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Classics Department Events

Academic Year 2021-2022

Spring  semester lecture series (zoom format):

Wednesday, February 23      5:00pm     Deven Patel, University of Pennsylvania. "The Sanskrit Mahābhārata as a "National" Epic.  It has become a truism of sorts that the Sanskrit Mahābhārata (“The Great Story of the Bhāratas”) is the monumental “national epic” of India, with the other great ancient epic, Rāmāyaṇa ("Rāma's Journey") complementing its significance for many contemporary Indians.  More than 2500 years old, the Mahābhārata continues to serve as both an analogical and allegorical template to delineate historical, social, political, and ethical changes during epochal crisis points punctuated by transforming ideas about nationhood.  While the logic to make claims about its relationship to nationhood rests on several theorizations drawn largely from the epics of European antiquity and Indological scholarship, it is perhaps worthwhile again to interrogate the claim, if only to bring out the cultural specificity of the Sanskrit epic tradition and also to strengthen the edifice upon which comparatist studies of national epic traditions have been built.  This talk is a sketch of some of the arguments and issues at stake when declaring the Mahābhārata a national epic.

Wednesday, March 23           5:00pm     Idan Dershowitz, University of Potsdam. "The Shapira Deuteronomy Manuscripts: Worthless Forgeries or one of the Greatest Discoveries of All Time?".  In 1883, Moses Wilhelm Shapira presented several blackened leather fragments to scholars, claiming they had been discovered by Bedoins in a cave near the Dead Sea. These fragments contained a text that seemed to be an idiosyncratic version of the book of Deuteronomy. If authenticated by the British Museum, Shapira stood to make an unfold fortune on their sale. While several of the fragments were being examined, others were put on display, drawing scores of onlookers, including the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, William Gladstone. The excitement was short lived, however, and the verdict soon came in: The fragments were forgeries, and Shapira himself was the immediate suspect. It wasn't long before Shapira took his own life.  Following the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947, some scholars revisited the Shapira fragments, thinking they might be a 2000-year-old abridgment of the book of Deuteronomy. Alas, by that time the manuscript fragments had gone missing, and the scholarly consensus of forgery would not budge. In March of last year, I published new research arguing that these long lost fragments are not only ancient but of unimaginable significance. The text they contain, which I call "The Valediction of Moses" or "V," is not based on the book of Deuteronomy at all. It is, rather, a far earlier version of Deuteronomy. In other words, this text is a totally unprecedented document: a proto-biblical book. While some scholars have come out in support of this identification, many remain skeptical. I will discuss the ramifications of this text for our understanding of the Bible and the history of religion. 

Wednesday, March 30          5:00pm      Bill Beck, Indiana University   In Medias Res? The Iliad and the First Nine Years the Trojan War. The Iliad has long been praised for the temporal circumscription of its plot, covering a span of less than two months within the middle of a decade-long war. In spite of the poem’s narrow parameters, the poet enriches the narrative with many references to events that lie outside the scope of the plot (e.g., the Judgment of Paris (Il. 24.30-34), the death of Achilleus (Il. 22.358-60 et al.), and the destruction of Ilios (Il. 12.15 et al.)). While the Iliad’s proleptic references and allusions to post-Iliadic events have been much discussed, considerably less attention has been paid to the events that precede Chryses’ arrival at the Achaian camp. This talk focuses on the Iliad’s depiction of the first nine years of the Trojan War. I argue against the widespread misapprehension that the first nine years of the war were characterized by regularly occurring pitched battles waged before the walls of Ilios, and I suggest that the pervasive misunderstanding of the nature of the first phase of the war has unjustifiably fueled criticism of the Iliad’s chronological verisimilitude.

Wednesday, April 13              5:00pm      Emily Wilson, University of Pennsylvania. "Translating the Iliad".  Professor Wilson will read one or two passages of her in-progress verse translation of the Iliad and she will discuss some of the stylistic and interpretative priorities and the specific challenges of creating a translation of this poem.  

