Academic Visitors and Visiting Fellows 2017-18

Dr 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

Dr Ália Rodrigues

University of Coimbra


My research project, “From disbelief to disobedience. On the idea of resistance in Greek and Roman political thought”, aims to examine the history of the idea of disobedience in Greek and Roman political thought. I shall also try to show how the Graeco-Roman world makes a consistent and tangible contribution to the western political and legal tradition of Disobedience from Plato to Ulpian. More specifically, I shall be investigating the relation between law and (dis)obedience in both Greek and Roman intellectual and legal traditions.

Dates of visit: tbc

Mr Thiago Ribeiro


Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro


My present research is related to Ancient Egypt and is centred on the phenomenon of magic spells that make use of threats against the gods and/or the cosmos to ensure the carrying out of the desired magical effect (e.g. a cure for a snake bite). Because of this study, I am very focused on the theme of magic in the Ancient World, especially when it is related to religion, but I have been facing the problem of the lack of good material for this theme in the public libraries to which I have access at home. Thus, my staying at ICS will be an immeasurable help with this part of my studies, since the Institute’s library and support will aid the development of my work.

Dates of visit: 1 August 2017 to 30 September 2017

Dr Susan Bilynskyj Dunning

Susan Dunning

University of Toronto


During my stay at the ICS, I will be working on my monograph, The Ludi Saeculares and the Saeculum, which examines the development of the Saecular Games and their relationship to Roman conceptions of time from the Republic to late Empire. The Saecular Games were a complex rite celebrated only once per saeculum (“age” or “century”); through my analysis of literary, numismatic, and epigraphic sources, I show how the rite was changed from a Republican act of supplication performed during crises into a celebration of the advent of a new saeculum. In the process, the emperor’s role in bringing about an age of peace was increasingly highlighted and connected with the establishment of his dynasty. The association between time and the creation and legitimization of imperial authority was such a potent tool that it was adapted, rather than discarded, with the rise of Christianity in Late Antiquity.

Dates of visit: 1 July 2017 to 31 December 2017

Dr 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 

Professor 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

Dr Nikoletta Manioti 

During my stay at the ICS, I will work on my monograph Sisters in Latin Epic. In this book I discuss all surviving epic texts written in Latin, focusing on the Augustan and Early Imperial era, and compare them to earlier and contemporary sources in both Greek and Latin whether they purport to show fictional or historical sisters. The aims of the project are to demonstrate the particular roles that sister figures are called to play in their respective poems; to highlight points of contact with general or specific examples of sisterly behaviour in Roman literary and non-literary contexts; and to argue for a creative integration within Latin epic of normative assumptions and stereotypes concerning Roman sisters.

Dates of visit: 1 September 2017 - 31 August 2018

Professor Antony Corbeill 

Antony Corbeill

Dorothy Tarrant Fellow

University of Virginia


While at the ICS I will be writing a historical and philological commentary on Cicero's speech De haruspicum responsis ("On the Responses of the Soothsayers"), co-authored with Prof. Andrew Riggsby (University of Texas, Austin). Delivered in 56 BCE, the oration features Cicero analyzing a priestly response to recent earth tremors. Romans deemed such events as ruptures in the natural world that must be explained. When narrating periods of crisis, Roman historians write of hermaphrodites discovered, or of animals exhibiting distinctly unanimal-like behavior. Although several texts allude to the treatment of prodigies, this speech uniquely provides a vivid, contemporary account, and offers the only text of a response to a prodigy worked up by a college of priests (here, the Etruscan haruspices). The oration also contains some of Cicero's fiercest invective, delivered in the highly mannered style characterizing the speeches that he delivered upon his return from exile.

Dates of visit: 16 December 2017 - 15 March 2018

Professor Niall W. Slater 

Niall Slater

T.B.L. Webster Fellow

Emory University


During my time at the ICS I shall be continuing my work in editing and translating the fragments of Caecilius Statius as part of the new Loeb Library edition of Fragmentary Republican Latin. Caecilius was part of the second generation of Roman stage authors and one of the first to specialize in writing only comedy. Like Terence, Caecilius came to Rome as a slave but was freed and became a master of the Latin language. Caecilius's comedies, like those of Plautus, stage Romans playing at being Greeks. While his linguistic style and use of stock characters shares much with his immediate predecessors in the palliata, many terms and hints at novel plot devices suggest Caecilius had a greater interest in the social, economic, and political world to the east of Rome. Despite the comments of later Roman critics such as Aulus Gellius, Caecilius's aim may not have been so much to reincarnate Menander from the century before as to reimagine a Rome much engaged with the contemporary Greek world..

Dates of visit: mid-March 2018 – early June 2018

Professor Joshua Katz 

Joshua Katz

Dorothy Tarrant Fellow

Princeton University


During my time at the ICS, I will be thinking and writing about the language of Archaic Greek poetry from a historical/comparative linguistic perspective. In a number of recent papers, I have considered how our earliest Greek hexametric works begin: at the level of individual words (e.g., θεά in Iliad 1.1), collocations (Apellicon’s alternative incipit to the Iliad and the enigmatic question about oak and rock in Theogony 35) and larger units (the proem of the Works & Days). I intend to build on these in a series of further studies, making the case for the importance of reading Homer, the Homeric Hymns and especially Hesiod with the evidence of other Indo-European traditions in mind. What I hope to argue above all is that there is no author for whom the perspective from the West as well as the East face of Helicon is more fruitful than Hesiod.

Dates of visit: 9 April 2018 - 1 June 2018