Department of ClassicsUniversity of Cincinnati
Department of Classics

In October, papyrus from West Virginia visited the Classics department, to be restored and read by Professor Peter van Minnen. At some point, the Sunrise Museum in Charleston, WV, acquired a sizeable papyrus from Egypt in multiple fragments. When the museum moved to a new location (the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences in Charleston), the collections were pruned of unwanted items. These were then distributed among other institutions. The papyrus ended up at Marshall University in Huntington, WV, where it is now part of the Archaeological and Ethnographic Collections. Its curator, Anthropology professor Nick Freidin, prodded one of his students, Michelle Young, an Anthropology senior, to contact Peter van Minnen, who had earlier restored the Duke University papyrus collection.

Michelle transported the papyrus from Huntington to Cincinnati and back. It took Peter almost a week to restore the papyrus, read the text, and get the papyrus photographed. The text consists of three columns of a Greek list of tax payments from Heracleopolis in Middle Egypt. The palaeography suggests a fifth-century date for the papyrus. The text is missing just a few entries at the top and originally recorded almost 100 individuals, all men, who paid relatively small amounts of money, ranging between 1/4th of a solidus (a gold coin) and 1 1/4 solidus. The tax may have been an ad hoc levy on the urban population. Such direct taxes on people were rare in Late Antiquity, when most taxes were on land. This is in notable contrast to the earlier Roman Empire, when landowners were relatively lightly taxed and direct taxes on people were high.

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Before coming to Cincinnati, Emilia taught at Dartmouth College and New York University. She received her PhD at the University of Toronto, which is her hometown. She was enticed by the University of Cincinnati’s renowned John Miller Burnam Classics Library, unique intradisciplinary department, and dynamic community of students. It definitely is not about the chili, she says.

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Her main research interests lie in republican poetry and Plautine comedy in particular. She is currently writing a book about the letters in Plautus, which looks at the embedded epistles as plot devices and agents of comic mischief but also as emblems of the dramatic script. She has also written on various other Plautine topics, including novelty and reception. She has some articles on Greek epistolography. She has become increasingly fascinated by the interaction between letters and comedy in imperial Greek literature, when comic personae move from the stage to the ‘page’ and become letter-writers in fictional epistolary collections.

When she’s not buried in Plautus, her other interests include long-distance running, theater, and (above all else) her dog Chloe, depicted below. Chloe and Emilia met just before Emilia started her dissertation, so she has truly been with her through it all.

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If you walk past Emilia’s office, you may hear voices, but don’t be so quick to blame the resident ghosts of Blegen Library! Emilia prefers to read her writing aloud and recites everything. In addition to supervising all beginner Latin courses this year, Emilia has taught Latin Prose this semester and will be teaching a Latin Novel course next semester. Although she’s been called a fantastic and fair instructor by our students, you can always use gummy candy to get on her good side.

The Department of Classics in the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Cincinnati invites applications for a tenure-track position in Ancient Greek and Latin language and literature at the rank of Assistant Professor, to begin August 15, 2019. 

Qualifications: A Ph.D. in Classics or a related field (e.g., Comparative Literature) is required prior to the date of appointment. Candidates must demonstrate, through their writing sample or published work, capacity for high-quality scholarly research in a field of Ancient Greek or Latin literature. They must have developed the ability, through their Ph.D. program or other experience, to teach Ancient Greek and Latin language and literature at all levels (undergraduate and graduate) as well as undergraduate courses in literature in English translation and classical civilization. They must also show interest in working within an interdisciplinary department that educates students in philology, ancient history, and archaeology. More information about the department can be found on our website: https://classics.uc.edu.

Application procedure: Candidates must apply online at https://jobs.uc.edu and search for Requisition #34066. In addition to completing the online application, candidates should attach within the electronic application a cover letter (letter of application), a CV, and a writing sample of at least 20 pages. A one-page statement addressing the candidate’s intended contributions to the University’s goals of diversity and inclusion, through teaching, research and mentoring, is also required. In addition, three confidential letters of reference should be sent by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject line “Philology Search.”

The committee will review applications beginning November 15, 2018, and, where possible, conduct interviews at the annual meeting of the Society for Classical Studies in San Diego, January 3-6, 2019. The position will remain open until filled.

Assistant Professor (Ancient Greek History) at the University of Cincinnati

The Department of Classics in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Cincinnati invites applications for a tenure-track position in ancient Greek history at the rank of Assistant Professor, to begin on August 15, 2019. More information about the department can be found at https://classics.uc.edu.

