Academic Visitors and Visiting Fellows 2015-16

Silvia FerraraProfessor Silvia Ferrara

La Sapienza, University of Rome

I will spend the autumn term of 2015 at the Institute of Classical Studies to finish a monograph entitled Scripts at the Crossroads, which focuses on reconstructing the arena of social and cultural identities of groups involved in creating and adopting writing in the Aegean and the eastern Mediterranean in the second millennium BC. A large section of the book focuses on the dynamics involved in the formation of early scripts in local contexts, and the strategies linked to script borrowing processes in multicultural environments. More broadly, I am interested in the phenomenon of writing in general, and its interface between art, language, material culture and visual perception. 

Dates of visit: 1 September 2015 - 31 December 2015

Johan SteenkampDr Johan Steenkamp

North-West University

I will spend my time at the ICS researching lists in Augustan elegiac poetry. I am chiefly interested in the stylistic, narratological and intertextual nature and use of lists in shorter poems. My interest is not specifically on catalogues, but rather on the listing of objects, myths, exempla, and other 'things'. The research hopes to reveal aspects of how these lists were used as narrative and rhetorical devices, how we can understand categories of associated ideas in Augustan literary culture and how contemporary mythological catalogues were used. The current phase of the project focuses on Propertius 2 and 3, from where it will develop to include Tibullus and Ovid.

Dates of visit: 5 October 2015 – 15 November 2015

Johan SteenkampProfessor 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 visits: 5 October 2015  - 21 December 2015; 1 October 2016 - 21 December 2016

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 2016 - 30 June 2016

Silvia FerraraMr Karsten Johanning

Saxo Instituttet, Copenhagen

My research is part of a bigger project that seeks to locate the Roman Empire within premodern world history by looking eastwards and using comparative methods. Given that frame, I’m studying what constituted Roman cosmopolitan high culture, and how it compares with Indian Sanscrit culture of the first millennium A.D. Using primarily literary sources, I'm particularly interested in cultural meetings - how imperial elites balanced local, regional and cosmopolitan interests - and what made cosmopolitan cultures and universal empire so attractive in both places. At the ICS I plan to further develop my ideas and to collect empirical material. 

Dates of visit: 4 January 2016 - 1 April 2016

Martina RossoMs Martina Russo

La Sapienza, University of Rome

While at the Institute of Classical Studies I shall begin a thematic commentary on Consolatio ad Polybium. My focus will be on how Seneca approaches the politics of adulation under the reign of Nero, when conditions for the interaction of princeps and intellectual changed deeply. I would analyze Seneca's apparent gross flattery towards the Emperor and Polybius, and his ability to simulate and to dissimulate, two necessary requirements under Nero. Adulatio is considered incompatible with customary views of dignitas, and Seneca appears as an opponent and an adulator, an inflexible Stoic sage and a sly opportunist. These contradictions reveal a tortuous debate, typical of his time.

Dates of visit: 10 January 2016 - 10 July 2016

Eric CsapoDr Pietro Liuzzo

University of Heidelberg

I work on Digital Epigraphy at the University of Heidelberg on the EAGLE project. During my visit I aim to complete a book on the Fragments of Herodotus which is in its final stages of preparation stages and also to collaborate on new digital projects especially the online digital edition of Aristodemus (FGrHist 104). The so called “Aristodemus” is not a fragment and is not a Greek historian, but a fasicule of an unknown author which contains an account starting with the battle of Salamis and ending with the causes of the Peloponnesian wars. The digital edition will make evident the relation between the text and the manuscript layout by aligning the relevant parts of the images to the paragraphs of the text and the notes to it, and will also provides the opportunity to explore ways to encode different levels of annotation in one source file for a native digital edition in TEI XML.

Dates of visit: 1st February 2016 to 31st May 2016

Eric CsapoProfessor Eric Csapo

University of Sydney

As Webster Fellow in spring 2016 I will be examining fourth-century theories of the origins of drama within their social context. The sources indicate a proliferation of theories at a time when Athens can be shown to have been in serious competition with other cities to assert and maintain the primacy of its dramatic festivals. The theories asserting or challenging the Athenian origins of drama appear to form an important part of that economic and prestige competition.

Dates of visit: 1 March 2016 to 15 May 2016

Thomas CarpenterProfessor Thomas Carpenter

Ohio University

Trendall Fellow in spring 2016

My project for 2015-16 is to complete the study of Dionysos in Apulia which I started in 1997 after publishing Dionysian Imagery in Archaic Greece (Oxford, 1996). Along the way I was sidetracked into other intriguing issues regarding the people of South Italy that have allowed me to establish a context for representations of the god. Now, having published on these other issues, I plan to return to what I had originally intended to do - write the book.

Dates of visit: 14 March 2016 to 16 May 2016

Jacek HadjukDr Jacek Hajduk

Jagiellonian University, Krakow

I am interested in the poetics (mostly the narratological aspects) of Latin fiction and that includes both novels (Petronius and Apuleius) and other genres, eg. epistolography, rhetorical prose and biography. I will spend my time at the ICS studying Roman authors of the imperial period from the perspective of their narrative techniques. I am interested in "how (ancient) fiction (really) works". I hope the research will reveal aspects of how they tended to construct their literary worlds, their characters etc.

Dates of visit:  18 March 2016 - 15 April 2016

Jacek HadjukProfessor Yulia Ustinova

Ben Gurion University of the Negev

During my stay in London, I plan to complete the book tentatively entitled Mania: Alterations of Consciousness in Ancient Greece. The book aims at demonstrating that diverse altered states of consciousness occurred all over the Greek world and were commonly known. Distinct cultural phenomena, such as oracular and mystery cults, poetry and philosophical teachings, as well as possession by various deities and epiphanies, are all analysed in their historical and social contexts, and in diachronic perspective. This evidence is juxtaposed with facts and explanatory models provided by anthropology, psychology, and neuroscience.

Dates of visit: 1 April 2016 to 1 August 2016

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

Tyler JoProfessor Tyler Jo Smith

University of Virginia

Associate Fellow, ICS

While at the ICS I will be preparing for publication the catalogue of South Italian and Athenian vases in the collection of Sir John Soane’s Museum, and will continue writing up the history of the collection for a book entitled Soane’s Antique Vases to be published jointly by the museum and Archaeopress. During spring 2012, as the A.D. Trendall Fellow, I was able to complete the catalogue, and undertake necessary archival work at the Soane Museum. The library and theatre archives at the ICS will help me to put the finish touches on this project. It will also be necessary for me use the library of the Society of Antiquaries.

Dates of visit: 6 June 2016 to 30 June 2016

Tyler JoDr 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