New Thoughts on the End of the Mycenaean Palaces

A paper by Professor Philipp Stockhammer, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, for the Ancient World Seminar at 1:00 on Monday 3 April in the Mcmahon Ball Theatre, Old Arts.

For a long time, the 13th century in the Aegean has been considered as a peaceful period marked by rather stable, local communities and the large-scale exchange of commodities most emblematically materialised by the Mycenaean palaces of the Argolid.  In contrast to that, the 12th century seemed to be characterised not only by the end of the palaces and all connected societal institutions but also by human mobility together with a rather neglectable scale of the exchange of commodities.  The year 1200 BC was considered as the peak of the crisis which has been taken as an explanation for the assumed groundbreaking shifts between the two centuries.

In my paper, I want to go beyond simplifying narratives and take a more differentiated view on what transformations took place at the end of the 13th century or already during its course.  I want to show that major changes already seem to have taken place in the second half of the 13th century and continued into the 12th century and thereby relativise the year 1200 BC as a hallmark of the developments.  I will demonstrate the shifts of the Mediterranean network of mobility of humans and objects during the 13th century and in the early 12th century with a strong focus on the archaeological evidence from Tiryns. This will lead to a revaluation of the historical developments in the 13th century.

In the final part of my paper, I will then present our newly founded Max Planck Harvard Research Center for the Archaeoscience of the Ancient Mediterranean (MHAAM) and present a vision for future research which will help us to shed a completely new light on the issues discussed in the first part of my lecture.

Cultural Cleansing and Iconoclasm under the ‘Islamic State’: Human/Heritage Attacks on Yezidis and Christians

A paper by Antonio Gonzalez, Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation for the Ancient World Seminar at 1:00 on Monday 20 March in the Mcmahon Ball Theatre, Old Arts.

When the ‘Islamic State’ (IS) seized large swathes of territory across Iraq and Syria and declared their new caliphate, they unleashed a cataclysmic wave of both devastating human suffering and unprecedented heritage destruction.  In terms of the human suffering, the IS has executed many who questioned their nefarious ideology or committed petty crimes.  At the same time, the rapid expansion of the IS has also proved fatal for many of the world’s most sensitive and important cultural heritage sites.  Targeted sites range from ancient Mesopotamian city-states through to Greek, Roman and Byzantine sites, as well as museums, art galleries and libraries. However, little attention has been paid to the intersection between the human suffering and the heritage destruction undertaken by the Islamic State (IS).  Here, human/heritage destruction are intertwined: the suffering inflicted on people is projected onto their sites of ritual and worship; just as the destruction of these sites are deliberately orchestrated to inflict symbolic suffering on specific communities and to shatter the ethnic and religious diversity of the region.  This talk will explore and document the human/heritage ‘cultural cleansing’ undertaken by the IS against two fragile minorities: the Yezidi and Christian populations of northern Iraq and Syria.

The Pope’s Shoes: Cultural Glosses by Guy Jouenneaux in Badius’ 1493 Edition of Terence’s Comedies

A paper by K. O. Chong-Gossard, University of Melbourne for the Ancient World Seminar at 1:00 on Monday 13 March in the Mcmahon Ball Theatre, Old Arts.

The invention of the printing press with movable type in the mid-15th century revolutionized the study of the classics, and it is no surprise that one of the most popular printed authors was Terence, whose six Latin comedies had been indispensable in the education of schoolboys for centuries. Terence’s comedies contain many references to ancient customs and to figures from classical mythology, some quite direct, others oblique. For late-15th century readers unfamiliar with all aspects of antiquity, the significance of an invocation to Juno Lucina or the mention of a psaltria in a character’s speech could be lost. This paper examines how the commentary of Guy Jouenneaux (a.k.a. Guido Juvenalis), which was printed in Badius’ 1493 edition of Terence, explains the background of ancient cultural references in the plays. Examples in the Eunuchus alone include military terms like centurio and cornu, the etymology of peniculon (a long sponge), and the myth of Hercules and OmphaleMost notably, Jouenneaux describes Omphale’s sandals as similar to the pope’s shoes worn at the celebration of mass, which is itself a reminder to us that late 15th Europeans no longer wore sandals. By examining such cultural glosses, and in particular his erudite quoting of ancient writers (Cicero, Ovid, Sallust, Varro, and Festus being frequent), we can understand more precisely what Jouenneaux means in his first epistle (printed in Badius’ edition) when he proclaims his intention to explain every small detail (minima quaeque) of the Latin for students whose desire for learning (discendi cupiditatem) is hampered for lack of a teacher or lack of money.

AMPHORAE XI

University of Sydney, 12-14 July 2017

Amphorae is a forum for postgraduate students in Classical Studies from throughout Australasia to interact with one another. Students eligible to participate include all those studying at Honours, Masters, and Ph.D. level. Papers may broadly cover topics inclusive of literature, history, archaeology, art, or reception studies.

