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CLASSICS Department of Classics Newsletter SUMMER 2017 | Volume XXIV






New Faculty Profiles: Charles Brittain and Sarah Murray

Summer 2017 Volume XXIV Editor Regina Höschele, Associate Professor Managing Editor Warrena Wilkinson


From The Faculty Bookshelf


Faculty Focus: Boris Chrubasik and Erik Gunderson


Jackman Humanities Institute: Alison Keith Appointed Director


3. GRADUATE STUDENT NEWS Graduate Student Focus: Drew Davis and Marion Durand Recent Dissertations

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Special Thanks Jesse Hill

4. UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT NEWS Front Cover / Back Cover Image Augustus Bust / Lillian Massey Building Photos courtesy of W. Wilkinson Correspondence: Department of Classics University of Toronto Publisher Department of Classics University of Toronto 125 Queen’s Park Toronto, ON M5S 2C7 Department of Classics Newsletter is published once a year by the Department of Classics and is circulated to alumni and friends of the Department of Classics, University of Toronto. The University of Toronto respects your privacy and does not sell, rent or trade mailing lists. If you no longer wish to receive the newsletter, please call (416) 978-2139 or e-mail Past Issues Available online at:






Alumni Profiles: Nathan Gilbert and Eirene Seiradaki


Books Published by Our Alumni




Flavian Literature


Doing Classics: A Workshop on Historical Methods


From Toronto to Cairo: Imperial Landscapes


14 - 15


Kenneth R. Thompson


Joan M. Bigwood


Daniel J. Thornton




The Fidelty of Fides: Authenticity in the Classical World | Toronto, ON, October 13-14, 2017


AIA/SCS | Boston, MA, January 4-7, 2018


Assembly of the Plebs | Toronto, ON, March 2018


CAC | University of Calgary, AB, May 2018



EX CATHEDRA: MESSAGE FROM THE ACTING CHAIR Another very exciting year has come to a close in the Department of Classics. This year the Department welcomed Professor Peter Bing from Emory University to a five-year post and Dr. Susan Dunning, or own recent PhD (2016), to a one-year post on the faculty, while Dr. Carrie Fulton joined the Department of Historical Studies at UTM in a tenure-track position. The Department also celebrated the completion of the Master of Arts degree by David Sutton, who will return to us in the fall to begin doctoral studies; and the completion of the PhD degree by Jody Cundy, with a dissertation entitled ‘Axion Theas: Wonder, Space, and Place in Pausanias’ Periegesis Hellados’, supervised by Jonathan Burgess. In this year’s CAC Thesis Prize Competition, moreover, the winner was Dr. Nathan Gilbert (UofT PhD 2015). We are delighted to see the continuing vitality of the study of Classics in Toronto.

The Department graduated 87 new recipients of the Bachelor of Arts with Majors, Minors, and Specialists in Classics and Classical Civilization this spring. This is our biggest graduating cohort ever, and we are very proud of our undergraduate students. In addition, CLASSU President Willem CrispinFrei was recognized by ASSU this year, with the Katharine Ball Graduate Award for Course Unions for his four years of service on the CLASSU Senate. The Department is also pleased to announce the following Classics Awards for the academic year 2015-2016 (awarded in 2017): Chan/Chau Scholarship in Classics – Madelaine Thompson (4th-year); C.B. Farrar Undergraduate Scholarship in Classics – Samantha Mazzilli (3rd-year); Dorothy Ellison Scholarship in Latin – Joshua Zung (3rd year); Dorothy Ellison Graduating Scholarship in Latin – Vladislav Mukhomedzyanov (graduated 2016); Eric Trevor Owen Scholarship in Greek – Andrew Mayo (4th year); W.B. Wiegand Prize in Ancient Greek – Vanessa Snyder-Penner (graduated 2016); Graham Campbell Fellowship in Memory of Maurice Hutton in Classics – Michael Benedicto (graduated 2016, now MA in Philosophy at UofT); All Souls Historical Essay Prize in Ancient History – Taylor Stark (graduated 2016); and James William Connor Greek Composition Prize – awarded jointly to Jessica Zung (graduated 2016) and Joseph Gerbasi (PhD student in Classics). Congratulations to all! The profile of Canadian Classics was raised internationally this year when two prominent North American associations of classical studies met in Ontario. In January 2017, Toronto hosted the 148th annual meeting of the Society for Classical Studies (formerly the American Philological Association), and the Department supplied several faculty members to the local arrangements committee as well as a large contingent of graduate and undergraduate students who volunteered to staff the information and registration desks during the conference. Several faculty and graduate students gave papers at the conference, and the Department threw a very well attended party in memory of Elaine Fantham, our much-missed colleague and friend. Then in April 2017, the Department of Classics at the University of Waterloo hosted the 113th annual meeting of the Classical Congratulations to our undergraduate graduands! Association of the Middle West and South in Kitchener, and several Toronto faculty and graduate students attended the conference and gave papers there as well, including Professor Peter Bing, who gave a Plenary Lecture on ‘Playing with Time: Anachronism in Ancient Literature’, sponsored by the Waterloo Institute for Hellenistic Studies. Thank you to all who participated in both international conferences! 1

This has also been a very exciting year on the faculty recruitment front. We are so pleased to have been able to appoint Professor Charles Brittain to a Jackman Professorship in the Arts (Ancient Philosophy) in the Department. We are grateful to the Faculty of Arts & Science for this extraordinary opportunity to contribute to the renewal of the Collaborative Program in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy across the Centre for Medieval Studies and the Departments of Classics and Philosophy. Professor Brittain’s research focuses on Hellenistic epistemology and ethics, and he has published widely on Cicero, Augustine, and the Platonic tradition from Plato to Simplicius. Please join us next year when we welcome him to Toronto officially and he delivers his inaugural lecture in his new post. In addition, the Department successfully recruited Dr. Sarah Murray into a position in Greek History and Material Culture. Dr. Murray is a Greek archaeologist who works on the collapse of Mycenaean civilization at the end of the Bronze Age and Along University Avenue at the Women’s March Toronto, January 21, 2017. The “stroller the eventual rise of historical Greek society, brigade” includes: Boris Chrubasik, Katherine Blouin, Regina Höschele. with a special focus on the early Iron Age in Greece. Her first book, on change in the Greek economy between 1300 and 900 BCE, was published by the University of Cambridge Press this year. We are excited to have been able to appoint a Greek archaeologist to the Department of Classics on the St. George campus of the University of Toronto, as we are working with the Archaeology Centre and the Departments of Anthropology, Art, and Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations to put into place a new multidisciplinary Collaborative Specialization in Mediterranean Archaeology. I would like to conclude by thanking all the students, both undergraduate and graduate, and colleagues in the Department of Classics across the University of Toronto’s three campuses for their collegiality and support this year during my return for a brief stint as Acting Chair. It has been a very happy and productive year for me personally, and I have very much enjoyed spending time with friends in the Lillian Massey Building again. I am especially grateful to Professors Eph Lytle and Jarrett Welsh for their service as Associate Chairs, Undergraduate and Graduate respectively, and to Coral Gavrilovic and Ann-Marie Matti for their continuing tenure in the Department’s administrative offices. In closing, I want to welcome Erik Gunderson into the role of Graduate Coordinator, as Jarrett Welsh steps down from the position at the end of June, and to wish our returning chair Christer Bruun all the best in the year ahead. - Alison Keith

Undergraduate Coordinator, Eph Lytle making presentations to our graduands at the Spring End-Of-Term social gathering.




NEW FACULTY PROFILES Charles Brittain Charles Brittain is a new Jackman Professor in Classics, specialising in ancient philosophy. Brittain earned a DPhil at Balliol College, Oxford in 1996; before coming to Toronto, he taught as Professor of Classics and of Philosophy at Cornell University from 1996-2017, where he was awarded the Susan Linn Sage Chair in Philosophy and Humane Letters in 2013. His publications include two books on Academic scepticism (Philo of Larissa, 2001, and Cicero: On Academic Scepticism, 2006) and two co-authored books on the Platonist tradition (Simplicius On Epictetus’ Handbook, 2002, with Tad Brennan, and Plato: The Divided Self, 2012, with Tad Brennan and Rachel Barney), along with many articles on the wider fields of Hellenistic philosophy, Platonism, and Augustine. He is currently working on long-standing projects on Plato and Augustine (though this summer he is taking a short detour to write a paper on Seneca’s Letter 21). His work on Plato is geared towards a new literary and philosophical reading of the Protagoras, focused at present on the treatment of literary criticism in the dialogue – its most recent result is a paper on the original form and function of Protagoras’ critical theory. His multi-year project on Augustine investigates the explorations of forms of human self-knowledge in the De trinitate; he is currently working on what should be its final result, a translation and philosophical commentary on book ten.

Sarah Murray Sarah Murry is a cultural historian and archaeologist specializing in the material culture and institutions of early Greece, especially the history of exchange between Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean and the origin of Greek economic institutions. She completed her BA in Classical Archaeology at Dartmouth College in 2004, then received a PhD in Classics from Stanford University in 2013. A revised version of her doctoral thesis, a study of imported exotica in the Greek archaeological record from the transition from the Bronze to the Iron Age and their implications for our understanding of the development of the early Greek economy, was published this spring (April 2017) by Cambridge University Press. She is now hacking away at a second book project, and shorter writings on 12th century Greek mortuary practice, rules and order in Greek athletics, the fortress of Eleutherai in Attica, nudity in early Greek literature and art, and tools in the archaeological record are in various stages of progress. When not in front of her computer or a classroom, Sarah can often be found exploring sites and pre-modern economic processes (and sometimes chasing exotic bird species) in Greece, the wider Mediterranean, and beyond. During her grad school years she worked as a teaching assistant on two 10-week foreign study programs led by her former Dartmouth professors and participated in archaeological excavations and surveys in the Nemea Valley and Korfos/Kalamianos on the Saronic Harbor. Currently, she is working on architectural documentation and photogrammetry for the Asphendou cave project in West Crete, where they are documenting speleological engravings, and the Mazi Archaeological Project in Attica, a survey of the long-term history of a mountain plain on the Attic/Boeotian border.


FACULTY FOCUS In every newsletter, members of our faculty are asked to chat about their current research. This year, Jesse Hill caught up with Boris Chrubasik and Erik Gunderson.


Boris Chrubasik JH: I understand that you have begun work on a new project dealing with the interactions between empires and local sanctuaries in Ancient Turkey and the Levantine coast. Will this turn into a booklength study? How is the work going? BC: Oh, these are good questions. I had quite a few lose ends to tie up in the past year (for example, my edited volume), so I haven’t really had the opportunity yet to devote as much time to this project as I would have liked to: I think the sources for this project are fascinating and very critical for the political and cultural history of the Ancient Eastern Mediterranean, but as of yet I am not entirely sure whether it will be a monograph or just a series of articles. I have published two papers recently that deal with explicit questions of the project and individual sanctuaries in Achaemenid Karia and Hellenistic Kilikia, which helped me to sharpen my methodological approach to the topic. It certainly would be beneficial to place these papers in a broader context, and I think that it would be important to see the development of rural sanctuaries from Achaemenid to Roman times, but again, it may be more plausible to do this in a series of articles rather than as a monograph. I am on partial teaching release in the coming academic year and look forward to devoting more time to this project and broadening my scope.

Boris Chrubasik: Kings and Usurpers in the Seleukid Empire

JH: Any other projects on the go? BC: A few. I am currently writing a paper on power and memory for a volume entitled Cultural History of Memory and I am enjoying this quite a bit. I also have a few inscriptions I am re-reading which require me to travel to visit the stone or wait for better photographs before proceeding with them. I am also in the early stages of a small project with a colleague from the UK, whose Cuneiform is better than mine, where we investigate the kingship titles of Seleukid kings across different forms of evidence from inscriptions in western Asia Minor to Cuneiform Material in Mesopotamia and coins throughout the empire. JH: Your first monograph came out last year (Kings and Usurpers in the Seleukid Empire: The Men who would be King). I hear that this book is a revised version of your 2011 Oxford dissertation — it must feel good to have it published and finally off your desk! It seems that scholars sometimes end up practically rewriting their dissertations when it comes time to publish, so much revision needs to be done. Did you find that this was the case for you?

Regina Höschele: Theocritus: Poems

BC: Well, yes, and no (which again, I suspect is the case with most scholars’ books). The overall structure of the book is quite similar to the thesis, and from a quick glance thesis and book look very much alike (even subheadings are often the same). Then again, in the details things have changed quite a bit: one chapter is new, and its content and placement also nuances the general approach of the book; three chapters were rewritten (some entirely) and re-structured; and two were heavily revised. I am sure there are some sentences in the book that were part of the ur-version of the thesis when it was submitted, in particular when it comes to the footnotes, but much has changed, has become more book-ish (and less thesis-ish), snappier, and, arguably, better. JH: The subtitle of your monograph alludes to a short story by Kipling. Have you had much time to read for pleasure while at U of T? Read anything good?


Alison Keith: Roman Literary Cultures

BC: Yes. While I have significantly less time to read since our son was born, I view time to read as an absolute necessity of my daily life, and read every night before going to bed. I have a tendency to read historical novels (which is perhaps rather unsurprising and not particularly creative), but I also devour and re-read Cold War spy novels, for which early le Carré is among my favourite authors. The best book I recently read, however, was without a doubt Madeleine Thien’s Don’t Say We Have Nothing. It is not only a stunning family history, but also a broad sweep of the history of Communist China from the Chinese Civil War to the early years of the 21st century. Thien’s style is at the same time startlingly modern yet it also seems to evolve organically from the breathtaking beauty of the early 20th century Chinese Realist novelists such as Mao Dun and Lao She whose protagonists also are often struggling during the early decades of the 20th century. I do not know whether Thien’s style was a conscious adaptation of their narrative techniques, but to me at least, it makes her novel even more enchanting, utterly rooted in the 21st century, yet elegantly looking back, and it really is the best book I have read in recent years.


