Fall 2009 Newsletter

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"Nullum est iam dictum quod non dictum est prius."


Congratulations to the Brandeis Class of 2009, which graduated on May 17, and to our graduating majors and minors! We are so proud of each and every one of you! See the Commencement photos below received from participants.

Majors: Emrys Bell-Schlatter, Caitlin D. Dichter, Dianne J. Ma, Corey R. Pilz, Alexander J. Smith, Theodore D. Tibbitts and Jacob B. Weisfeld.

Minors: Gary C. Berkson, Igor Finkelshteyn, Joel Herzfeld, Aubrey L. Knox, Nathaniel B. Lathrop, Robert C. Morse, Jr., Matthew R. Rebesco, Michael R. Riga, Gideon A. Rosenbaum and Jonathan Wons.

Emrys Bell-Schlatter '09 was the recipient of the 2009 Eunice M. Lebowitz Cohen Award for Excellence in Classical Literature, an award that carries a $500 prize. The 2009 Eunice M. Lebowitz Cohen Scholar in Classical Studies, Emrys also won the Doris Brewer Cohen Endowment Award, Humanities and Creative Arts Division. He begins work on his Ph.D. in Classics at Harvard University this fall.

Alexander J. Smith '09 received the 2009 Eunice M. Lebowitz Cohen Award in Classical Art and Archaeology, which carries a prize of $500, as he graduated summa cum laude with High Honors in Classical Studies. Alex is a former CLARC intern and supervisor (2007-09) and a Classical Studies Undergraduate Departmental Fellow (2007-09). This fall, he begins work on his Ph.D. in Classical Archaeology at the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World at Brown University.

Lee A. Marmor '10 won the 2009 David S. Wiesen Memorial Prize, which was established to honor our late colleague, who taught here from 1966-1975. Lee, a junior, has been a CLARC Intern (2008-09) and a Classical Studies Undergraduate Departmental Representative (2008-10). He will be writing his senior thesis this year. 

We are delighted that other 2009 graduates have plans to continue their education in Classical Studies. Ted Tibbitts '09, who graduated magna cum laude with High Honors in Classical Studies, is working toward his M.A. in Classical Archaeology at the University of Buffalo. Ted was a Eunice M. Lebowitz Cohen Fellow (2007-09). Caitlin D. Dichter '09, who graduated with High Honors in Classics and in European Cultural Studies, is attending George Washington University this fall, where she is working toward her MA in Museum Studies. Caitlin was a 2008-09 CLARC Intern, great experience in her planned field. 

Welcome to our beginning and returning graduate students in the Classical Studies Masters Program in Ancient Greek and Roman Studies! This fall Claudia P. Filos '94, will be joined by Lana Georgiou and Justin Villet. Also joining them will be our own University Curator of Visual Arts, Jennifer Stern '91. Congratulations to all on entering this exciting new program! For more about the Classical Studies Masters Program in Ancient Greek and Roman Studies, see Master's Degree Program.

Sarah Costrell '10 and Alissa Thomas '11 join veteran Undergraduate Departmental Representative (UDR) Lee A. Marmor '10 as 2009/10 UDRs, while we say goodbye to graduating senior UDRs Alex Smith '09 and Dianne Ma '09.

Each year Classical Studies holds an undergraduate competition for three positions as Classical Studies Interns in the CLAS Artifact Research Center (CLARC). After a vigorous competition last spring, L. Aimeé Birnbaum '10, Blake Kasan '11, and Jessica Schaengold '11 were selected to work with Classical Studies Archaeologist and Chair Ann Olga Koloski-Ostrow at the center throughout 2009/10. Sarah Costrell '10, who was an Intern last year, will assist Professor Koloski-Ostrow as CLARC Supervisor. Last year's group shared the winning poster at the annual poster exhibit in Usdan (see photos below). For more on this impressive accomplishment, the program, and CLARC's wonderful collection of artifacts, see CLARC.

We bid a reluctant goodbye to Professor Eirene Visvardi, who was our Florence Levy Kay Fellow in Ancient Greek Theater these last lovely two years. This fall, she is off to start her new position as Assistant Professor of Classical Studies at Wesleyan University. We wish you all the best, Eirene!

Professor Ann Olga Koloski-Ostrow co-directed (with Professor Steven E. Ostrow, MIT) a Vergilian Society tour at Cumae, Italy, from August 3-15, 2009, that covered the archaeological sites around the Bay of Naples. Sarah Costrell '10 was one of the 27 attendees, along with her whole family. Professor Koloski-Ostrow attended workshops in Amsterdam, Maastricht, and at the Royal Dutch Academy in Rome with her Dutch collaborators on her forthcoming research on Roman toilets and sanitation.

Professor Cheryl Walker reports that, "like the Augean Stables, my project on the struggle of the early Roman Republic and the Etruscan king Porsenna keeps growing in the scope and depth required to answer the questions with which I began." She is looking forward to getting a block of time at the library that will enable her to start writing it up soon.

Professor Leonard Muellner spent a week in Greece in July, helping to organize a conference that will take place in Athens in November of 2010, on Hellenism and the modern world. He says he also visited the ancient site of Mycenae, swam in the Mediterranean, and visited the amazing new Acropolis Museum twice!

Professor Patricia A. Johnston organized and chaired the Vergilian Society's Symposium Cumanum 2009 at the Villa Vergiliana in Cumae, Italy from June 17-20, 2009. The topic of this year's symposium was "Poetry or Propaganda: What Was Vergil's Purpose in Writing the Aeneid?"

Upcoming Events: Fall 2009

Monday, Sept. 21, 2009, 5:30 - 7 p.m.
The Jennifer Eastman Lecture Series
William E. Metcalf, Damsky Curator of Coins and Medals, Yale University Art Gallery, and Professor (Adj.) of Classics, Yale University
How to Look at Ancient Coins
Location: Pearlman Lounge (113), with reception to follow

Monday, Oct. 6, 2009, 4 - 6:30 p.m.
Greek Studies in the Schools Fall Event and Reception
Ithaka 10: Reception and Curriculum Presentations by Class of 2009 Greek Studies Fellows
Ann Olga Koloski-Ostrow, Associate Professor of Classical Studies & Chair, Brandeis Department of Classical Studies
Welcome Address: "Greek Studies in the Schools Program" Reaches Year TEN: Nostos and Kleos
Location: Napoli Trophy Room, Gosman Athletic Center

Thursday, Oct. 15, 2009, 4 - 5:30 p.m.
Meet the Majors in Classical Studies
Classical Studies Faculty and Undergraduate Departmental Representatives
Location: Shiffman 216

Thursday, Oct. 29, 2009, 5:30 - 7 p.m.
The Martin Weiner Lecture Series
Stephen Scully, Associate Professor of Classical Studies, Boston University Brown University
"Hesiod's Olympus"
Location: Pearlman Lounge (113), with reception to follow

The Classical Studies Colloquium: Spring 2009

Professor Marcus Folch on Body and Soul Enchained: Inventing the Prison in Democratic Athens

Dr. Marcus FolchOn Thursday, March 5, 2009, Dr. Marcus Folch, assistant professor of classical studies at the University of Richmond, addressed Classical Studies enthusiasts from the Brandeis community on Body and Soul Enchained: Inventing the Prison in Democratic Athens. Introduced by Professor Leonard C. Muellner, Dr. Folch's talk was part of the Classical Studies Colloquium Lecture series of spring 2009.

Dr. Folch began by discussing the nature of prisons in all societies. He asked the following question: Why do we imprison people? Although it is such a costly method of punitive action, Professor Folch cited four reasons to explain why prisons exist around the world: incapacitation, deterrence, retribution and reformation.

Another benefit of the system, he asserted, is profit, in the form of cheap labor and jobs. Yet, as professor Folch states, the Athenian prison system was unlike any modern perception of such an institution and although scholars know of its existence, studies dedicated solely to the Athenian prison are scarce.

In order to assess the ancient Athenian idea and aim of a prison, Professor Folch addressed the inception of the system in the city-state. Through the elimination of debt bondage in the sixth century BCE, the famous and influential legislator Solon indirectly created the prison system as debt became a state issue, not a private one, and debtors were no longer eligible for release until their debts were paid.

Professor Folch went on to discuss the archaeological remains of the relatively large prison complex located in Athens and the system by which eleven overseers ran the facility. Surprisingly, after years of ingratiation, it was often the wealthy who were imprisoned for debt.

