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Posts by Joel Christensen

The inside of a church filled with debris and broken pews. An altar is still standing under an apse in the front.

Blog: Antioch in Ruins: An Interview with Arie Amaya-Akkermans

March 15, 2023

Like many of us, I have been following the aftermath of the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria with dismay — there’s no real way to comprehend the scale of destruction and loss of life in the region. To make matters worse, reporting in US media has been limited, and the information coming out of the region has been limited by the obstacles of the chaos and the responses of the regional governments. We all know that the situation in the region is bad; what we understand less is that this is a generational devastation and the political structures are likely making it worse.

A painting of Rome featuring a crowd of men fighting on a hill. Behind them is an obelisk, a column, and a toppled white marble statue of a nude man.

Blog: Ista Tempora! Isti Mores!: January 6th, A Year Later

January 6, 2022

At 2:00 pm on January 6th, 2021, a mob made its way up the steps of the U.S. Capitol following a morning of brinkmanship, speeches, and speculation. I sat in my office at home, logged into a Zoom session, watching Twitter and a streaming news channel on one screen, all while pretending to be engaged with the beginning of an SCS Panel, “The Powers and Perils of Solitude in Greek Literature.”

At 2:20 or so, I was slated to begin a talk entitled “Being Human, Being Alone” as the Capitol was evacuated and our legislators were put under protection. At 2:24 pm, President Trump tweeted, “Mike Pence didn't have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set Read more …

Blog: ‘Greater the Profit...When Two Go Together” [Il. 10.224-5]: Homeric Adventures in Collaboration and Open Access Publishing

March 12, 2020

By Joel P. Christensen and Elton Barker

How does one (er, a pairing) write a collaborative book and how might we make sure that our work is accessible to students, teachers, and all those interested in Classics? Gather round for the biography of a new and freely available book, Read more …

Ancient Greek football player balancing the ball. Part of a marble grave stele, found in Piraeus, 400-375 BC. Item (NAMA) 873 of the National Archaeological Museum, Athens. Image via Wikimedia under Public Domain.

Blog: A Regular Roman’s Guide to the World Cup Semifinal Match

July 10, 2018

“For as long as he lives, a man has no greater glory
than that which he wins with his own hands and feet”

οὐ μὲν γὰρ μεῖζον κλέος ἀνέρος, ὄφρα κεν ᾖσιν,
ἢ ὅ τι ποσσίν τε ῥέξῃ καὶ χερσὶν ἑῇσιν.
Homer, Odyssey 8.147-148

Salve, My ancient Roman friend—I know that much of this world of ours confuses you. Not if I had ten thousand mouths and as many years could I cover the histories of the centuries between your world and ours, nor could I catalog and explain airplanes, televisions, cell phones, and the droning chorus of wonders and horrors you see around you.

But maybe I can start with something which will help bridge the gulf between your world and ours—sport. Even though the younger Pliny mocked his contemporaries for their passion for horse races, passion for sport is an ancient Read more …

Review: Suda On Line

May 30, 2017

The idiosyncratic Greek encyclopedia from the 10th century CE known as “The Suda” (from the Greek word souda, meaning “fortress” or “stronghold”) is filled with fascinating assertions, cultural minutiae, and enough gossip for a lifetime of anecdotes. Suda On Line (SOL) is the first and only translation of the entire Suda into a modern language, and it presents in some ways a model for digital scholarship, even twenty years after its inception. A team of seven managing editors, seventy-five editors, and over 125 contributing translators created it (a history of the project is available here). SOL is open to contributions from users; each entry is marked with a history of who translated it, who provided comments, and what, if any, editorial interventions were performed later. Read more …