JH: You recently co-edited a volume, which will be out this September with OUP (Hellenism and the Local Communities of the Eastern Mediterranean, 400 BCE-250 CE). Could you tell us a little bit about how this project came to be? (i.e. did it emerge from a conference or did you and your co-editor simply perceive a gap in the scholarship that needed to be filled?) BC: The hope for this (or rather a) book actually existed before I knew it. It was one of the stipulations of my 2012 post-doc at the University of Exeter that my then colleague Daniel Sarah C. Murray: The Collapse of the King and I would organize a conference loosely related to the vague topic of ‘the Impact of Mycenaean Economy Greek Culture’, and ideally also publish it. While this framework seemed initially a bit daunting, it proved absolutely ideal, as we could first hold a conference and then take a step back and think about what we would like the book to look like. While there was hope for a book from the start, it was obvious to Dan and me (and to our colleagues at Exeter) that we did not simply want a volume of conference proceedings. When colleagues proposed their papers for the 2013 conference, and in particular after discussions at the conference, we asked ourselves ‘What has happened in the study of the Ancient Near East and the Eastern Mediterranean in the past 25 years?’ Significant emphasis and resources have been placed on local phenomena, on the deciphering of cuneiform tablets, and many local studies have been written. One could argue that perhaps without the postcolonial turn of the late 1980s that called for a close look at the local levels, and urged Classicists not to take the Greek sources as the first go-to for learning about Near Eastern Communities, this re-shifting of a focus and this emphasis on ‘local life’ in the Hellenistic period might not have happened. Right now, however, in this context, for us the important question was whether scholarship turned too far away from the Greek material. Yes, the local contexts are essential, but why e.g. do many local communities seem to want to identify themselves as poleis in the Hellenistic period? We felt that the old answers ‘because they do want to be part of a larger world’ were, if not misleading, then at least sub-complex, hiding, perhaps, opportunities for investigating the phenomena that interest us. In short: if we agree that Greek culture is not necessarily perceived as more valuable, more advantageous or (perhaps too simple) better than local culture, why are elements from Greek culture still attractive to so many communities of the Ancient Near East and the Eastern Mediterranean? Here we felt that these key studies from experts on their diverse regions could help us to re-address these questions, and this, I think is one of the most refreshing aspects of this volume. JH: Did you enjoy the process of editing a volume? Any plans to do that again soon? BC: Yes, certainly. It was a great opportunity to work so closely with many colleagues and at times it was also a lot of work, in particular since both my co-editor and I had not edited a book before. I am very happy with the outcome and I think it is quite an exciting volume. I also learnt a lot from colleagues and while most of the written words in the volume are not mine, I think it has helped me grow as a historian. Once I have an idea, and if I can get a good team together, I would very much like to do this again, but naturally, the idea has to come first, so I think it may be a while until I start this again.

A WHOLE NEW LOOK ONLINE At the beginning of the 2016 Fall Term, the Department of Classics launched its new website. Stay up to date with our latest news and announcements about upcoming talks and conferences. You’ll also find helpful information about our undergraduate and graduate programs. All this and more can be found at:


Erik Gunderson JH: You’re teaching a grad seminar on politics and literature in the Flavian and Antonine periods this fall. Are these the decades that you’re currently working on in your scholarship? Could you tell us a bit about your current projects? EG: I spent too much of the year worrying about texts and editions. I foolishly embarked upon one of those trendy digital humanities things. I am hoping to move this from the “current” pile to the “(more or less) completed” pile by the end of the summer. It would take up too much space to summarize the project, and I anticipate presenting an overview of it to the department at some point. But a feature list can be found at Early-adopters can download the source code and install it for themselves if the idea of running something that has a version number in the 0.9b range does not scare them off. My distinguished colleague Prof. Wohl has been running various pre-release versions for over 6 months. Currently I am indeed also assembling notes of my own under the loose heading of “complicity”. The Flavian and Antonine periods seem like a good zone in which to explore an issue like this: complicity is something they are themselves emphasizing as a salient issue. But I do not really believe that the term complicity will yield the ultimate way of structuring the question. It is just that this word offers a way of making a break from the idea of “resistance”, a category that we like too much for our own sentimental reasons and about which they offer generally suspect testimony. The aim is to build a set of tools with which one can talk about the relationship between politics, literature, and society in a more careful manner. In so doing we can expose the interplay between these orders and better appreciate this paradoxical period that was full of bloody revolutions that did not necessarily change too many structural features in any of these three dimensions. I seem also to be dusting off the theme of “stupidity” again. I suppose that there are some issues that I am still interested in after the Gellius book as well as the Plautus. I also blame Jen Oliver: her thesis was a little too interesting. I have found myself fiddling with various smaller projects relative to the self-limiting horizons of ancient scholarly discourse. A cluster of issues surrounding “institutionalized hermeneutics” seems to be emerging. And I am probably most interested in the ways various ancient readers found to steer the signifier in new directions that made breaks with those institutional parameters. In that sense the project is also about “the future” in as much as anything that is not part of the already-said tends to look “stupid” from the perspective of the dominant epistemic regime. JH: You published two books on two different topics in 2015. And in 2009 you did the same. I’m curious to know what your writing and researching processes are like. Do you generally have more than one major project on the go? If you do, are you very systematic about the way you work? EG: Publication dates are not necessarily indicative of composition dates. The books that came out in 2015 were not really written simultaneously. One was very slow to appear and the other very swift. The tortoise and the hare crossed the line around the same time. A similar situation arose in 2009. Nevertheless, I do often have a couple of big things kicking around contemporaneously. And I am currently thinking about two major sets of issues. I am not especially systematic in the way I work, at least not initially. I just collect notes and ideas for a while. Once I have a strong enough sense of the shape of the whole project and the major texts and themes I want to cover, then I will commit to writing out whatever it is I think I am about to say. At that point other things get set to one side and FIND US ON FACEBOOK I work in a more focussed and structured way. I am actually not very good at multitasking once I really dig into a specific project. In case you haven’t heard, the Department of Classics has embraced JH: You’re taking on the role of Graduate Advisor this summer. social media. Keep up to date with the Do you have anything you want to achieve during your tenure? latest posts including announcements, public lectures, and photos. Follow us at: EG: As graduate coordinator I would hope to focus on recruitment and retention. A graduate program is supposed to find bright young people and to help them do great work. Provided our graduates keep producing quality theses that augur well for both the students personally and the field more generally, then we are doing our job. While I understand that a lot of energy is spent on smaller details, the number and quality of theses are for me the real touchstone of the state of the program. The current framework of the graduate program seems like one in which people can succeed, and I want to be part of that success.