By Socrates' time, in the late fifth and early fourth century BCE, a prison sentence became an actual punishment beyond this debt system. Dr. Folch argued that when crimes were committed against the community of ancient Athens with no single victim (as in the case of Socrates), imprisonment became an option rather than the traditional and personal retributive methods of exile, fines, or execution.

Professor Folch then discussed Plato's works regarding the prison in and around ancient Athens. In his Laws, Plato discusses three types of prisons and the various crimes committed by the prisoners interned in them. The second of three fictional prisons described in this work is referred to as a reformatory, lending credence to an ancient Athenian perception of the incarceration system as both punitive and reformative.

The inmates of this second prison are atheists, jailed in order to instill a respect for and belief in the city's gods and the religious system. Dr. Folch stressed the importance of such an ideological use of the prison system in Plato's work, and the advent of philosophies predicating modern perceptions of incarceration.

Professor Folch then concluded by saying that eventually, using complicated and, at times, accidental means, the Athenian prison system amassed functional and ideological characteristics similar to what is considered modern imprisonment. Following a brief period of questions, a short reception followed during which Dr. Folch addressed the individual comments and inquiries of students and faculty.

-- This fall, Alex Smith '09 is attending the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World at Brown University, where he is pursuing his Ph.D. in Classical Archaeology.

The Martin Weiner Lecture: Spring 2009

Professor Frank Sear on Interior Design: The Excavation of Roman Theaters

Professor Frank SearOn March 26, 2009, the classical studies department was fortunate enough to have professor Frank Sear from the Center for Classics and Archaeology at the University of Melbourne in Australia as our guest Martin Weiner lecturer.

A Cambridge graduate, professor Sear lived for five years in Rome and has taught at Oxford, Cambridge, London and Adelaide Universities. He has worked on many archaeological digs in the Mediterranean world, especially North Africa.

He has also directed archaeological projects at Pompeii, Gubbio in northern Italy, Taormina in Sicily, Orange in France and Jerash in Jordan. He is a fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London.

Professor Sear's focus is on Roman architecture, especially the design and development of Roman theaters, for which study he uses material, epigraphic, and literary evidence. In this lecture, he gave a detailed overview of the common characteristics of the Roman amphitheater, breaking down both the common underlying factors and the unique characteristics of various theaters throughout Europe. In his research, professor Sear has compared the measurements made by Vitruvius to the actual measurements of the ruins of theaters in an attempt to reconstruct their original designs.

Whenever possible, theaters were built along a hillside because of the expense in labor and money that it saved. There were traditionally three tiers of seating divided by eight to 10 foot walls. In the first tier sat the equites, followed the plebians, and finally, at the top, were the slaves. Separate entrances were constructed to ensure that the three classes were kept as segregated as possible.

As compared to Greek theaters, Roman enclosures are more complete and made more emphatic by awnings that are placed to keep out sun or rain. At the top of the main columns were holes in which to hang the awnings. Poles were placed and then horizontal spars and awnings were held by ropes that extended to the ground and were there fixed to ballards around the full perimeter of the building. The Roman stage is also deeper than the Greek stage. Therefore, the stage was never more than five feet high in order to allow full visibility from the first row, in which the senators sat.

Often, theaters were commissioned by local kings and wealthy dignitaries as a way for them to be commemorated. Because the Roman theater was held in such high esteem, it was clearly the type of building to commission if one wanted to garner respect and power.

After an extended and fascinating question and answers session, those attending had the opportunity to meet and converse with professor Sear at a brief but lively reception.

-- Dianne J. Ma '09, a classical studies UDR, graduated last May with a B.A. classical studies in the classical archaeology and ancient history track.

The 2009 Classical Studies Symposium

"In Naming You I Name Myself": Words, Wrath, and Retribution in Euripides' Hecuba"

The Jennifer Eastman Lecture, Spring 2009

Helene Foley on "'What's Hecuba to him . . .?' The Dangerous Grief of Euripides' Hecuba"

Helene Foley, Professor of Classics at Barnard CollegeOn Thursday, April 2 the classical studies department hosted their Spring Symposium titled, "In Naming You, I Name Myself:" Words, Wrath, and Retribution in Euripides' Hecuba. In preparation for the Brandeis Theater Arts' production of Euripides' Hecuba, the department hosted three lecturers and a round table discussion concerning the Greek drama.

