What’s New In Neo-Latin?

A paper by Professor Yasmin Haskell, University of Western Australia, for the Ancient World Seminar at 1:00 on Monday 25 May via Zoom.  Email koc@unimelb.edu.au for connection details.

The field of neo-Latin studies has experienced significant growth in the Anglosphere over the past two decades, having previously been a more contained and especially continental European specialism. What is ‘neo-Latin’ and why is it of increasing interest to classicists, classical receptionists, comparativists, and historians? In this paper I will offer a snapshot of the field at 2020; survey its significance for areas as diverse as history of religion, drama, medicine and science, and for historical periods from the Italian Renaissance through the colonial Americas and Ming China to Italian fascism. What are the attractions of and potential misconceptions about neo-Latin for curious classicists? And finally, how has the advent of Google books and other digital libraries and resources revolutionised the possibilities for research in neo-Latin down under?

Yasmin Haskell is Cassamarca Foundation Chair of Latin Humanism at the University of Western Australia (to which she returned in 2019 after two years as Chair of Latin and Director of the Institute of Greece, Rome and the Classical Tradition at the University of Bristol). She has published books and articles on Latin didactic and epic, the history of psychiatry and emotions, the reception of classical authors, and Latin in the Enlightenment. Her next book, Jesuits at Play: Latin Poetry and Team Spiritin the Early Modern Society of Jesus is in preparation for Bloomsbury. She is also editing a Latin epic (for Brill’s Jesuit Latin Library) on the expulsion of the Jesuits from the Americas in the eighteenth century.

National Archaeology Week – Reports on Recent Field Work

A presentation by Professor Louise Hitchcock and Dr Brent Davis, Honorary Fellows and Students for the Ancient World Seminar at 1:00 on Monday 18 May via Zoom.

Email koc@unimelb.edu.au for connection details.

* Prof Louise Hitchcock – “Naue II Swords, Germs, and Iron: What Covid 19 Can Tell Us About the Bronze Age Collapse”

* Dr Jarrad Paul – “Worked Animal Bone of the Neolithic North Aegean”

* Jacob Heywood – “The Sissi Archaeological Project: 2019 Field Season”

* Dr Brent Davis – “Area B at Tell es-Safi/Gath”

* Assoc Prof Andrew Jamieson – “Archaeology at the Frontiers: the 2019 Season at Rabati, Southern Caucasus”

* Dr Gijs Tol – “A crafting community in inland Tuscany: excavations at Podere Marzuolo”

* Maddi Harris-Schober – “Legio: Excavations at the Camp of the Roman Sixth Ferrata Legion in Israel 2019”

Religious Change in 18th Dynasty Egypt

A paper by Michael Hayes, PhD candidate, Ancient History, Macquarie University for the Ancient World Seminar at 1:00 on Monday 11 May via Zoom.

Email koc@unimelb.edu.au for connection details.

The anonymous author of the Admonitions of an Egyptian Sage, writing at the threshold of the triumphal 18th Dynasty era, dared, for the first time in Egyptian history, to abandon once-trusted ancestral wisdom. Driven by new necessities, he sought new solutions. Writ large, his anxious, altered approach exposed the fiercer wellsprings of the early New Kingdom’s own daring: despair and destiny, aggression and aggrandisement. His nation would no longer cower before the unprecedented humiliation of a foreign ruler occupying Lower Egypt and another pressing on its southern frontiers.

Galvanised by its early successes in technology, tactics and strategy, this emergent Bronze Age superpower was cast on an unchartered, restless trajectory with profound religious consequences. This involved a growing personal devotion by the co-regents, Thutmose III and Hatshepsut, to the gods, and in particular, Amun-Re. Both felt deeply indebted to Amun for their ascension and their successes in war and peace. As a result, Egypt had extended its boundaries to the limits of the ‘known’ world. This age of empire engendered an unrivalled building program, and led to the climactic deification of a later living pharaoh, Amenhotep III. Egypt had come to the edge of, what Jan Assmann has called, ‘the crisis of polytheism’. (1983/1995) His son, Amenhotep IV, in becoming ‘Akhenaten’ and founding a new capital, had crossed over this brink into a radical religious experience and expression; a literal 180 degree shift away from Egypt’s familiar alignment of beliefs and practices. His altered religious and political behaviour reframed, figuratively and historically, a new stage of Egyptian religion, the first recorded ‘monotheism’, and an aftermath of trauma which, within a generation, would overwhelm and extinguish this turbulent dynasty.

After teaching in metropolitan and regional high schools for over 30 years, Michael Hayes was Senior Curriculum Officer (History) at the NSW Educational Standards Authority (NESA) as Project Manager for the current NSW K–10 History Syllabus incorporating the Australian Curriculum. He has written The Egyptians (Australian and American editions) and co-authored Ancient History and Legal Studies textbooks. Currently, after completing a Master of Research, he is researching on the significance of light in ancient Egypt, especially under the reign of Akhenaten, as a prospective doctoral candidate at Macquarie University. His interests include change and trauma in New Kingdom Egypt as well as twentieth- and twenty-first century philosophies of history.

Aetius’ ‘Placita’: How Melbourne Contributed to a New Edition of a Key Ancient Text After 140 Years

A paper by Professor David Runia and Dr Edward Jeremiah for the Ancient World Seminar at 1:00 on Monday 27 April via Zoom.  Email koc@unimelb.edu.au for connection details.

Professor Runia and Dr Jeremiah speak about their contributions to the new edition and commentary on the doxographer Aëtius (1st-2nd cent. AD), which Professor Runia has been working on for 30 years. The book is due to be published in mid-2020.

Professor David T. Runia was Master of Queen’s College at The University of Melbourne from 2002 to 2016, and is now a Professorial Fellow in SHAPS. Dr Edward Jeremiah completed his PhD in Classics at UniMelb in 2010 and has collaborated with David in this research project for many years.

Goethe’s Italienische Reise (Italian Journey), the Greatest Journal of an Eighteenth-century Traveller to Rome

A paper by Emeritus Professor Ronald Ridley, University of Melbourne, for the Ancient World Seminar at 1:00 on Monday 16 March in room 156, Arts West north wing.

Of all the outstanding travelers to Italy, most especially Rome, in the eighteenth century, Johann Wolfgang Goethe (1749-1832) has left us the most impressive account of all, the magnificent Italienische Reise (Italian journey), in a splendid translation by Elisabeth Mayer, also republished by Penguin. Goethe spent some fifteen months in Rome in all (1786-1788) and tells us not only what he saw but how he saw it (some fascinating secrets) and why it was important. At the same time he was immersed in a most active life as author and artist, with a very involved emotional life. We will visit with him not only classical sites but also the modern city.

Daily Life in Early Bronze Age Canaan: New Evidence from the Early Bronze Age III Urban Centre at Tell es-Safi/Gath, Israel

A paper by Dr Haskel Greenfield, University of Manitoba, Canada, for the Ancient World Seminar at 1:00 on Monday 9 March in room 156, Arts West north wing, University of Melbourne.

This lecture will present the recently gathered evidence for the nature of early urban settlements, their internal organization and the early Canaanite culture in the southern Levant during the Early Bronze Age II-III period (3100-2500 BCE) based on the recently concluded large-scale excavations at the archaeological site of Tell es-Safi/Gath, Israel. Most famous as Gath of the Philistines (Goliath’s hometown), Tell es-Safi/Gath was one of the largest walled cities in the region during the period. The excavations uncovered part of a large neighbourhood at the east end of the site with small sturdy multi-room houses built around a courtyard. It was originally thought that this is where the urban poor lived, yet its occupants had access to exotic trade goods from as far away as Egypt, used various recording methods, sacrificed unusual and expensive animals and built and maintained the neighbourhood over a long period of time. The results of the excavation suggest that Tell es-Safi/Gath was an important political and economic centre in this region from its earliest occupation until it was abandoned c. 2500 BCE along with all other major urban centres throughout the region.

Haskel J. Greenfield is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Coordinator of Judaic Studies at the University of Manitoba and Co-Director of the Near Eastern and Biblical Archaeology Lab at St. Paul’s College, Winnipeg, Canada. He is an anthropological archaeologist whose research focuses on the evolution of early agricultural and complex societies in the Old World (Europe, Africa and Asia) from the Neolithic through the Iron Age, while at the same time delving into the butchering practices of early humans in the New and Old Worlds. Geographically, his research covers a large swath of Old World societies, from Europe through the Near East and into Africa and investigates a range of topics including the evolution of food production and food processing technologies, colonization of new landscapes and intra-settlement organization. He has just completed the decade-long excavations of the Early Bronze Age city at Tell es-Safi/Gath, Israel, the Canaanite precursor of the famous Philistine site of ancient Gath (home of Biblical Goliath), with his co-director Prof. Aren Maeir, Bar-Ilan University, Israel.