JH: Your website is a hit among the grad students. What inspired its creation? EG: This is a pleasant surprise. I have had some version of that web site for more than 15 years. I have never been a fan of the pre-rolled web packages that are typically offered. Once upon a time I ended up running my own server and serving my own pages. I have just kept at it. A place where I can distribute files quickly and easily + add in a few toys is more my speed than whatever it is Blackboard is supposed to be doing for me. I am currently revising the back end of the server, I think. But I keep getting distracted by other projects. JH: Any thoughts on the relevance of studying the classics in the age of Trudeau and Trump? EG: Trump has helped to focus my thinking about a couple of relatively amorphous projects or segments of projects. The paper I wrote a few years ago about the False Nerones was, I now realize, about a kind of Trumpish question at Rome: “Why would people want a dangerous clown as an emperor?” And the self-serving and ultimately unsatisfying official answer to that question back in the day was, “Well, perhaps a certain ‘basket of deplorables’ wants him, but...” And so one starts to look harder at the people who are offering you the official answer about where bad politics is really coming from. Of course the challenge here as elsewhere is to figure out how the contemporary can give you fresh eyes with which to explore the past without reducing that past to some sort of version of the now. As far as the “relevance” of the classics to modernity goes... Well, for me, it is more a site of potential relevance should one wish to make it relevant. The classics can give you a challenging new place to think about the world and how it works that you can put into dialogue with your own somewhat perspective-bound sense of the same. This encounter with the past can and probably should change the way you view the present. And then you can take this same changed perspective and go back to the past all over again, and then,... Any number of ancient thinkers are ready to help you with this dialogic and dialectical journey: Homer, Plato, Thucydides, Cicero, Vergil, and Petronius are all there waiting to greet you. Nevertheless, I don’t think that anyone has to study the classics in order to engage in a process of critical self-expansion: any number of other departments on campus could give you a qualitatively similar experience.


Outgoing director Robert Gibbs, who has led the institute since its inception and incoming director Alison Keith.

Excerpt reprinted from A&S News, (Article: Kim Luke; Photos: Diana Tyszko), originally published May 31, 2017 In 2007, the Hon. Henry N.R. Jackman (BA 1953, JD 1956, LLD Hon. 1993, DHL Hon. 2011) gave a $15-million gift to the University of Toronto to support the humanities. This gift doubled his 2002 donation of $15 million — making a landmark investment in the humanities at Canadian universities, and establishing the Jackman Humanities Institute (JHI). In 2017, the JHI celebrates its 10th Anniversary. A&S News spoke with incoming director Alison Keith to find out what the JHI has achieved so far and what’s yet to come. KL: Alison, why did you decide to become director of the JHI?


AK: I was excited to be offered an academic administrative post in which humanities research figures centrally. There are very few administrative positions in the contemporary academy in which we have the opportunity to nurture and celebrate the research conducted by scholars across the full range of humanities disciplines — from the study of languages, linguistics, and literatures to art, history, philosophy, and religion. The JHI is also an ideal environment for the kind of multidisciplinary research that I do. As a classicist, I work daily with texts written in Latin and ancient Greek (and scholarship in French, German and Italian) and try to assess the historical events that shaped the philosophical and religious commitments and artistic goals of classical authors. So, the opportunity to foster and participate in theoretical and methodological conversations across the humanities disciplines that the JHI supports excites me very much. KL: What do you hope to accomplish during your term as director? AK: The JHI has achieved a great deal in its first years and I hope not only to maintain the momentum of the established programs but also to consolidate the innovative developments in international, digital, and undergraduate humanities research initiated this past academic year. My top priority is to raise the public profile of humanities research in general and the research undertaken at the JHI, in particular. We have a long way to go get the word out on the street — or even across our huge university! — about the most basic questions driving humanities research at JHI. Social media offers some terrific opportunities and I hope to launch a weekly blog to showcase the innovative research questions and cross-disciplinary dynamics at the Institute. I’m also excited about the idea of podcast to showcase humanities scholarship in the public sphere. Raising our international profile is important and I hope to explore the possibility of targeting specific areas for new streams of postdoctoral fellows in journalism or public humanities research and also for scholars-at-risk. KL: What do you wish people understood better about the humanities disciplines and their role in today’s world? AK: I wish that people understood that humanities disciplines aren’t studied in a vacuum, but interact with today’s world in so many ways. Reading books and visual images and being able to analyze narrative and argument are skills that we use all the time in our lives and workplaces to make sense of our personal as well as the larger social contexts in which governments and institutions act.

“…in the uncertain economy of the future, [students] can’t go wrong by strengthening their literacy and analytic skills through study in the humanities…”

Historical interest in how a given society approaches different issues also informs our own understanding of the different forces that influence today’s social policies and inform global conflicts. The arts we enjoy in our leisure — music, visual art and theatre — can also be enriched for us by critical reflection about their origins and techniques, which are again part of humanist study. KL: How would you advise a student who wants to study humanities but is concerned about how well their studies will prepare them for the job market? AK: As a scholar and chair of classics, I always tell students that in the uncertain economy of the future, they can’t go wrong by strengthening their literacy and analytic skills through study in the humanities: critical reading, critical writing and critical analysis are transferrable skills that will take them far in whatever profession they wish to pursue. Students in humanities courses are trained to read texts and images closely, write carefully and analytically about complex ideas and synthesize complicated arguments for oral presentation. These remain valuable and relatively rare skills in our society. I also advise students to make the most of their opportunity to have an academic experience since the opportunity to focus on study for the sake of study, inquiry for the sake of inquiry, and the satisfaction of one’s own intellectual curiosity are not usually available outside of the university context and are worth pursuing if only to learn about oneself and one’s own particular interests. This kind of immersion in academic inquiry ideally helps to focus students’ professional interests beyond the university. Then I’d advise that they look at the information on the website of the Education Policy Research Initiative,, that charts mean earnings by field of study. 8



GRADUATE STUDENT FOCUS Drew Davis I have just completed my second year in the PhD program here at Toronto. It has been an exciting and busy year as I finished up my course requirements and prepared for the qualifying tests (just one to go now!). Amongst all that, this has been a very busy year of traveling for me. In May, I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Egypt with Prof. Katherine Blouin as part of her course “Orientalism and the Classics.” After spending a semester talking about how one could apply Edward Said’s Orientalism to the ancient world, we traveled to Egypt to see first-hand how 19th and 20th century European imperialism impacts the way we view Egyptian antiquity, and modern Egyptian Classical scholarship. While Egypt is not a primary research interest for me, I am interested in questions of the impact of colonialism on both the local and imperial societies, so Egypt offered a wonderful opportunity to explore such issues. Our class spent a week in Egypt, five days in Cairo, two in Alexandria. While in Cairo, Prof. Blouin organized a workshop in which we were able to meet several Egyptian students studying Classics at the University of Ain Shams. The workshop and informal discussions held afterwards were very stimulating, as we were able to share research ideas and interests together with our Egyptian colleagues, and vice versa. It was also very interesting to hear their thoughts and experiences in studying Classics in Egypt, not an easy task since the vast majority of scholarship is in foreign languages for them. In Alexandria, we were able to visit some of the GrecoRoman remains, such as the Serapeum. In Cairo, a highlight for me was our trip to old Islamic Cairo, since the medieval and Ottoman era mosques located there offered a history of Egypt all new to me. So too was our “backstage” tour, if you will, of the papyri collections at the Cairo Museum a highlight, since we got to see up close and personal some of (and indeed, the oldest) papyri in the world. But of course, seeing the Pyramids was a major highlight as well (pictured above). In June, I also had the opportunity to travel to Italy with Prof. Seth Bernard, helping him with his project to produce an architectural energetics model for the walls at Cosa, in southern Tuscany. We spent a week measuring the size of blocks of stone used in the walls, as well as drawing architectural drafts of certain sections of the wall to be used alongside photogrammetry when doing the final calculations. While at Cosa, we met up with the Cosa Excavations team, headed by Prof. Andrea De Giorgi of Florida State University. I got to know many grad students on the team and I was able to help them with minor tasks such as washing pottery (always fun!). Prof. Bernard and I also visited several other Roman/Etruscan sites in the area, such as Roselle (where we met up with Jeff Easton, pictured to the left), Orbetello, Saturnia, and Populonia. Since I am interested in Roman colonization, seeing all these sites allowed me to begin familiarizing myself with the material culture of Roman coloniae and municipia, and so my camera was going off non-stop. After a week, Prof. Bernard flew home but I stayed for another week to do some traveling of my own, making it to Rome, Naples, and the colonial sites of Pompeii (my favourite site), and Paestum (my new second favourite). Oh, and the food was amazing everywhere in Italy too! I hope to travel to Italy again in the future, this time with a better grasp on the Italian language! My trips have given me a lot to think about in terms of narrowing my research focus and of potential dissertation topics, a decision that is fast approaching in my upcoming third year! But the trips are over and it’s back to work! I am teaching my first class in July, “Augustus and the Julio-Claudians,” with Latin 101 to follow in the Fall. I am excited to start teaching (especially now that I have a large corpus of pictures from Italy to make slides with)!


