Department of ClassicsUniversity of Cincinnati
Department of Classics


Junior Classics major Michelle Martinez, one of the department's outstanding Semple Scholars, was recently awarded the prestigious Minority Summer Fellowship in Classics and Classical Archaeology by the American Philological Association.

Michelle will be using this fellowship to fund her participation in the Kea Archaeological Research Survey (KARS) on the island of Kea in Greece. This project is run by UC Classics Ph.D. Joanne Murphy of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.


In partnership with CCM and the Department of Drama, UC Classicist Lauren Ginsberg will give a talk on the Metamorphoses of Ovid and Mary Zimmerman. Passion and power, divine wrath and disguise. Come and take a behind-the-scenes look at the world of Ovid and myth that inspired Zimmerman's award winning drama.

Zimmerman has often noted how Ovid's epic of mythological transformations inspired her Tony Award winning stage production. In particular, she is fascinated by how stories removed from us in time and space can help articulate timeless truths about human nature. Ginsberg's talk will further explore the fascinating Ovidian background to Zimmerman's text. The audience will not only learn more about who Ovid was and the times in which he wrote, but will also see first hand the complexity of how Zimmerman refashioned Ovid's epic into a drama for our time. Ginsberg will focus especially on the theme of "Love Conquers All" that is central to both works and the various ways that each author confronts love's various struggles and triumphs.

The talk will begin at 1:15pm on Saturday, Feb 8th in Mary Emery Hall 3250

This talk is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. To reserve seating, contact Patti Hall at 513-556-5803 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A performance of Zimmerman's Metamorphoses will follow at 2pm in the Patricia Corbett Theater (tickets available at the CCM box office).

On Saturday November 16th, the University of Cincinnati's Classics Club, Mu chapter of ΗΣΦ, and members of the Ohio Senior Classical League held a Certamen tournament for local high school Latin students in Junior Classical League in order to support the vibrant high school Latin community in Cincinnati. Certamen is an academic quiz team - but the questions focus on classical history, mythology, and art, as well as Latin grammar, vocabulary, and literature.

The schools that participated were: Summit Country Day, Wyoming, Seven Hills, Mariemont, Madeira, Sycamore, Walnut Hills, Lakota West, Indian Hill, Turpin, McAuley, St. Ursuline, and Covington Latin. The youngest participants were in 6th grade and the oldest were Seniors in high school. The competition was fierce and the questions quite challenging; there were 18 teams competing at the Novice Level, 6 teams competing at the Intermediate level, and 12 teams at the Upper level, with two to four people per team.

The day began with an address by Dr. Joana Mitro, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Affairs, who welcomed the teams to the University of Cincinnati. After several hours of competition, badges of victory and honor were handed out to the victors (pictured below) and all enjoyed pizza while Dr. Lauren Ginsberg from the Department of Classics gave students, parents, and teachers more information about studying Classics at UC.

We look forward to hosting this wonderful event again next year!

Special thanks go to the President of our UC Classics Club, Michelle Martinez, and her team of volunteers who organized the event, kept score, read the buzzer machines, set up and cleaned up the rooms, and helped distribute pizza to the hungry victors. They are: Amanda Angelo (ΗΣΦ, Classics Club) Matt Armbruster Emily Blatz (ΗΣΦ, Classics Club) Austin Chapman (Classics graduate student) Sarah Evans (Classics Club) Connor Ginty (ΗΣΦ, Classics Club) Ashley Johns (OSCL) Logan Nagel (OSCL) Mohammed Patel (OSCL, Classics Club) Alex Patterson (OSCL) Joseph Sparough (Classics Club) Lindsay Taylor (ΗΣΦ, Classics Club) Akshayaa Venkatakrishnan (Classics Club)


The audience and participants


The prizes


Novice winners: 1st place: Seven Hills A (far right), 2nd place: Summit C (middle), 3rd place: Walnut Hills (far left)


Intermediate: 1st place: Combination team of Seven Hills, Summit, and McAuley (far left) 2nd place: Turpin (middle) 3rd place: Indian Hill (far right)


Upper: 1st place: Summit (far left) 2nd place: Combination team of St. Xavier, Indian Hill, and Sycamore (middle) 3rd place: Lakota West A (far right)


In June 2014, Lauren Ginsberg (University of Cincinnati) and Darcy Krasne (University of Missouri-Columbia) will chair the three-day panel Writing About Civil War in Flavian Rome at the ninth biennial Celtic Conference in Classics, this year located in Edinburgh, Scotland. Thirty leading scholars in the field of Flavian literature, from ten different countries, will deliver papers that examine bellum civile from a multitude of angles, in and across the works of Silius Italicus, Statius, Valerius Flaccus, Josephus, Martial, Pliny the Elder, and Frontinus. By putting disparate texts and genres of the Flavian era into dialogue, our panel aims to launch a fresh investigation of civil war's literary representation in the wake of 69 CE.

santen lima

Ann Santen, President of the Cincinnati Society of the Archaeological Institute of America, found out this week that she won the AIA's most prestigious award for commitment to the mission of the AIA, the Martha and Artemis Joukowsky Distinguished Service Award. Her role in initiating and growing our Department Outreach Program formed the basis for the honor. Ann will receive her award at the AIA Annual Meeting in Chicago in early January. Ann is an inspiration to students and faculty alike, and we are lucky to have her in our community. For more on the award: For more on the Classics Outreach Program:


This past summer, the American School of Classical Studies at Athens and the J.F. Costopoulos Foundation held a colloquium in Athens honoring Carl and Elizabeth Blegen. 

Carl Blegen was not just a member of this deparment from 1927 to 1957 (and as Head from 1951-1957), but was also an active participant in the modern history of Greece. He enlisted with the American Red Cross in 1918 and worked in Eastern Macedonia and aided with the repatriation of Greek refugees from Bulgaria. He was decorated by King Alexander of Greece for these efforts.

The Blegen's lived in Athens at Ploutarchou 9, which is now home to the J.F. Costopoulos Foundation.

The various speakers at the colloquium spoke about lesser known aspects of the couple's life and work in Greece and in prehistoric archaeology. 

More information can be found here and a videocast of the colloquium is presented here.

pylos roof

In 2010 Sharon Stocker and Jack Davis of the Department of Classics learned of the need to replace a roof that had been erected over the Palace of Nestor in 1960 to cover Carl Blegen and Marion Rawson's excavations. In 2011 Davis and Stocker began to collaborate with the firm of Kyriakides A.E. in Athens, which produced for UC the architectural and engineering studies required for a new roof. These studies, after approval from the Greek Archaeological Service, resulted in the release of €3.1 million in EU funds for construction. Since October of 2012 Stocker has being directing an international team of archaeologists and students representing the University of Cincinnati in excavations at the Palace of Nestor, in collaboration with a team from the Greek Archaeological Service. This research was necessary to prepare the ground for the new roof.

In the past few years UC Classics has been well represented at the Archaeological Institute of America/American Philological Association (AIA/APA) conference each winter. This year we will have twelve speakers from UC Classics presenting their scholarship.

Natalie Abell: "Establishing a Middle Ground: Social Practice and Intercultural Interaction at Bronze Age Ayia Irini, Kea, Greece"

Recent studies of interaction in the Middle and Late Bronze Age (MBA-LBA) Cyclades have been primarily concerned with explaining the hows and whys of “Minoanization,” the process by which Cycladic islanders adopted aspects of Cretan culture. Although such studies have become increasingly theoretically sophisticated, culture change in the Bronze Age Cyclades is still often viewed as the result of unilateral action or influence from Crete, while diachronic analyses that emphasize variation between Cycladic communities are rare. This paper takes a different perspective, focusing on changes in both Minoanizing and non-Minoanizing ceramic production and consumption patterns at Ayia Irini on the island of Kea.

During the MBA and earlier LBA, Ayia Irini was a major exchange hub that linked culturally distinct regions – the Cyclades, Crete, and mainland Greece. An analysis of changes in ceramics in use at Ayia Irini during this period suggests a complex picture of interaction and influence. Minoanizing pottery and technology were employed at Ayia Irini already in the earlier MBA, a period usually considered to precede Minoanization. During the height of Minoanization, Keian potters continued to manufacture non-Minoanizing vessels, while both Minoanizing and non-Minoanizing ceramics were imported from the Cyclades and mainland Greece. Ultimately, the local repertoire of drinking and eating vessels, although partially Minoanized, was in no period wholly comparable to Cretan or other Cycladic assemblages. It is argued that the idiosyncrasies of the Keian ceramic repertoire were not merely an inevitable consequence of the geographical situation of the site at the intersection of regional exchange networks. Rather, it is suggested that Ayia Irini was a kind of middle ground, where people from different cultural backgrounds were able to join in notionally shared drinking and eating practices and, perhaps, associated values. Participation in such events would have served to reinforce social bonds and to promote trade between locals and non-locals. The adoption of Cretan ways of doing things at Ayia Irini, when situated in this context, may be viewed not just as a reaction to growing Cretan cultural or political power, but as part of active Keian strategies to promote interaction with Cycladic islanders and mainlanders as well.