On Tuesday April 9th, Dr. David Gilman Romano, Nicholas and Athena Karabots Professor of Greek Archaeology at the University of Arizona, visited Trinity College to deliver an Archaeological Institute of America lecture. The title of Dr. Romano’s lecture was “Altars of Zeus, Games for the Gods: Mt. Lykaion and Olympia in Early Greek Religion.” Dr. Romano spoke to us about the decades of research he and his team have done at the ancient site of Mount Lykaion, a sanctuary in the Greek Peloponnese, near to the location of another site of athletic contests, Olympia.
Dr. Romano spoke about his team’s excavations of Mount Lykaion, most strikingly the animal bones that they’ve found at the site (98% goat and sheep and 98% burned as sacrificial offerings!). From this research, they’ve concluded that Mount Lykaion site is older (perhaps by as much as 500 years!) than the nearby site of Olympia, and that there might be a link between the two sites, perhaps via the inhabitants of the nearby site of Palaiokastro.
Thank you, Dr. Romano, for sharing your research with us!
On Saturday April 6th, Trinity Classical Studies professors Vincent Tomasso and Lauren Caldwell took four students to see a production of Euripides’ fourth-century BCE tragedy Heracles by the Barnard Columbia Ancient Drama group. The students (from left: Trea Mannello, Kyré William-Smith, Game Boonyawat, and Philip Jaeggi-Wong) enjoyed a sunny day in New York City, great food, and, above all, an excellent production of Euripides’ play, presented in the original ancient Greek with English supertitles. Every year the Barnard Columbia Ancient Drama group stages a performance of an ancient Greek or Roman play that’s performed entirely in the original language. The performances are always excellent, but this year there was the added bonus of hearing Calum Armstrong perform on the ancient instrument, the aulos, as well as the on-stage goddesses Iris and Lyssa (who causes the title character to go insane and kill his family):
Thank you to Trinity’s Dean’s Office for generously funding this trip!
“Translators replace every word and syllable of the original text with entirely different ones, and also move it to an entirely different cultural context. What might it mean to perform this impossible task responsibly?”
Dr. Emiiy Wilson of the University of Pennsylvania visited Trinity’s campus on March 28 2019 and gave a talk on her translation of Homer’s Odyssey, which was published by W. W. Norton & Company in 2017. She spoke to us about how she approached the pleasures and challenges of translating the eighth-century BCE Greek epic poem and revealed that her next project is a translation of the other epic poem attributed to Homer, the Iliad!
Dr. Martha Risser of Trinity’s department of Classical Studies organized an Odyssey reading group that met several times in the months of February and March to read parts of Wilson’s translation. Dr. Vincent Tomasso (Classical Studies), Dr. Chloe Wheatley (English), Dr. Meredith Safran (Classical Studies), Dr. Lucy Fenriss (English), and Mark Hughes took turns reading from the translation.
Thank you, Dr. Wilson, for delivering such a stimulating talk and for your wonderful translation! We look forward to your future projects.
On February 26th, Dr. Hanne Eisenfeld came to Trinity to speak about the fifth-century ancient Greek poet Pindar. Her presentation comes out of research that she has done for a book project about how Pindar’s poetry allows mortal athletes to straddle the boundary between human and god. Thank you for visiting and sharing your ideas with us, Dr. Eisenfeld!
On the evening of January 28, about 30 faculty and teachers of Latin from Connecticut and Massachusetts gathered at Smith House for “Engaging the whole reader: Active Latin as a bridge between student and text,” a workshop led by Justin Slocum Bailey. Dr. Lauren Caldwell of the Classical Studies department created and put together this event. Justin is a consultant from Ann Arbor, Michigan whose work focuses on second-language acquisition and effective teaching methods. The workshop offered ideas and resources for Latin instructors to build in to their class sessions — including staged exercises for reading Latin authors such as Vergil and Cicero, spoken Latin and conversational activities, and even sign-language methods — to create a fun and productive atmosphere for students. Justin’s depth of experience in consulting for K-12 school districts and for colleges and universities made this an informative and engaging event, and feedback from attendees has been very positive. We thank the Mellon Foundation and the Classical Association of New England for making the workshop possible, and look forward to more opportunities to learn from Justin’s creative and dynamic approach.