Marion Durand My research focuses on Stoic philosophy of language, and in particular semantics. In my dissertation, I aim to reconstruct the Stoic semantic theory for different kinds of grammatical subjects (proper and common nouns, demonstrative and indefinite pronouns). How these words refer, that is, how they relate to the world, and how they enable successful communication is still very much debated in contemporary philosophy of language, and the Stoics had some fascinating and, in some ways, very modern views on the subject. My dissertation takes the view that for the Stoics, semantics is tightly connected with epistemology - language matters because of its role in forming our beliefs about the world - so that Stoic semantic theory has epistemological underpinnings. Part of my project also involves delving into ancient grammatical texts in search of new evidence, to supplement our sources for Stoic philosophy of language, which are few and very fragmentary. One of my dissertation chapter argues that some of the grammarians were so heavily influenced by Chrysippus' linguistic theory that they can be used as sources for it. This has enabled me to exploit previously unused material, in particular from Apollonius Dyscolus and Priscian, to better understand the Stoic theory.


Jody Cundy at graduation, June 2017. She successfully defended her thesis “Axion Theas: Wonder, Space, and Place in Pausanias’ Periegesis Hellados” (September 2, 2016).

I was lucky to present sections of my dissertation on the semantics of demonstratives at two conferences in December, the Colloque International Sêmainô "Théories anciennes de la signification" in Lille, which gathered a number of leading scholars on the topic of language and semantics in Antiquity, and the 3rd Ancient Philosophy Workshop for Female Graduate Students and Early Career Researchers at the Humboldt University in Berlin. I also attended the CAC in St John's in May, where I presented a paper on the influence of Heraclitus on Marcus Aurelius' Meditations, which I am currently revising in hope of publishing it in the near future. This year I had the opportunity to teach an upper year Greek course in the fall, GRK340/440, in which we read Plato's Phaedo. Teaching Plato was one of the most enjoyable experiences I have had in the classroom, and our undergraduate students' language skills are so strong (as I'd already witnessed teaching GRK102 and LAT102 last year) that we were able to really appreciate Plato's skill as a writer, as well as discuss some of the more difficult philosophical problems posed in the dialogue. I also taught CLA203, ‘Science in Annual graduate student/faculty skate at Dufferin Grove Park. Front row: Seth Bernard, Jeff Easton, Christer Bruun, Jesse Hill, Matt Watton, Emelen Leonard; Antiquity', which had not been offered in several Back row: John Fabiano, guest, Kevin Wilkinson, Joseph Gerbasi) years. I designed a syllabus with a somewhat philosophical approach, focusing on questions of methodology in the various areas of scientific practice. I learnt a lot and got to cover some really fun and varied topics, from the mathematics in Euclid and Aristarchus, to medical theories of the wandering womb, to Aristotelian cosmology, to science in ancient Mesopotamia and China. I heard from several STEM students that the course made them think differently about their own approach to science, and I really couldn't have hoped for a better compliment! I'm delighted that I will be able to teach it again next year.




CLASSU During the 2016-2017 school year, CLASSU introduced a number of new initiatives and improved upon existing ones. This past year saw the launch of CLASSU’s Peer Mentorship Program, pairing upper-year students with lower-years of similar academic and personal areas of interest. In its debut year, the program had over 20 mentor-mentee pairs, and hopefully it will continue to grow in the coming years.

87 Some of Plebeian’s submitters and editors. Front row: Andrew Mayo, Samantha Mazzilli, Sophia Alkhoury, Laura Harris, Seán Stewart. Back row: Joey Dattilo, Toby Keymer, Willem Crispin-Frei.

CLASSU held a number of academic events, culminating in the Assembly of the Plebs conference of undergraduate students whose papers were published in CLASSU’s journal, Plebeian. Volume III published seven papers, and is available at E.J. Pratt Library and in the CLASSU lounge. As always, CLASSU continued to hold social events for the Department’s students, as well as providing syllabus banks, midterm banks, a lounge library, and an Anti-Calendar. The CLASSU Senate had a great year working with the Department to best serve students, and cannot wait to continue in September.

Recipients of the Bachelor of Arts with Majors, Minors, and Specialists in Classics and Classical Civilization this spring - our biggest graduating cohort ever!

20 CLASSU Peer Mentorship Program pairings of upperand lower-year students.

7 Published undergraduate papers in CLASSU’s annual journal, Plebeian.

2016-2017 CLASSU Senate. Front row: Laura Harris, Gabriel Calderon, Annabelle Kolomeisky, Allison Suba, Willem Crispin-Frei, Samantha Mazzilli. Back row: Toby Keymer, Samantha OdrowazSekely, Felipe Vallejo, Sophia Alkhoury, Elizabeth Colonna.




CONGRATULATIONS TO NATHAN GILBERT We would like to congratulate Nathan Gilbert, who has recently been awarded the CAC dissertation prize for his 2015 doctoral thesis “Among Friends: Cicero and the Epicureans”. He spent this past year as a junior research fellow at Durham University in the UK. This fall Nathan will take up a permanent position as Lecturer in Latin Literature and Philosophy, likewise at Durham, where he is scheduled to teach courses on the Phaedo, Cicero’s De Oratore and Tacitus’ Dialogus. Nathan has organized a workshop on “Philosophy in Cicero’s Speeches” at Durham and will be co-organizing a conference on Cicero’s philosophy with Margaret Graver and Sean McConnell next year. He has recently given papers in Budapest and Durham and submitted various articles for publication, including his piece on the question “Was Atticus an Epicurean?”, which he originally presented in Toronto. At the moment, Nathan is preparing an article about “C. Cassius Longinus: Epicruean and Tyrannide”, and he hopes to work on Philodemus papyri in Naples next summer.

