Winter 2023 Seminars Descriptions and Registration

All designed for a general audience. All are Eastern U.S./NYC time. All are about one hour in duration.

Myth in Two Dimensions: Rethinking Greek Vases | Feb. 11, 12 p.m. ET

In the ancient world, mythology seeped into every aspect of life and one lasting example of this is Greek vase images. Elizabeth Wilson will lead participants through analysis of selected vase images, showing how this ancient art form reveals depth and truth to some of our favorite stories.

The Cento: A Byzantine Empress’ Reception of Homer | Feb. 18, 12 p.m. ET

A former pagan, Aelia Eudocia Augusta profited from her Athenian education to present a converted Homer whose verses told not of the wrath of Achilles or of the many-minded Odysseus, but instead sang the tale of Christ. By “re-stitching” lines from the Iliad and Odyssey, Eudocia paid homage to both her Greek heritage and her adoption of Christianity in brilliantly worked centos, fittingly answering Tertullian’s question, “what hath Athens to do with Jerusalem?” In this one hour session, Lauren Heilman will discuss how Eudocia adapted pagan symbols into Christian, and why her centos represent an important stage in the medieval reception of Homer.

Translating Ancient Texts: The Aeneid | Feb. 25, 10 a.m. ET

Hillary Yip will lead participants through selected passages from Aeneid book 6, looking at the original Latin and several translations to understand the range of potential approaches to the same text.

Workshopping Lesson Plans for Teaching Epics | March 11, 12 p.m. ET

Join this open forum discussion led by Elizabeth Wilson that will introduce teaching techniques to your classical arsenal and help you workshop your own ideas into fully fleshed out, ready-to-teach lessons.

Private Religion in the Ancient World | March 25, 12 p.m. ET

How did ordinary people in the ancient world interact with divine powers about their own personal concerns? Dr. Charlotte Spence will explore this question through the lens of curse tablets, in which small inscriptions were written on pieces of lead and deposited in graves, underground bodies of water, and sanctuaries. These texts are known as curse tablets. Through this ritual ancient individuals could use the power of the gods or the restless dead to curse their enemies, bind the competition in sporting contests, steal another man’s wife, break up lovers, and even win legal trials! Welcome to a world described by Pliny as one where ‘there is no one who does not fear to be spell-bound by curse tablets!’ (Pliny, Natural History 28.5.19.) 

Herodotus: Echoes of Epic | April 15, 12 p.m. ET

Herodotus opens his “inquiry” into the Persian Wars with the hope that great deeds not go unsung. Performing an almost bard-like function, he intersperses his narrative with many poignantly framed mythological tales and type scenes that echo not only Homeric epic, but also Homeric hymns and even lyric poetry. During this one hour session, Lauren Heilman will examine key moments in Herodotus’ Histories that demonstrate his great gift for “myth retelling,” his structural genius, and his debt to previous compositions.

Translating Ancient Texts: Homer | Saturday, April 29, 12 p.m. ET

HM Classics Academy’s Helen McVeigh and Dr. Eirene Allen will discuss the challenges of translating Homer. Topics they will cover include grammatical features unique to Homeric epics and the cultural context of their production.