crete. He has participated in various archaeological projects on the island, first through the British School at Athens (Palaikastro, Knossos, Myrtos), then as a Belgian member of the French School at Athens (Malia). His curiosity about the impact of the Santorini eruption on Minoan Crete made him realise that, despite a 100 years of excavation, Minoan society remained as mysterious as it was for Sir Arthur Evans at the beginning of the 20th century. Influenced by Claude Lévi-Strauss and Elinor Ostrom, he has recently tried to approach Minoan society as corporative, based on a locus-bound association of matrifocally organised groups or houses, which, through collective action, collaborated to construct and use the complexes that we call “palaces.” Since 2007, Professor Driessen initiated the first ever excavation by the Belgian School at Athens on Crete at the site of Sissi, on the north coast of Crete, and, between 2012 and 2022, he served as director of the Belgian School at Athens.

Portrait of Tom Palaima looking left with parrot on shoulderTom Palaima and Jumbo

Thomas J. Palaima, professor at the University of Texas at Austin, is a much honored Classicist and linguist, specializing in the study of languages and scripts of early Greece. He has focused on paleography, scribal systems, and the use of Linear B tablets to answer questions about many aspects of life at the time of the Mycenaean civilization. In this regard, he founded the Program in Aegean Scripts and Prehistory at Austin, which now curates the most significant relevant archive for the study of Greek prehistoric scripts. Professor Palaima holds an honorary doctorate from Uppsala University and is a fellow of the MacArthur Foundation. He has also written many public intellectual commentaries, has reviewed books on a broad range of subjects, ancient and modern, and has researched, written, taught, and lectured about how humans, in groups or as individuals, respond to war and violence. He has served as academic co-director of the NEH Aquila Warrior Chorus Project in Austin. He also has also developed an innovative program, focusing on the humanities, which provides impoverished adults with an opportunity to return to higher education. From 2008 through 2011, he was the representative of the University of Texas at Austin on the national Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics.
Professor Palaima has also written extensively about music, especially about Bob Dylan and his cultural influence.

Portrait of Beethoven imposed over music score

After "the Mermaid" event last week, the collaboration between the Cincinnati Outreach program and the CSO continues. Given the success of the earlier Pre-concert talks, the Outreach program will return at the Cincinnati Music Hall for another "Pre-concert-talk" Series. On March 25th and 26th, Cecilia Cozzi will join assistant conductor Samuel Lee for a conversation on the role of "Fate" in Classical texts ahead, preparing the audience to fully enjoy the performance of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. Mark your calendar: come on Sunday Mar 26th for a special young professional experience, including a happy hour at Rhinegeist Taproom after the show. Show your ticket at the bar for $5 beers and a special souvenir CSO stein: Student tickets are just $15.53, and adults can save 25% off with promocode YP25!

The Classics Department is Excited to Announce Two New Faculty Hires in Ancient History and Greek Philology


Matthijs Wibier (2014 PhD in Classics from St. Andrews) will be joining us in the fall. He is a Roman cultural and intellectual historian with a specialization in Roman law and a broad interest in Roman politics and government. Matthijs can boast a long list of publications already. He is currently working on a monograph on the Roman legal experts in the early Empire as well as on a collective volume on the transmission of Roman law in Late Antiquity. Matthijs is originally from the Netherlands (2010 MA in Classics from Leiden University) and has been teaching at the University of Kent since 2018. Earlier he spent a few years each at Penn State and the University of Pavia. We wish Matthijs welcome in what has now officially become the Classics department with the highest concentration of ancient historians in the US! He is eager to take on graduate students interested in Roman history.


Dylan Kenny comes to Cincinnati from the University of California, Berkeley, where he has recently completed his PhD on the early fifth-century poet Pindar. Dylan was attracted to Classics through its modern reception in pictorial art, the early days of the printing press, and ideologies of work. His current research addresses the intersections between Pindar’s poetry and philosophical discourses of the early fifth century BCE. Whereas recent generations of scholars have isolated Pindar from his contemporaries and read his poetry as a strange kind of archaic residue, rich as it is in complex symbolism, Dylan builds on early-modern scholarly opinion that Pindar was a serious ethicist and political advisor to show that he was conversant also with most major philosophical topics of his day. In his earlier work, Dylan edited a collection of essays on the Victorian art critic Vernon Lee, wrote a prize-winning thesis on the early modern painter Pieter Bruegel the Elder, wrote a prize-winning MA thesis on Xenophon’s Education of Cyrus, and wrote a second MA thesis on the Renaissance publisher Henri Estienne of Geneva. Dylan grew up near Fresno, California, and completed the two-year liberal arts program at Deep Springs College, a two-year liberal arts college in the California dessert that integrates sustenance labor with readings from the European tradition. He subsequently earned his BA at Yale, continued his studies of Classics and Early Modern History on a three-year fellowship for post-graduate study at the University of Cambridge, and returned to Berkeley for his PhD in Classics. 

Logo for the CSO

Cincinnati Opera and the Outreach Program partner together for an exciting new project:  a series of 6 lectures for a brand new course at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in Cincinnati, during the Spring Term 2023. From May 3rd to June 7th,  Graduate Student Cecilia Cozzi and singers of the Cincinnati Opera will joint forces to show how human characters (both in Greek tragedy and live opera) deal with all the complex emotions of our inner life and discuss how each art form confronts its audience with dangerous questions and open dilemmas. Each lecture will be at the UC Victory Parkway Campus and feature the combination of dramatic readings from Greek tragedy with different live performances, provided by the Cincinnati Opera.

Fantastical mermaid tail
The collaboration between the Cincinnati Outreach program and the CSO resumes. For the first time after the pandemic, the Outreach program will return at the Cincinnati Music Hall for the famous "Pre-concert-talks" Series. Mark your calendar: on March 17th and 18th at 6 p.m.,  graduate student Cecilia Cozzi will join assistant director Daniel Wiley for a conversation on the fascinating Sirens in the Odyssey, preparing the audience for the following subscription concert, "The Mermaid." Special Discount codes to UC students and faculty will be soon provided for both performances. Stay tuned!