2018 Latin Forum Schedule
Saturday, November 17, 2018
|Registration||9:30 - 10:00||Vollum Lounge|
|Morning Lecture||10:00 - 11:00||Vollum Lecture Hall|
|Discussion Group - Students||11:00 - 11:45||Vollum Classrooms|
|Discussion Group - Parent guests||11:00 - 11:45||Vollum Lounge|
|Latin Teacher Meeting||11:00 - 11:45||Vollum 134|
|Lunch||12:00 - 1:00||Kaul Auditorium|
|Individual Seminars - Students & Teachers||1:00 - 2:00||Vollum Classrooms|
|Individual Seminars - Students & Teachers||2:05 - 3:00||Vollum Classrooms|
|Optional Calligraphy Scriptorium||3:30 - 4:30||
Morning Keynote in Vollum Lecture Hall
Livy's Legendary Ladies
Professor of Classics, Reed College
This lecture will consider some of the females featured in the Livy’s Ab Urbe Condita Libri, a history of Rome from its foundations down to Livy’s own time, the late first century BCE. In this immense work of 142 books (of which only 35 survive), Livy aimed both to give Rome a history worthy of its imperial rise and greatness and to challenge his generation to learn from their past and become worthy stewards of their current position. In order to inculcate virtue and moral excellence in his fellow Romans, Livy provides both positive and negative models of behavior. Throughout this work we meet numerous Roman females – mothers, daughters, wives, warriors – who play key roles in Livy’s edifying exemplary tales of early Rome, as either the creators and maintainers of political community or the instruments of chaos and political change. Through their bodies and the sexuality that is at once reproductive and destructive, these women both create the Roman body politic and threaten to pull it apart.
Optional Afternoon Calligraphy Scriptorium
For nearly two millennia the Trajan inscription in Rome has served as the quintessential model of Roman capital letters. Fr. Edward Catich described the inscription as "the best roman letter designed in the Western world, and the one which most nearly approaches an alphabetic ideal." Join Gregory MacNaughton (Reed '89), Cooley Gallery Education Outreach Coordinator, for an illustrated lecture and lettering workshop based on these most celebrated examples of Roman lettering. All materials will be provided.
2018 Individual Seminars for the afternoon sessions
I. What is a Friend? Ancient views on the nature of friendship
Professor Walter Englert, emeritus
This seminar will examine some of the thoughts the ancient Greeks and Romans had about friendship. We will look at famous accounts of friendship in Aristotle and Cicero, and see what they considered the nature and essential features of friendship. How do we know if someone is a true friend? What should the relationship between friends be, and how do we distinguish between different kinds of friends, and between true and false friends? We will compare views of friendship in the ancient world with those now, and see if there are helpful things we can learn from ancient authors about how to understand and improve our friendships today.
II. Poetry About Poetry
Professor Nigel Nicholson
The Roman poets Horace, Propertius and Ovid were much influenced by Callimachus, a Greek poet from the third century BCE who trumpeted his preference for brief and carefully crafted poems over long and clumsy epics. In this seminar, we will explore how Callimachus' descriptions of good poetry not only guide the Roman poets, but actually become the subjects of their poetry, as they are transformed into an array of apparently real situations and stories. The distaste these poets express for flamboyant clothing and voyages over large seas will thus be revealed as aesthetic manifestos: the poets are talking not about clothes and ships, but about poetry.
III. Sit tibi terra levis: Roman funerary inscriptions
Professor Sonia Sabnis
What do you want your tombstone to say? This question is clearly one that occupied the thoughts of many Romans of various social classes and backgrounds. We will look at some extraordinary examples of how Romans chose to present themselves and their households in funerary art and epitaphs. What kinds of status markers and life accomplishments were most important to ancient Romans, what thoughts did they imagine crossing between the dead and the living, and what can we learn from funerary monuments about the society of the living? Students also will have the option of designing a Roman-style tomb and inscription for themselves.
IV. Age of Empires According to Polybius
Professor Paul Vădan
The Greek author Polybius provides us with the fullest account of Rome’s systematic conquest of the Greek World. The decisive Roman victory at the battle of Magnesia in 190 BC against the Great Seleucid King of Kings Antiochus III, signaled the unification of the Western and Eastern parts of the Mediterranean under a single hegemon; the Mediterranean would subsequently be known among Romans as Mare Nostrum—“Our Sea.” But as much as modern historians would like to claim that Rome’s eventual victory was predictable and even unavoidable, the events leading up to Magnesia suggest otherwise. This seminar will give students the opportunity to analyze the actions and complex diplomatic initiatives of a whole host of cities and smaller kingdoms caught in-between the Romans and the Seleucids. By being asked to represent a city or a king, each student will have to decide whether to join Rome or Antiochus, or try to negotiate a neutral position, by considering their own historical and local concerns. The seminar thus will provide an introduction into Mediterranean interstate interaction, and the character of ancient decision-making.
V. From mihi causas memoria to plus quam civilia: Roman epic and identity
Professor Laura Zientek
What does it mean for something to be truly epic? Poetry from the Roman Republic and Empire, from Ennius' Annals to Vergil's Aeneid to Lucan's Civil War, shapes our ideas about how the Romans thought about and represented their identity and value systems. We will reflect on how the great social, cultural, and political change that can happen during an author's lifetime can contextualize their writing. Through excerpts from these texts, we will see how these authors wrote about inspiration, heroism, virtue, and greatness, and we will work to build an understanding of how epic poetry in Rome depicted the complex and nuanced spectrum of human activity and emotion.