Department of ClassicsUniversity of Cincinnati
Department of Classics

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. (

Professor Kathleen Lynch was awarded the Mrs. A.B. “Dolly” Cohen award for Excellence in Teaching, 2014. Candidates for this award are nominated by steudents, who referred to her teaching style as "innovative and inspiring" and "exciting and dynamic." For more information on this award see: about 1/2. This is the second Cohen award for the department (Diane Harris Cline, 1999).

Jack Davis, Kathleen Lynch, and Ann Santen at the Excellence in Teaching award banquet

Kathleen also recieved the Excellence in Teaching award from the Greater Cincinnati Consortium of Colleges and Universities (GCCCU), recognizing outstanding performance among the city's 17 colleges and Universities. For more information see:


Getzel M Cohen (1942-2015)

Getzel Cohen, professor of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Cincinnati, passed away on Friday, February 13, 2015, after a severe illness. He will be sorely missed.


Left to right: Amanda Hatch, Michelle Martinez, David Eichert, Sarah Evans, Daniel Markovic (undergraduate advisor), Lindsay Taylor, Connor Ginty

Classics undergraduate and graduate students received a bumper crop of awards and recognitions this spring. 

UNDERGRAD: Classics Club Certaminators, Emily Blatz, David Eichert, Connor Ginty, and Michelle Martinez, won the first place in the Certamen at the Eta Sigma Phi Centennial Convention in Chicago. Michelle Martinez has won the APA's Minority Summer Fellowship in Classics and Classical Archaeology; she has been elected the President of the Ohio Senior Classical League. Michelle also won the AIA Jace C. Waldbaum Archaeological Field Scholarship for 2014. Amanda Hatch has won the Foreign Language and Area Studies fellowship for the Indiana University Summer Language Workshop in Slavic, East European, and Central Asian Languages program (for the Turkish language); David Eichert has won the Phi Beta Kappa Live Your Language Prize, and the second place in the Eta Sigma Phi M. D. Watkins Annual Translation Competition for his Koine Greek translation. 

At UC, Jack Barendt won the Outstanding Beginning German Student Award; Amanda Hatch won the Outstanding Upper-Level German Student award, the Poll Prize (the Outstanding Graduating Senior), and the Max Kade Fellowship for next year.

In the Classics Department, the Capstone Prize went to Amanda Hatch for her paper on “More than Servi filia Sulpicia: Examining the Female, Feminine, and Feminist Perspectives in Sulpicia’s Love Elegies,” written for LATN 4004 Latin Elegy. The Classical Civilization Paper Prize went to Sarah Evans for her paper on “Women as Warrior Queens,” written for CLAS 2011 Classics and Cinema.Translation prizes were also awarded: Greek Senior Translation Prize: Michelle Martinez; Latin Senior Translation Prize: David Eichert; Greek Junior Translation Prize: Connor Ginty; Latin Junior Translation Prize: Lindsay Taylor. 

GRAD:  Dr. Natalie Abell (Ph.D. '14) won the College of Arts & Sciences Outstanding Ph.D. student award; Kristina Neumann won the UC Isabel and Mary Neff Fellowship; Emily Egan won a Dean's Fellowship for dissertation completion; Catherine Baker was named an alternate for the Fulbright to Italy and she has been appointed Instructor at the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Study (the Centro) for next year; Taylor Coughlan was named an alternate for the Fulbright to Greece;Amanda Pavlick won a University Research Council Graduate Student Summer Research Grant; Emilia Oddo won a Richard Seager grant for study at the East Crete Study Center; Chris Motz, received an ASCSA Summer Session fellowship.

Em with plaster

Congratulations to Emily Egan who has received a Dean's Fellowship for 2014-2015.

The Graduate School Dean's Fellowship, formerly known as the Distinguished Dissertation Completion Fellowship, awards up to five fellowships annually to doctoral students in the final year of degree work to support superior scholarship that enhances the reputation of their program, department and the University of Cincinnati.

This is an incredible honor as only five of these are awarded across the entire campus--including doctoral students in the sciences and medicine.

This is the second in a row that a student from Classics has won, and fourth in the six years of the award's existence.


Junior Classics major Michelle Martinez, one of the department's outstanding Semple Scholars, was recently awarded the prestigious Minority Summer Fellowship in Classics and Classical Archaeology by the American Philological Association.

Michelle will be using this fellowship to fund her participation in the Kea Archaeological Research Survey (KARS) on the island of Kea in Greece. This project is run by UC Classics Ph.D. Joanne Murphy of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.


In partnership with CCM and the Department of Drama, UC Classicist Lauren Ginsberg will give a talk on the Metamorphoses of Ovid and Mary Zimmerman. Passion and power, divine wrath and disguise. Come and take a behind-the-scenes look at the world of Ovid and myth that inspired Zimmerman's award winning drama.

Zimmerman has often noted how Ovid's epic of mythological transformations inspired her Tony Award winning stage production. In particular, she is fascinated by how stories removed from us in time and space can help articulate timeless truths about human nature. Ginsberg's talk will further explore the fascinating Ovidian background to Zimmerman's text. The audience will not only learn more about who Ovid was and the times in which he wrote, but will also see first hand the complexity of how Zimmerman refashioned Ovid's epic into a drama for our time. Ginsberg will focus especially on the theme of "Love Conquers All" that is central to both works and the various ways that each author confronts love's various struggles and triumphs.

The talk will begin at 1:15pm on Saturday, Feb 8th in Mary Emery Hall 3250

This talk is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. To reserve seating, contact Patti Hall at 513-556-5803 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A performance of Zimmerman's Metamorphoses will follow at 2pm in the Patricia Corbett Theater (tickets available at the CCM box office).