The first of the three lectures —the Jennifer Eastman Lecture—was given by Helene Foley, professor of classics at Barnard College. Introduced by the department chair, professor Ann Olga Koloski-Ostrow, Dr. Foley engaged a large audience of classics and theater enthusiasts with her lecture, "'What's Hecuba to Him?'" The Dangerous Grief of Euripides' Hecuba."

Professor Foley began by discussing the nature of Hecuba's suggested transformation into a dog at the end of this gruesome revenge drama. Dr. Foley recounted the unjust sacrifice of Hecuba's daughter Polyxena, including Odysseus' refusal to spare her life as Hecuba had once done for him, and the murder of her son Polydorus by his trusted protector, her friend Polymestor. In vengeance for her son's death, Hecuba completes the transformation from grief to retribution and from human to beast, blinding Polymestor and murdering his two sons.

Here, Hecuba's actions evoke a theme of wartime violence and hostility that still resonates today. At this point in the play, Hecuba again appeals to the Greeks, specifically to Agamemnon, but to no avail. The gruesome acts and trial against Hecuba demonstrate, as Dr. Foley stated, a shift from civilized to militaristic ideals, anticipating only more violence and death.

Dr. Foley then went on to describe the historical background of Hecuba, which was written in late fifth century B.C.E. Athens, where the theater provided a center for political thought and commentary using mythological subjects. The play dates to around the 420's B.C.E., during the Peloponnesian War with Sparta. Professor Foley described Pericles' funeral oration, delivered to Athens earlier during the war, and in which he references the unwritten laws of the city-state, i.e., religious and social values that included the ethical treatment of the dead and taking care of one's family.

According to professor Foley, as the Peloponnesian War progressed, these values became victims of military power and efficiency. Intercity guest-friend relations fell apart during this period, as illustrated in the case of Polymestor. Professor Foley observed that in Euripides' plays, it is often the main female character who appeals to the unwritten laws of aristocratic or civilized behavior and who tries to exact justice from those men destroying these ideals. Hecuba is seen as the last defender of her family, as her surrounding society turns away from justice. In the end, she falls to this immoral level in an attempt at retribution.

Dr. Foley explained that a potential reason for Hecuba's nationwide growth in popularity is because of the ongoing wars abroad and the United States' possible violation of international laws concerning torture. She then concluded by discussing the unique nature and voice of the chorus, the captive Trojan women. She played a short excerpt from a San Francisco production of the play, which featured Eastern European singers known as Kitka. A brief period of questions followed along with a short break before the next Symposium lecture began.

Eirene Visvardi on "Euripides' Hecuba: The Limits of Sympathy, Past and Present"

Professor Eirene VisvardiOn April 2, the Brandeis Department of Classical Studies held its annual Spring Symposium, with this year's topic, "'In Naming You I Name Myself': Words, Wrath, and Retribution in Euripides' Hecuba." Professor Eirene Visvardi, the Florence Levy Kay Fellow in Greek Theater and Classical Studies, delivered the symposium's second lecture: "Euripides' Hecuba: The Limits of Sympathy Past and Present." Professor Visvardi looked at how Hecuba responds to heroic values in Homer and addresses the role of pity in war and politics.

The actions of Achilles in the Iliad are a model of how pity affects his heroic status. While the Iliad is about Achilles' wrath, in the poem's close, it is Achilles' pity that that moves him to return the body of Hector to the grieving Priam, who has asked for his son's corpse.  Achilles' glory thus arises both from his wrath and his staying of it through pity.

Professor Visvardi showed how in the actions of Hecuba, pity complicates heroic values and leads to corruption and wrath, the opposite of the Iliad. The culture of ancient Athens, where Euripides wrote Hecuba, was one of "passions" where anger and pity were stirred for self-interest in court cases. The character of Hecuba serves to address the role of pity in politics. She contended that showing pity upholds the Greek system of law and justice. Professor Visvardi portrayed Odysseus as the opposite of Hecuba in that he cares only for political expedience, regardless of its effect on others.

When Hecuba saves Odysseus, she does so out of compassion and respect for supplication and, in turn, upholds Greek law on the matter. When Hecuba seeks the same pity for her daughter, Polyxena, Odysseus decides to let political interest trump pity. He will save Hecuba since she saved him, but the sacrifice of Polyxena will encourage the Greek soldiers to fight, since the sacrifice shows the great honor that a dead warrior can receive. Such a move is good for the political strength of a city-state, but it avoids the compassion required for the normal workings of Greek justice.