On Tuesday March 12th Dr. Alison Poe of the Art History & Visual Culture department at Fairfield University delivered an AIA lecture at Trinity on the all-female warrior tribe, the Amazons. By examining several art objects from the later Roman Empire (primarily from the fifth and sixth centuries CE), she argued that imagery that incorporated Amazons at this time stressed the Amazons’ connection with luxury and exotic locales. This contrasts with their association with savagery and anti-civilization in earlier periods of antiquity.
Thank you to the co-sponosors of this event: the AIA-Hartford chapter, the department of Classical Studies, the department of Art History, and the program in Women, Gender, & Sexuality.
On February 12th, Dr. Paul Miller, president of the Denver chapter of the AIA and professional archaeology, spoke to us about the two divergent ideas for the origins of the Etruscans, a group of people who lived in northern Italy before the coming of the Romans and during their conquest of the Italian peninsula. Thank you for your enthusiastic engagement with us, Dr. Miller!
This coming J-Term at Trinity, Prof. Lauren Caldwell will be leading a course that will have students learn about ancient Greek history and politics through a role-playing game!
Prof. Caldwell’s class will be re-creating the struggle to decide the political system in ancient Athens at a critical juncture in its history: 403 BCE. In that year, the Peloponnesian War came to a startling conclusion when the Athenians were finally defeated by the Spartans. The city was in chaos, torn by a civil struggle between the government imposed by the victorious Spartans, an oligarchy (ancient Greek: “rule by the few”) called the Thirty Tyrants and a rebel group that wanted the city to be a democracy (ancient Greek: “power of the people”).
Students will play a specific role in this historical context and together determine the course of history!
Dr. Caldwell’s “Democracy: Ancient Athens” course will meet for eight class sessions (Mondays through Thursdays) from 10:00AM-12:30PM from 1/7/19 through 1/18/19 for 0.5 credits.
Dr. Jason Pedicone gave a presentation at Trinity on his founding of the Paideia Institute for Humanistic Study, Inc. on September 25 2018. One of the Paideia Institute’s missions is to bring Latin and Greek into secondary schools were those languages are not offered, and Prof. Lauren Caldwell is doing just that. This semester, she spearheaded a program with her Latin students to introduce Latin to the students at the Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy (HMTCA) school, just steps way from Trinity.
Prof. Caldwell is continuing this effort in the spring semester of 2019.. f you’re interested in being a part of this project and bringing Latin to the students of the HMTCA, you can earn 0.25 academic credit by joining Prof. Caldwell’s LATIN 105 course in spring 2019! Contact Prof. Caldwell for further details. It would be ideal for you to have some background in the Latin language, whether in high school or here at Trinity.
Guest blogger: Morgan Hallow
Trinity College’s Classical Studies senior majors presented their final research projects on Tuesday, December 4, 2018. The four seniors did research on these projects for almost six weeks leading up to these presentations and each will write a longer paper that will go into more depth into their respective topics.
Amelia Roberts presented on the darker side of the mythology of Aphrodite. She focused on the Homeric Hymns as well as Hesiod’s creation story from Theogony to show how modern-day conceptions of Aphrodite as simply the “goddess of love” omit the ancient understanding of the goddess as a chaotic, almost primordial, force.
Morgan Hallow discussed references to classical mythology employed in the plays of Shakespeare. She used an example of a reference from Shakespeare’s As You Like It to show the complex relationship between the characters within the play, their individual understanding of classics, and how use of references to classical mythology becomes a competition of social standing.
Katherine Novko shared her interest in the relationship between Wedgwood ceramics and social mobility during the Victorian Era in Great Britain. She explored the similarities between Wedgwood’s designs and those from antiquity, specifically ancient Greece. Ultimately these objects, according to Novko, are used to signify knowledge of the ancient world and would thereby function as a means of signifying class status.
Thayer King narrated the movement of the Euphronios Krater from its alleged origin site, to its short stay at the Metropolitan Museum, until its eventual and compulsory return to the rightful owner: Italy. King was also interested in the various international laws concerning the looting of historically significant archeological sites and the impact thereby created in doing so both from an economic viewpoint as well as from a scholarly viewpoint.