Students Present Research at UNC – Chapel Hill

On the heels of the undergraduate conference held at the University of Tennessee on February 25 that was reported earlier, four students traveled to the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill on March 4 to present their research and engage with fellow junior scholars.

College of Charleston Classics students present research

From L to R: Hannah Edwards, Gwendolyn Gibbons, Athena, Sarah Cohen, and Sarah Legendre

Gwendolyn Gibbons: “Martial in 140 Characters: Gender Commentary in the First-Century Twitter”

Sarah Cohen: “The Late Roman Period
Mosaics of Sepphoris and Defining the Jewish Figural Style”

Sarah Legendre: “Putting the Pieces Together: Mosaics and Identity in Gallia Narbonensis”

Hannah Edwards: “The Deification of Emperor Claudius”

Sarah, Gwen, Hannah, and Sarah are the most recent names added to a lengthening list of CofC students driven to intensively engage in conversations about the classical world and its impact upon our own.  Congratulations on a job well done!

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Classical Charleston – a New Tradition on Campus

On Friday, Feb 3, the annual ‘Classical Charleston‘ lecture series came to a close. In typical fashion, the speakers represented some the leading voices in this year’s theme on the power of historical writing to form (and transform) cultural perspectives.

Over the past 6 years, the Department of Classics and a variety of partners have brought to campus leading scholars to speak upon topics of interest to the wider community. This year’s theme is firmly placed among past topics such as:

  • the role of Classics within historical black colleges and civil rights
  • redefining the idea of the liberal arts
  • perspectives on Athenian democracy

The Department is thankful for those friends and associates who make this event a recognized feature within the intellectual landscape of the College.  In particular, the Theodore Guérard family and contributors to the Department’s General fund directly impact the Department’s capacity to develop this lecture series and other programmatic and scholarly contributions.

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Classics Faculty Assume New Leadership

Dr. Timothy Johnson

The Department of Classics is pleased to announce that Dr. Timothy Johnson, chair of the department, has been selected as the interim dean of the School of Languages, Cultures, and World Affairs, following the departure of Dr. Antonio Tillis.  Dr. Johnson will take on his new responsibilities effective February 1, 2017.

Dr. James Newhard

Dr. James Newhard will serve as interim chair of the department, concurrent with his responsibilities as director of the Archaeology Program.


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Classical Charleston 2017. Transformations: Perspectives in Roman History

On February 2-3 the sixth annual colloquium of the Theodore B. Guérard Lecture Series will address the role the construction of history plays in the development of cultural identity. This year’s colloquium invites four leading voices in historiography to explore the trans/formative nature of Roman history as it interacts with landscapes, literature, and power-dynamics.

Dr. Andrew Feldherr (Princeton University) has published extensively on Latin Literature, with a focus upon historiography and the poetry of the Augustan period. His books, which include Spectacle and Society in Livy’s History (University of California Press, 1998) and Playing Gods: Ovid’s Metamorphoses and the Politics of Fiction (Princeton University Press, 2010) emphasize the transformational role played by literature in an era of radical social, political, and cultural revolution and reconstruction. He has also recently edited or co-edited collections of essays on classical historiography, The Cambridge Companion to the Roman Historians (Cambridge University Press, 2009) and The Oxford History of Historical Writing (Oxford University Press, 2011; reprint 2015).

Title: “Lines in the Sand: The Landscapes of Sallust’s Jugurtha


Dr. Jennifer Gerrish (College of Charleston) works on both Greek and Roman historiography and is particularly interested in ancient historians’ use of allusion and intertexuality and their conceptions of civil war. She has published articles on Thucydides, Sallust, and Caesar, and is currently writing a monograph, Sallust’s Histories and Triumviral Historiography: Confronting the End of History (under contract with Routledge) that examines Sallust’s attempt to reckon with the instability of language and truth during civil war and under an oppressive regime.

Title: “The Blessed Isles and ‘What-If’ Historiography in Sallust”


Dr. John Marincola (Florida State University), Leon Golden Professor of Classics, specializes in Greek and Roman historiography and rhetoric. He is the author of several seminal works dealing with the role of history as a cultural catalyst  (Authority and Tradition in Ancient Historiography (Cambridge, 1997), Greek Historians (Oxford, 2001), and (with Michael A. Flower) Herodotus: Histories Book IX (Cambridge, 2002)). His translation of Xenophon’s Hellenica (The Landmark Xenophon, Pantheon, 2009) is another major contribution to the field. He has edited A Companion to Greek and Roman Historiography (Blackwell, 2007) and the Oxford Readings volume, Greek and Roman Historiography (Oxford 2010), as well as revised the Penguin editions of Herodotus’ Histories (1996; 2003) and the Rise and Fall of Athens. He is a past president of the Society of Classical Studies (the principal society in North America for the study of the Greeks and Romans) and served as the Book Review Editor of Classical Journal and co-editor of Histos.

