Department of ClassicsUniversity of Cincinnati
Department of Classics

Steven Ellis' Pompeii excavations are being featured in a new National Geographic series called When Rome Ruled. The series is described as:

This major new series takes in the most iconic names and places of Roman history but shows how we are now seeing them in a different way. We join the experts uncovering the lives of the working class during Pompeii’s last twenty-four hours in a newly excavated area of the city; discover the secrets of Rome’s engineers through new finds made during the construction of a new metro tunnel under Rome; see the real face of Caesar with a bust recently found under the River Tiber; and reveal the secret of Rome’s military success through lost weapons and letters written on waxed tablets on the frontline of the Empire. And we uncover fresh takes on key events such as the invasion of Britain, the destruction of Pompeii and the opening of the Colosseum.

The area of Pompeii being excavated by UC is focused on an entire neighborhood just inside one of the main gates to Pompeii, the Porta Stabia. The trailer for the series is below and shows Dr. Ellis talking about the site and gives a very brief view of the CGI reconstructions of the block. See more about the Porta Stabia excavations at Pompeii here.

The series starts on December 12. The Pompeii episode airs December 13.


Classics undergraduate minor Ann Marie Maly's recent trip to Greece as part of the College Year in Athens program is profiled on the A&S website. 

Three new visiting faculty members join our department this academic year, strengthening our philology and history curriculum.

Graduate student Alison Fields has won the WCC 2009 award for best oral presentation presented at a major conference by a pre-PhD scholar for her presentation of "Lucian's Megilla/us: Rethinking Gender, Agency, and Same-Sex Relationships" at CAMWS, Minneapolis, April 2009.

This is another paper from the same project that won her a 2008 Winkler Prize.

Recent Approaches to the Study of Pottery: from Prehistory to Byzantine Times

A workshop co-organized by
the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the Democritus University of Thrace,
the British School at Athens, and the University of Cincinnati

UC Classics Will be Well Represented at the Annual AIA/APA Conference in January
The annual Archaeological Institute of America/American Philological Association meeting will have nine speakers from UC Classics. The following papers will be presented:

Andrew Connor
"Beset on All Sides by Peasants:" Making the Worker Invisible on the Roman Villa

The Roman villa was a place of both extreme intellectual and physical leisure, otium, and, often, extensive agricultural labors. The traditional focus of ancient literature, art and public attention on the elite use of the villa complex has resulted in an occasionally invisible role for the workers on those villas. Based on the spatial organization of Roman villas in Italy, Germany, and Britain, this paper argues that the Roman villa complex was designed, when possible, to limit the visual intrusion of the negotium of workers on the otium being practiced by the elite society, and described by, among others, Cicero and Pliny the Younger. As the recreatory aspect of the villa became more pronounced, villa owners at such sites as Gadebridge Park in eastern England and Settefinestre in Italy undertook reconstructions of the physical space around the complex to minimize the visibility of the worker’s negotium, often against the apparent economic interests of the owner. Artful management of the topography of the villa—seen most clearly in Hadrian’s hillside villa of Tivoli—was combined with carefully arranged viewsheds and demarcating architecture, as at Great Witcombe in southwestern England. These efforts created an idealized image of the villa, perfected for undisturbed otium and easily reproduced across the empire, as far away as England, Belgium, or Germany.

swinfordtoumbaGraduate student Katie Swinford is featured in the September issue of McMicken Monthly for her Onassis Public Benefit Foundation scholarship. This scholarship will help her with her dissertation, titled “Seeking the Polis: Evaluating the Archaeological Evidence for Archaic Settlements in Macedonia." See the full article here.

There is a new exhibit in the Carl Blegen Library on our own Blegen himself. Janice Schulz, University Records Manager and Archives Specialist in the Archives & Rare Books Library, has curated an exhibit called Discovering Carl Blegen. This includes images from Blegen’s major campaigns in Troy and Pylos as well as his work and life at UC and abroad.

There is more information at the new UC Library blog, Liblog.