Academic Visitors and Visiting Fellows 2016-17

CortesProfessor Juan Manuel Cortés Copete

Universidad Pablo de Olavide (Seville, Spain)

The year 2017 will mark the 1900th anniversary of Hadrian's ascent to imperial power. 'Hadrian and the integration of the regional diversity' is a new Spanish research project that aims to analyse the transformations undergone by the Roman Empire at the hands of the first provincial Emperors, especially under the rule of Hadrian. Hadrian's provincial origins, his training as a soldier, his love of travelling and his intellectual interests enabled him to take into account imperial diversity and adopt certain decisions which resulted in the inclusion of provincial elements into imperial identity. During my stay at the Institute I intend to finish a new translation, edition and commentary of Hadrian’s letters and other related documents. At the same time, I will be working on the catalogue for the exhibition “Hadrian 2017. Metamorphosis: The birth of a new Rome”, that will be simultaneously held in the Archaeological Museum of Seville and in the Roman city of Italica.

Dates of visit: 1 June 2016 to 30 September 2016

Anton AlvarDr Antón Alvar Nuño

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

My primary line of research is focused on the study of semi-institutionalized religious practices in the Roman world. During my stay at the ICS I will work mainly on the production and use of gemstones with "Pagan" iconography in late-antique Egypt. During the past few years there has been an increased interest on the study of the social, political and cultural conditions that influenced the use of gemstones, especially those with magical signs or divinities. My aim is to analyse the social condition of the individuals who used them, whether the new Christian doctrine in Egypt was permissive towards the production and use of pagan gemstones, and how their use could be justified or explained in relation to the official discourse issued by the Church.

Dates of visit: 6 June 2016 to 3 November 2016

Manuel Alvarez Marti-AguilarProfessor Manuel Álvarez Martí-Aguilar

University of Malaga

I am studying the impact of tsunamis in the symbolic systems of the Ancient World, taking the Gulf of Cádiz as a case study. I review literary traditions on Cádiz (Gadir-Gades) through Phoenician, Roman and Islamic ages, incorporating also archaeological data in order to identify any indications of the impact this type of cataclysm had on south-western shores of the Iberian Peninsula between c. 1000 B.C and 1000 A.D. I want to elucidate how this phenomenon is perceived and processed in collective imagination, how it is incorporated into religious narratives and what type of apotropaic practices are generated in communities enduring such a cataclysm in Antiquity.

Date of visit: 1 October 2016 - 21 December 2016

Leire LizarzateguiMs Leire Lizarzategui

University of the Basque Country

During my stay at the ICS I will focus on the study of the political participation of Roman women, trying to understand their capacity and means to influence that field of Roman life that was, in theory, forbidden to them. To do so I will continue my research into female amicitia networks and their development between the last two centuries of the Roman Republic and the first three centuries of Imperial Rome. I will also begin to compare their status and influence in the different provinces of the empire analysing for that purpose the mentions of honours granted to women both in literary and epigraphic texts, and studying the significance of their physical context.

Date of visit: 1 October 2016 - 31 May 2017

VamvouriDr Maria Vamvouri Ruffy

University of Lausanne

My research addresses the fictional answers Ancient Greek and contemporary literature give to critical social situations such as the closing of borders, displacement and exile. My purpose is to study the discursive strategies and literary devices thanks to which specific literary works, ancient and contemporary, enlighten, sublimate and travesty such individual or collective experiences as well as the tensions these experiences reveal. I will study Ancient Greek texts of hellenistic and imperial literature, that refer to myths and theorise the experience of displacement, borders and exile. The corpus is also constituted of contemporary poems and novels. My method of work is inspired by anthropology since it is based on stepping back from my own cultural standpoint in order to better rethink and reconceptualise it. This research will highlight the wide variety of subversive answers to exile, borders and displacement offered up by literary texts belonging to different cultural and historical contexts.

Date of visit: 15 October 2016 - 2 December 2016

Polina YordanovaMs Polina Yordanova

Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridsky"

My interests are in translation of verse and meter, namely translating Ancient Greek comedy into Bulgarian. I am also interested in the use of digital tools in the humanities, and while in the institute I will be teaching two workshops on the application of Treebanking in the classroom. Treebanking as a concept and the platform Arethusa developed by the Perseids project are proven to be extremely useful for teaching ancient languages, as a visualization of complex syntax and phenomena and as a collaboration between students and teachers with simple assessment methods.