Title: “Musing on the Past: Historical Epic and Epic History at Rome”


Dr. Dylan Sailor (University of California, Berkeley) focuses on Latin literature and culture. He is the author of Writing and Empire in Tacitus (Cambridge 2008) which examines Tacitus’ view of the principate and how his own political context shaped Tacitus’ self-presentation as an author. He has also published numerous articles and book chapters on Roman historiography and rhetoric, including “Youth and Rejuvenation in Tacitus’ Agricola and Dialogus” (in Les opera minora et le développement de l’historiographie tacitéenne, 2014) and “Dirty Linen, Fabrication, and the Authorities of Livy and Augustus” (Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association, 2006), and a chapter on the Agricola in Blackwell’s Companion to Tacitus (2012).

Title: “Historiographical Patterns of Conquest and Cultural Transformation in Tacitus, Agricola 21”

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James Newhard on Chipped Stone

Congratulations to Professor Jim Newhard. His book chapter “A survey of chipped stone resources and production in the Argolid” has been published in Lithics Past and Present: Perspectives on Chipped Stone Studies in Greece (Studies in Mediterranean Archaeology 144) 141-158.

“This study investigates the acquisition, production and distribution patterns of chert in the Bronze Age Argolid. Specific focus is placed on the identification of lithic resources which would have provided usable cherts to Argive settlements … The movement of chert from resource acquisition to final location of manufacture and deposition highlights patterns of subsistence, transport and economy that often operate outside the purview of societal elites.”

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Andrew Alwine Publishes on Patronage

Congratulations to Dr. Andrew Alwine, whose article “Freedom and Patronage in the Athenian Democracy” just appeared (Journal of Hellenic Studies 136 [2016] 1-17).

To ask a question about “patronage” is to view the issue from a top-down, broadly-conceived theoretical perspective. To understand Athenian political thought, we need to take an emic approach, to consider the perspective of the Athenian citizenry, which was concerned with present realities rather than complex, abstract models. The Athenian system’s protection of individual citizens incidentally put broad restrictions on elite patronage, but, despite these limitations, relationships of patronage persisted throughout the classical period albeit in non-threatening forms. Measures that ensured financial independence for the poor came only ad hoc and gradually. This article pursues three theses: (1) Athenians cared more about securing the freedoms of individual citizens than abolishing patronage, (2) patronage (as we would call it) existed in Athens but only in forms not threatening to civic freedoms, and (3) in Athenian thinking political freedom was prior to financial independence. This article also explores the possibility of patronage systems existing in Greek poleis outside Athens, arguing that patronage-limiting practices were typical of democratic regimes but unusual for oligarchies.

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Society for Classical Studies: Public Statement (Nov. 28, 2016)

The Department of Classics at the College of Charleston supports the recent public statement by the national organization for Classics in the US, the Society for Classical Studies:


“The mission of the Society for Classical Studies is “to advance knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of the ancient Greek and Roman world and its enduring value.” That world was a complex place, with a vast diversity of peoples, languages, religions, and cultures spread over three continents, as full of contention and difference as our world is today.  Greek and Roman culture was shared and shaped for their own purposes by people living from India to Britain and from Germany to Ethiopia. Its medieval and modern influence is wider still. Classical Studies today belongs to all of humanity.

For this reason, the Society strongly supports efforts to include all groups among those who study and teach the ancient world, and to encourage understanding of antiquity by all. It vigorously and unequivocally opposes any attempt to distort the diverse realities of the Greek and Roman world by enlisting the Classics in the service of ideologies of exclusion, whether based on race, color, national origin, gender, or any other criterion. As scholars and teachers, we condemn the use of the texts, ideals, and images of the Greek and Roman world to promote racism or a view of the Classical world as the unique inheritance of a falsely and narrowly-conceived western civilization.”



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Congratulations to Sarah Cohen, Hannah Edwards, and Gwen Gibbons, who were chosen to present their research at the Undergraduate Classics Conference, sponsored by the Department of Classics at the University of Tennessee (Feb. 25, 2017).

Sarah Cohen: “The Late Roman Period Mosaics at Sepphoris & Defining the Jewish Figural Style”

Hannah Edwards: “Fortuna and Virtus in Bellum Catilinae

Gwen Gibbons: “Martial in 140 Characters: Gender Commentary in the First-Century ‘Twitter’”


Congratulations to Hanna, Gwen, and Sarah (left to right), and all our student researchers!




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Dr. Sam Flores Talks Socrates!

Congratulations to Dr. Sam Flores, who presented his paper “Socrates and Anaxagoras: Plato’s Criticism of Anaxagorean Physics” at the meeting of the Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy at Fordham University (Oct. 28-30, 2016).

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Dr. Jennifer Gerrish has been invited to present her paper, “Sallust’s Spartacus and Historiography Under the Triumvirs,” at a conference this coming spring in Lublin, Poland on “Spartacus: History and Tradition.” — Congratulations!


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