Minimum qualifications: A Ph.D. in Classics, History, or a related field prior to the date of appointment.

Candidates must demonstrate, through their writing sample or published work, a capacity for high-quality scholarly research in a field of ancient Greek history. They must have developed the ability, through their Ph.D. program or other experience, to teach ancient Greek and Roman history at all levels as well as Ancient Greek and Latin language and literature and classical civilization at the undergraduate level. They must show interest in working within an interdisciplinary department that educates students in ancient history, archaeology, and classical philology.

Candidates must apply online at https://jobs.uc.edu and search for Requisition #34065. In addition to completing the online application form, candidates should attach with the electronic application a cover letter (letter of application), a curriculum vitae, and a scholarly writing sample of at least 20 pages. A one-page statement addressing the candidate’s intended contributions to the University’s goals of diversity and inclusion, through teaching, research and mentoring, is also required. (Please use the Additional Documents feature to add these items.) In addition, three confidential letters of reference should be sent by e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject line "Ancient Greek History Search."

The committee will review applications starting November 15, 2018, and, where possible, conduct interviews at the annual meeting of the Society for Classical Studies in San Diego, January 3-6, 2019. The position will remain open until filled.

The University of Cincinnati, as a multi-national and culturally diverse university, is committed to providing an inclusive, equitable and diverse place of learning and employment. As part of a complete job application you will be asked to include a Contribution to Diversity and Inclusion statement.

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Harold Gotoff (1936-2018)

Harold C. Gotoff taught at UC between 1986 and 2010 as the John Miller Burnam Professor of Latin and of Romance Palaeography. A distinguished scholar of Latin literature, he made lasting contributions to our understanding of the transmission of the text of Lucan and of the style of Cicero’s speeches in relation to their rhetorical effects. His stylistic commentaries on Cicero’s Pro Archia poeta and Caesarian Speeches remain indispensable for fuller appreciation of the artistry of Cicero’s prose style. In the course of his career he lectured widely in United States and Italy. In Cincinnati, professor Gotoff taught graduate and undergraduate courses in Latin and Greek literature and courses on other topics, including the City of Rome. He also served as the Undergraduate and Graduate Adviser. After he retired, he continued to work with students. A true humanist and lover of arts, professor Gotoff was a much loved member of our community.

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Join the John Miller Burnam Classics Library 5:30-7:30 p.m., Thursday, March 29 in 417 Blegen Library for “An Evening with Ovid,” an event celebrating the life and work of the Roman poet. We will raise a glass in his honor in connection with his birthday and the 2,000-year anniversary of his death. 

More info here.

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Now PBS and the BBC will offer a high-definition look at what experts have hailed as one of the finest works of prehistoric Greek art ever discovered in the premiere of “Civilizations,” a sweeping nine-part series that tells the story of art from the dawn of human history to the present day.

Hosted by English historian Simon Schama, the season’s premiere, titled “Second Moment of Creation,” explores the formative role of art and creative imagination in the forging of humanity.  

The episode aired in the U.K. March 1 on BBC Two and is set to air April 17 in the U.S. on PBS.

More info here.

 

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Situated in the lobby of the Blegen Library Building, this exhibition showcases the wide-ranging but often unknown impact of ancient Greece and Rome on the identity of Cincinnati. These ancient cultures have given our city its name, have influenced individuals who have shaped the cityscape, and have inspired local art and literature from the 1800s to the present.

The exhibition invites visitors to discover Greek and Roman influences in Cincinnati; to consider why people choose to associate ancient cultures with a modern American city; to meet the Cincinnatians who held key roles in developing Greek and Roman connections for this city; and to become familiar with the Department of Classics of UC, which has promoted these connections for a century. More broadly, the exhibition invites reflections on how the past informs the present, how global heritage informs local heritage, and how multiculturalism has shaped the identity of the community.

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The exhibition was curated by Dr. Antonis Kotsonas and a team of graduate students of the Department of Classics, and was developed in the context of a collaboration between UC’s College of Arts and Sciences and the Cincinnati Museum Center under the direction of Dean Arnie Miller. The exhibition will last until spring 2019 and is free and open to the public (Monday to Friday, 8:00 am-5:00 pm; Saturday, 10:00 am-5:00 pm; and Sunday, 1:00 pm-5:00 pm). Groups interested in guided tours are welcome to contact the Department of Classics at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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