CLASSICS PRESENTS... 2023-24 Speakers

Fall 2023


Hilary Becker

Hilary Becker

Wednesday, September 13, 2023, from 2:30 - 4:00 pm in Watson Hall Room 217

The Etruscan helmets from Vetulonia: new evidence for the life of an Etruscan soldier


Greek and Roman sources help us to visualize Etruscan armies fighting against the Romans, but since no Etruscan literary testimony or histories has survived, little is known about the Etruscan military. A group of approximately 150 bronze helmets of Negau type were buried in a votive deposit outside of the city wall of Vetulonia in the fifth century B.C. This unique deposit makes it possible to learn about dedicatory practices, the expectation for the soldiers purchasing arms, and even what do with one’s armor in the off-season.


We will start by considering the implications of dedicating helmets to the gods. The Etruscans gave gifts to the gods but how often was this a practice with their armor? Further, would an Etruscan soldier be more likely to dedicate his armor to the gods or take it with him to his tomb? Many of the helmets from Vetulonia have inscriptions, which will be examined for what they can tell us about both Etruscan society and the Etruscan army.


Classics Presents Dr. Brois Chrubasik

Dr. Boris Chrubasik

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2023, from 5:30PM - 7:00PM in Watson Hall Room 517.

Towards a Local History in the Seleucid Empire: Sealings and Lives of Maresha.

Taking at its core the Idumean city of Maresha in modern-day southern Israel, this paper investigates local life in the Hellenistic Levant. The Hellenistic empires, and the political changes of the second century in particular, transformed the region markedly. But did these imperial changeovers affect the life of individuals in the local communities? By contextualising a private archive from Hellenistic Maresha within the archaeology of the region, this paper begins to trace the impact of empire on the ground of this particular city.


CAC Lecture - Dr. PJ Miller

Dr. Peter J. Miller

Wednesday, March 1st, 2023, from 5:30PM - 7:00PM in Watson Hall Room 517.

The Weight and Shape of Kleos: Verse and Prose Inscriptions on Jumping-Weights and Discuses

This talk examines inscriptions in prose and verse on dedications of athletic equipment from the jump and discus competitions of the pentathlon, mostly those from the Archaic and Classical periods. These objects were personalized in a variety of ways, from handholds, to incised images, and prose and verse inscriptions. I first argue that these objects were designed with readers in mind and could be located by visitors to sanctuaries, before moving on to literary examples of important athletic objects in epic and epinician verse. By paying close attention to the layout of inscriptions and contextualizing these sorts of dedications in light of literary examples and the sports in which they were used, I argue that handling and moving athletic dedications added to the meaning of the inscriptions on them.


Classics Presents Dr. Anthony D'Elia

Dr. Anthony D'Elia 

Wednesday, February 15th, 2023, from 5:30PM - 7:00PM in Watson Hall Room 517.

Roman Virtue, Violent Spectacle, and Gender in the Works of Petrarch

Petrarch (1304-1374) was obsessed with ancient Roman virtue. His writings are filled with the Stoic teachings and the stories of Roman heroes. My talk centers on Petrarch’s reception of Roman virtue in the works of Cicero, Livy, and Virgil. Gladiators, soldiers, and Rome’s great heroes were all models of masculine Stoic virtue in bravely accepting death, following orders, and suffering pain. Roman history and virtue are prominent themes in Petrarch’s letters, dialogues, and especially in his lengthy Latin epic, modeled on the Aeneid, the Africa, about the second Punic war, featuring Scipio, Hannibal, and the North African queen, Sofonisba. Petrarch appropriated, criticized, and recast these ancient stories to fit his Christian age. Petrarch not only wrote in Classical Latin but also applied the lessons of the ancients to the problems of his times.  


Classics Presents Dr. Scott Gallimore

Dr. Scott Gallimore

Wednesday, February 8th, 2023 from  5:30PM - 7:00PM in Watson Hall Room 217.

Looking for Seconds: Assessing Evidence for Quality Control in Roman Pottery Production at Sikyon, Greece

While evidence for craft production across the Roman Empire is prevalent, limited attention has been granted to consideration of quality control and the decision-making behind designating products as unusable (i.e. wasters) or marketable as lower-quality wares. For pottery, lower-quality or blemished wares that go to market are often referred to as seconds. By examining recently uncovered evidence of Roman-period pottery production at Sikyon, Greece, in conjunction with data from epigraphic and papyrus texts, we will investigate the potential of gaining insight into ancient quality control methods and the potential designation of certain pottery vessels as seconds.

