Monthly Archives: February 2014

Trinity Classics Grad Wins Prestigious Fellowship

Joe RicciJoe Ricci, who graduated from Trinity in 2008 with a BA in Classics and entered the PhD program in History at Princeton University, has been awarded a Junior Fellowship in Byzantine Studies at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, DC. The Byzantine Studies program promotes the study of all aspects of Byzantine civilization from the fourth to fifteenth centuries. The fellowship will allow Joe to complete his dissertation, “Nomads in Late Antiquity: Gazing on Rome from the Steppe from Attila to Asparuch.”

Joe writes: “I am very excited to receive a Byzantine Studies Junior Fellowship. The environment, both in terms of the excellent library and the community of scholars at Dumbarton Oaks, will provide me with the perfect opportunity to revise and rewrite several chapters of my dissertation. I hope to complete it and defend in the summer of 2015.”

Congratulations to Joe from all his former teachers and friends at Trinity!

If you’re a Trinity College Classics alum, we’d love to hear what you’ve been up to. Send us an email and we’ll share your accomplishments here on the blog!

Hartford Society Archaeological Institute of America Lecture: “Climate Change, Food Production, and Societal Collapse: Evidence from Ancient Mesopotamia,” by Alexia Smith

Alexia SmithMonday, February 10, 6 pm, Rittenburg Lounge, Mather Hall, on the campus of Trinity College.

Alexia Smith is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Connecticut, Storrs.


Archaeology provides an ideal tool for examining the long-term dynamic relationship between people and their environment. This talk presents how archaeologists reconstruct ancient methods of food production and climate change, providing examples from sites in Northern Mesopotamia. Lessons learned from studies of ancient agriculture are applied and used to consider the role that climate change played in the collapse of the Akkadian Empire at the end of the 3rd Millennium B.C.

As always, this AIA lecture is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Wendi Delaney, 860-297-2543.



Outreach through Classics: “Teaching The Odyssey at San Quentin”

From Teaching “The Odyssey” at San Quentin

I worried the inmates would dismiss the ancient story. Instead, they saw themselves — and the power of literature

The opening of “The Odyssey” describes Odysseus as polytropos, a man “much turned” and “much turning.” He makes much happen, and much happens to him. When I selected “The Odyssey” as the first text for my English 101 course at San Quentin Prison, I worried about the choice. It’s a difficult work for readers of limited literary background, and I wondered how a population of mostly black and brown men doing long prison terms would relate to the story of an ancient Greek king. As it turned out, I had them at polytropos.

Read on at

Icarus on last night’s Brooklyn 99

Brooklyn 99 Icarus

The myth of Icarus was both figuratively and literally represented on last night’s episode of Brooklyn 99, “Operation Broken Feather”: Captain Holt flies too close to the “sun” of data-driven office management, and Doyle’s fringed jacket catches on fire as a tragi-comic consequence (pictured above). Also, watch Adam Sandler bid on Greek antiquities!

Archaeology is for engineers, physicists, and computer scientists too!

Students in computer science, engineering, and physics may be interested in taking Professor Martha Risser’s 2-credit archaeological field school course (CLCV 300) this summer.
To get an idea of how these sciences pertain to archaeological research, see Professor Risser’s recently published article in Journal of Field Archaeology dealing with multi-scale 3D field recording developed at Tel Akko. The photogrammetry based-system is extraordinarily accurate with very high resolution georectified images, and inexpensive to implement.  They now produce highly accurate high resolution 3D plans of each square on a daily basis while digging.  Students enrolled in the summer course have the option of working on this and related aspects of the project.  

Maritime archaeology: information session today at 4:30 pm, Zachs Hillel House

Are you interested in underwater archaeology? Marine science?
International law? Mediterranean history?
The International MA Program in Maritime Civilizations at the University of Haifa
may be for you!
Meet Dor Edelist today at Zachs Hillel House, 4:30 pm, and learn about this exciting opportunity. Click the image below to read further (and legibly) about the program.

George Washington’s hero? A Roman, of course!

Crane Cincinnatus

On the first half of the season finale of Sleepy Hollow, Ichabod Crane (pictured here) is astonished that his partner Lt. Abbie Mills knows the story of Cincinnatus (in relief behind Crane), the Roman who came out of exile to lead his people to victory in war, then retired back to his farm when his duty was done, rather than seize lasting power for himself.
“I took Latin in high school,” Abbie explains casually.

Are there jobs for Latin enthusiasts? Yes!

Latin Teaching Jobs
Each year, STA helps hundreds of teachers and coaches find jobs at outstanding college preparatory schools throughout the South—nearly 600 schools in 16 states from Texas to Florida to Pennsylvania.
Southern Teachers Agency already has quite a few Latin vacancies listed for the 2014-15 academic year.  These jobs range from teaching beginning Latin in the middle grades through AP Latin.
Certification is not required by private schools for most Latin teaching jobs.
For most middle- and high-school Latin positions, a bachelor’s degree with a major in Latin or Classical Studies (or at least a minor in these fields) is essential, but teacher certification is not.  Candidates should have a GPA of 3.0 or higher.  Candidates’ knowledge of Latin grammar and pedagogical techniques will be assessed by an experience AP Latin teacher.  Some of these positions require prior teaching experience.
Job Fairs:
Beginning February 6th, STA will host 12 virtual recruitment fairs throughout the hiring season: Thursdays @ STA!  Registered STA candidates may participate in these fairs and will have the opportunity to meet school administrators through prescheduled, real-time digital interviews for vacancies, with zero travel and zero registration costs.  In order to participate in the first virtual fair of 2014 on February 6th, interested students should apply to STA for candidacy as soon as possible.
For more information about jobs and job fairs, please visit our website or contact:

Southern Teachers Agency
Charlottesville, Virginia
Tel (434) 295-9122

Greek 101 Attracts a Herd of Students

Following the example of a couple of other small liberal arts colleges, the Trinity Classics Department has moved its Greek 101 class from the fall to the spring semester. The move allowed us to send students who became interested in taking Greek in the fall directly into the first semester, rather than making them wait till the fall of the following year. The result? We now have 14 students taking Greek 101 — including 10 first years and 2 sophomores! — the largest introductory Greek class in years!

Here they are taking their first exam! Greek 101, Jan 31, 2014(The rest are sitting at a table to the right.)

Irene Lemos of Oxford University Gives a Talk at Trinity

Irene Lemos, Jan 27, 2014Since 2002 director of new excavations at Lefkandi in Euboia, Dr. Irene Lemos is professor of classical archaeology at Merton College, Oxford University. On Monday, January 27, 2014, she stopped by Trinity College to give a lecture for the Hartford Society of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA).

Lefkandi was originally excavated in the 1960s by a British team that made some amazing and unexpected discoveries, including a massive building and horse burials. The new excavations, summarized in Lemos’s talk, have brought more surprises that overturn views of the Greek “Dark Age” as an impoverished and depopulated world. Exploring the area of the settlement rather than cemeteries, she has found large, well-appointed houses, expensive imports, and plentiful evidence of a thriving agricultural economy. Her lecture reminds us that there remains much to learn about the Greek past — and students and community members here at Trinity are now up-to-date on discoveries that even professional archaeologists haven’t yet heard about!

Check out the Trinity College Classics Department website for a schedule of upcoming AIA talks. They are always open to the public and always free.