Department of ClassicsUniversity of Cincinnati
Department of Classics


Another issue of the Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists has just appeared at Cincinnati. It is a volume of over 450 pages, with text editions and essays as well as shorter notes and reviews on a great variety of topics having to do with Greco-Roman Egypt. Highlights are two articles presenting Greek papyri from the earliest Roman period. One edits four poll tax receipts, which add substantially to what we know about taxation in early Roman Egypt. The other edits four labor contracts, two for a girl under the age of ten, who will feed olives into an oil press and do other chores as needed by her employer. There are very few texts that are as explicit about child labor in antiquity.

Peter van Minnen has been editor-in-chief of this international journal since 2006. Many graduate students at Cincinnati, in summer institutes, and at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens have publishing their first articles in BASP, some assisting van Minnen in the production of the journal.

Eleven papers and one colloquium will be presented at this season's Society of Classical Studies and Archaeological Institute of America's combined conference in San Francisco, CA.


Lauren Ginsberg
“The Failure of Fides in the Octavia”

Antonis Kotsonas
“Early Iron Age Knossos and the Development of the City of the Historical Period”

Kathleen Lynch
“Not Sloppy but Hasty: Late Athenian Black-Figure”

Doctoral Students

Simone Agrimonti
"Xenophon and the unequal phalanx: a 4th century view on political egalitarianism”

Mohammed Bhatti
"Violating the City: Plutarch’s Use of Religious Landscape in the Life of Sulla”
Taylor Coughlan
"Dialect and Poetic Self-Fashioning in Hellenistic Book Epigram"

Flint Dibble
“The Chaîne-Opératoire of Professional Butchery in the Archaic to Classical Athenian Agora: Changing Foodways in an Urban Context”

Alison Fields
“The Purpose-Built Workspaces of the Classical Agora and Scales of Urban Production”

Kyle Helms
"Making rhetoric Roman in the first preface of Cicero’s de Inventione (1.1–5)"

Alexandros Laftsidis
“Exploring the Beginning of the Kerameikos of Pella in the Hellenistic period: Evidence from a Deposit East of the Agora”

Bea Peruzzi
“Finding the Peucetians: Using Burial Practices to identify a South Italian Culture”

Colloquium organized by 
Emilia Oddo [UC] and Kostas Chalikias 
“Exploring a Terra Incognita: Recent Research on Bronze Age Habitation in the Southern Ierapetra Isthmus"



Step into the Sherie and Len Marek Family Gallery at the Cincinnati Art Museum, and you are greeted by faces from the past -- two rows of ancient sculptures from the ancient Mediterranean and Egypt. Visible through the doorway at the other end of the room, a larger than life marble lion crouches, ready to spring off a pedestal in the Millard F. Rogers Jr. Gallery. Here, you will find the oldest piece in the museum: a red and black clay vessel from ancient Egypt's Naqada culture, decorated with an incised Barbary sheep.

On October 3, 2015, the Cincinnati Art Museum opened two new permanent galleries to display their collections of ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian art. This undertaking was the product of collaboration between students and faculty from UC, especially graduate students from the Department of Classics, and the Curatorial and Learning & Interpretation departments at the CAM. The partnership re-established ties between the distinguished Classics community at UC and the CAM, a fixture of the greater Cincinnati area since 1886. The invitation to be part of the re-installation of the antiquities collections was presented to Professor Kathleen Lynch by Museum Director Cameron Kitchin in February 2015, and the immediate answer was an enthusiastic yes.

pylos insitu
Bronze mirror with ivory handle in situ.

This summer's excavations at Pylos, lead by Jack Davis and Shari Strocker, yielded an unlooted warror grave with a full burial and over 1400 grave goods. Read about it here from the UC Magazine's article: UC team discovers rare warrior tomb filled with bronze age wealth and weapons.

This is also covered in the New York Times article: A Warrior's Grave at Pylos, Greece, Could Be a Gateway to Civilizations.

If you wish to support the conservation and study of the Grave of the Griffin Warrior, clickhere and enter Friends of Pylos in the comment box.

The Department of Classics at the University of Cincinnati invites applications for a tenure track position at the level of Assistant Professor of Classics and Ancient History, to begin on August 15, 2016. Candidates are expected to be able to teach Ancient History at the undergraduate and graduate levels and Ancient Greek and Latin and Classical Civilization at the undergraduate level. A Ph.D. in Classics, History, or a related field by the time of the appointment is required. Tenure-track faculty are expected to make original contributions to knowledge through research and publication, to teach undergraduate and graduate courses, to advise and mentor undergraduate and graduate students, and to fulfill reasonable service obligations to the scholarly and local communities. Preliminary inquiries can be addressed to Kathleen Lynch, Chair, Ancient History Search Committee, with subject line “Ancient History Search:” This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Candidates must apply online at and search for Requisition #7601. In addition to completing the online application form, cadidates should attach a cover letter (letter of application), a curriculum vitae and a writing sample with the online application. In addition, three confidential letters of reference should be sent via e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject line "Ancient History Search". The committee will review applications starting November 15, 2015, and conduct interviews at the annual meeting of the Society for Classical Studies in San Francisco, January 6-9, 2016. The position will remain open until filled.
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Every day in the Classics Department we walk into the Carl Blegen Library building. Jack Davis, first an alum of this department and later the Carl Blegen Professor of Greek Archaeology here, has co-edited a new book on the life of Blegen.