EIRENE SEIRADAKI: FROM HOMER TO ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE Eirene Seiradaki is currently leading research partnerships for RBC Research Institute, the recently established R&D arm of the Royal Bank. The Institute performs fundamental research in various fields of artificial intelligence, presents papers at academic conferences, and publishes in top-tier academic journals.

Marie-Pierre Krück: Discours de la corruption dans la Grèce classique (2016) argues that the theme of corruption in the classical era is not simply the expression of a medical, philosophical, or political concern, it is a sort of discursive catalyst essential to the genesis of tragedy, medicine, philosophy, and history.

In her role, Eirene is responsible for driving research initiatives and developing outreach strategies between the Institute and renowned institutions of higher learning around the world. In this capacity, she ensures the publication of high quality work for the Institute and facilitates the collaboration between leading international scientists, in order to push the boundaries of science in the field. Inspired by her PhD research, which focused on the dynamics of Homeric exchange and its implications for social institutions, relations, and alliances, Eirene is passionate about meaningful partnerships between universities and the industry, as a means to help resolve some of the challenges faced by both sides. RBC Research Institute now has two research labs – one at the University of Toronto and one at the University of Alberta – which contribute to the research community and help accelerate the work generated by the universities. Eirene’s vision in building world-class industrial research teams in Canada has played an instrumental role behind the launch of these labs. Her aim is to create the right opportunities for scientists graduating from Canadian universities to remain and work in the country. She is working closely with these scientists to create the right environment for this vision to become a reality.


Cillian O'Hogan: Prudentius and the Landscapes of Late Antiquity (2016) offers a thematic analysis of the poetry of the late Latin poet Prudentius, focusing in particular on his descriptions of the geographical and cultural landscapes of late antiquity.



PHILOSOPHIES OF FLAVIAN LITERATURE by Alison Keith On March 4, 2017, the Department of Classics hosted a very successful workshop on Philosophies of Flavian Literature, organized by Professor Alison Keith as part of a series of workshops, symposia and conferences sponsored by the Flavian Research Network. The FRN’s three Principal Investigators presented papers at the event: Professors Antony Augoustakis (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Emma Buckley (University of St Andrews), and Claire Stocks (University of Newcastle). Papers by Professors Sarah Blake (York University) Lorenza Bennardo (University of Geneva/University of Toronto), and Alison Keith (University of Toronto) rounded out the speakers’ roster. In addition, three doctoral students in the Department of Classics responded to the presentations: Chiara Graf, Joseph Gerbasi, and Matt Watton. This workshop was a brain-storming session for a larger conference we plan to hold here in Toronto, in 2018 or 2019, on the interconnections of philosophy, literature, and politics in the Flavian era. It has become a commonplace among historians of the early Roman empire that the strong and active Senatorial opposition to the Principate drew on philosophical principles in the articulation of its ideological foundations. These principles were explored and debated amongst the elite in contemporary philosophical writings and literary texts and popularly disseminated by philosophers and writers travelling around the empire, teaching and giving public recitals. The evidence of Dio Cassius and Suetonius suggests that the Flavian emperors responded to these philosophically engaged literary and political critiques with the execution of Senators and banishment of philosophers from Italy. What the broad historical understanding really lacks, however, is fine-grained analysis of the evidence of the literary and philosophical writings of the period. In this workshop, therefore, we began to address this gap in the scholarship by looking in detail at some of the philosophical concerns inflected in the literary texts of the Flavian period. The largest corpus of Flavian literature was that of the epic genre, which was well represented in the day’s papers, with a presentation on Valerius Flaccus’ Argonautica by Emma Buckley in the first session and a presentation on Statius’ Thebaid by Lorenza Bennardo in the second, and a final session devoted to Silius Italicus’ Punica, with papers by Claire Stocks and Antony Augoustakis. Rounding out the programme were presentations on Pliny the Younger’s letters by Sarah Blake in the first session, and Alison Keith on Martial’s epigrams in the second. This small selection of the riches of Flavian literary texts showcased the deep and sophisticated engagement with philosophical concerns in the period, and suggests further avenues ahead for this kind of granular research.


DOING CLASSICS: A WORKSHOP IN HISTORICAL METHODS by Carrie Fulton Across two events in March, undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty members from UTM’s Classics program came together at UTM to discuss the importance of and approaches to the ancient Greek and Roman worlds in today’s society. This event was sponsored by the Office of Vice-Principal Academic and Dean and supported by the Department of Historical Studies. On March 9, approximately 150 UTM undergraduate students and graduate students from the Department of Classics and the Department of the Study of Religion were in attendance to engage with two internationally renowned scholars of Greek and Roman antiquity, Prof. Greg Woolf (Institute for Classical Studies, University of London) and Prof. Michele Salzman (University of California, Riverside), who each offered a short presentation on their approach to the study of the Ancient World. Through his research into migration and mobility in the ancient world, Prof. Woolf challenged the audience to consider that the current refugee crisis and attempts to control migration in the modern world restricts millennia-old mobility. For Prof. Salzman, her research into how Romans organized time is a gateway to thinking about not only who shaped elements of Roman society but also why they did. Rather than viewing the past as a lesson that modern societies must learn from, this reasoning not only forces us to challenge our modern assumptions that we bring to our study of the past but also critically to examine problems of the present. The papers were followed by a lively debate and a reception. One of the many student voices in response to this event concluded that ‘[the event] was extremely valuable in helping classics students realize that there is great importance in what we study and that although it may seem far removed from present day, there is always relevance in terms of global and societal issues.’ On March 10, Prof. Woolf and Prof. Salzman engaged a group of 20 graduate students and faculty members in discussions of current approaches to questions of religious change in the ancient Roman world. While the prior event provided a framework for the role of Classics in our modern society, the graduate workshop presented multiple approaches to teasing apart how to approach social questions regarding the ancient Greek and Roman worlds and how to do ancient history in a 21st-century context. These connections to the past, and the tools for understanding these connections, are continually challenging us to re-analyze assumptions about today’s world and to actively work to generate questions about the future.