Date of visit: 6 December 2016 - 16 December 2016

Camila CondiloDr Camila da Silva Condilo

University of São Paulo, Brazil

My research aims to understand the role genealogy performs in the development of ancient historiography by analysing various aspects of genealogy-making in Herodotus’ Histories. The focus on Herodotus is due to a series of reasons: firstly, scholarship traditionally designates him as the “father of history”; secondly, he is considered to be a key player in the development of a chronological system; lastly, he is the great synthetizer of intellectual and cultural trends of his time. The purpose is to show that, although the association between genealogy and chronology was an important innovation in history writing in the classical period, genealogies maintained many of the forms and uses they present in poets and authors previous to Herodotus: his historiē shows genealogy as a form to emphasise one’s social status and to organise time and space; it also shows genealogy as a means to establish relations of solidarity/conflict and to present characters; it is a tool as well to create group identity and a rhetorical strategy in polemic debates. During my stay at the ICS, I will concentrate on some of those aspects, particularly on how genealogies are manipulated to organise time and space in Herodotus’ narrative.

Date of visit: 15 December 2016 - 15 March 2017

John HiltonProfessor John Hilton

University of KwaZulu-Natal

The Institute of Classical Studies in London holds comprehensive and long-established resources for the study of the ancient world and is one of the world’s leading research institutes in the field of Classics. During my stay at the Institute I aim to investigate how literature, history and philosophy were used in the religious struggles of the fourth century of our era. Narrative fiction, whether in the form of myth, allegory or novel, played an important role in this contest since it could address new audiences receptive to claims of universal salvation, either Christian or pagan, that were being advanced in the time.  The emperor Julian was a prolific author and a self-confessed but guarded  reader of the erotic fiction. While he was alive, he was attacked for his views and defended himself on numerous occasions. After his death he was ardently criticized for his religious policies. Much still needs to be done to explain how this contest came about and why it is important for us today.

Dates of visit: 1 January 2017 - 28 February 2017

Catherine RowettProfessor Catherine Rowett

University of East Anglia

I work in Ancient Philosophy quite broadly but my main focus this Spring is on the work of Plato. I shall be completing a number of papers on Plato: on immortality in the Phaedo, on Tragedy and the competition between poetry and philosophy in the Symposium, and on the genealogical method in the Republic. Besides these I shall be finalising the introduction and editorial work for a more general volume of essays on ancient philosophy and analytic philosophy, and I shall be exploring new ideas for a new monograph on Plato’s Republic, including research on the economics of the ideal state, and on the place of imagery and poetry in the Republic and in its utopian city.

Dates of visit: 25 January 2017 - 31 May 2017


Jose Manuel Torregrosa YagoMr José Manuel Torregrosa Yago

University of Valencia

My research is currently focused on the numismatic study of the Iberian mint of Iltirta (the current city of Lérida, an inland territory in Catalonia), one of the most important cities of the Iberian Peninsula during the III-I centuries BC. My Doctoral thesis project focuses on the ancient city's environment, archaeology, historiography, coin inscriptions and types, monetary circulation and production, technical striking, metallography and metal analysis of coinage and the numerous processes associated with Iberian minting in the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula. It is very interesting to understand those numismatic processes in one of the most important Iberian mints in ancient Spain, just at the time when the Romans arrived in Hispania (218 BC). On the other hand, we know Iltirta was minting until Augustan times.

Dates of visit: 2 February 2017 - 30 April 2017

Francisco Marco SimonProfessor Francisco Marco Simón

Universidad de Zaragoza

My main interests are the religious systems in the Ancient world, specially in the western provinces of the Roman Empire. This has led me to explore the processes of religious acculturation, as well as the representation of the Celts as paradigm of the northern barbarian from the Graeco-Roman point of view. In  the last fifteen years, I have been Principal Investigator of research projects on the contexts of  magico-religious practices in the Ancient World and in the Latin West, and co-organized two international conferences in Zaragoza and Rome. I am currently coordinating a project aiming to compare (as a starting point for a better understanding of their historical specificity) inter-religious contacts in the ancient Mediterranean (mainly in its central and western parts) and in colonial Mesoamerica (in the sixteenh and seventeenth centuries), and I am also increasingly interested in analyzing religious cosmopolitanism in the Roman Empire, exploring horizons and places of shared meanings from different traditions.

Dates of visit: 13 March 2017 to 30 April 2017

Andreas SerafimDr. Andreas Serafim

Trinity College Dublin/Open University of Cyprus

My project seeks to examine the features and the persuasive potential of religious argumentation – appeals to religious ideas and institutions that link piety to patriotism – in a variety of speech types: forensic, deliberative and epideictic orations in the corpus of the ten Attic Orators, as well as in speeches presented in historiography. Its aim is to enhance our knowledge and understanding of how religious argumentation affected decision-making in Athens’ deliberative democracy. This project is distinctive for two reasons: firstly, because it draws on psychological, political and anthropological theories to understand and explore religious argumentation in the ancient context. Secondly, because it provides interdisciplinary insights to scholars of communication and religious studies, and political science that would allow careful comparative examinations of both the similarity and the distinctiveness of the use of religious argumentation in ancient and modern public speaking.

