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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In 2015 the Society for Classical Studies (SCS), founded in 1869 as the American Philological Association, awarded the third set of its Pedagogy Awards to three outstanding classics teachers. One of the major goals of the Society's capital campaign, Gatekeeper to Gateway: The Campaign for Classics in the Twenty-first Century, was to ensure that an inspiring, well trained teacher would be available for every school and college classics classroom. A subcommittee of the Joint Committee on the Classics in American Education, whose membership is selected from both the SCS and the American Classical League, reviewed proposals from classics teachers at all levels requesting funds to support a variety activities that would improve their teaching and their students’ experiences in the classroom. The awards received by the three successful applicants are funded by income derived from the following contributions to the Campaign’s Research and Teaching Endowment: a major gift from an anonymous donor, a contribution from the Classical Association of the Middle West and South (CAMWS), and donations to the Friends of Zeph Stewart Fund.

Ted Gellar-Goad, Wake Forest University, received $650 to support the travel of his students to perform adaptations of Aristophanes and Plautus for the North Carolina Junior Classical League state convention in April 2016.

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships, SCS Announcements on Fri, 05/01/2015 - 3:16pm by Adam Blistein.

The Council for European Studies will host the 2016 International Conference for Europeanists: “Resilient Europe?” on April 14-16, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Since the financial crisis began in 2008, stresses and shocks of various sorts have posed dilemmas that challenge Europe’s resilience in economic, political, and cultural domains. How will European economies confront slow growth and austerity, as well as the atrophy of “social Europe” and the growth of inequality? How will demographic decline combined with immigration and assimilation affect the ethnic composition of Europe? Will the protracted Eurozone crisis and waning public support for European institutions and policies alter the viability of the European project? How will secular Europe confront the challenges of religious mobilization? How will European democracies confront the rise of nationalist parties and the valorization of “illiberalism” as viable political practice? Can Europe remain a “Normative Power,” a force for liberalism, democracy and the rule of law in the world, in the face of rising powers and resurgent authoritarianism?

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Fri, 05/01/2015 - 2:31pm by Adam Blistein.

Engendering Time in the Ancient Mediterranean will take place at Bates College on April 29 – May 1 2016.  This conference seeks papers that examine how the experience of time becomes gendered in the ancient Greco-Roman Mediterranean. Papers may address the diverse ways in which men and women themselves articulated these ideas, or how gender was employed in their communication about time. A range of disciplinary and theoretical perspectives, and themes for consideration that pertain to the gendering of time may include, but are not limited to, evidence for daily domestic activities; ritual and rites of passage; interpretations of myth and cult; conceptions of cosmology and processes of nature; material and visual culture; the role and purpose of repetition; bodily practices.

Send abstracts of no more than 750 words with select bibliography to Lisa Maurizio, at by November 30, 2015.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Fri, 05/01/2015 - 2:28pm by Adam Blistein.

Michael Ortner, the founder of the web site Capterra, a source of information about software for businesses, thinks his readers and customers would improve their businesses if they studied more Latin

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Fri, 05/01/2015 - 9:54am by Adam Blistein.

This 90-minute joint session with the AIA consists of a number of tables devoted to discussions of a variety of topics, with at least one discussion leader for each topic.  Members are invited to propose themselves as roundtable discussion leaders.  Topics may be the leader’s area of scholarly interest or an issue important to the profession.  Since certain topics lend themselves to presentation by more than one leader, proposals for multiple leaders are welcome.  The person submitting the proposal must be an SCS member in good standing for 2015.

The Program Committee believes that these sessions can provide an excellent opportunity for junior members (both graduate students and recent Ph.D.'s) to interact with established scholars in a less formal environment than a session or a job interview.  Leadership of a roundtable discussion does not count as an “appearance” on the annual meeting program; i.e., roundtable leaders may present a paper or serve as a respondent in an SCS paper session.