FROM TORONTO TO CAIRO: IMPERIAL LANDSCAPES This past year Prof. Katherine Blouin has brought Egypt to Toronto and a group of Toronto students to Egypt. KB: Although the greatest achievement of the last academic year was by far the ability of my immune system to (barely) survive my son’s first year at daycare, I am grateful for the many interconnected conversations I’ve been involved in, in Toronto, in Egypt, and on the ever-powerful world wide web. First, in Fall 2016, I had the great pleasure of teaching a graduate seminar entitled “Orientalism and the Classics”. The group included Drew Davis, Chiara Graf, Rachel Mazzara, Emily Mohr, Naomi Neufeld, and Shona Scott (MA student from York University). Starting from a careful reading of Edward Said’s seminal book Orientalism (1978) and of the scholarly work it inspired in ancient history and reception studies, we reflected on the many ways in which Orientalism has shaped the field of Classics. Issues discussed included the relationship between Orientalism and the development of Classics as a discipline, Antiquity as a "chronological Orient", ancient Orientalisms, and the origin, role, and significance of ancient topoi linked to the "Other" in contemporary discourses. This seminar took place in conjunction with the taunch of a blog entitled Everyday Orientalism,, which I developed and manage with my colleagues Rachel Mairs (University of Reading, UK) and Usama Ali Gad (Ain Sham University, Egypt). The blog, which features contributions by ourselves and others, has so far generated several fruitful conversations among academics, students, and members of the general public. It notably includes an interview of Phiroze Vasunia (University College London, UK) – one of the authors we discussed during the seminar – by our very own Chiara Graf. 14

In some ways, the seminar also lasted well beyond the end of the Fall term. Indeed, from April 24 to May 3, 2017 all six students joined me in Egypt for a week-long program entitled “Orientalism and the Classics in Egypt”. In addition to visiting a number of ancient-to-modern sites, institutions and areas of Cairo and Alexandria and to meeting with some experts working in the country, the students also attended the workshop “Orientalism and the Classics in Egypt”, which I co-organized with Rachel Mairs and Usama Ali Gad on April 26, 2017. The event aimed at fostering reflections on the relationship between imperialism, colonialism, and the historiography and scholarship related to ancient Egypt. It also sought to create a new space where conversations between Arab-speaking and “western” colleagues and students also include the Arabic language (with, when needed, the use of live or written translations). Initially, the Wadi Natrun monasteries had also been on the program, but Pope Francis decided to come to Egypt the weekend we were supposed to go there. His visit led the Egyptian authorities to close all monasteries for security reasons. That’s a shame, but on the plus side, it left the group plenty of time to enjoy Alexandria’s hospitable energy, corniche, and architecture. The success of the trip and of the workshop has led Rachel, Usama and myself to turn both initiatives into a yearly tradition. The April 2018 version of the graduate trip should include one to two UofT graduates, as many students from University of Reading, and the workshop will feature four papers, each followed by extensive discussion. Finally, on March 23-24, 2017 I organized an international conference entitled “Imperial landscapes: Empires, societies and environments in the ancient to modern Nile Delta”. The event, which was financed with the help of my SSHRC Insight Development grant, asked the following questions: What was the significance of the Nile Delta within the successive empires it belonged to from the Pharaonic to the modern period? And complementarily, how did imperialisms shape the region’s socio-environmental dynamics in the longue durée? Among the speakers were three members of our department – Peter Bing, Regina Höschele, and Kevin Wilkinson. The conference was very well attended, by colleagues and students from Classics and beyond, and I am currently preparing an expanded collective volume focusing on the same theme. How did the students experience their trip to Egypt? Here are some of their impressions captured during interviews conducted by Jesse Hill: Key to the success of the workshop was the participation of a group of Egyptian graduate students. As Chiara Graf explains, “we had a pretty open and frank discussion where many of the Egyptian graduate students voiced their frustrations at the lack of respect given in classics to scholarly articles written in Arabic. These sorts of conversations helped us both forge connections with other graduate students and understand the limitations of our field.” Chiara’s classmates agree: Drew Davis, for instance, reports having a newfound understanding of the challenges facing Egyptian scholars in the study of “what is typically thought of as an Anglo-European subject” and Emily Mohr expresses the hope that younger classicists will make the effort to learn Arabic as an academic language, so as to mitigate these challenges. While the workshop was the trip’s main point, it was far from the only thing the students got up to: a tour through Islamic Cairo and an excursion to the pyramids were, particular highlights (so, too, was their nightly visit to the ice cream shop by the hotel!). But there were also plenty of opportunities outside of the formal workshop to think about classical antiquity. The interrelation of Egyptian, Greek, and Roman histories was impressed upon them in a way it had never been before by memorable visits to the Institut français d'archéologie orientale and The Egyptian Museum; Rachel Mazzara remembers in particular a moment at the latter institution when she and Chiara were struck by the depth of the relationship between Egypt and Greece as they stood looking at a papyrus role containing a section of the Iliad. The students all agree, then, that, although none of their own research has to this point explicitly focused on Egypt, the trip was nonetheless of real value for their development as classicists, not only allowing them, as it did, to establish contacts with young scholars outside of North America and Europe, but also deepening their understanding of our discipline.




Kenneth R. Thompson (1930-2016) Kenneth R. Thompson, emeritus Registrar and Associate Professor of Classics at Victoria College, in the University of Toronto, died on Friday, August 26, at the age of 85. Ken received his B.A. in 1953 from Queen’s University and his A.M. in 1954 from Harvard University. In 1954-1955, he worked as Principal Clerk at the National Research Council in Ottawa, where he met his future wife Katharine (Appleby), and from 1955-1957 he taught as Lecturer in Classics at Dalhousie University in Halifax. Ken and Katherine married in 1957 and moved back to Boston, where their son Bernard (Kuniko) was born. Ken left Harvard ABD in 1959 to take up a position as Lecturer in Classics at Victoria College in the University of Toronto, where he was promoted to Assistant Professor (1963), Associate Professor (1973), Associate Registrar (1975) and then to Registrar (1977). His daughters Cecily (Shakir) and Hope (Simone) were born in Toronto. During his years in the Registrar’s Office of Victoria College Ken continued to teach Introductory Latin and Greek in the combined Department of Classics at the University of Toronto. The history and community of Victoria College were of great importance and interest to him, and he had a rich professional life there until his retirement in 1996, and well beyond. Ken was a kind and patient teacher and a staunch and generous friend to generations of students and colleagues at Victoria College, and he remained closely involved with the College throughout his retirement.

Joan M. Bigwood (1937-2017) Joan M. Bigwood, emerita Associate Professor of Classics at Victoria College in the University of Toronto, died on Thursday, February 16, 2017, at the age of 80. She is survived by her siblings Frank, Kitty, and Louise, and is sadly missed by them and her nieces and nephews. Born in Scotland in 1937 into a musical family, Joan was the third of four children of a Presbytarian minister, and grew up in Stonehaven (Aberdeenshire). An accomplished cellist, she played in the Scottish National Youth Orchestra in her youth. She received her MA (1st Class Honours) in Latin & Greek in 1958 from the University of St. Andrews. After a year at the Moray House College of Education in Edinburgh (19581959), she went to Cambridge, MA on a full scholarship from Radcliffe College to pursue doctoral studies in Classics (Latin & Greek) at Harvard University. She completed her PhD there in 1964 with a dissertation entitled “Ctesias of Cnidus (a study in Ionian historiography),” under the supervision of Herbert Bloch. She was hired forthwith by Victoria College, at the University of Toronto, where she spent her long career as successively Lecturer (1964-1966) and Don, Victoria University Women’s Residence (1964-1967); Assistant Professor (1966-1975); Associate Professor (1975-2001); Associate (1982-1990) and Continuing Member of SGS (1990-2001). She retired from the Department of Classics in the University of Toronto one year early, on June 30, 2001. Professor Bigwood’s area of research specialization was Greek history of the fifth and “…Joan was always good fourth centuries BCE, to which she joined an interest in the history and antiquities of Achaemenid Persia. She published a series of lengthy articles in this area dealing with company and a generous a wide range of subjects, from Ctesias as a historian of the Persian Wars (Phoenix 32 friend and mentor to her [1978] 19-41) and of India (Phoenix 43 [1989] 302-16), to his description of the city junior female colleagues.” of Babylon and its monuments (AJAH 3 [1978] 32-52, and his understanding of North West India in Achaemenid times (JHS 115 [1995] 135-40). The larger questions driving her research were how ancient authors worked, how Greeks perceived non-Greek peoples and cultures, and questions of trade and cultural exchange. After her retirement in 2001, she turned her attention, with particular tenacity, to the investigation of the representation of Persian women in Greek historiography, with articles on incestuous marriage in Achaemenid Iran, the Parthian queen Mousa, the queen-mother Sisygambis, and women in the ancient accounts of Alexander.