From the book description:

Carl Blegen is the most famous American archaeologist ever to work in Greece, and no American has ever had a greater impact on Greek archaeology. Yet Blegen, unlike several others of his generation, has found no biographer. In part, the explanation for this must lie in the fact that his life was so multifaceted: not only was he instrumental in creating the field of Aegean prehistory, but Blegen, his wife, and their best friends, the Hills (“the family”), were also significant forces in the social and intellectual community of Athens. Authors who have contributed to this book have each researched one aspect of Blegen’s life, drawing on copious documentation in the United States, England, and Greece. The result is a biography that sets Blegen and his closest colleagues in the social and academic milieu that gave rise to the discipline of classical archaeology in Greece.

The 2014-15 year saw three prestigious fellowships awarded to members of UC’s Classics Department. Lauren Donovan Ginsberg and Peter van Minnen won research grants from the Loeb Classical Library Foundation, and Steven Ellis won the Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship from the ACLS Foundation.


Lauren Donovan Ginsberg will use her Loeb Classical Library Foundation Fellowship to work on a monograph on the Octavia, a historical drama on the court of Nero and the tragedy of Nero’s first wife. Combining intertextual analysis with cultural memory theory, her book examines (1) how the Octavia, as a work of ‘history,’ intervenes in and rewrite the history of the Julio-Claudian dynasty in light of that dynasty’s destruction, and (2) how, as a work of literature, it actively reinterprets the often regime-celebrating literary canon that the Julio-Claudian age left behind. The Octavia offers a unique opportunity to explore the memory culture of the early empire: it is the sole surviving historical drama from ancient Rome, and it is also likely the earliest surviving literary representation of the Julio-Claudians from the post-Julio-Claudian period. Through its investigation of this fascinating yet understudied text, Ginsberg’s book will offer a new perspective on literature’s role in shaping the way Nero and his family would be remembered.

Steven Ellis will use his Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship to return to the American Academy in Rome for the 2015-16 academic year. His project will be the publication of his archaeological excavations of a large, sub-elite neighborhood of Pompeii. The excavations and publication program are of an unprecedented scale for the study of Pompeii, and aim to chart the socio-economic developments of a series of houses, shops, and workshops over centuries of occupation. The results are contributing a new understanding of the connections between urban infrastructure (especially waste management) and the construction of cities, while also revealing the structural and social relationships over time between Pompeian households of variable economic portfolios, determining the role that sub-elites played in the shaping of Roman urban networks, and registering their response to city- and Mediterranean-wide historical, political, and economic developments.

Peter van Minnen will use his Loeb Classical Library Foundation Fellowship to work on a monograph entitled: Alexandria in the Age of Augustus. This is an in-depth study of about 120 Greek papyrus documents from Alexandria (found elsewhere in Egypt) that deal with loans, leases, and sales; marriage and divorce; and wet nursing and other labor arrangements between hundreds of private individuals in early Roman Alexandria, including Egyptians, Greeks, Jews, and Romans. The documents graphically illustrate the occurrence side by side of various strands of Egyptian, Greek, Jewish, and Roman law. There is nothing like it for any other major city in the ancient world. Alexandria in the Age of Augustus adds yet another papyrological project to the Classics department (we also edit the journal of the American Society of Papyrologists); exemplifies a corpus-based analysis of a society, its legal system, and its language; and highlights the roles of non-elite women, minors, and slaves in history.

Several UC Classics Undergraduates have won nationally competitive awards in the 2014-15 academic year. Michelle Martinez (Classics ’15) has placed amongst the top five students nationally in the 2014-2015 Advanced Level College Latin Translation Examination sponsored by the Classical Association of the Midwest and South (CAMWS). 30 different colleges participated with over 200 students competing. Michelle will soon join the MA program in Classics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with an Illinois Distinguished Fellowship from their Graduate College.

Semple Scholars Connor Ginty, Michelle Martinez, Lindsay Taylor, and Jack Barendt

Lindsay Taylor (Classics ’16) has earned a spot in the San Gemini Preservation Studies Program in Italy for the summer of 2015. The program focuses on architectural survey and restoration, traditional methods of painting, conservation of archaeological ceramics, and the restoration of books and works of art on paper. Field projects involve the survey and restoration of medieval buildings, the archaeological excavation in the ancient Roman city of Carsulae, as well as work on local archival material. (

Jack Barendt (Classics ’17) will also be abroad this summer. He has won a full scholarship to attend the Paideia Institute, a living Latin program set in the heart in Rome which combines intensive study of Latin with topography and visits to important archaeological sites. Jack will be UC’s first student to participate in this prestigious program. (