Failing with Odysseus, Hecuba next tries to obtain pity from Agamemnon. Hecuba says her suffering is against the law and asks Agamemnon to make things right. Agamemnon agrees in principle, but Professor Visvardi notes how he is corrupted by personal and political interest. Agamemnon knows that the murder of Polydorus, Hecuba's son, is wrong, but the Greek army sees the murderer, King Polymestor of Thrace, as an ally. Polydorus' murder breaks the guest-host relationship, and thus violates the law, but Agamemnon will not punish Polymestor himself (as he should) since, as king, he is the upholder of justice. Agamemnon does have pity when he allows Hecuba to take her revenge, but he is corrupt for not doing what is right himself.

Hecuba's revenge against Polymestor shows the final corruption of justice in Hecuba. Agamemnon refuses to do his duty, yet his compassion for Hecuba allows her to take justice into her own hands. Hecuba's justice -- the blinding of Polymestor and murder of his sons -- is impulsive and cruel. Compassion has led to wrath being perpetrated by Hecuba, with justice being dealt in a morally dissatisfying way. Through her comparison of Achilles and Hecuba, Professor Visvardi shows how Achilles allows pity to stay his wrath and becomes a glorified hero. Conversely, Hecuba questions the role of pity in war and politics, but, as Professor Visvardi made clear, pity can also lead to wrath and corruption, as Hecuba is forced to take justice into her own hands to no one's benefit.

Alexander J. Smith '09 wrote the above two articles on Professors Helene Foley's and Eirene Visvardi's talks. This fall, he begins work toward his doctorate in classical archaeology at Brown University's Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World.

Eric H. Hill with A Demonstration of Dramatic Method in Greek Theater

Professor Eric HillProfessor Visvardi was followed by professor Eric Hill, chair of the theater arts department and the director of the spring production of Hecuba, giving "A Demonstration of Dramatic Method in Greek Theater." Professor Hill talked about many of the performance issues involved in putting on a production of ancient Greek theater. While it is unknown exactly how the plays were performed in ancient times, professor Hill said that the acting was probably not very "naturalistic" as modern stage acting is. Ancient theater had singing, dancing and poetry included within it. 

Since the plays were performed in large, open theaters, a different style of acting was needed to ensure that the audience could hear the actors, even though the theaters themselves had very good acoustics. "Finding the body and voice for a god or character on an epic scale and finding the physical unity and vocal cohesiveness for a chorus requires an enormous amount of physical training and discipline. The elements of this training are foreign to most modern actors, so I have adopted techniques for training actors in modern Kabuki style, developed by Japanese director Tadashi Suzuki. This training has the necessary physical and vocal rigor to train actors for this work."


Professor Hill talked about the Suzuki style acting method, which he himself studied in Japan. The method, which is based upon Kabuki and Noh styles of Japanese acting, was developed with Greek texts, for the purpose of performing in large, outdoor theaters. Both Greek and Japanese theater traditions arose out of ritual, so professor Hill saw the Suzuki method as a good way to bring ancient drama to a modern audience.

In addition to utilizing the Suzuki method, professor Hill discussed how the set and costumes would be a blend of ancient and modern to show the repetition of history. To simulate the appearance of a real Greek theater, a stage was built over the lower seating of the Spingold theater while the audience sits in the balcony. The use of masks was also discussed since ancient actors all performed in masks. Professor Hill decided not to use masks in the production since that would be too alien for modern theater. Instead, the actors were taught not to over-express emotion through the face but rather to show feeling through body movement and voice strength.

Professor Hill's talk concluded with a demonstration of Suzuki training methods, performed by some of the actors in the play. The actors showed extraordinary control of movement while doing things such as walking very slowly without moving the upper body, as well as posing in various positions and holding them while speaking in a controlled yet booming voice. The demonstration really helped the audience to visualize how different the acting style is for ancient drama and how much vocal control and power can be achieved while standing perfectly still.

With director Eric Hill's assistance, actors (above) demonstrate the modern Kabuki style of theater training used by Hill in preparing and educating actors for work in Hecuba.