The Program Committee invites members to submit brief (50-100 word) descriptions of a suitable topic for a roundtable.  These submissions for the annual meeting in San Francisco, CA, should be sent to Heather Gasda ( by June 5, 2015

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Fri, 05/01/2015 - 9:26am by Adam Blistein.

This month’s column is the penultimate in a series I’m posting every other month 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 mastery.  Before that came prior knowledge, practice and feedback, motivation, and knowledge organization.  This month’s topic: metacognition, ch. 7 of the book.

View full article. | Posted in on Thu, 04/30/2015 - 10:06pm by .

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has announced a new grant opportunity, called “Humanities in the Public Square,” that will put humanities scholars in direct dialogue with the public on some of the most pressing issues of today— through public forums, community programs, and the development of educational resources.  This new grant opportunity is part of the National Endowment for the Humanities’ agency-wide initiative The Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square, which seeks to demonstrate and enhance the role and significance of the humanities and humanities scholarship in public life.

The NEH Humanities in the Public Square program will award grants of up to $300,000 to institutions for projects that incorporate:

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Mon, 04/27/2015 - 1:37pm by Adam Blistein.

We received the following message in our in box this morning:

Dear Friends,

We’re thrilled to announce the launch of Eidolon, a new online journal supported by the Paideia Institute.

The continued existence and popularity of the Classics is dependent on our ability to make it feel interesting, exciting, and relevant in the 21st century. One way to accomplish this goal is by writing engaging, accessible articles about the Classics that aren’t formal scholarship. These pieces can take advantage of the writers’ personal experiences and the constantly changing world to bring new perspectives to the Classical humanities. So we decided to create a new publication for the kind of writing we’d love to see more of – and today we’re sharing it with you. You can read more about it and see the manifesto here.

View full article. | Posted in General Announcements on Mon, 04/27/2015 - 11:12am by Information Architect.

The National Committee for Latin and Greek (NCLG) presents a webinar as part of its Tirones Project, which is intended to support new (and not-so-new) Latin teachers.  It will offer end of the year reflections from two master teachers on the general topic of Evaluating this year, planning for the next: Things I wish I’d known in my first years of teaching.

Keely K. Lake grew up in South Dakota and earned her undergraduate degree at the University of S.D.  She earned her Ph.D. at the University of Iowa, and since 2002 has taught at the Wayland Academy in Wisconsin, where she teaches Latin, Greek, and the ancient world, while coaching volleyball and track. She is College Board Liaison to the A.P. Latin Committee, Secretary of the Vergilian Society, and a member of the Board of the Joint National Committee on Languages (JNCL).

Linda Sharrard Montross grew up in Michigan, where she received her undergraduate at Oakland University in 1969.  She subsequently began teaching in Fairfax Country, Virginia, earned a Masters in Education in Latin from the University of Virginia in 1976, and retired in 2000.  She was one of the founding members of the National Latin Exam in 1977 and currently serves as Co-Chair.  She has frequently presented at classical conferences on pedagogy and the NLE. 

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Fri, 04/24/2015 - 3:34pm by Adam Blistein.

From November 23 to December 4, 2015 Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, in cooperation with Venice International University, will offer an advanced seminar on “Literature and Culture in the Ancient Mediterranean: Greece, Rome and the Near East”.  The program is conceived as a two year commitment over two successive years (2015 and 2016). The first session (November 23 – December 4, 2015) will consist of lectures by scholars with a seminar approach on the origins and development of literary genres and literacy in Ancient Greece, Rome and the Near East. Some of the lectures will run simultaneously and will be devoted respectively to the interpretation of specific classical and near eastern texts, with more focus on textual analysis. Two or three evening lectures by special guests are also under consideration.  The lectures will alternate with a series of site visits, for example, to the Marciana Library, the Library of San Lazzaro degli Armeni, and the Basilica of San Marco.

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Fri, 04/24/2015 - 10:32am by Adam Blistein.


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