Friday, April 15                            Happy hour Trotter Lawn Tent

Friday, April 29                           Happy hour Trotter Lawn Tent

Friday, May 20                             Senior reception Trotter Lawn Tent

Fall semester:

Happy Hour                              Friday, November 12, 4:30-5:30 Trotter Lawn Tent

Happy Hour                              Friday, October 22, 4:30-5:30 Pearson Lawn Tent

Happy Hour                              Friday, September 24, 4:30-6 Trotter Lawn Tent

Welcome Reception            Friday, September 10, 4:30-6:30 Trotter Lawn Tent
 

Academic Year 2019-2020

Friday, September 6                 Welcome back happy hour, 4:30 pm, Classics department hallway

Friday, October 4                        Happy hour, 4:30 pm, Classics department hallway, Trotter

Monday, November 4              Martin Ostwald lecture, 4:30 pm, Science Center 199 presented by James I. Porter '77, UC Berkeley

Friday, December 6                  Happy hour, 4:30 pm, Classics department hallway, Trotter

Friday, January 31                       Happy hour, 4:30 pm, Classics department hallway, Trotter

Friday, February 28                    Happy hour, 4:30 pm, Classics department hallway, Trotter

Wednesday, March 18             CANCELED:  Curtis Dozier, Vassar, "The Big One: The Fall of Rome and Contemporary Hate Groups", 4:30 Trotter 203. "PHAROS:       Doing Justice to the Classics", 6:00 pm, Trotter 203.    Refreshments will be served from 5:30-6.

Tuesday, March 24                    CANCELED:  Mira Seo lecture, "Troubling Trans-species Relationships in Homer and Valmiki: Why Are We Friends?", Trotter 115, noon

Friday, March 27                         CANCELED:  Happy hour, 4:30 pm, Classics department hallway, Trotter

Monday, April 20                        CANCELED: Helen North lecture, 4:30 pm, Science Center 199 presented by Catherine Conybeare, Bryn Mawr College

Monday, May 4                            CANCELED: Classics department end of year dinner, 5:00 pm, location to be determined

Monday, November 9               Ostwald Memorial Lecture, "Quid est ergo tempus? Augustine, Music, and Time", Catherine Conybeare, Bryn Mawr, 5:00pm SC199

Academic Year 2018-2019

Friday, September 21              Happy hour, 4:30, Classics department hallway

Thursday, October 4                Welcome back dinner, 5:30 pm, Scheuer Room

Friday, October 26                   Trotter Hall crawl, Classics department hallway

Monday, October 29                Martin Ostwald lecture, 4:30 pm, Science Center 199

Friday, November 9                 Happy hour, 4:30, Classics department hallway

Friday, December 7                 Happy hour, 4:30, Classics department hallway

Friday, February 1                      Happy hour, 4:30, Classics department hallway

Friday, March 1                           Happy hour, 4:30, Classics department hallway

Wednesday, April 3                 Helen North lecture, 4:30 pm, Science  Center 199

Friday, April 12                            Happy hour, 4:30, Classics department hallway

Wednesday, May 1                   End of year dinner, 5:30, Wister Center

 

Academic Year 2017-2018

Friday, September 8                Welcome back dinner, 5:30, Wister Center

Friday, September 22              Happy hour, Classics hallway, 4:30

Monday, October 2                 Martin Ostwald lecture, 4:30 SC199

Friday, October 27                   Happy hour, Classics hallway, 4:30

Friday, December 8                Happy hour, Classics hallway, 4:30

Friday, February 2                    Happy hour, Classics hallway, 4:30

Friday, March 2                         Happy hour, Classics hallway, 4:30

Monday, March 26                    Helen North lecture,  4:30pm SC199

Friday, April 27                         Happy hour, Classics hallway, 4:30

Monday, May 7                         End of year dinner, Wister Center, 5:30

Saturday, May 26                     Senior celebration, 4pm, Classics hallway

Saturday, June 2                      Alumni celebration, 3:00pm, Classics hallway

Academic Year 2016-2017

Tuesday, September 6            Classics Department dinner, Wister​ Center, 5:30

Friday, September 23              Classics happy hour, Classics hallway, 4:30

Wednesday, October 5            Annual Martin Ostwald lecture, SC 199, 4:30

Friday, October 21                   Classics happy hour, Classics hallway, 4:30

Friday, November 11               Classics happy hour, Classics hallway, 4:30

Friday, December 9                 Classics happy hour, Classics hallway, 4:30

Friday, February 3                   Classics happy hour, Classics hallway, 4:30

Thursday, March 16                 Classics happy hour, Classics hallway, 4:30

Wednesday, March 22             Annual Helen North lecture, SC199, 4:30

Tuesday, April 4                       Dante lecture, 4:30, Bond Hall

Thursday, April 13                    Classics happy hour, Classics hallway, 4:30

Tuesday, 5/2                             End of year dinner, Wister Center, 5:30

Academic Year 2015-2016

Friday, September 4             Classics Department welcome back dinner, Wister​ Center, 6:30 pm

