Apr
25
4:30 pm16:30

To detect and conserve: new research on the science and history of Columbia's ancient manuscripts

  • Butler Library 523

What happens when researchers in carbon nanotechnology encounter some of the oldest documents in existence? In 2012, scientists, papyrologists and conservators joined forces to study writing materials thousands of years old, and the Ancient Ink Laboratory was born.  Based in the Columbia Nano Initiative, the team found an ideal source of study in the Columbia University Libraries' Papyri and Ostraca Collection, one of the largest holdings of ancient writings in the United States. This talk will describe the cross-disciplinary work of the Ancient Ink Lab and  explain some of its surprising discoveries, including research that may lead to new and non-destructive method for dating carbon inks from the ancient Mediterranean world. To register, please click here.
 

 Caitlin Gillespie (Columbia) "Boudica: Dux Femina of Roman Britain"
Apr
11
4:10 pm16:10

Caitlin Gillespie (Columbia) "Boudica: Dux Femina of Roman Britain"

  • 603 Hamilton Hall

This talk stems from my current book project on Boudica and introduces one of my modes of examining Boudica as a comparative model in Tacitus’ works. I focus on Tacitus’ identification of Boudica as a dux femina and analyze this characterization in light of recent scholarship on gender and identity. The label of dux femina activates a host of literary associations and challenges the reader to contemplate Boudica’s place within a distinct literary canon: the topos originates with Vergil’s Dido, but generally functions pejoratively in Roman historiography. This is particularly true in Tacitus’ Annals, where the term is applied to women of the imperial family. I analyze Boudica’s characterization in Annals 14 as an exploration of the possibility for a non-Roman dux femina to lead an army and gain sympathy from her audience. Tacitus’ Boudica serves as a powerful internal commentator on the failures of Nero and the lack of imperial models, and her revolt offers a non-Roman parallel to ongoing conflicts of gender and power at the end of the Julio-Claudian era.

Classics Colloquium: Craige Champion (Syracuse University)  "General and Priest: Scipio Africanus, the Salian Priesthood, and the Campaign against Antiochus the Great"
Apr
4
4:10 pm16:10

Classics Colloquium: Craige Champion (Syracuse University) "General and Priest: Scipio Africanus, the Salian Priesthood, and the Campaign against Antiochus the Great"

  • 603 Hamilton Hall

In this talk, Professor Champion will provide an overview of his new book titled, The Peace of the Gods: Elite Religious Practices in the Middle Roman Republic, to be published later in April by the Princeton University Press. He will then focus on a case study from the book: the religious and military demands on Scipio Africanus on campaign against Antiochus III, and what his behavior reveals about the question of Romans 'elites' "belief" in the gods during the Middle Republic.

Apr
1
8:00 pm20:00

Barnard Columbia Ancient Drama Group: Seneca’s “Troades” (Trojan Women)

Tickets available

The Barnard Columbia Ancient Drama Group is proud to present Seneca’s “Troades” (Trojan Women) – a resistance piece composed around the middle of the first century CE during the reign of Emperor Nero by his tutor.

Ten years wrought with bloodshed and agony of the Greek-Trojan conflict have ended. The surviving Greeks are ready to return to their homes, taking the Trojan people as their prizes and reducing the royalty to slaves. Despite the ashes of their city and compatriots scattering across the desolate plain of Ilium, the Trojan women stand together in their final moment of shared grief, rage, and strength.

“Troades” decries and protests colonial oppression. A testament to womanist thought in antiquity, the play denounces sexual slavery and the sorting of women. Trojan Women speaks to us today in surprising ways. It insists that we recognize how all humans, whether individually or collectively and often under social compulsion, perpetuate violence and cause others to suffer traumas both physical and emotional. The tragedy creates a false equivalence between the oppressor and the oppressed. In the context of a colonizing and colonized literary tradition, the play urges us to look inward also to address our own complex humanity. This spring’s production applies contemporary symbols and movement to Seneca’s protest in poetry.

Performances at the Minor Latham Playhouse, Barnard College:

– Thursday, March 30th: 8:00pm
– Friday, March 31st: 8:00pm
– Saturday, April 1st: 2:00pm matinee
– Saturday, April 1st: 8: 00pm evening

This production is in Latin with English supertitles.
Made possible by the Matthew Alan Kramer Fund.

