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That sinking feeling when you realize you’ve completely underestimated the scope of a project? I’m far more familiar with it than I’d like to admit.
It was what I felt when I began analyzing the data I gathered in the library and vaults of the American Numismatic Society on provincial coinage minted under the Severan dynasty. I’d received a grant from my home institution to place the images and legends on provincial coinage in conversation with that of imperial coinage. I thought by doing so, I could bring to life the negotiations of ideology between local concerns and imperial propaganda.
It was a good idea, an exciting new methodology. What I failed to realize is the quantity of data I had to consider in analyzing provincial and imperial coinage. My philologically focused graduate school training had not prepared me for this—in order to analyze the relationships in any systematic way I would need to keep an impossibly large body of data in my head.
I became a Classicist because of Alfred V. Morro (1920-2005, photo below left).
Almost everyone in the state of Rhode Island above a certain age would (a) recognize Al’s name, and (b) be surprised by my statement because he was almost exclusively known as a football and track coach of great success and rare ferocity at Providence Classical High School. If you can remember what college football fans outside of Ohio State thought about the late Woody Hayes, or, more recently, what college basketball fans outside of Indiana University thought about Bobby Knight in his chair-throwing days, you have some idea of Al’s reputation in Rhode Island.
In the background of the photo below right you can see him haranguing his troops in a pose that was familiar to all who knew him. In fact, that photo shows me becoming familiar with that pose because I was an assistant manager on the football team, and I am the young man in the gray sweatshirt with his back to the camera.
This year’s been a productive one for big-budget hack-and-slash films set in the ancient world. Besides a disastrous (so to speak) Pompeii and the 300 sequel focused on Themistocles and Artemisia, theatergoers have had the opportunity (some might say the misfortune) to see two movies about Hercules: The Legendary Hercules, starring Kellan Lutz, released in January, and Hercules, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, released this month. (For convenience, and for love of portmanteaux, I’ll refer to the latter as Rockules and the former as Herculutz. Also for convenience, I’m ignoring the mockbuster Hercules Reborn, also released this year.) I watched and enjoyed them both — your mileage may vary — and noticed overlapping themes in the way each movie characterizes its protagonist as grappling not only with his foes but also with his destiny as a mythic hero.
Needless to say, spoiler alert for both movies, and for the comic book on which Rockules is based (on which, see Gellar-Goad & Bedingham, forthcoming in Electra volume 3).
We regret to announce the death in June of long-time member Stephen G. Daitz.
We regret to report the death of long-time member Paul B. Harvey of Penn State. The Centre Daily Times printed this obituary.
The Princeton University Society of Fellows invites applications for three-year postdoctoral fellowships 2015-2018 for recent PhDs (from Jan. 2013) in humanities or allied social sciences. FOUR appointments to pursue research and teach half-time in the following areas: Open discipline (two fellowships); Humanistic Studies; Race and/or Ethnicity Studies. Stipend: approx. $80,000. For eligibility, fellowship and application details, see www.princeton.edu/sf. Application deadline: October 1, 2014
The University of Oklahoma has received a $572,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the development of a digital library of Latin texts of all eras. The Digital Latin Library—a Linked Open Data resource—has its origins in discussions between the Foundation and the Society for Classical Studies (SCS) in 2011. In 2012 SCS, in collaboration with the Medieval Academy of America and the Renaissance Society of America, requested and received funding from the Foundation for a feasibility study to determine the appropriate scope of the project and to identify institutions where it could be carried out. SCS Information Architect Samuel Huskey directed the feasibility study, and with the endorsement of all three learned societies submitted an initial implementation grant to the Foundation on behalf of his home institution, the University of Oklahoma, with the help of his collaborators, June Abbas and Chris Weaver. The new grant funds the first year of a three year project, which has two components: The Digital Latin Library and the Library of Digital Latin Texts.
In January the Amphora editorial board enjoyed a spirited conversation about the future of footnotes. Will they become—have they perhaps already become—the "slide rules of the humanities," legendary, nostalgia-evoking, but outdated, tools?
The world in which footnotes vanish, having been fully supplanted by links, mouse-overs, pop-ups, and the like, is that not-so-distant future world in which print has been replaced by all the various forms of digital communication that surround us today—and probably by many forms that most of us cannot yet imagine. But that day has not yet come. That Amphora would continue to publish a print version alongside its new presence in the APA blog and soon-to-emerge increased visibility on the APA website is not a choice the editorial board made without considerable conversation and thought. Put very simply, the argument for keeping the print version was that the editorial board wanted Amphora to remain a physical presence that is easy "for us to share, and for others to pass along to their friends." That Amphora should be easily shared and re-shared is a sentiment that all of us on the editorial board warmly embrace.
The American School of Classical Studies at Athens is advertising a year-long paid internship at its museum in Corinth and several short-term unpaid internships at its offices in Princeton, New Jersey. The application deadline for the Corinth internship is August 20, 2014. The short-term internships offer experiences in non-profit administration; development, marketing, and event planning; and archives. Applications for the short-term internships can be made at any time.
Four SCS Members were in the 2014 cohort of ACLS Fellows. Below is each winner's name, type of fellowship, institution, and project title.
John P. Bodel, ACLS Fellowship, Brown University, The ancient Roman funeral
Ari Z. Bryen, ACLS Fellowship, West Virginia University, Law and the Boundaries of Authority in the Roman World
Laura Lynn Garofalo, Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship, Johns Hopkins University, Reconstructed Pasts and Retrospective Styles in Flavian Rome
Robert A. Kaster, ACLS Fellowship, Princeton University, A New Critical Edition of Suetonius’s "Lives of the Caesars"