The theme of this year’s Amphorae conference is ‘Immortal Words: Classical Antiquity Then and Now’. The theme is inspired by Mary Barnard’s translation of a fragment of the Greek lyric poet, Sappho, and celebrates the enduring relevance of the ancient world and Classical Studies.

The call for papers is now open.

If you wish to submit an abstract, simply send an e-mail to abstracts@ascs.org.au by 5pm EST on 31 March with your completed abstract form. Please note that this is a dedicated e-mail for abstracts, and submissions sent to the other conference email address will NOT be accepted.

The link to the abstract form is here: https://amphoraesydney.com/submit-an-abstract/

Other things to note:

1. Your presentation should be no longer than 20 minutes in order to allow for 10 minutes of question time following. Papers running overtime throw off the entire conference schedule, so please keep this in mind as you prepare.

2. If you are currently studying at Honours level, there are a few things to consider before submitting an abstract. Presenting a paper at Amphorae is a considerable time commitment, so you are well-advised to confer with your supervisor before submitting an abstract. If you wish to present your research, but are unable to manage a full 20-minute presentation, you might consider presenting a poster instead.

3. If you wish to present a poster rather than a paper, there are a few things to consider. Posters must be A0 in size and will be displayed in the foyer of the Centre for Classical and Near Eastern Studies of Australia (in which much of the conference will take place). Although you are not required to give a formal presentation, please ensure that you are regularly available to speak about your research in an informal setting. You should also clearly display your contact details on the poster so that attendees who were unable to speak to you about your research during the conference can contact you at a later date.

4. Access to computers, projectors, and internet will be provided. If you have a PowerPoint presentation accompanying your paper, upload it to a USB drive and bring it along. Alternatively, we are able to connect your personal computer directly with a VGA Cable (Mac adapter also available).

5. Access to a dedicated Classics library in the Centre for Classical and Near Eastern Studies of Australia will be available. Those wishing to use this facility during the conference must send an e-mail to amphorae@ascs.org.au with a completed Readers Form attached.

More information can be found on the conference web site: http://www.amphoraesydney.com/.

The Evolution of Roman Armour During the Dacian Wars AD101-107

A paper by Michael Schmitz, University of Melbourne for the Ancient World Seminar at 1:00 on Monday 6 March in the Mcmahon Ball Theatre, Old Arts.

The Roman military are renowned for their ability to adapt to the enemies they faced. This presentation will focus on the Roman adaptation of defensive equipment to mitigate the threat posed by the Dacians during Trajan’s wars against the Dacian king Decebalus between AD 101 and 106.

Populism and the Roman Republic: Demagogues, Democracy and the Limits of Debate

Public lecture, Tuesday, 7 February, 6:00
Venue: Forum Theatre (Level 1, North Wing), Arts West, The University of Melbourne

Professor Catherine Steel, University of Glasgow

The Roman Republic was a political system which combined direct participatory democracy with a restricted and wealthy political class who monopolised public office and sought to direct policy through the Roman Senate. Political life was marked by deep divisions in policy and method, between those who worked through the elite and those who appealed directly to the people. The resulting clashes became increasingly violent until the Republic ended in the first century B.C. to be replaced, after prolonged civil war, with a monarchy. In this lecture, Professor Steel analyses the political and constitutional factors which underpinned this complex and frequently unstable system and explores the range of solutions which the Romans sought to adopt to protect and sustain their fragile Republican system.

Catherine Steel is Professor of Classics at the University of Glasgow, where she has worked since 1999. Prior to that she completed a BA and DPhil at the University of Oxford. Her field of research is the political history of the Roman Republic, with a particular focus on oratory and political communication. She edited the Cambridge Companion to Cicero and is the author of the third volume in the Edinburgh History of Ancient Rome (The End of the Roman Republic, 146-44 B.C.: Conquest and Crisis); she is currently working on a new edition of the Fragments of Republican Roman Oratory, as part of a project funded by the European Research Council.

Download the flyer.

Free event, please register at URL http://alumni.online.unimelb.edu.au/CatherineSteel.

Immediately prior to this lecture, a brief Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Classical Association of Victoria (CAV) will take place, beginning at 5:55 pm. The AGM will include the election of office bearers.

2016 Trendall Lecture: Dr Ted Robinson – Unbeautiful Bodies in Ancient South Italy

The 2016 Trendall Lecture will take place in the Clemenger Auditorium at the National Gallery of Victoria at 2:30 on Saturday 24 September:

Dr Ted Robinson (University of Sydney): ‘Unbeautiful Bodies in Ancient South Italy’

In the art of the Greek cities of South Italy, beautiful bodies are everywhere. The norms were subverted, though, when it came to representing the comic theatre, where the players are all shown as physically grotesque. There were many more vase-paintings which depicted comedy made in South Italy than in any other part of the Greek world, and several outstanding examples are in the collections of the National Gallery of Victoria.

This lecture will seek to explain their conventions, and understand why depictions of unbeautiful bodies were so common in South Italy, even on vases that were used as grave-offerings.

The lecture is free but booking is appreciated.

Please see http://www.latrobe.edu.au/events/all/2016-trendall-lecture for full details.