Horizons of Community: Exclusivity and Inclusivity in Ancient Greece and Early China


Thursday 22 November 9:30-5:00
Friday 23 November 9:00-12:30
Lecture Theatre 553 (Discursive Space) North Wing, Arts West Building, University of Melbourne, Parkville

Sponsored by the Classical Association of Victoria, and the University of Melbourne’s School of Historical and Philosophical Studies

It has been fashionable in contemporary global discourse to speak of the possible displacement of the democratic ‘West’ with authoritarian China as the principal, hegemonic, world power. This workshop will question the assumed binary of two exclusive, stable and unitary sets of social and political values, one East Asian (Chinese) and the other, ‘Western’ and liberal, by providing interdisciplinary and comparative interpretations of ancient Greco-Roman and ancient Chinese literature.

This approach will allow us to understand the motivations for and justifications used to include and exclude different groups on the basis of political orientation, culture/social values and ethnicity in ancient Greek and Chinese communities. Each tradition had particular methods of delimiting who was included in the dominant group or community, and it is only by identifying the underlying reasons for those boundaries that it is possible to deconstruct the current prevalent binary rhetoric in Chinese and western social and political discourse.

Speakers include Tim Parkin, K.O. Chong-Gossard, Hyun Jin Kim, and Aleks Michalewicz (University of Melbourne) and speakers from Fudan University (China), University of Chicago, University of New South Wales and University of Sydney.

To register, email aleksm@unimelb.edu.au.

For more information, download the flyer and the detailed programme.


Re-Orienting Ancient Near-Eastern Studies: An Event in Honour of Emeritus Professor Tony Sagona

Saturday, 27 October, 2018
Symposium: 10:00-5:30, Forum Theatre, Arts West Building, University of Melbourne
Reception: 6:00-8:00, The Atrium, Arts West Building, University of Melbourne

An emerging shift in the field of Ancient Near Eastern Studies has seen a change of geographical emphasis away from more traditional areas of study to places that were previously misinterpreted as less significant peripheries. In this context, Tony Sagona’s early and enduring focus on Eastern Turkey and the Southern Caucasus now seems especially prescient. This event is a celebration of Tony’s outstanding career and of his legacy, which is reflected in University of Melbourne’s continuing work on the frontiers of his discipline.

Speakers include Classical Association of Victoria council member, Dr Hyun Jin Kim (University of Melbourne); Prof Marcella Frangipane, Sapienza University of Rome; Prof Barbara Helwing, University of Sydney; Prof Christopher Mackie, La Trobe University; Dr Catherine Longford, University of Sheffield; A/Prof Andrew Jamieson & Dr Claudia Sagona, University of Melbourne.

Download the flyer.

To register, go to www.alumni.online.unimelb.edu.au/TSagona.

Urban Roman Cyprus: New Evidence from 2nd Century AD Nea Paphos

Public Lecture – The 2018 Petrie Oration

Thursday 25 October 2018,  5:15
Australian Institute of Archaeology, Terrace Way, Macleod (La Trobe University, Building TER 11, Melways 873-4)

Dr Craig Barker, The University of Sydney

The Paphos Theatre Archaeological Project has been excavating the theatre of Nea Paphos since 1995. Paphos was the capital city of Roman Cyprus and is now a World Heritage site. Recent excavations have concentrated on the area surrounding the theatrical precinct and have uncovered a paved and colonnaded 8-metre-wide road and a nymphaeum. This talk will explore the implications that these new discoveries have on our understanding of the ancient city. It will discuss what is now known about the relationship of the theatre with other key Roman structures in the city, including the agora, the harbour, the domestic quarters and the north-east city gate and the significant pilgrim’s route to the sanctuary of Aphrodite at nearby Palaepaphos.

For more information, download the flyer.

Collapse and Recovery: The Later Roman Navies of the Northern Frontier (3rd-5th Centuries CE) (MA completion seminar)

A paper by Alexander Elliott, University of Melbourne, for the Ancient World Seminar at 1:00 on Monday 15 October in room 224, South Theatre, Old Arts.