Date of visit: 1 April 2017 - 31 May 2017

Franco LucianiDr Franco Luciani

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow

Newcastle University, UK

The ‘Servi Publici: Everybody’s Slaves’ (SPES) project, which I am carrying out as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at the School of History, Classics and Archaeology (Newcastle University), sets out to provide a full-scale reconsideration of the position of public slaves in the Roman economy and society.
During my six-month secondment at the ICS, a crucial part of the SPES project is conducted, i.e. the creation of a free online database, in which every relevant piece of information for the study of the public slaves and freedmen in Rome and in the municipalities of the Empire will be gathered and organised. The database will be divided into four sections, containing respectively records for: 1. textual, iconographic and archaeological sources; 2. places (findspots and present locations); 3. people involved; 4. references to modern scholarship. Following the ‘Roman Inscriptions of Britain (RIB) online model, each textual source on public slaves will conform to the EpiDoc schema.

Dates of visit: 1 April 2017 - 30 September 2017

BassiProfessor Karen Bassi

University of California at Santa Cruz

T.B.L. Webster Fellow 2017

During my stay I shall be working on a study entitled Imitating the Dead: Facing Death in Ancient Greek Tragedy. Classical scholarship often focuses on how and under what circumstances characters die in tragedy. This scholarship is complemented by work on ancient Greek views of the afterlife, funerary practices, and grave monuments and inscriptions. But there is no sustained treatment of the strategies by which tragedy both exposes and mediates the knowledge that death is inevitable. I start from two general propositions, one relating to tragedy's content and the other to its form. First, as a genre in which characters routinely face death, tragedy focuses attention on the importance of human mortality for ethical, political, and social life in fifth-century Athens. And second, insofar as characters "exist" or "live" as visible and audible humans only for as long as a given play is performed, tragedy literalizes the Greek metaphor of mortals as "creatures that live for a day" (ephêmeroi, e.g. at Prometheus Bound 255). Acknowledging the fact that the effects of human mortality span the Greek genres, beginning with the Homeric epics, I argue that tragedy is their culminating public expression.

Dates of visit: 3 April 2017 - 16 June 2017

SalzmanProfessor Michele Salzman

University of California, Riverside

My book project, The Falls of Rome: Responses to Crises, 270-604, addresses one of the fundamental issues raised by the study of late antiquity: what does it mean to say Rome fell?  As the city and its inhabitants faced military and political crises, new leaders emerged - senatorial and increasingly papal alongside imperial bureaucrats. The civic, institutional and ecclesiastical reforms undertaken by these men in response to crisis changed the urban fabric of Rome. This was a protracted process in which Rome’s leaders, at times, exhibited remarkable creativity and resilience.  During my time at the Institute, I shall be focusing on the impact of Justinian’s War of Reconquest  (535-554) on Rome’s elites.

Dates of visit: 9 April 2017 - 20 May 2017

Diana BurtonDr Diana Burton

Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

I am working on a study of Hades and his various avatars. Among the gods, he is an anomaly, as he receives almost no cult and is a notably passive figure, ruling the dead but not adding to their number, for the most part remaining in the underworld (with the notable exception of his abduction of Persephone), separated from the other gods.  Although primarily identified as ‘the god of death’, Hades is in actuality multifaceted: at one extreme he is an (apparently) benign god of agricultural fertility (as Plouton); at the other extreme is the literary and epigraphic trope of the violent divinity cruelly seizing the living.  At the ICS, I will be working primarily on two distinct sections of the book, both of which pertain to the iconography of Hades: the pinakes from Locri Epizephyrii and the representations of Hades in Attic vase-painting.

Dates of visit: 1 August 2017 - 31 October 2017

Jeff TatumProfessor Jeffrey Tatum

Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

While at the Institute I will be working on a new biography of Mark Antony. During my stay, I’ll be investigating Antony’s administration of the eastern provinces.  I especially want to explore Antony’s adaptation and exploitation of ‘court culture’ in projecting his power in the east (and, of course and inevitably, in the west). His decisions about the deployment of Hellenistic expressions of authority remain vital to our understanding of his eastern career and his ultimate political ambitions – as well as Octavian’s ostentatiously Italian response to the attractions of Antony’s self-fashioning.

Dates of visit: 1 August 2017 - 31 October 2017