The Archaeology of Colonial Encounters in Western Sicily

Wednesday 4 September, 6:45
Forum Theatre, Arts West Building, The University of Melbourne

Professor Clemente Marconi, New York University – AAIA (Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens) Visiting Professor

This lecture discusses the relationships between Greeks and indigenous populations in Western Sicily during the Archaic period, in light of the progress of archaeological research in the past two decades. These recent archaeological investigations have uncovered significant new evidence concerning indigenous sites in the heartland of Sicily. These new discoveries are contributing greatly to our understanding of the development of material culture at indigenous sites, as a result of larger social and cultural changes. These changes depended partly on interaction with the Greek settlers on the coast, which generated different forms of response to Greek culture, including adoption, adaptation, and resistance. The progress of our understanding of indigenous material culture is also having a significant impact on our interpretation of the archaeological record, particularly indigenous pottery, from the Greek centres. This is particularly the case for Selinus and Himera, two centres for which a systematic reappraisal of the evidence for indigenous material culture is producing a new picture of the complex relationships with the indigenous hinterland, from the time of foundation all the way down to the early fifth century BCE. The situation found in Western Sicily is compared with that in Eastern Sicily, highlighting, besides the similarities, also significant differences between the two areas.

Clemente Marconi is the James R. McCredie Professor in the History of Greek Art and Archaeology at New York University.  He is the author of Temple Decoration and Cultural Identity in the Archaic Greek World: The Metopes of Selinus (Cambridge 2007), and editor of The Oxford Handbook of Greek and Roman Art and Architecture (2014).

This lecture is sponsored by the Classical Association of Victoria (CAV) and the University of Melbourne, both of whom are institutional members of the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens (AAIA).

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Low Literary Laughter and Latin Comedy in Fragments

Public lecture: Thursday 11 April, 6:00
Forum Theatre, Arts West Building, The University of Melbourne

Professor Costas Panayotakis, University of Glasgow

Literary Roman drama was much more than the well-known and imaginative comedies of Plautus and Terence, which were based on Greek original comedies and which influenced the themes and the repertory of later playwrights such as Shakespeare and Molière. In his talk Professor Panayotakis will focus on the literary versions of the little-known but equally celebrated forms of popular theatrical Latin drama referred to as mime and Atellane comedy, which have come down to us only in fragments. A brief study of their irreverent stage-topics, their social and political satire, their uncouth neologisms, and their adult and often obscene verbal and visual humour may explain their low place in the canon of Latin literature and their marginalised status as cultural products. None the less, Professor Panayotakis will argue that their low literary reputation was inaccurate and that it formed part of a conscious attempt to maintain the established literary standards and to minimise the power that these plays had in shaping public opinion about contemporary public figures and sensitive social topics.

Professor Costas Panayotakis’ research is on the Latin novel, especially Petronius’ Satyrica, and on Roman drama, in particular the popular low forms of Roman theatrical entertainment (mime and Atellane comedy), the scripts of which have come down to us only in fragments. Author of Theatrum Arbitri: Theatrical Elements in the Satyrica of Petronius (Leiden, 1995), Decimus Laberius: The Fragments (Cambridge, 2010), and of annotated translations (into Modern Greek) of three plays of Plautus and Terence, he is currently preparing new critical editions (with facing translation and commentary) of the fragments of Atellane comedy, the moral maxims associated with the mimographer Publilius, and Petronius’ ‘Dinner at Trimalchio’s’.

This lecture is sponsored by the Classical Association of Victoria. The lecture is free but please register your attendance.

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

HorizonsOfCommunityConference_22-23Nov2018Mini-conference/workshop

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.

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.

Homer and the Archaeology of Crete

Public lecture: Wednesday, 5 September, 7:00
Venue: Elisabeth Murdoch Building – Theatre A, The University of Melbourne

Assistant Professor Antonis Kotsonas, University of Cincinnati, AAIA Visiting Professor

The relationship between the Homeric epics and archaeology has been approached through the lens of Homeric archaeology, which involved matching the epics with the archaeological record and identifying realia of Homer’s heroes. However, a range of new approaches have recently revolutionized the field. Drawing from these approaches, Professor Kotsonas offers a regional and diachronic analysis of Homeric stories about Crete, an assessment of the reception of these stories by the island’s inhabitants throughout antiquity, and an account of their impact on Medieval to modern literature and art. He finds that Cretan interest in Homer peaks in the Hellenistic period, but also argues for the much earlier familiarity of some Cretans with stories that underlie the Homeric epics. This argument relies on an analysis of the archaeological assemblage of a Knossian tomb of the 11th century BCE, which included a range of arms that is exceptional for both Aegean archaeology and the Homeric epics. In the epics, this equipment is carried only by the Knossian hero Meriones, whose poetic persona can be traced back to the Late Bronze Age on philological and linguistic grounds. Based on this, and on current understandings of performance at death, Professor Kotsonas argues that the Knossian burial assemblage was staged to reference the persona of Meriones, therefore suggesting the familiarity of some Cretans with early poetry that eventually filtered into the Homeric epics.

Antonis Kotsonas is Assistant Professor of Classical Archaeology at the University of Cincinnati. He specializes in the material culture, socio-cultural and economic history of the Early Iron Age and the Archaic period in Greece and the Mediterranean. His research interests extend, however, from the Late Bronze Age to the Roman period. He has conducted fieldwork and finds research on Crete, and in the Cyclades, Euboea and Macedonia; and comparative studies across the Aegean, and from Italy to Cyprus, engaging problems in state formation, trade and interaction, identity and commensality, memory, and the history of archaeology. Before taking up his post at the University of Cincinnati, Kotsonas worked at King’s College London, the University of Crete, the University of Amsterdam and the University of Edinburgh. He has also served as a Curator of Greek Archaeology at the Allard Pierson Museum, Amsterdam.

This event is jointly sponsored by the Classical Association of Victoria, The Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens (AAIA), and the University of Melbourne’s School of Historical and Philosophical Studies (SHAPS).

Although this public event is free, please register your attendance.

Download the flyer.

Let Me Stop Here: A Classical Journey into the 21st Century

Public lecture: Thursday, 16 August, 6:45
Venue: Forum Lecture Theatre, Level 1, Arts West Building, University of Melbourne

Professor Tim Parkin, the Elizabeth and James Tatoulis Chair in Classics, The University of Melbourne

Professor Parkin makes a case for why Classics matters in the twenty-first century and why it will continue to be vital in the future, both in Melbourne and around the world. As both a classicist and a social historian of the ancient world, Professor Parkin’s research has focused primarily on the lives of ‘ordinary people’, with a tendency to move back over the life course: from old age to childhood, birth and conception. In this lecture he explores not only aspects of this research and teaching in social history, ancient languages, law, medicine and demography, but also his personal odyssey through the ancient world and back to Australasia, which he considers his true home.

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.

Although not specifically sponsored by the CAV, this public event is free. Please register your attendance.