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”

Third Eye Blind: The Cyclops in Late Antiquity

Born around the year 490 CE in the city of Philadelphia, John the Lydian had a lot to say about Roman corruption and civil servants. His book, On the Magistracies of the Roman State, provides insight into the sausage factory that was late antique bureaucracy. Though living in Constantinople at the time, he addressed a story from his hometown (3.59):Continue reading “Third Eye Blind: The Cyclops in Late Antiquity”

Follow Me: Courtesan Sandals, Shoemakers, and Ephemeral Epigraphic Landscapes

  One of the tough things about reconstructing epigraphic landscapes, is that so much of it is now gone. Whether it be graffiti, painted inscriptions, or just waxen etchings, most of the inscriptions that populated the ancient world are now lost. Today I want to explore just a bit of this ephemeral epigraphic landscape, and hopefullyContinue reading “Follow Me: Courtesan Sandals, Shoemakers, and Ephemeral Epigraphic Landscapes”

What’s in a Name: Visual Puns and Epigraphy

I am teaching a Petronius and Suetonius class this semester, two favorites that both discussed puns. In particular, Petronius’ boorish freedman, Trimalchio, liked to name his slaves using puns. Thus he had a butcher named Carpus that he liked to order to ‘Carpe, inquit’ (Sat. 36.6). By naming him Carpus, he could both call his name and order himContinue reading “What’s in a Name: Visual Puns and Epigraphy”