Zackary Rider - "The Failure of Sacrifice in the De Rerum Natura"
This paper examines Lucretius's use of the imagery of animal sacrifice in the De Rerum Natura, showing how the poet repeatedly portrays the practice in negative terms as a socially destructive force that disrupts familial bonds. This negative characterization differs notably from that given by other Epicurean sources that describe sacrifice in generally positive terms. This discrepancy encourages us to reconsider Lucretius's relationship to his philosophical sources; rather than rigidly adhering to Epicurean doctrine, Lucretius makes his own contributions to Epicurean philosophy, in part by incorporating elements of the Empedoclean attitude towards animal sacrifice.
Rex Stem - "Idealizing a Life of Friendship: Cicero's De Amicitia in Nepos's Life of Atticus"
This paper argues that Cornelius Nepos when composing his Life of Atticus incorporated principles articulated in Cicero's De Amicitia yet broadened them to fit his presentation of Atticus as an ideal friend. The connections between Nepos, Atticus, and Cicero are reviewed, and the correspondences between the two texts are collected and contextualized. Cicero's elevation of true friendship over transactional friendship provides Nepos the rhetorical stance and moral basis to justify Atticus's practice even as Nepos discards Cicero's ideal of paired friends and renders Atticus an ideal friend to all.
Dylan Sailor - "Arminius and Flavus across the Weser"
Tac. Ann. 2.9–10 is dense with allusions to Livy's early republican narrative. This paper seeks to show that, when read in light of these, the scene prompts reflection on how Rome has changed since the Republic, specifically, in its relationship to libertas, in its army's reliance on auxiliary forces, and in its acquisition of an empire. The paper further argues that Ann. 2.9–10 is recalled in later passages of the Annals (2.88, 11.16–17) in ways that affect our understanding of the importance of it and its themes within Tacitus's representation of the function of his work.
Ari Z. Bryen - "Politics, Justice, and Reform in Dio's Euboicus"
This paper uses a close reading of Dio's Euboicus to reflect on the understandings of law, justice, and politics among Greek intellectuals in the high empire more generally. The Euboicus can be read as a satire concerning urban political autonomy in an empire; these rituals of political autonomy and judgment, Dio argues, were ultimately empty. Accordingly, in the second part of the speech, Dio presents a vision of social reform in which he envisions the possibility of a world without legal politics.
Pavlos Avlamis - "Contextualizing Quintus: The Fall of Troy and Cultural Uses of the Paradoxical Cityscape in Posthomerica 13"
The article argues for a reader-oriented approach to the way Quintus of Smyrna (and other Imperial Greek poetry) can be placed in their synchronic literary context. The argument has a second, more specific goal: to show how such a reorientation can offer us a sense of the cultural work performed by the text, especially in terms of the ways in which one particular episode, the fall of Troy in book 13 of the Posthomerica, models and channels ideas about past and present, as well as Greek and Roman identity.