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Presidential Address

John Marincola - “The Historian as Hero: Herodotus and the 300 at Thermopylae”


Naomi Weiss - “The Choral Architecture of Pindar’s Eighth Paean”

This paper argues that the interplay between the narrative and performance of Pindar’s eighth paean embeds it within the physical environment of Delphi, at the site of the Alcmaeonid temple for which it was composed. The use of choreographic and musical images to describe the temple’s mythical predecessors merges with the chorus’s own choreia, which thus has a doubling effect, visually and acoustically overlaying the Alcmaeonid temple with these older structures in a complex interaction of real and imagined space.

Florence Yoon - “Against a Prometheia: Rethinking the Connected Trilogy”

This paper argues that Prometheus Bound and Prometheus Unbound were independent plays. It reevaluates the evidence for connected trilogies in general and questions the assumption that this was Aeschylus’s preferred dramatic structure. It considers both the external and internal evidence for the connection of the two Prometheus plays, and concludes that they were originally written and produced independently—either by two authors, one of whom was deliberately referring to the work of his predecessor, or by a single author who revisited a mythological thread on a separate occasion.

Craig Maynes - “Comic Callimacheanism in Catullus 67”

Catullus 67 makes heavy use of the narrative and discursive traditions of the Roman comic stage. Through a close reading of the poem, this article demonstrates that Catullus has skillfully intertwined these comic features with the traditions of Callimachean aetiology. In so doing, Catullus cleverly underscores the position of the “mundane” within his own sophisticated poetics, simultaneously affirming his allegiance to Callimachean techne and celebrating his freedom from generic limitations.

Susan Satterfield - “The Prodigies of 17 BCE and the Ludi Saeculares”

Julius Obsequens, a fourth-century epitomizer of Livy, records three prodigies for the year 17 BCE: a lightning strike against a tower near the Colline Gate, an earthquake at the villa of Livia, and a comet. I argue that these prodigies were fabricated to prompt the consultation of the Sibylline Books and the subsequent celebration of the Ludi Saeculares in that year. Furthermore, these prodigies connected Augustus’s Ludi Saeculares to previous performances of the games; invoked Golden Age imagery of fertility, prosperity, and victory through peace; and emphasized the role of Augustus and his family in ushering in the new saeculum.

Federico Santangelo - “Enduring Arguments: Priestly Expertise in the Early Principate”

One of the key aspects of the Augustan settlement, and more generally of the early Principate, was the firm control of the princeps over public religion, including the main priestly colleges. This paper sets out to consider several related problems: what place—if any—did the expertise that priests deployed in the performance of their duties have in that period? How did emperors engage with it? What impact did it have on the workings of the Senate? How can these issues shed light on the interplay between politics and religion at a time of profound historical change?