Directed by Yujhán Claros with original choreography by Sarah Esser and music by Ediz Ozelkan.

Tickets are $10.00
Student tickets are $5.00 with ID.

Barnard Columbia Ancient Drama Group: Seneca’s “Troades” (Trojan Women)

Apr
1
2:00 pm14:00

Barnard Columbia Ancient Drama Group: Seneca’s “Troades” (Trojan Women)

Tickets available

The Barnard Columbia Ancient Drama Group is proud to present Seneca’s “Troades” (Trojan Women) – a resistance piece composed around the middle of the first century CE during the reign of Emperor Nero by his tutor.

Ten years wrought with bloodshed and agony of the Greek-Trojan conflict have ended. The surviving Greeks are ready to return to their homes, taking the Trojan people as their prizes and reducing the royalty to slaves. Despite the ashes of their city and compatriots scattering across the desolate plain of Ilium, the Trojan women stand together in their final moment of shared grief, rage, and strength.

“Troades” decries and protests colonial oppression. A testament to womanist thought in antiquity, the play denounces sexual slavery and the sorting of women. Trojan Women speaks to us today in surprising ways. It insists that we recognize how all humans, whether individually or collectively and often under social compulsion, perpetuate violence and cause others to suffer traumas both physical and emotional. The tragedy creates a false equivalence between the oppressor and the oppressed. In the context of a colonizing and colonized literary tradition, the play urges us to look inward also to address our own complex humanity. This spring’s production applies contemporary symbols and movement to Seneca’s protest in poetry.

Performances at the Minor Latham Playhouse, Barnard College:

– Thursday, March 30th: 8:00pm
– Friday, March 31st: 8:00pm
– Saturday, April 1st: 2:00pm matinee
– Saturday, April 1st: 8: 00pm evening

This production is in Latin with English supertitles.
Made possible by the Matthew Alan Kramer Fund.

Directed by Yujhán Claros with original choreography by Sarah Esser and music by Ediz Ozelkan.

Tickets are $10.00
Student tickets are $5.00 with ID.

 

Mar
31
8:00 pm20:00

Barnard Columbia Ancient Drama Group: Seneca’s “Troades” (Trojan Women)

Tickets available

The Barnard Columbia Ancient Drama Group is proud to present Seneca’s “Troades” (Trojan Women) – a resistance piece composed around the middle of the first century CE during the reign of Emperor Nero by his tutor.

Ten years wrought with bloodshed and agony of the Greek-Trojan conflict have ended. The surviving Greeks are ready to return to their homes, taking the Trojan people as their prizes and reducing the royalty to slaves. Despite the ashes of their city and compatriots scattering across the desolate plain of Ilium, the Trojan women stand together in their final moment of shared grief, rage, and strength.

“Troades” decries and protests colonial oppression. A testament to womanist thought in antiquity, the play denounces sexual slavery and the sorting of women. Trojan Women speaks to us today in surprising ways. It insists that we recognize how all humans, whether individually or collectively and often under social compulsion, perpetuate violence and cause others to suffer traumas both physical and emotional. The tragedy creates a false equivalence between the oppressor and the oppressed. In the context of a colonizing and colonized literary tradition, the play urges us to look inward also to address our own complex humanity. This spring’s production applies contemporary symbols and movement to Seneca’s protest in poetry.

Performances at the Minor Latham Playhouse, Barnard College:

– Thursday, March 30th: 8:00pm
– Friday, March 31st: 8:00pm
– Saturday, April 1st: 2:00pm matinee
– Saturday, April 1st: 8: 00pm evening

This production is in Latin with English supertitles.
Made possible by the Matthew Alan Kramer Fund.

Directed by Yujhán Claros with original choreography by Sarah Esser and music by Ediz Ozelkan.

Tickets are $10.00
Student tickets are $5.00 with ID.

Barnard Columbia Ancient Drama Group: Seneca’s “Troades” (Trojan Women)

Mar
30
8:00 pm20:00

Barnard Columbia Ancient Drama Group: Seneca’s “Troades” (Trojan Women)

Tickets available

The Barnard Columbia Ancient Drama Group is proud to present Seneca’s “Troades” (Trojan Women) – a resistance piece composed around the middle of the first century CE during the reign of Emperor Nero by his tutor.