Fall 2022


Classics Presents Dr. Gino Canlas

Dr. Gino Canlas
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Database of  Religious Studies
Department of Philosophy at  the University of British Columbia

Monday, November 21st, 2022 from 5:30 - 6:30 pm, in Watson Hall Room 517.

Interpreting Imperfect Data: The Case of the Sanctuaries of Thessaly

Although not famous for sanctuaries with large temples unlike its Greek neighbours to the south, there is archaeological, epigraphic, and literary evidence for roughly a hundred sanctuaries in the Northern Greek region of Thessaly. These sanctuaries are diverse in nature, ranging from precincts with large peripteral temples, nature shrines, and intentionally archaizing spaces. The data, however, is far from perfect as the majority of these sanctuaries were recovered in rescue excavations or from archaeological work from the first half of the 20th century. This lecture will provide a survey of the archaeological and textual evidence for sanctuaries in Thessaly (as well as the caveats involved) and the potential interpretive frameworks that can be applied to the imperfect data from this region. 


Classics Presents Dr. Kyle Gervais

Dr. Kyle Gervais
Associate Professor
Department of Classical Studies at Western University

Monday, November 14th, 2022 from 5:30 - 6:30 pm, in Watson Hall Room 517.

Studies in Virgil’s Aeneid: Text, Intertexts, Afterlife

This presentation focuses on some overlooked moments in Virgil’s Aeneid and its reception. I briefly discuss the burial of Aeneas’ nurse, Caieta, in Aeneid 7, as well as a short poem by a 17th-century Jesuit missionary in New France, who laments the Aeneas-like suffering of his fellow missionaries (and neatly folds the sufferings of various Indigenous peoples into a pernicious colonial narrative). I then discuss Achates, a shadowy character who seems to always be at Aeneas’ side, and is invariably fidus, “faithful”. Taking up the ancient etymology of “Achates” from the Greek akhos (“pain, grief”), I argue that Aeneas has “pain” as his constant companion: like Homer’s Achilles, whose name was also etymologized via akhos, Aeneas brings pain with him wherever he goes, pain for himself and for others. And this pain is “faithful” because all of the most painful moments in Aeneas’ story—Dido, Pallas, Turnus—involve broken bonds of fides.


Classics Presents Dr. Stefan Krmnicek

Dr. Stefan Krmnicek

Friday, November 11th, 2022 from 1:30 - 3:30 pm, in Watson Hall Room 517 and via Zoom.

The Archaeology of Roman Money. A Contextual Approach to the Study of Ancient Coinage. 

"In this lecture, Dr. Krmnicek will analyse the coin finds from the Apollo Grannus temple and other case studies from Roman Germany against the backdrop of a wider discussion of how a contextual approach will provide a better understanding of the function and meaning of coinage in the Roman world."


Classics Presents Dr. Willekes poster

Dr. Carolyn Willekes
Assistant Professor in Department of General Education
Mount Royal University

Monday, October 17th, 2022 from 5:30 - 6:30 pm, in Watson Hall Room 517

A Horse is a Horse? Reading Equines in Ancient Greece

The horse is one of the most popular subjects in Greek art, indeed, it is only surpassed by the human figure in terms of its prevalence in the visual record. References to equines likewise appear frequently in the literary record. In both cases – iconographic and literary – the presence of the horse can be found across a wide range of genres, motifs, and mediums. So why are they there? Are we meant to view the horse as nothing more than a symbolic reference to its cultural association with status and the related concepts of wealth, power, and prestige? Is the horse, in visual or verbal form just a horse, or is there more to its story? This talk will explore the living horse as a cultural and historical document by looking at the ways in which it is depicted and utilized in both art and literature not simply as a static symbol in two-dimensional or three-dimensional form, but rather as a representation of the real horses who lived in the Greek world and the relationships and knowledge individuals had with and towards these animals.



CAC Lecture - Dr. Matthew Sears

Dr. Matthew Sears
Professor of Classics and Ancient History
University of New Brunswick

Monday, October 3rd, 2022 from  5:30 - 6:30 pm, in Watson Hall Room 517

Walking the Marathon

The road to Marathon, the 42 kilometers between the center of Athens and the site of the battle of 490 BCE against an expedition of the Persian Empire, was the course taken by the first modern marathon race in 1896, and continues as the route of the Athens Classic Marathon each fall. In antiquity, too, the route was revered. Evidence from cult sites to conspicuous funerary monuments suggest that ancient Athenians travelled the road to Marathon as a sort of pilgrimage to remember the battle, pay respects to the fallen, and coopt some of Marathon’s legacy for themselves.