“After two centuries of easy living, carrying out peacetime maneuvers and ferrying troops, Rome’s great navy had, like so much else in the Empire, gone soft.”  Although written almost 60 years ago, Casson’s (1959) narrative of the Roman navy being consumed by its own decadence and decay still dominates scholarship.  Remarkably, few scholars have studied ancient Roman naval history, and the few who have focus largely on the early period before dismissing the topic after the 2nd century.  This MA thesis not only argues for its continued existence but aims to understand the transition from an Augustan naval system to that of the late empire over the course of the tumultuous 3rd century.  It is my intention to develop an accurate timeframe for this evolution and uncover the reasons for its implementation, as well as provide an in-depth analysis of this system’s organization and function in the late Roman world.

W. H. Allen Memorial Lecture: The Emperor Enters the Bedroom: Reproduction and Roman Law

Monday, 15 October; reception 4:45; AGM 5:10; lecture 5:15
Venue: Kaye Scott Room, Ormond College, 49 College Crescent, Parkville

Professor Tim Parkin, Tatoulis Chair in Classics, The University of Melbourne

The morality (or otherwise) of prominent politicians is frequently a subject of media and general public interest, here in Australia as elsewhere.  On the other hand, when politicians tell us how to behave, we tend to be unimpressed or indignant, especially when we feel that our private domains are being invaded.  Yet many states have attempted – and continue to attempt – to control how many children their citizens produce, whether through demographic, economic or idealistic motives.  In this talk I shall explore the case of imperial Rome in this context: how and why did the Roman emperor Augustus legislate to make people marry and have children? Did he succeed? And can we learn from this example?

Professor Tim Parkin joined the University of Melbourne in 2018 as the inaugural Elizabeth and James Tatoulis Chair in Classics.  Before this he had spent over eleven years in England as the Professor of Ancient History at the University of Manchester.  He is a New Zealander by birth who was awarded a D.Phil. at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and who, since 1989, has worked in universities in New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom, as well as spending over a year in Germany as an Alexander von Humboldt research fellow.  Tim’s teaching covers both ancient history and classical languages.

The Allen Memorial Lecture will include the CAV’s Annual General Meeting and the presentation of the Alexander Leeper Prize (for 4th year Honours in Classics) and the new CAV Undergraduate Essay Prize.

Homes & Homecomings

33rd Biennial Conference of the Classical Association of South Africa, Stellenbosch 7-10 November 2019.

The Classical Association of South Africa (CASA) invites proposals for papers for its 33rd Biennial Conference, to be hosted by the Department of Ancient Studies at the University of Stellenbosch.

We invite submissions that focus on the conference theme “Homes & Homecomings” as well as individual proposals on other aspects of the classical world and its reception. Panels are strongly encouraged and should consist of 3 to 8 related papers put together by the panel chair. We also welcome postgraduate students currently busy with Master’s or Doctoral programmes to submit papers for a “work-in-progress” parallel session.

Please submit a paper title, an abstract (approximately 300 words), and author affiliation to Annemarie de Villiers at amdev@sun.ac.za. The deadline for proposals is 31 May 2019.

Further information on conference fees and accommodation to follow in due course.

The Classics, Mussolini and the Rise of White Supremacy

A paper by Donna Storey, University of Melbourne, for the Ancient World Seminar at 1:00 on Monday 8 October in room 224, South Theatre, Old Arts.

Increasingly the Classics are being appropriated by nationalist and racist far-right groups.  This is not the first time the Classics have been utilised for right wing ideology; the adoption of similar strategies was a key aspect of propaganda for Mussolini’s Italian Fascist regime.  Such tactics should hardly be surprising — the idolisation of a carefully constructed representation of ancient Rome and its continued portrayal (along with Greece) as the birthplace and original pedigree of “western” culture fit conveniently into the far-right agenda.

In order to free the use of the Classics from fascist ideologies, perhaps it is time to reassess the manner in which the discipline is interpreted by contemporary scholars.  Would Mussolini have taken such care to craft Italy as a third Roman Empire if Caesar’s campaign in Gaul was defined as genocide?  Would current right-wing groups be so eager to utilise S.P.Q.R. as a symbol if the Roman Empire had always been construed as multicultural?  This seminar will explore whether it is only through a conscious effort to adopt a more objective approach to the study of the Classics that the falsities of the fascist narrative can be fully exposed.