Congratulations to Dr. Andrew Alwine, who presented a paper at the Annual Meeting of the Classical Association of the Middle West and South entitled, ‘Oligarchy in Ancient Greece.’ In his paper, Alwine argues for a re-evaluation of the term ‘oligarchy’ – away from the normative Aristotelian focus on institutions to the consideration of broader social processes used to exclude broad political participation.
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.
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!
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 will serve as interim chair of the department, concurrent with his responsibilities as director of the Archaeology Program.
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.”
Congratulations to Dr. Andrew Alwine, whose article “Freedom and Patronage in the Athenian Democracy” just appeared (Journal of Hellenic Studies 136  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.
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.”
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!
Congratulations to Dr. S.-K. whose article, “Drinking with the Dead? Glass from Roman and Christian Burial Areas at Leptiminus (Lamta, Tunisia),” has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Glass Studies.
Summary: Excavations by the Leptiminus Archaeological Project at the East Cemetery in Leptiminus (Lamta, Tunisia) revealed a substantial quantity of late Roman and Byzantine glass fragments. Some of these vessel fragments, found in tombs, may represent grave gifts or symbolize elements of funerary ritual. Most of the vessels, found in nonburial contexts that formed during the cemetery’s periods of use (late second–late sixth centuries), suggest that glass vessels probably played an important role in commemorative activities at the cemetery. The presence of possible glass drinking sets in an area used for Christian burials suggests that rituals involving drinking or pouring libations may have regularly taken place nearby. These rituals probably followed longstanding traditions associated with commemorating the deceased in Roman society, highlighting the role of glass vessels in creating continuities between Roman and Christian practice.