Ghostbusting in Mesopotamia

A paper by Irving Finkel, British Museum, for the Ancient World Seminar at 1:00 on Monday 16 December in Old Arts 107 (William Macmahon Ball Theatre).

Ancient Mesopotamia was a world in which no one questioned the existence of ghosts, but regarded them with sympathy, and often tried to help. These extraordinary voices echo through the cuneiform tablets that occupy Irving’s days in the British Museum, in which ghosts appear as a fully formed concept. The whole panoply of ghost belief, that is theory, explanation, manifestations, ritual and procedure was already in place by at least 2000 BC. The system of belief in spirits spills into existence at this time, so much so that virtually every feature of contemporary belief about ghosts was anticipated at that point. This was a complex literary society that in many crucial ways was like our own today, populated by people who are very like us.

Philologist and Assyriologist Irving Finkel is Assistant Keeper of the department of the Middle East at the British Museum in London, and has been a cuneiform tablet curator since 1979. He holds his degrees from the University of Birmingham, England, and is especially interested in ancient magic and medicine, all aspects of ancient cuneiform literature, and the history of the world’s board games. His recent publications include The Ark Before Noah: Decoding the Story of the Flood (2014) and The Writing in the Stone (2017). His new book The First Ghosts is nearly finished for publication in 2020.

Neaira: A Courtesan on Trial

La Trobe Classics in the City

Wednesday, 11 December, 6:00-8:00
Melbourne City Library (253 Flinders Lane), Majorca Room

Dr Gillian Shepherd

In the fourth century BCE, an expensive courtesan called Neaira plied her trade in ancient Corinth, a city famed in antiquity for its prostitutes. But as she aged, and her value declined, Neaira had to find the means to provide for herself. Ever resourceful, she formed a long-term relationship with Stephanos of Athens – only to find herself in court for transgressing Athenian marriage laws. What does the trial of Neaira tell us about women, citizenship and legal process in ancient Athens?

Dr Shepherd is the Director of the AD Trendall Research Centre for Ancient Mediterranean Studies and also Lecturer in Classics and Ancient History at La Trobe University. Her research interests in classical archaeology include the ancient Greek colonisation of Sicily and Italy, burial customs, ethnicity and childhood in antiquity.

More information and a booking link can be found at https://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/community/libraries/whats-on/pages/neaira-courtesan-trial.aspx

Lessons from the Ancient Greeks on Relations Between States – The Limits of Rational Behaviour

Hellenic Australian Lawyers Association, Victoria Chapter

Professor Josiah Ober, Stanford University

Thursday, 28 November, 2019, 6:00

RACV Club, 501 Bourke St, Melbourne
Free for HAL members and also for students; cost to non-members is $25

Lessons from the Ancient Greeks on Relations Between States – The Limits of Rational Behaviour

Josiah Ober, Mitsotakis Professor of Political Science and Classics at Stanford University, works on the history of institutions and on legal and political theory, with an emphasis on democracy and on the political thought and practice of the ancient Greek world. He is the author or editor of 18 books, most recently Demopolis: Democracy before Liberalism in Theory and Practice (2017) and The Rise and Fall of Classical Greece (2015), which won the Douglass North Research Award of the Society for Institutional and Organizational Economics. His other books include Mass and Elite in Democratic Athens (1989), The Athenian Revolution (1996), Political Dissent in Democratic Athens (2008), and Democracy and Knowledge (2008). His current book project, tentatively entitled The Greeks and the Rational, investigates how ancient Greek political theorists (including Plato, Aristotle, and Thucydides) approached questions of individual motivation, social cooperation, and constitutionalism, arguing that certain of the problems they confronted and solutions they devised have analogues in contemporary decision and game theory.

There will be drinks and canapes served after the oration. Registrations are essential. There are limited spaces for this event so register early at URL https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=559166&

For more information on the oration, visit https://hal.asn.au/events-base/vic-hal-chapter-oration-28-november-2019/