Round Table Discussion with the Audience

Round Table discussion

The Symposium concluded with a Round Table discussion featuring Professor Foley, Professor Visvardi, Professor Hill, and Professor Muellner of the Department of Classical Studies, whose students helped to translate Hecuba. The panel took questions from the audience on topics ranging from the nature of theater to the specifics of this production of Hecuba. Professor Visvardi talked about how she chose the play due to its similarities with Hamlet in featuring imperialistic wars. Professors Foley and Muellner also talked about how the Athenian drama festivals functioned with the focus on the cult of Dionysus, whose cult statue was brought into the city from the outskirts of Attica. Dionysus' influence on the festival came through voting for the winner. The process had some random aspects to it so it allowed the god to intervene in the choice. Comparisons of ancient theater to modern American theater were also discussed, with Professor Foley commenting on Euripides' love of long speeches and debates -- not features of modern theater. The discussion allowed the audience to reach a deeper understanding of the nature of ancient theater and to explore specifically some of the details of this production of Hecuba.

Lee Marmor '10 wrote the above two articles on Eric Hill's talks and the Round Table discussion. He is a classics major on the classical art and archaeology track and a classics Undergraduate Departmental Representative (UDR).

The Senior Thesis Presentations: Spring 2009

Emrys Bell-Schlatter '09: "The Imagery of Vision in Aeschylus' Oresteia"
Caitlin D. Dichter '09: "The Artistic Effect of Pompeii on French Neoclassical Decorative Arts"
Dianne J. Ma '09: "The Thematic Progression of Ovid's Metamorphoses in Relation to Human Development"
Alexander J. Smith '09: "Mussolini's Past: The Social and Political Implications of Archaeology in Fascist Italy"
Theodore Tibbitts '09: "The Practical Side of Wine: Viticulture and Viniculture in Ancient Rome"
Jacob B. Weisfeld '09: "The People's Conspiracy: Damnatio Memoriae as an Ad Hoc Procedure in Republican and Imperial Rome" [not present]

The Senior Thesis Presentations: Spring 2009

On April 6, 2009, five graduating seniors from the Department of Classical Studies presented their honors theses to an audience of classics majors, minors, professors and friends. Alexander J. Smith, Caitlin D. Dichter, Dianne J. Ma, Theodore Tibbitts, and Emrys Bell-Schlatter each shared their thesis findings and stories with the attentive and enthusiastic audience.

Alex Smith began with his thesis, "Roman Archaeology and the Creation of an Italian Fascist Identity," in which he discussed how Mussolini tried to use archaeological projects in Rome to propagate the image of a new Imperial Italy. Among these projects were Largo Argentina, which in 1928 was uncovered during a building project, and the restoration of the Theater of Marcellus. Greater projects followed, including the excavation of the Via del Impero from the Colosseum to the Piazza Venezia, which exposed the ancient Roman and Imperial fora in the heart of Rome.

This program served to link Mussolini's government with that of the ancient Romans. To suggest a straight line between himself and the Emperor Augustus, Mussolini authorized the more ambitious restoration of the Mausoleum of Augustus, but the plan was a failure in that it never became a major piazza. Alex demonstrated how the projects showed a progression in Mussolini's use of archaeology for personal glory and how his projects actually exposed ancient Rome to the modern world. Alex also talked about how he came across the topic from a summer spent in Italy and his struggle with sources in Italian, which he could not read very well. He stressed the importance of enjoying what one studies.

Caitlin Dichter then presented her thesis: "The Artistic Effect of Pompeii on French Neoclassical Decorative Arts." Caitlin discussed how in the mid-18th century, Neoclassicism spread all over Europe as a reaction against the monarchy and gaudy baroque excess. The designs were simple and stoic and championed by designers like Persire and Fontain in architecture and interior design. They employed a classical theme when designing the furniture, wallpapers and paintings for many chateaux, such as Fontainebleau.

Caitlin also talked about furniture designer Jacob Desmotere, who used the recovered furniture from Herculaneum as well as paintings of furniture from Pompeii in his own designs. Other artists made liberal use of themes from Pompeian wall paintings like Cupid and Psyche, Minerva, and Bacchus in designing everything from wallpaper to ceramics and furniture. In her conclusion, Caitlin showed that the major effect of Pompeii and Herculaneum on design was based primarily on visual effects rather than on the literature of the period. Caitlin also mentioned the disadvantages of not knowing Italian and encouraged people to start exploring their topics even over the summer.

Dianne Ma was up next with her thesis "The Thematic Progression of Ovid's Metamorphoses." Dianne noticed how unorganized and random the Metamorphoses seems in its presentation of myths, so she examined each myth to see if there was any pattern. What she found was that the transformations in the myths of the poem evolve in the same way that humans develop. The poem begins in infancy with characters such as helpless nymphs being chased, with as little control over their lives as infants. In Dianne's paradigm, the gods take the role of parents, whose actions, in the eyes of the infant, are arbitrary.

As the poem progresses, developmental changes and internal dialogue mimic the problems and changes people face in adolescence, such as in the myth of Myrrha. With adulthood reached, the changes in the poem are complete and physical changes (both in the poem and in human development) largely cease. The poem's end focuses on death and divinity, to be found primarily in the stories of major heroes. Dianne used her studies in psychology to arrive at these conclusions and utilized case studies performed by psychologists. She used Latin to look at specific language in key passages, but otherwise, worked mostly in translation.

Ted Tibbitts followed with the presentation of his thesis: "The Practical Side of Wine: Viticulture and Viniculture in Ancient Rome." Ted explained that viniculture is the making of wine, while viticulture is the growing of vines. Ted looked at the production and cultivation of wine in ancient Rome and how it compares to modern practices. to study ancient wine-making techniques, he looked at both the archaeological record as well as ancient "manuals" by Pliny the Elder, Cato the Elder, and Columella. Cato discussed the proper equipment needed and how to make a profitable farm. Columella focused more on how to make the best quality wine with information on the layout of the vineyard and how to prune. Pliny, who was not a farmer, wrote an encyclopedia in which he presented trivia regarding the subject. Ted found that archaeological findings compared favorably with written records, with remains of vineyards, for example, being laid out in a grid fashion. There were differences among the authors, but this may reflect regional differences. Ted also examined different types of wine presses and soil additives that Pliny suggested to grow specific types of wine. Ted advised starting the thesis early and making sure to have a good grasp of the research materials

Emrys Bell-Schlatter presented last with her thesis "The Imagery of Vision in Aeschylus' Oresteia." Emrys contended that the way the characters and gods in the trilogy look at each other shows their motivations and responsibilities. Looking at someone was conceived as having a physical effect on the person viewed in a way similar to touch which, in turn, created a relationship between the viewer and person viewed. Accounting for this cultural context, Emrys asserted that the glances between characters shows the regard they have for each other. Among other examples, the gaze of Iphigeneia at Agamemnon when he sacrifices her forms a substitute for speech and thus communicates her desire for pity.

The gazes between Helen and Paris, Emrys argued, show their mutual fault in provoking the Trojan War. Emrys found that the glances convey the interaction between human and divine agencies and show the effect each agent has upon the other. The theme of these glances was followed throughout the three plays though the most dramatic instances occur in the first play of the trilogy, Agamemnon. Emrys stressed the importance of beginning thesis research in the summer when other course work would not interfere.

A reception followed these presentations, giving the audience a chance to talk more closely with the individual presenters. All of the speakers stressed the importance of being committed to the thesis and of starting early. All strongly agreed that they were glad they took the time to do one.

Lee Marmor '10 is a classics major on the classical art and archaeology track and a classics Undergraduate Departmental Representative (UDR). He will be writing a senior thesis this year.

The Fall 2009 Classical Film Series

The fall Classical Studies Film Series begins this month with the first eight episodes of the acclaimed, Emmy Award winning series, I, Claudius. Derek Jacobi is brilliant as the Emperor Claudius, and don't miss this chance to check out Patrick Stewart's riveting performance as Sejanus—years before he ever brought us Jean-Luc Picard. Join us for any and all of the films selected by the Classical Studies Undergraduate Departmental Representatives, Sarah Costrell '10, Lee Marmor '10 and Alissa Thomas '11. All are welcome. Come early to join in the pizza party!

Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2009, 7 - 9 p.m.
The Classical Studies Film Series
"I, Claudius: Parts 1 & 2: A Touch of Murder and Family Affairs"
Derek Jacobi, Siân Phillips, Brian Blessed, John Hurt, Patrick Stewart 
Location: Shiffman 219

Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2009, 7 - 9 p.m.
The Classical Studies Film Series
"O Brother Where Art Thou?" (2000)
George Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson, Charles Durning, Michael Badalucco
Location: Shiffman 219

Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2009, 7- 9 p.m.
The Classical Studies Film Series
"I, Claudius: Parts 3 & 4: Waiting in the Wings and What Shall We Do About Claudius?"
Derek Jacobi, Siân Phillips, Brian Blessed, John Hurt, Patrick Stewart
Location: Shiffman 219

Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2009, 7- 10 p.m.
The Classical Studies Film Series
"Gladiator" (2000)
Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Oliver Reed, Derek Jacobi, Djimon Hounsou, Richard Harris
Location: Shiffman 219

Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2009, 7 - 9 p.m.
The Classical Studies Film Series
"I, Claudius: Parts 5 & 6: Some Justice and Queen of Heaven"
Derek Jacobi, Siân Phillips, Brian Blessed, John Hurt, Patrick Stewart 
Location: Shiffman 219

Photo Gallery: Spring 2009 Lectures and Other Gatherings

Our spring 2009 events included speakers in the Weiner Lecture and our spring Symposium, which this year included the Jennifer Eastman Lecture. In addition to photos of these events, the following also include ones documenting CLARC activities, the Senior Thesis Presentations, the annual Rome birthday party and, of course, Commencement!

The Spring 2009 Martin Weiner Lecture

Dr. Frank Sear, The Center for Classics and Archaeology, University of Melbourne gave the annual spring Martin Weiner Lecture.

Weiner Row 1

Row One (above, from left to right): Scenes from the Martin Weiner Lecture Reception in March. (1 and 2) Students and visitors listen raptly to the lecture; (3) After the lecture, George Johnston and Professor Patricia A. Johnston with Brenda Green-Sisson '10 and Sarah Costrell '10.

Weiner Row 2

Row Two (above, from left to right): (4) Dr. Sear with John Humphrey, editor of the Journal of Roman Archaeology; (5) Florence Levy Kay Fellow Eirene Visvardi with Professor Leonard C. Muellner and Mimie Muellner; (6) Professor Ann Olga Koloski-Ostrow with Classical Studies UDRs Alex Smith '09, Dianne Ma '09, and Lee Marmor '10.

Weiner Row 3

Row Three (above, from left to right): Discussing the Lecture. (7) Lee Marmor '10, Caitlin Dichter '09, Dianne Ma '09, and Alissa Thomas '10 discuss an important point with Professor Cheryl Walker; and (8) Jack Bouchard '10 and Caitlin Dichter '09.

The Spring 2009 Jennifer Eastman Lecture

Students, faculty and other classicists attended the 2009 Classical Studies Symposium, at which Dr. Helene Foley, Barnard Colleg professor of classics, gave the spring Jennifer Eastman Lecture.

The Spring 2009 Senior Thesis Presentations

Students, friends and classical studies faculty gathered for the annual presentation of senior theses. An intellectually stimulating, collegial time was had by all.

Other Spring 2009 Gatherings

A few pictures from other Spring 2009 events in Classical Studies.

Commencement Memories 2009

On May  17, 2009, the classical studies department graduated seven majors and 10 minors. A sampling of those photographs that we have received follows. Congratulations, graduates!

Nota Bene

The top image was constructed from two successive images of Garland with mask, basket and bucrania (ceremonial bulls' heads), from Room L of the Villa of P. Fannius Synistor at Boscoreale, ca. 40-30 B.C., Late Republican, Roman, Wall painting [Fresco: 77 x 107 in. (195.58 x 271.78 cm)], Rogers Fund, 1903 (03.14.4), by courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

The quotation following our title is taken from Eunuchus, by 2nd century BCE Roman playwright Publius Terentius Afer (Terence).

Unless otherwise noted, event photographs are by Ann Olga Koloski-Ostrow. Photograph of Marcus Folch per Stanford University Department of Classics; Eirene Visvardi at the Classics Department Lounge at Stanford University, taken by Marcus Folch, 2006. Martin Weiner Lecture: photos 3, 5, 7, 8 by Alex Smith '09; photo 6 by Caitlin Dichter '09. Symposium and Jennifer Eastman Lecture: photo 2 by Sarah Costrell '10. Other Spring Gatherings: photos 1, 2, 3, 4,7, 8, 9, by Lee Marmor '10; photo 6 by Alex Smith '09. Commencement: all photos courtesy of Dianne J. Ma '09.