Redrawing the Margins: Debating the Legalization of Prostitution

Amnesty International’s recent decision to support the legalization of sex work is a controversial one. The group reasoned that because these individuals lived outside of a licit society, they were more vulnerable to physical abuse: “Sex workers are one of the most marginalized groups in the world who in most instances face constant risk of discrimination, violenceContinue reading “Redrawing the Margins: Debating the Legalization of Prostitution”

The (Evil) Eyes Have It: Welcoming and Warning Ancient Visitors

Doorways and thresholds were an important locus of power in Greco-Roman antiquity–but we might also think of them as an epigraphic opportunity. Inscriptions often preceded ancient doorways, just as tabulae (inscribed tablets) could demarcate the sacred boundaries of temples. Writing was and is a means of delineating and mapping space. Additionally, certain words could serve to set the tone for guests entering a household,Continue reading “The (Evil) Eyes Have It: Welcoming and Warning Ancient Visitors”

Unlocking the Dark Ages: A Short History of Chastity Belts

I got the chance to catch a showing of the new Mad Max and was not disappointed. As I do with most everything in my life, I had my antennae up for any classical allusions or appropriations. Much like Harry Potter or Dune, the names borrowed heavily from antiquity (e.g., Imperator Furiosa, Nux, Rictus Erectus), but the storyline did asContinue reading “Unlocking the Dark Ages: A Short History of Chastity Belts”

Pleiades in the Classroom: A Mapping Webinar

Join us online at 10 am – 11:30 am (ET) on Friday, May 29th for a webinar broadcast from the Center for Hellenic Studies to discuss how to use the geospatial data housed in to enrich your classroom and your research. We will explore the site itself, but will also illustrate how one might make maps (for teaching or forContinue reading “Pleiades in the Classroom: A Mapping Webinar”

Mapping the Digital Humanities at the University of Iowa

As I drove from Milwaukee to Iowa City last year, I thought about the digital humanists at the University of Iowa and the diversity of their work. Though the richness of the digital interfaces for the projects had drawn me in, it was their scope – the methodologies, the content, the geographic focus – that grippedContinue reading “Mapping the Digital Humanities at the University of Iowa”

‘Let the Snorter Be Covered in Soot’: Ancient Board Game Inscriptions

☩ μὴ θεόμαχος νήων. ☩ ☩ ἀσβολόθη ὁ ῥονχάζων. ☩ Let the snorter / be covered in soot! [MAMA X, 330=PH 269278] Games of chance are never a silent endeavor; however, Romans found it rather uncouth to snort when Fortune was not on your side. A civil person kept their nose silent. There is a strong auditoryContinue reading “‘Let the Snorter Be Covered in Soot’: Ancient Board Game Inscriptions”

Either Urine or You’re Out: Epigraphy and Graveyard Etiquette

‘Hic’ inquis ‘veto quisquam faxit oletum.’ Pinge duos anguis ‘pueri, sacer est locus, extra meiite.’ Discedo. — Persius, Sat. 1.112-114. You say, “I forbid anyone to take a shit here!” Paint two snakes. “Boys, this is a sacred place, piss outside.” I depart. In Persius’ Satires, the hallowed land upon which a tomb was built is used as a metaphor for theContinue reading “Either Urine or You’re Out: Epigraphy and Graveyard Etiquette”

The Hand of God: Depicting Legitimacy in Late Antiquity

As virtually every ancient or medieval historian has done in their career, I will kick us off today with a scene from Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life. We cut to a general addressing a rather sparse audience: “Well, of course, warfare isn’t all fun. Right. Stop that! It’s all very well to laugh at the Military, but,Continue reading “The Hand of God: Depicting Legitimacy in Late Antiquity”