CAV Events



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).

To register for this event, go to


W. H. Allen Memorial Lecture: In Their Own Words: Questions Asked by Slaves at the Oracle of Dodona

Wednesday 23 October; reception 4:30; AGM 5:05; lecture 5:20
Kaye Scott Room, Ormond College, 49 College Crescent, Parkville

Dr Emily Hulme Kozey, Seymour Reader in Ancient History and Philosophy, Ormond College

During the fourth century BCE, hundreds of tablets were deposited at the Oracle of Dodona in Northern Greece recording the questions asked by people from all walks of life: embassies from the famously civil war plagued Corcyra; individuals asking about their job, children, or marriage; and even the most marginalised group, enslaved men and women, asking about their future prospects for freedom. In this talk, I will discuss my current work on the tablets documenting the questions asked by slaves, focusing in particular on the terminology of slavery in these texts.

Dr Emily Hulme Kozey joined Ormond college in March 2019 as the Seymour Reader. She completed her PhD at Princeton University in the Interdepartmental Program in Classical Philosophy, with a dissertation on Plato’s use of techne to differentiate his own philosophy from the practices of his educational rivals, the sophists, as well as his philosophical rivals, the Presocratic natural philosophers. In addition to teaching at Ormond, Emily teaches Greek Philosophy and intermediate Ancient Greek at the University of Melbourne.

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 CAV Undergraduate Essay Prize.


Past Events


Beyond the Walls of Troy: Unlocking the Stories of the Trojan War’s Women

Public lecture: Thursday 8 August, 6:45, preceded by a catered reception
Kathleen Fitzpatrick Theatre, Arts West Building, The University of Melbourne

Natalie Haynes, English writer and broadcaster

What if the real drama of the Trojan war was happening inside its walls and not outside on its battlefield? 

Having studied Classics at Cambridge, Natalie Haynes spent 12 years as a stand-up comedian, before returning to her first love with her book, ‘The Ancient Guide to Modern Life’. To coincide with her latest novel, ‘A Thousand Ships’ (published in May 2019), she will take audiences on a tour around the Trojan War — the greatest conflict in ancient literature, perhaps in literature full-stop. From the causes of the war (divine displeasure) to its complex aftermath, this talk encompasses some of the greatest poetry ever written: ‘The Iliad’, ‘The Odyssey’, ‘The Oresteia’, ‘The Trojan Women’ and much more. The stories of the women whose lives the war affected have been largely untold, from the Amazon warrior, Penthesilea, to the priestess who saw the whole thing coming, Cassandra. For so long, invisible walls have kept women on the margins of stories to which they were actually integral. In this lecture, continuing a project she began with her novel ‘The Children of Jocasta’ (2017), Natalie Haynes takes the women out of the shadows and puts them back where they belong: in the middle of the story.

Natalie Haynes is a classicist, comedian, writer and broadcaster. Her BBC Radio 4 show, ‘Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics’, is about to record its fifth series.

This lecture is part of the 2019 SHAPS ‘Walls’ Public Lecture Series, and is co-sponsored by the Classical Association of Admission is free.


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.


CAV Conference 2019

The 2019 Classical Association of Victoria In-service Day for teachers will be held at Camberwell Grammar School, Mont Albert Road, Canterbury from 8:45 until 3:00 on Tuesday 12 March.

The keynote speaker will be Professor Tim Parkin: Living and Dying in the Roman World.

Other sessions include:

Aeschylus’ Agamemnon
The Altar of Pergamon
Mythical Narratives
Aeneid XII
New approaches to reporting on Latin
Examiners’ reports for Latin and Classical Studies
Keep up with the latest developments in Classics
Network with colleagues from a range of schools

For full details, programme and registration download the flyer.