Friday, September 11           Happy hour, Classics hallway, 4:30 pm

Friday, September 25           Happy hour, Classics hallway, 4:30 pm

Tuesday, October 20            Annual Martin Ostwald Lecture, SC199, 4:30pm

​Friday, November 6              Happy hour, Classics hallway, 4:30 pm

Friday, November 20            Happy hour, Classics hallway, 4:30 pm

Friday, December 11            Happy hour, Classics hallway, 4:30 pm

Friday, January 29                Happy hour Classics hallway, 4:30 pm

Friday, February 26              Happy hour Classics hallway, 4:30 pm

Thursday, March 3                Lisa Forman, Exploding the Classical Tradition, 4:30 pm, Scheuer

​Tuesday, March 15               Annual Helen North Lecture, SC199, 4:30 pm

Friday, April 8                       Happy hour Classics hallway, 4:30 pm

Tuesday, May 3                    End of year dinner, 5 pm, Wister Center

Academic Year 2014-15

September 7 Classics Department welcome back dinner, Wister Center, 4:30 pm
September 12 Classics Department Happy Hour, Trotter 115, 4:30 - all are welcome!
October 3 Classics Department Happy Hour, Trotter 115, 4:30 - all are welcome!
October 4 Classics Department trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City - 8:30 am departure
January 30 Classics Department Happy Hour, Trotter 115 hallway, 4:30 -6; all are welcome!
February 3

Classics lecture, Mick Hunter '00, Assistant Professor of East Asian Languages and Literatures at Yale University will present "Homer Meets the Chinese Classics: Prince Chong'er in Qi and Other Tales of Reluctant Wandering Heroes," 4:30 pm, Trotter 301

 

February 24 Classics lecture, Sydnor Roy '02, will speak at 4:30 pm in Trotter 301
February 27 Classics Department Happy Hour, Trotter 115 hallway, 4:30-6; all are welcome!
March 20 Classics Department Happy Hour, Trotter 115 hallway, 4:30-6; all are welcome!
April 10 Annual Helen North lecture by Jas' Elsner, Humfrey Payne Senior Research Fellow in Classical Archaeology and Art at Oxford University, "Visual Ontologies: Style, Archaism and the Construction of the Sacred in the Western Tradition, 4:30 pm, Science Center 101
April 21 Classics lecture, Scott Gilbert, Senior Research Associate, Howard A. Schneiderman Professor Emeritus of Biology at Swarthmore, will present "The Mythic Traditions in Biology" at 4:30 in Trotter 301.  All are welcome.
April 24 Classics Department Happy Hour, Trotter 115 hallway, 4:30-6; all are welcome!
May 3 Classics Department End of Year dinner, Wister Center, 5:00 pm - all are welcome!

Academic Year 2013-14

September 6 Classics Department Happy Hour, Trotter 115, 4:30-6 pm - all are welcome!

October 11-12, 2013

"Plato and the Power of Images" Conference, Bryn Mawr College.  See http://repository.brynmawr.edu/plato/ for details
October 24  Annual Martin Ostwald lecture by Carol Dougherty, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Classical Studies, Wellesley, Science Center 101, 5:30 pm
March 18 Annual Helen North lecture by Christopher Pelling, Regius Professor of Greek, Christ Church Oxford, Scheuer Room, 4:30 pm: "Parallel Nostalgias: Plutarch on the Greek and Roman Past"
May 6 End of year picnic, 5 pm, 507 Harvard Avenue


Other Past Events

 
Date Description
January 25, 2007 The annual Helen F. North Lecture was given by Glenn W. Most. His lecture was entitled "The Child is the Father of the Man: From Rushdie to Homer, and Back."
March, 2007 Lawrence Nees, University of Delaware, "Reception and Invention of Illustrated Clssical Manuscripts in the Carolingian Age."
December 2006 Robin Mitchell-Boyask, Temple University, "Oedipus and the Plague: Why the Best Tragedy Finished Second"
November 2006 Radcliffe Edmonds, "Extra-ordinary People: Mystai and Magai, Magicians and Orphics in the Derveni Papyrus."
November 2006 Joel Yurdin, USC Berkeley, "Aristotle on Imagination in Behavior and in Thought,"
June 3, 2006 Swarthmore College Department of Classics held alumni reception
March 29, 2006 Swarthmore hosted Ancient Historians' Colloquium of the Atlantic States. Robert A. Kaster of Princeton University presented a paper entitled "Self-aggrandizement and praise of others in Cicero."