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From Gibbon to "Gladiator," it might seem like we know a lot about Ancient Rome, but our view of this civilization is a skewed one. The Romans lived in one of the most stratified societies in history. Around 1.5% of the population controlled the government, military, economy and religion. Through the writings and possessions they left behind, these rich, upper-class men are also responsible for most of our information about Roman life.
The remaining people – commoners, slaves and others – are largely silent. They could not afford tombstones to record their names, and they were buried with little in the way of fancy pottery or jewellery. Their lives were documented by the elites, but they left few documents of their own.
Now, Kristina Killgrove, an archaeologist from Vanderbilt University, wants to tell their story by sequencing their DNA, and she is raising donations to do it. “Their DNA will tell me where these people, who aren’t in histories, were coming from,” she says. “They were quite literally the 99% of Rome.”
Read more on the Light Years blog at http://lightyears.blogs.cnn.com/2011/11/11/who-were-the-99-of-ancient-rome/
At its meeting in September 2011, the Board of Directors voted to recommend to the members that they change the By-Laws to combine the existing divisions of Publications and Research, effective January 6, 2013. Members will be asked to vote on this change at the Annual Meeting of Members on January 8, 2012, in Philadelphia.
Current By-Law language with proposed deletions
struck through and proposed additions [in brackets].
OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS
13. The Board of Directors shall consist of the President, President-Elect,
six[five] Vice Presidents, two Financial Trustees, six additional Directors, and Immediate Past President. In addition, the Executive Director shall be a member of the Board of Directors with voice but without vote. Except as may be provided otherwise by law, any Director or the entire Board of Directors may be removed, with or without cause, by a majority of the members then entitled to vote in an election duly called for that purpose.
Daniel Mendelsohn reviews Stephen Mitchell's new translation of the Iliad in the November 7th edition of The New Yorker. Read an abstract of the review online here.
It has now been decided that no reduction in staff numbers in Classics at Royal Holloway will take place until the end of the academic year 2013-14. Moreover if we recruit good numbers of students with AAB or above at A-level for 2012 and our plans to increase our numbers of Master’s students, both for our MA programmes and for our new MRes programmes, are successful, the proposal for a reduction in staff numbers is likely to be reviewed. Validation of our two new MRes degrees, one in Rhetoric and one in Classical Reception, is in train. For more details, see the Department’s blog at http://supportclassicsatrhul.wordpress.com and the Departmental website at www.rhul.ac.uk/ClassicsandPhilosophy.
We will be very pleased to receive good applications for Master’s and PhD degrees as well as for all our undergraduate programmes for September 2012.
Prof. Anne Sheppard
Head of Classics and Philosophy Department
University of London
Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX
The new Placement Service web site is now available at placement.apaclassics.org. We appreciate the patience that both candidates and hiring institutions have shown as we develop this new service. The web site will permit both candidates and institutions to register and to submit scheduling information online and to see their schedules filled out as specific interview times are assigned. Registered candidates will also be able to see new position listings as soon as texts of those listings are received and reviewed. Please note that this new web site for registered candidates will only supplement – it will not replace – the traditional monthly listings of new positions that appear on the APA and AIA web sites. The traditional listings perform a number of valuable functions for the field, but we look forward to giving active job candidates the earliest possible access to new listings.
Candidates should be aware that we have a considerable backlog of positions already advertised that we need to enter into the new system. The new job listing web site will therefore probably not be complete and up-to-date until the second week in November.
"Wrestling announcer Ed Aliverti often spiced up the NCAA Division I wrestling tournament by yelling that wrestling was 'the world's oldest and greatest sport.' Prints sold at wrestling events depict biblical figure Jacob wrestling an angel, and Abraham Lincoln engaged in his own wrestling match before becoming president. The sport has always been proud of the ancient origins of the sport.
"Now, wrestling has proof of its long history, as researchers at Columbia University found an instructional manual on wrestling that dates back to 200 A.D."
Martha Abbott, a Latin teacher with whom many APA members have collaborated, has become Executive Director of the American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), a society of over 12,000 language teachers and administrators.
The Aquila Theatre's Ancient Greeks/Modern Lives project has been invited to perform a staged reading of scenes from ancient Greek literature for members of the administration and Congress at the White House on November 16, 2011. Ancient Greeks/Modern Lives: Poetry-Drama-Dialogue is a major new national public program by the Aquila Theatre of New York, supported by a prestigious Chairman's Special Award from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The goal of the project is to bring the veteran community and public together around performances of several ancient works. This fascinating free public program of staged readings, lectures, reading groups, and workshops is visiting 100 libraries, arts centers, museums, theatres and galleries across America from May 2010 to April 2013. The APA is participating in this program by helping to recruit and train the scholars who will lead the events before and after Aquila performances. The staged reading at the White House will include scenes from Aeschylus' Agamemnon, Sophocles' Ajax, Euripides' Herakles, and Homer's Odyssey performed by a combination of actors from Aquila and combat veterans who served in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. The reading will be followed by a "town-hall" style discussion moderated by APA member, Peter Meineck, Aquila's Artistic Director.
We expect the new automated APA-AIA Placement Service registration web site to be available to candidates during the week of October 17. At that time candidates will need to register for the 2011-2012 Placement Year if they wish to continue to receive Positions for Classicists and Archaeologists, get access to a web site in which new job listings will be posted as soon as their advertisements are approved, and schedule interviews at the upcoming annual meeting. Candidates must be either an APA member for 2011 or an AIA member in good standing and will need to enter a member number to complete the registration process.
If you are not yet a member, you can join the APA at
or you can join the AIA at
If you have already joined one of the societies, please visit this web site to obtain an APA member number,
AIA member numbers appear on the membership card and can be obtained from Membership@aia.bu.edu.
APPLICATION DEADLINE EXTENDED
The APA Committee on Ancient and Modern Performance (CAMP) solicits applications from APA members interested in serving as local scholars for Aquila Theatre’s Ancient Greeks/Modern Lives: Poetry-Drama-Dialogue program, an important new nationwide partnership between libraries and the theatre supported by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The program will have an additional focus on cross-cultural impact relating to the African-American, Asian-American and Latino experience and a special emphasis on veterans and their families and will be guided by consultants specializing in these areas. Ancient Greeks/Modern Lives will travel to 100 library and arts center locations nationwide. Program details are available on the project web site.
Scholars are particularly needed who are within the vicinity of or able to travel to the following areas: