Department of Classics



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Recent Completions

Alexander Moore (Essay)

Supervisor:  C. Zaccagnino

The Art of Storytelling: Epic and Tragedy in Ancient Greek Vase Art   

The purpose of this study is to survey the narrative scenes present on Ancient Greek red-figure vases of the 5th to 4th centuries BCE in order to discern whether or not there is any correlation between the genre of said narratives and iconographical convention. The study will utilize primarily the methodology outlined by Mark Stansbury-O’Donnell, analysing the various compositional elements of each narrative scene and the overall iconographic convention of which the various selected narratives are a part. The study will compare and contrast the two most prominent narrative genres of the 5th and 4th centuries BCE, epic and tragedy.

Francesca Rousselle (Essay)

Supervisor:  A.F. D'Elia

Art for God's Sake: An Augustinian Defense of Theatre     (QSpace)
In City of God Augustine refers to the theatre as a “pestilence” on the morals of the Roman people. Further, he devotes a large portion of the third book of the Confessions to outlining his own sinful experiences with the theatre and a Platonic attack on the poetical arts. From these passages in his two most famous works it would be reasonable to see theatre as incompatible with an Augustinian worldview. However, by expanding upon O’Connell’s Art and the Christian Intelligence in St. Augustine, Smith’s “Staging the Incarnation: Revisioning Augustine’s Critique of Theatre”, and Drever’s “Entertaining Violence: Augustine on the Cross of Christ and the Commercialization of Suffering”, this study shows that a complete condemnation of the theatre cannot be sustained in light of the wider Christian framework within which Augustine operates. This thesis begins by examining the similarities between Plato and Augustine’s critiques of theatre on both ethical and ontological grounds. Having established that the basis of their attack lies in three elements: imitation, the emotions, and material images, an exploration of Augustine’s views on material creation, the Incarnation, Resurrection, and human persona shows that neither the emotions nor material images can be condemned on the Platonic assumption that their natures are inherently corrupting; in fact, both of these are shown to be moral goods that, while liable to corruption because of the Fall, are innately good. Given that they are moral goods, it becomes possible to make room in Augustine for the possibility of a ‘redeemed theatre’ where the mimetic imitation inherent to the theatrical arts is not a moral hindrance but a devotional aid. Indeed, Augustine’s use of theatrical elements in his own writing points to the efficacy of this method of evangelization.

Rachelle Bustamente (Essay)

Supervisor:  A.F. D'Elia

Making Space Sacred: An Investigation of the Christianization of Pagan Monuments in Rome
Following the decline of paganism and the rise of Christianity in Rome, the re-use and re-interpretation of pagan monuments began to serve the function and desires of the now Christian city. Rather than face absolute obliteration due to their association with its pagan past and its evils, many of Rome's famous monuments were fashioned new meanings and re-used to serve the faith. Thus, this paper will investigate the religious, cultural, as well as political ideologies and traditions developed by Christians in Late Antiquity that influenced the Christianization of pagan monuments in Rome. 

The Christian martyr and their sites of veneration, superstitio and the belief in demons, as well as the expanding Christian topography in Rome are the Christian ideologies that will be primarily be examined. These particular ideologies and their influence on the re-use and re-interpretation of pagan buildings will be unified through a case study of two of Rome's most renowned monuments: The Pantheon and the Colosseum. Through and investigation of the re-use and re-interpretation of these monuments in Rome, it is the ultimate goal to suggest that the Christianization of monuments in this city was a representation of the caput mundi, once famously pagan, now under the hammer of Christianity.

Ryan Beatty (Essay)

Supervisor: A.M. Foley

Regional Variations of Archaic Korai
The Archaic Period of Greek Art was a time of great artistic prosperity. During this period, the kore type was introduced. Despite being a well-known sculptural type, korai are not fully understood. Scholars who have studied these statues have come up with many theories on how they should be studied. The best route to take appears to be splitting the type into regional groups. There are different characteristics of the korai that can be attributed to the region they were produced. These characteristics would eventually spread to other regions before creating what is known as the “International Style” late in the Archaic Period. This paper will try to single out these regional variations in an attempt to stress the importance of studying the korai not as a single group, but as many regional groups.