Ten years wrought with bloodshed and agony of the Greek-Trojan conflict have ended. The surviving Greeks are ready to return to their homes, taking the Trojan people as their prizes and reducing the royalty to slaves. Despite the ashes of their city and compatriots scattering across the desolate plain of Ilium, the Trojan women stand together in their final moment of shared grief, rage, and strength.

“Troades” decries and protests colonial oppression. A testament to womanist thought in antiquity, the play denounces sexual slavery and the sorting of women. Trojan Women speaks to us today in surprising ways. It insists that we recognize how all humans, whether individually or collectively and often under social compulsion, perpetuate violence and cause others to suffer traumas both physical and emotional. The tragedy creates a false equivalence between the oppressor and the oppressed. In the context of a colonizing and colonized literary tradition, the play urges us to look inward also to address our own complex humanity. This spring’s production applies contemporary symbols and movement to Seneca’s protest in poetry.

Performances at the Minor Latham Playhouse, Barnard College:

– Thursday, March 30th: 8:00pm
– Friday, March 31st: 8:00pm
– Saturday, April 1st: 2:00pm matinee
– Saturday, April 1st: 8: 00pm evening

This production is in Latin with English supertitles.
Made possible by the Matthew Alan Kramer Fund.

Directed by Yujhán Claros with original choreography by Sarah Esser and music by Ediz Ozelkan.

Tickets are $10.00
Student tickets are $5.00 with ID.

Columbia's Archaeological Campaign at Hadrian's Villa (APAHA Tibur 2016)
Mar
23
5:30 pm17:30

Columbia's Archaeological Campaign at Hadrian's Villa (APAHA Tibur 2016)

  • 2nd floor Teatro, Italian Academy, Columbia University

Professors Francesco de Angelis (Columbia) and Marco Maiuro (Rome La Sapienza and Columbia), directors of the Advanced Program of Ancient History and Art (APAHA) will present the main results of the excavation at Hadrian’s Villa, discuss the historical significance of the findings, and announce some exciting developments of the project for 2017.

With over 80 participants from 15 universities and institutions across 8 countries, the 2016 fieldwork season was the most intensive and the most productive one since the inception of the program. The excavation of the “Lararium” courtyard revealed a pre-Hadrianic channel running under the precinct’s floor and provided further data on the Medieval phases of the complex. Continued exploration of the building in the area of the "Macchiozzo" brought to light new rooms with mosaics and painted walls and ceilings. The expansion of the excavation around the "Macchiozzo" building uncovered architectural remains that were last seen (and only partially documented) by Piranesi in the 18th century.

This presentation will take place in the Teatro (2nd floor) of the Italian Academy, Columbia University. A reception will follow. All welcome! Please click here to register for the event.

 

Classics Colloquium: Lauren Ginsberg (Cincinnati) "Venturi Me Teque Legent: Caesar’s Epic Successor"
Mar
21
4:10 pm16:10

Classics Colloquium: Lauren Ginsberg (Cincinnati) "Venturi Me Teque Legent: Caesar’s Epic Successor"

  • 603 Hamilton Hall

This talk looks at the literary and historical relationship between Lucan and Caesar, a relationship which is still denied by a surprising bulk of scholarship but which has also recently been attracting increased attention - often buried in footnotes or offhanded comments - due to the intertextual turn in historiographical studies. Through an analysis of the episode of Ilerda in both Caesar and Lucan, I argue that far from wishing to ignore or even erase the memory of Caesar’s Commentarii de Bello Civili, Lucan not only presupposes a reader intimately familiar with his predecessor’s account but also marks Caesar’s text as a significant site of memory for the civil wars. The paper’s case study approach Lucan’s engagement with Caesar with a two-fold goal: (1) to reframe the way we approach the question by looking at Caesar’s Commentarii not as source but as model and (2) to free such analysis of the assumption that Lucan’s reception of Caesar must aim purely at denigrating the character of Caesar.

