Creating A Public Space: Open Access, Book Theft, and the Epigraphy of Ancient Libraries

During the reign of the emperor Trajan (ca. 100 CE) an inscription was placed on a marble block for those visiting the public Library of Pantaenus to read. The library was itself built by the son of a diadochos  (the name for the head of a philosophical school) called Titus Flavius Pantaenus, and stood south of the Stoa of Attalus in Athens’ Agora. Ever … More Creating A Public Space: Open Access, Book Theft, and the Epigraphy of Ancient Libraries

Amo, Amas, Amat: Greco-Roman School Exercises

The first line of Euripides’ Bacchae reads: ‘ἥκω Διὸς παῖς τήνδε Θηβαίων χθόνα‘ I, the child of Zeus, have come to the land of the Thebans Although it was written by the playwright at the end of the 5th c. BCE, while in Macedonia, the words of Euripides continued to echo in schoolrooms throughout the Mediterranean. … More Amo, Amas, Amat: Greco-Roman School Exercises

Libellus Behavior: Papyri, Valentines, and 3D Printing

  In 249  CE, the emperor Decius disseminated an edict that required inhabitants of the Roman empire to perform a sacrifice. As UNC professor James Rives has argued, this was the first Christian persecution to be instituted on an empire-wide scale. Those who completed the supplicatio (order to perform a sacrifice) needed to be certified by an imperially designated … More Libellus Behavior: Papyri, Valentines, and 3D Printing

Hail, Caesar: A Classicist’s Movie Review

It is about 43 minutes since we got out of seeing ‘Hail, Caesar!’, the Coen brothers’ new movie about a Tinseltown film studio during the 1950s. I enjoyed the film immensely, and, well, I have some frayed, butter stained theater napkin notes about the multiple classical allusions in the film. Before we get to the allusions, let’s talk … More Hail, Caesar: A Classicist’s Movie Review

Using Graphic Language: A Short History of Figure Poems

I miss Milwaukee sometimes. On warmer nights, I used to run along Lake Michigan and wait for the sunset, before jogging home to work on the book. One of the best things about those runs was looking at sculpture against the backdrop of the Wisconsin sunset. What always caught my eye was a piece by Catalan artist Jaume … More Using Graphic Language: A Short History of Figure Poems