Your Amphora staff members are pleased to bring you this new issue, in print and digital formats. At the initiative of Executive Director Adam Blistein, we have been developing ways to bring materials to you in both formats, much as we did in our most recent issue, as a way of leveraging the benefits of print and digital presentation.
In this issue, KFB Fletcher (Louisiana State University) examines the considerable crossover that classical studies makes into the world of metal, or heavy metal, music. He surveys their use of Latin, and the reuse of mythical themes and plot elements from authors and works we know well, as well as people and events from ancient history. His piece includes hyperlinks to samples of “classical” metal music, so readers may care to visit the version of his article on the SCS’s blog, where the links are of course live and clickable, although those reading Amphora in PDF format will also find these links (and others in the issue) are live.
Similarly, Sebastian Heath (New York University) has shared with us details on the process of 3D scanning, drawing upon the excavations at Kenchreai led by Joseph Rife (Vanderbilt University). Sebastian discusses the ways in which scanning might take place and the effect of different kinds of techniques, as well as suggesting where this practice might fit into one’s teaching, if, for instance. a country of interest is hostile to students, or merely expensive to visit. Visitors to the version of Sebastian’s piece on the SCS blog will find links to sample rotating 3D presentations of artifacts.
A third piece that is best read online is my brief essay presenting an audio file of an important panel at the recent annual meeting of the Medieval Academy of America. This specially commissioned session offered presentations by, and conversations among, scholars Barbara Rosenwein (Loyola University of Chicago, emerita), Irina Dumitrescu (Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn), and Mary Carruthers (New York University, emerita). The panel featured a discussion of the situation facing the humanities, particularly but not exclusively medieval studies, in the context of an academic landscape, familiar to most of us, that privileges the hard sciences, medicine, and engineering. There is much to be gained from a consideration of a discipline in a rather analogous situation to our own, as analyzed by three experienced and innovative practitioners of the scholastic and administrative arts.
Wells Hansen, assistant editor of Amphora, asks whether SCS members can play a bigger role in creating and maintaining Wikipedia's information on the ancient world.
Bearing considerable social impact is this issue’s contribution from Roberta Stewart (Dartmouth College), who discusses her important work with combat veterans through reading groups on the Iliad and Odyssey. For veterans who have witnessed so much violence, it is marvelous to see the positive effect of Homer’s poems. It is also instructive to learn the soldier’s view of Greek military leaders like Achilles and Odysseus: our soldiers today can give voice to the Greek soldiers who did not make it home from their own wars.
This issue offers other insights and experience we hope readers will enjoy and find worth sharing with their friends and colleagues, and perhaps their department chairs or deans. Two authors consider modern use of ancient themes. Victoria Pagán (University of Florida) reflects on playwright Sarah Ruhl’s modern retelling of the Eurydice story, with observations on the effect and importance of its unusual staging. Thomas Kohn (Wayne State University) takes a look at Rick Riordan’s new title in the Percy Jackson series, and what it tells young adult readers about the uses and reuses of myth. His examination is a reminder that different versions of an ancient story, like Eurydice, or the Oresteia, can speak to different students.
Two additional authors consider what the Roman historical record has to say to a more modern world. Herbert Benario (Emory University, emeritus) considers the dramatic relationship between Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida and Tacitus’ account of the Cherusci, a German tribe led by Arminius among others. David Potter (University of Michigan) finds notable similarities between the Roman imperial world of professional athletes, on one hand, and the recent boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao on the other, suggesting that FIFA and the NFL and other sports associations have a long row to hoe trying to police their respective sports.
Ronnie Ancona (Hunter College and the CUNY Graduate Center) and Kathleen Durkin (Garden City High School and Hunter College) advise us of a current shortage of certified Latin teachers: it is the rare news item these days that mentions unfilled jobs that are both interesting and worthwhile. Ronnie and Kathleen provide guidelines for obtaining these posts: background research, certification, and a consideration of information provided by the SCS and the ACL.
All in all, Wells and I, and the Amphora editorial board, hope you will find much of interest in this issue, and will want to share it with others. Last but not least, Wells and I would like to express our deep gratitude to the anonymous peer referees of the issue’s articles.
Ellen Bauerle, Editor, Amphora