Category Archives: Uncategorized

Dr. Lenski’s AIA lecture on Roman refugees!

Yesterday the department of Classics at Trinity had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Noel Lenski of Yale University for an AIA (Archaeological Institute of America) lecture. Dr. Lenski spoke to us about the Romans’ practices, assumptions, and pitfalls of settling refugees in their empire, particularly in the later Roman Empire. He also discussed modern parallels in the recent Syrian refugee crisis. Trinity faculty and students really enjoyed your talk, Dr. Lenski. Thank you!

My personal favorite slide featured a berserk Arnold Schwarzenegger as Conan in the 1982 film Conan the Barbarian:

Edith Hamilton in Connecticut

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On Wednesday May 31st 2017, the Classical Association of Connecticut (ClassConn) held an even to celebrate the 110th anniversary of the organization. This event took place in Hadlyme, CT at the Cove Cemetery, which is the final resting place of Edith Hamilton (1867-1963), an author renowned in Classics for her smashingly popular Mythology (1942), among other books about ancient Greece and Rome.

Hamilton 4Professors Risser, Safran, and Tomasso enjoyed the toast at Edith’s burial site, and then joined the sizeable ClassCon group for a short trip to the nearby Gillette Castle, where Professor Judith P. Hallett (below) of the University of Maryland spoke about Hamilton’s life and legacy.

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Congrats to the Classics Seniors!

Yesterday at the 191st commencement of Trinity College, six Classics majors graduated. We’ll miss them, but hope they stay in touch!

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OLIVIA GIBSON (B.A., Classical Studies, International Studies: Global Studies, Religious Studies)




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GRACE GILL (B.A., with honors in Classical Studies, with honors in Sociology)




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MAURA GRIFFITH (B.A., cum laude, with honors in Interdisciplinary: Archaeobiology)





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JOY KIM (B.A., summa cum laude, with honors in Classical Studies with honors in Urban Studies)





HENRY MINOT (B.A., Classical Studies)

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MATTHEW REICHELT (B.A., summa cum laude, with honors in Classical Studies, [History])





Congratulations and best wishes for the future to all!

Senior Classics Presentations 2017

Last week, the four graduating Classics seniors presented their research projects in Seabury Hall. All of them did a fantastic job and gave the audience lots to chew on, both about the ancient and modern worlds.

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Grace Gill presents her research entitled, “The Sin of Skin: Color and ‘Other’ in the Graeco-Roman World.”



Grace Gill presented “The Sin of Skin: Color and ‘Other’ in the Graeco-Roman World”, which demonstrated the inter- and multi-disciplinary focus of her studies at Trinity. Grace’s double major in Classics and Sociology shined through her presentation of the Ethiopian Christian figure “Moses the Black.”





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Joy Kim presents her senior Classics thesis, “Female Patronage of Public Space in Roman Cities.”


Next up was Joy Kim, a double major in Classics and Urban Studies, who presented “Female Patronage of Public Space in Roman Cities.” She spoke about buildings in the Roman Empire that were funded by elite women, an honor often reserved for men.






Matt Reichelt presents his senior thesis project, "Cultural Reciprocity in Hellenistic Borsippa."

Matt Reichelt presents his senior thesis project, “Cultural Reciprocity in Hellenistic Borsippa.”


Matt Reichelt presented his interdisciplinary project, “Cultural Reciprocity in Hellenistic Borsippa.” Matt discussed Borsippa, part of the Hellenistic kingdom of the Seleucids, that is now in modern-day Iraq. His focus was on the ruler’s negotiations between Greek and the native cultures.



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Maura Griffith presents her senior thesis project, “‘Species Algarum’ in Translation.”


The last presenter was Maura Griffith, whose double major in Classics and Biology gave rise to her thesis project entitled, “Species Algarum in Translation.” Her work is an English translation of part of a work written in Latin in the 19th century about different types of algae. Amazingly, this work had never been translated into English, and Trinity scientists expressed much interest in Maura’s translation!

Congratulations to all our seniors!

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

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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.”

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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.”