Classics Colloquium: Ruth Webb (University Lille 3) "Objects and Actions: The bed of Odysseus as ekphrasis"
Feb
28
4:10 pm16:10

Classics Colloquium: Ruth Webb (University Lille 3) "Objects and Actions: The bed of Odysseus as ekphrasis"

  • 603 Hamilton Hall

Odysseus’ account of the making of his bed in Odyssey 23 is the culminating moment of his reintegration, leading as it does to his acceptance by Penelope after her final test of the stranger’s identity. I will examine this much discussed passage as an example of a particular type of ekphrasis, that of the way (tropos) in which something is done or made, a category which encourages us to place as much emphasis on the actions of the maker as on the resulting object. Doing so, and consequently taking account of the embodied knowledge that such ekphraseis encode, can provide extra insight into the passage and into the reasons why the account of the bed serves as such an effective proof of Odysseus’ identity.

Feb
24
5:00 pm17:00

Heyman Center: Stephen Chrisomalis (Wayne State University) "Renewing a Dynamic Cognitive Philology of Numerals"

  • Heyman Center Common Room

In his 1935 book The psycho-biology of language, the linguist George Kingsley Zipf introduced the concept of dynamic philology, which he hoped would integrate the formal and quantifiable aspects of the psychological sciences with the philologist's concern with the social and cultural contexts of speakers, writers, and their linguistic productions. Yet Zipf's modern impact has largely been in large-scale statistical analyses of word frequencies in corpus linguistics and psycholinguistics, while many humanists are rightly skeptical of anything calling itself philology that is divorced from social context. The present paper uses material from the study of numeral systems - a core subject of traditional philology - to propose a different configuration of "dynamic philology". 

http://heymancenter.org/events/stephen-crisomalis/

Classics Colloquium: Courtney Roby (Cornell) "Modeling embodied experience in the Peripatetic Mechanica"
Feb
20
6:10 pm18:10

Classics Colloquium: Courtney Roby (Cornell) "Modeling embodied experience in the Peripatetic Mechanica"

  • 503 Hamilton Hall

The Peripatetic text typically called Mechanica or Mechanical Problems was long attributed to Aristotle, though confidence in his authorship later dwindled and it is usually now more cautiously attributed to a later member of the Peripatetic school. The Mechanica is framed for the most part as a series of questions about mechanical principles and devices, ranging from the fundamental and abstract (as when the author asks why the lever allows small forces to move large weights) to the particular and applied (as when he asks why beds are typically built with a certain form factor). These are answered with reference to geometrical analogues, diagrams, real-world observables and thought-experiments, often composites of results about simpler systems explored elsewhere in the work.

Because so many of the scenarios described in the Mechanica are located in a “real world” context of lived experience rather than an abstract world of idealized objects, the author is often compelled to confront the gulf between experience and ideal. Rather than reducing mechanical systems down to parameters that can be reproducibly measured only on exquisitely specialized laboratory equipment, the author asks questions prompted by everyday observations about the world he and his notional reader actually live in. This world is populated by sailors, laborers, and merchants; it is filled with a host of interesting objects ranging from ships at sea to the frame of the human body. These objects are radically more complex than the classical mechanician’s pendulum just by virtue of existing in a mundane context rather than a laboratory, so that the author must develop a whole range of strategies for representing them in the text and explaining their behavior. 

The explanatory models used in the Mechanica are framed as narratives that enable the reader to participate in mental-model construction in several different ways. The use of lettered diagrams throughout enables a conceptual shift into geometry’s domain of rigorous proofs even on complex systems. Many of the text’s acts of mental modeling are guided by deliberately including vivid real-world details alongside their geometrical “skeletons,” even invoking the tacit knowledge of embodied experience. Problems in this vein ask the reader to imagine quotidian activities like standing up from a sitting position as well as (mercifully) less common experiences like having a tooth yanked out with a forceps. Bodily scenarios like this offer the reader a kinesthetically vivid understanding of leverage, invoking his intuitive, experientially-derived memory of the power a given force can exert. The combination of abstraction and universality on the one hand, and the vivid memory of lived bodily experience on the other, make these passages compelling thought-experiments. The author balances the complexity of embodied experience with a model of the body reduced down to the elements most essential for understanding the rich variety of phenomena he investigates.

Columbia University Ancient World Graduate Student Conference
Nov
11
Nov 12

Columbia University Ancient World Graduate Student Conference

  • Columbia University

Refuge and Refugees in the Ancient World

a two-day conference exploring the issues of refuge and refugees in the ancient world, organized by a committee of CAM-affiliated graduate students and co-sponsored by CAM. For more details, please visit the conference's webpage