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The Athenian Navy and Democracy: Top-Down, Bottom Up or Topsy Turvy?

By David Rosenbloom

Historians are critical of views that make naval power a condition for democracy at Athens (Ceccarelli 1993, van Wees 1995; Gabrielsen 2002) and elsewhere in Greece (Robinson 2011: 230-37) as a mirage of ideology (e.g. Gabrielsen 2002: esp. 209-12). This paper seeks to pinpoint the moment of elite ideological formation and contestation in perceptions of a “bottom-up” organization in the Athenian navy and democratic culture.

Navigating Tricky Topics: The Benefits of Performance Pedagogy

By Christopher Bungard

Mary-Kay Gamel reminds us, “Roman playwrights wrote for performance, not for reading,” (2013: 466). Yet students at all levels easily forget this when presented with a printed text. Turning the written word into a living performance engages the work of traditional scholarship, putting forward an interpretation demanding audience response. It is a process of making the play meaningful for a specific audience, a process involving the collective interpretation of playwright, actors, and audience.

Sophocles after Ferguson: Antigone in St. Louis, 2014

By Timothy J. Moore

In October 2014, the Upstream Theater Company in St. Louis performed David Slavitt’s translation of Sophocles’ Antigone. Upstream Theater’s director, Philip Boehm, and his design crew deliberately chose not to mold their production in a way that referred explicitly to contemporary events. Nevertheless, the events of August 2014 and after in Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb just twelve miles from the theater where Antigone was performed, inevitably affected both Boehm’s and his colleagues’ decisions and the way audiences responded to the play.

Raising the Stakes: Mary-Kay Gamel and the Academic Stage

By Amy R. Cohen

In the version of Sophocles’ Ajax that Mary-Kay Gamel devised and directed with Jana Adamitis at Christopher Newport University in 2011, Ajax was seen (in silhouette) to slaughter not sheep and cattle but rather human war prisoners. With that change, and by setting The Ajax Project in the modern setting of the American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Gamel and her collaborators changed the terms of the play and reframed its issues of honor.

The Hell of the Populace: Marx, Epicurus, and the Limits of Enlightenment

By Martin Devecka

Marx’s doctoral dissertation reads like a full-throated vindication of Epicurus against the uncomprehending critique to which he had been subject from antiquity onward. In a fragment (“On Religious Feudalism”) that comes at the end of that dissertation, however, Marx takes a surprising turn: he admits that an ancient criticism of Epicurus may actually be correct.

Marxing out on Fundus: Salvaging the Slave from Virgil’s Farm

By Tom Geue

This paper explores the hitherto rebuffed possibilities of using Marx to read ancient texts. I shall argue that, far from being a frame that paralyses literature through historical determinism, Marxist criticism is one of the best available tools for unsettling our experience of ancient culture by chasing its conspicuous absences, the things that are not there. In this way, such criticism becomes a fundamentally creative way to embrace antiquity’s gaping gaps. Marx is especially helpful in allowing us to crack even further, and more productively, the wrecked texts of antiquity.

Ode on a Grecian Printing-Press: Marx and the possibility of antiquity

By Adam Edward Lecznar

In 1842, Karl Marx (1818-1883) submitted his doctoral dissertation on the differences between the Epicurean and Democritean theories of atomism. This paper begins with Marx’s youthful treatment of Epicurean philosophy as an example of how to philosophize practically in the aftermath of the theoretical philosophy of Plato and Aristotle; it goes on to argue that ,throughout his life, ancient Greece offered Marx a source of hope in the potential of human activity.

Pythagoreanising Tendencies in Cicero’s Translation of the Timaeus

By Georgina Frances White

Scholarly approaches to Cicero’s translation technique in his Timaeus have often focused on perceived inadequacies, either in the Latin language’s ability to articulate complex philosophical thought (Poncelet, 1957), or in Cicero’s grasp of his Platonic subject matter (Levy, 2003). Some works have challenged this perception, showing how Cicero’s adaptation of Platonic syntax and vocabulary work to produce a new text that exhibits Cicero’s elegant, Latin prose style (Lambardi, 1982).

Cicero’s Platonic Methodology

By Christina Maria Hoenig

Cicero’s partial translation of Plato’s Timaeus poses somewhat of a conundrum. The author makes no mention of this translation in the preface to his De Divinatione II, where he provides a catalogue of his philosophical writings, and it appears that it was not included among his publications. Aside from Cicero’s intention, voiced in his treatise De Finibus, to produce a literal translation of Greek philosophy, what might have attracted his interest in this Platonic dialogue?