Book Review: "A Most Dangerous Book"? Depends who's reading it.

"No woman, according to New York Mayor Jimmy Walker, was ever ruined by a book. But Christopher B. Krebs, a classics professor at Harvard, makes a strong case that an early ethnological monograph, written in the first century in Latin by the Roman historian Tacitus, may have warped the cultural identity of an entire nation. In my old Penguin translation, 'Germania'—'On Germany'— runs fewer than 40 pages, but, like other comparably short documents, such as the Declaration of Independence and 'The Communist Manifesto,' its influence has been earthshaking. As the Penguin translator, H. Mattingly, frankly writes in his 1947 introduction, the book is 'a detailed account of a great people that had already begun to be a European problem in the first century of our era.'"

Read more of the review of A Most Dangerous Book at The Washington Post online.



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This month’s column is the fourth part in a series I’m posting every other month or so about how we can apply and see in action the 7 principles of research-based pedagogy described in the excellent book How Learning Works, by Susan Ambrose, et al.  Last time was practice and feedback.  Before that came motivation and knowledge organization.  This month’s topic: students’ prior knowledge, ch. 1 of the book.

View full article. | Posted in on Thu, 12/11/2014 - 8:24am by T. H. M. Gellar-Goad.

Click here to read the abstracts of papers to be presented on the SCS Program at the upcoming annual meeting in New Orleans.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 12/10/2014 - 4:39pm by Adam Blistein.

In the coming year the National Endowment for the Humanities will mark its 50th anniversary, and the SCS joins the American Council of Learned Societies and other humanities associations in celebrating this milestone.  During the last five decades the NEH has stood as a beacon of our nation’s strong support for sustaining and advancing the humanities through education, research, and public outreach.  Many of our own organization’s most important accomplishments over that half-century were made possible through support from the NEH.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 12/03/2014 - 2:34pm by .

The SCS Office will be closed on on November 27 and 28 for the Thanksgiving Holiday. 

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 11/26/2014 - 2:38pm by Adam Blistein.

For the 16th year running, the Department of Classics at University College Cork in Ireland offers an intensive 8-week summer school for beginners with parallel courses in Latin and Ancient Greek. The courses will run from June 22 through August 13 and are primarily aimed at postgraduate students in diverse disciplines who need to acquire a knowledge of either of the languages for further study and research, and at teachers whose schools would like to reintroduce Latin and Greek into their curriculum. Undergraduate students are more than welcome to apply as well.  The basic grammar will be covered in the first 6 weeks and a further 2 weeks will be spent reading original texts.

For further information and an application form see our website: or contact the Director of the Summer School: Ms.Vicky Janssens, Department of Classics, University College Cork, Ireland, tel.: +353 21 4903618/2359, fax: +353 21 4903277, email:

View full article. | Posted in Summer Programs on Wed, 11/26/2014 - 2:03pm by Adam Blistein.

Mouseion: Journal of the Classical Association of Canada
Volume 11, Number 3, 2011, LV—Series III

Mouseion: Journal of the Classical Association of Canada
Volume 11, Number 2, 2011, LV—Series

Mouseion aims to be a distinctively comprehensive Canadian journal of Classical Studies, publishing articles and reviews in both French and English. One issue annually is normally devoted to archaeological topics, including field reports, finds analysis, and the history of art in antiquity. The other two issues focus on all other areas of Greek and Roman antiquity, including literature, history, philosophy, religion, and reception studies.

View full article. | Posted in General Announcements on Wed, 11/26/2014 - 1:05pm by Adam Blistein.

Wild Dream Films seeks presenters and experts in the areas of science, ancient history, and archaeology. It seeks individuals able to take viewers into interesting worlds, get hands on, and ultimately have a strong point of view on a topic.  Please contact the company at and state specifically how you were bitten by the science/history/archaeology bug, what kind of work you may have done around it, and why it continues to be a driving force in your life and/or work. Feel free to attach any relevant pictures of you and/or your work in the field.

View full article. | Posted in General Announcements on Wed, 11/26/2014 - 12:41pm by Adam Blistein.

1.  We have posted a draft of the annual meeting Program pages for paper sessions.  We have also posted the schedule of meetings for the SCS Board and its committees.  The schedule of affiliated group events will be posted next week.

2.  The headquarters hotel, the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, no longer has sleeping rooms available at the convention rate of $159.  That rate, however, is available directly across the street at the New Orleans Marriott where the majority of SCS placement interviews will take place along with some committee/interest group meetings and special events.  Read about annual meeting hotels here, and make reservations by December 15, 2014, to ensure the availability of the convention rate.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 11/25/2014 - 2:23pm by Adam Blistein.

We have published an announcement of the seminar (entitled Ancient Literacy Reprised) that will take place on Friday, January 9.  As described in the announcement, advance registration is required.

In addition, we have updated the Preliminary Program of the meeting.  Because a few sessions had to be moved to different time slots, the numbers of many sessions have been changed. 

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Fri, 11/21/2014 - 1:52pm by Adam Blistein.

In May’s column, I discussed how the image of the bitter cup in Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura offers a rich interpretive contrast to the bitter Cup of Sin and Shame in Harriet Jacobs’ narrative of freedom.  In this month’s column, I explore what Jacobs’ narrative can teach us about Roman comedy.

Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861) combines autobiography with broad lessons about slavery, based both on the narrator’s own life and on the sufferings of other enslaved persons that she witnessed.  “You may believe what I say,” she says early in her text, “for I write only that whereof I know.  I was twenty-one years in that cage of obscene birds.”  Jacobs draws readers towards more active opposition to slavery through the specific and the general — and through appeals not only to human(e) decency but also to her readers’ particular identities.  Thus she connects the plight of enslaved women to free women readers: “I do earnestly desire to arouse the women of the North to a realizing sense of the condition of two millions of women at the South, still in bondage, suffering what I suffered, and most of them far worse.”

Thus also she points out the repercussions of slavery for free as well as enslaved persons:

View full article. | Posted in on Thu, 11/20/2014 - 9:18am by T. H. M. Gellar-Goad.


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