Professor Bigwood was a much-admired teacher of ancient Greek and the history of ancient Greece, especially of the historians Herodotus and Thucydides, whom she taught at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Her exacting standards made her a demanding instructor, but in turn she gave unstintingly to her students and her wealth of knowledge enriched not only their classes but also a series of doctoral theses on which she served as a committee member throughout the 1990s. Over her long career at Victoria College, she served in a variety of capacities, from her initial service as a Don in the women’s residence to her long-running service as Discipline Group Representative in Classics. To the Department of Classics, she contributed to a term as Undergraduate Coordinator (1992-1995) and participated regularly in the annual “High School Classics Day” which brought so many local high school students to the University of Toronto campus. In addition, she served a term on the Editorial Board of Phoenix, Journal of the Classical Association of Canada (1981-1984). She was a kind and patient teacher, and a staunch friend to generations of students and colleagues at Victoria College. Outside of the classroom and library, Joan was always good company and a generous friend and mentor to her junior female colleagues. She imparted wise advice about teaching and publishing over lunches that lacked nothing in the way of wit and kindly gossip too. She was an avid runner and a keen tennis player, who never ceased to regret the loss of the Victoria College tennis courts. She continued to play chamber music for quite a while during her time in Toronto, but gave it up eventually because of difficulties over practising in her apartment building. She retained her love for classical music, however, and enjoyed attending concerts with friends.

Daniel J. Thornton (1971-2017) Daniel J. Thornton, who died unexpectedly on Sunday, February 12, 2017 was a highly respected teacher who taught generations of CLA students at UTM and UTSG. He is survived by his partner, Chris Thornton-White of Toronto, and by his mother, Maureen Lemieux (nee Lawson). Born in Pawtucket in 1971, he grew up in Rhode Island before moving to Cleveland, Ohio, where Daniel received his BA magna cum laude in Classical and Medieval Studies and History from Cleveland State University. A broadly trained Classicist and a very gifted linguist, Daniel had many academic interests and talents, which his academic presentations and publications amply document. The Greek novelistic literature of the 2nd century CE was one interest of his. Daniel worked on Longus’ novel Daphnis and Chloe since the late 1990s and returned to this text as recently as 2016. For most of the time, however, Daniel’s research focused on the late antique world, starting with his Cleveland Senior Honors Thesis on the Pervigilium Veneris, a Latin poem probably written in the 4th century CE. Late antique literature also figured prominently in Daniel’s research while he was completing his MA, which he received from the Department of Classics in Toronto in 2000.

“Daniel will be fondly remembered as an excellent teacher, whose enthusiasm and commitment inspired a wide range of undergraduate students...”

Increasingly, however, Daniel turned to the political history of the later 4th and 5th centuries, and Theodosius I became a particular focus of Daniel’s attention during the early stages of his PhD research. More recently, Daniel conducted extensive research on magical practices and imperial legislation in late antiquity and was making good progress towards the completion of his doctoral thesis on this topic.

Daniel will be fondly remembered as an excellent teacher, whose enthusiasm and commitment inspired a wide range of undergraduate students at several Ontario Universities: Trent, Guelph, and most prominently the University of Toronto. From 2000-2008, Daniel taught in the Department of Classics at UTSG. From 2004-2017, he served in the same capacity in Historical Studies at UTM, where he was promoted to Sessional Lecturer II. During his career as Classics instructor at UTM, Daniel could be relied upon to teach almost anything, from the most introductory to the most advanced undergraduate courses in Classical Civilization. Teaching was very important to Daniel, and it was through his inimitable teaching that he made an immeasurable contribution to his discipline and to the departments in which he worked. In fact, Daniel must have inspired literally thousands of undergraduates, many of whom have credited him with introducing them to the ancient world more generally and to late antiquity in particular. Several of those Daniel taught have decided to pursue an MA or a PhD in the field and fondly remember his unwavering support and guidance.




The biennial Graduate Student Conference, “The Fidelity of Fides: Authenticity in the Classical World” will be held October 13-14, 2017 at the Department of Classics, University of Toronto.


Keynote Speakers: • James Porter (University of California, Berkeley) • Erik Gunderson (University of Toronto) The question of authenticity – that is, fidelity to the truth, in whatever form it takes – remained at the forefront of Greek and Roman minds. Ancient authors since the time of Homer lingered over the question of whether something or someone accurately reflected what was “true,” and we see the ripples of this problem in the minds of ancient historiographers, orators, playwrights, poets, and even in surviving inscriptions and papyri. Notions of truth defined individual and collective identities, served political ends, and shaped philosophical outlooks in the GraecoRoman world. Likewise, questions of authenticity remain rooted in our minds today as we examine the material and literary culture of the past: are the artifacts we have accurate representations of the classical world? Do the texts present the world as it was, or in an idealized fashion? Can there be any accurate representation, in words or material, of the truth? To what extent was truth even important at all in the ancient world? Our conference aims to investigate the ways in which ancient peoples grappled with the issues of authenticity, and how we too today deal with the issue of “truth” and “authenticity” when dealing with the fragmented written and material evidence which survives from the ancient world. The conference will feature papers that will examine questions of authenticity in all subdivisions of Classics and related disciplines, including (but not limited to) philology, history, art history, archaeology, women and gender studies, science and medicine, philosophy, and reception studies. 18

The Annual Meeting of the Classical Association of Canada (CAC) will be hosted in May 2018 by the University of Calgary, AB.

Archaeological Institute of Amercia (AIA) and Society of Classical Studies (SCS) Joint Annual Meeting will be held January 4-7, 2018 in Boston, MA. *********************

The annual Undergraduate Student Conference, “The Assembly of the Plebs IV” will be held March 2018 at the Department of Classics, University of Toronto. *********************

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QUESTIONS? For more information regarding the content of this volume of CLASSICS, the Department of Classics newsletter, please contact: Regina Höschele Associate Professor 125 Queen’s Park Toronto, ON M5S 2C7 (416) 946-7947 Suggestions or news to report for future issues? Please contact us by e-mail at:

CLASSICS | Department of Classics Newsletter SUMMER 2017 | Volume XXIV

Classics Newsletter 2017  

University of Toronto, Department of Classics annual newsletter.

Classics Newsletter 2017  

University of Toronto, Department of Classics annual newsletter.