Author Archives: vtomasso

Senior Classics Majors Presentations

2016 Senior Presentations 25On December 8th 2016 seniors in Trinity’s department of Classics presented the fruits of their research that they conducted in Dr. Gary Reger’s senior seminar.
1. Caroline Mann on the depiction of leaders in antiquity and at the present moment.
2. Grace Gill on racism in antiquity.
3.  Olivia Gibson on Italian dictator Mussolini’s use of the ancient Roman practice of the triumphal procession.
4. Joy Kim on elite Roman women in the public sphere.
5. Matthew Reichelt on the interactions between native cultures in Babylon and Uruk and Greek culture in the Hellenistic period.
6. Maura Griffith on the use of Latin in the nomenclature of a species of algae in the early nineteenth century.

Great job, everyone!

Trinity College Classics at ClassConn!

2017 Class Conn 15On Saturday April 8th 2017 the Classical Association of Connecticut ( held a saeclum event at the Wadsworth Atheneum museum in downtown Hartford. To celebrate 110 years as an organization in the state, ClassConn convened at the museum for two presentations by Trinity faculty, followed by a perusal of the museum, and a reception. ClassConn counts as its members high school Classics teachers as well as university professors.

The first presentation was by Visiting Assistant Professor of History at Trinity, Dr. Lauren Caldwell. Dr. Caldwell employed her expertise in ancient Roman domestic life to elucidate four sections of painting that come from what she conjectured was the same villa in Italy. The scenes included one of nature scenes (ducks swimming and a fish swimming) and one of cupids. Dr. Caldwell speculated about the (unknown) placement of these paintings in the house, their audiences, and significance.

Hydria Greece, Athens, c. 530–500 B.C.E. Psiax Clay, wheelmade, black-figure painted; 18 1/2 x 15 1/2 in. Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1961.8The second presentation was by Assistant Professor of Classics at Trinity, Dr. Vince Tomasso. Hespoke about the reception of the figure Heracles, or Hercules as he’s most well-known in 2017 Class Conn 16modern cultures. Linking a fifth-century BC Greek vase, a fourth-century BC Etruscan figurine, and a late nineteenth century painting of Hercules wrestling the god Death, Dr. Tomasso explained how Hercules’ meanings transformed in the different cultures that appropriated his image.



Trinity’s Classics Club made quite a showing as well and impressed other ClassConn attendees.

2017 Class Conn 7Dr. Janna Israel, the Adult and Academic Programs Manager at the Wadsworth, and Geraldine Kuenkler, longtime member of ClassConn, coordinated the tour, which is part of a year-long series of events celebrating the organization’s anniversary. For more information about the Classical Association of Connecticut, including membership, grants, and upcoming events, check out For images of Greek and Roman antiquities in the Wadsworth’s permanent collection, see

Dr. Karen Foster on Monkeys in Aegean Art and Imagination

2017 Foster Lecture 1

On Thursday March 27th at 5PM in the Rittenberg Lounge of Mather Hall, Dr. Karen Foster  spoke to us about monkeys in Aegean art and imagination: “Karen Pollinger Foster (Ph.D., Yale University) specializes in the art and archaeology of the Bronze Age Aegean, with particular interests in interconnections with Egypt and Mesopotamia and studies of walling painting programs from Thera. Her most recent book, Civilizations of Iraq (2009), co-authored with Benjamin R. Foster, received the 2010 Felicia A. Holton Book Award from the American Archaeological Institute of America. She has recently completed a trilogy dealing with volcanic imagery in art and literature, beginning with the Thera eruption and concluding with the Villa of the Mysteries at Pompeii. Her current major research project involves the final preparation of Strange and Wonderful: Exotic Flora and Fauna in Image and Imagination, a comprehensive study of this material from ancient to modern times.”

2017 Foster Lecture 2

Talk by Dr. Bovet-Fischer on Hellenistic and Roman Egypt


On April 23rd 2017 at the Common Hour in Rittenberg Lounge Dr. Christelle Fischer-Bovet spoke to us about “Identifying People in Hellenistic and Early Roman Egypt – A Comparative Perspective.”
“Hellenistic rulers and the Roman government were already exposed to the issue of identifying people for juridical and fiscal purposes. The systems that were used in Egypt at both periods have been variously interpreted and often contrasted. By looking at legal and fiscal documents preserved on papyri, this paper explores how official categories of persons allowed both states to single out groups that were particularly valuable to the state formation process and whose loyalty was essential. It suggests that both systems are more similar than usually thought and that the Roman system in Egypt can be understood as a systematization of developments already occurring in the last century of Ptolemaic rule. However, in contrast to the early period Ptolemaic, this systematization did not create new elites, but rather maintained the privileges of most of the same families.”