Ancient World Seminar 2015

Via Appia Antica
Via Appia Antica - Quo Vadis?
(Photograph: Andrew Stephenson)

3 March
Louise Hitchcock, University of Melbourne

The Elephant in the Room: An Object Biography of the Super  Ivory Bowl from Tell es-Safi/Gath

During the 2013 season at Tell es-Safi/Gath, the University of Melbourne contingent of the Tell es-Safi/Gath Archaeological Project of Bar-Ilan University excavated an intriguing elephant ivory bowl. The bowl was  found in a chalky matrix dating to the early Iron Age, just outside of and  below the southwest corner of a room in Area A. Conservation revealed it  to be a shallow vessel with six evenly spaced drill holes in the rim, which is  incised with a continuous zig-zag border design. It contains one lug handle  and has an incised lotus with twelve petals, engraved both on the interior and  on the base, surrounded by five concentric circles.

Though unique  within Philistia, parallels are found in the ivory hoard from the Late  Bronze/Iron Age transition (ca. 12th c. BCE) palace at Megiddo, Stratum VIIA.  The objects in the Megiddo hoard were probably heirlooms at the time of  deposition and have been interpreted by Feldman (Levant 2009) as part of a  ritual deposit. The Tell es-Safi bowl suggests far-flung socio-cultural  connections for the inhabitants that did not end when many civilizations  collapsed at the end of the Bronze Age as previously supposed. These wider  connections, including the source of the ivory, the location of the workshop  where it was produced, the function and meaning of ivory bowls in the  Mediterranean, the bowl’s possible status as an heirloom and as a foundation  deposit and its characterization form part of its biography that is the  subject of this workshop.

10 March
Dr Dorothea Erbele-Küster, Universität Mainz

Transforming the Sacrificial Act into Images and Texts in the Ancient Near East

I   shall consider iconographic material from the ANE and Ancient Israel/Palestine that is related to sacrifice, asking what implicit view   of sacrifice it represents. Figurines portraying the bringing of an   animal to be sacrificed and images with offering persons on seals shall   be analyzed. The Mesopotamian scene as such is known as Einführungsszene vor einer Gottheit (Introduction to a deity). It may have had a protective function or as well as their   impressions – indicating the owner‘s justification before the deity. The paper offers another understanding of it:  a picture of someone offering a gift functions as the gift itself.  The artifacts are evidence of a transformation of the very notion of sacrifice. The purpose of this paper is to understand this transformative process of the (idea of) sacrifice.

In a second step this may help to understand how the so called offering prescriptions in Leviticus function beyond the First and   Second Temple Period in Ancient Israel, i.e. in times where sacrifice   at the Temple has been impossible.

Dr. Dorothea Erbele-Küster (Ph.D. Hamburg 1999) has been working and living in the Netherlands and Belgium during the last decade. She recently moved back to her native   country and teaches there Old Testament at the Gutenberg University at   Mainz/Germany. She is currently working on a book on Ethics in the   Hebrew Bible.

Recent publications include: 'Reading as an Act of Offering: Reconsidering the Genre of Leviticus 1', in: The Actuality of Sacrifice. Past and Present, hrsg. v. Alberdina   Houtman u.a. (JCP 28) Leiden 2014, 34-46 and a monograph on "Body and   Gender in Leviticus 12 and 15" (English version forthcoming with: The   Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies, T@T Clark/Continuum).

17 March
Janice Crowley, AAIA

The Eye, the Mind and the Hand  Seals: Signets and the Artistic Vision of the Minoans

The art of Crete at its  high point in the Late Minoan I period is examined and contrasted to the arts  of contemporary traditions to the East, the Egyptian and Mesopotamian. The  special nature of the Minoan artistic vision thus highlighted is then further  explored leading to the understanding of the Icon composition and the role of  the seals and signets as crucial to this artistic creativity. When the seal compositions of the Early and Middle Minoan periods are also taken into account  a thousand-year continuity in design and subject matter is revealed. There is  much evidence to argue the primacy of the seals and signets in developing the  artistic vision of the Minoans.

24 March
Trudie Fraser, University of Melbourne

Domitia Longina: A Reappraisal of Her Portraiture

The iconography of the Augusta Domitia Longina has presented scholars with problems of identification for the last 125 years. Many portraits of her were produced: in marble, on coins and gems at various stages of   her life. A reappraisal of these busts, coins and gems demonstrates how recognisable features of this imperial lady can be clearly identified. This permits a more exact identification of her portraiture and, in addition, its reclassification. Furthermore, it   allows an unexpected glimpse into her later life, post-Domitian.

31 March
James O'Maley, University of Melbourne

Characters' Paradigms, Narrator's Similes: Paranarrative Strategies in the Iliad

This paper will discuss the ways in   which the Iliadic narrator differs from his characters when presenting   material from outside their respective primary narrative settings.   Scholars of the Iliad have increasingly come to recognise that the voices of the   poem’s narrator and those of his characters are distinct, and that   characters and narrator have different goals and use different   rhetorical techniques to achieve these goals (de Jong, 1987). This is particularly true of their approaches to paranarratives.   Whereas internal narrators within the poem tend to introduce external   material in the form of paradigm which draws on stories from the mythic   history they share with their audience (Alden, 2001), the Iliad’s external narrator prefers to punctuate his   narrative with extended similes, which take his listeners outside the   heroic world in its entirety and which evoke a simultaneously quotidian   and timeless setting; what Redfield(1994, 186) calls: ‘a window through which we glimpse a world beyond   the battlefield of Troy’. This paper will look at the techniques used   by the poem’s internal and external narrators to evoke these different worlds, and discuss some of the potential reasons for their divergent preferences.The voice of the Iliadic   narrator and the voices of his characters are put to very different uses   by the poem as a whole, and by examining this particular instance I   hope to show some of the ways in which the Iliad manipulates this polyphony for its broader poetic purposes.

14 April
Jonathan Barlow, University of Melbourne

P. Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus and Greek Ethics

The influence of Greek ethics in the   life and career of P. Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus was once accepted in   scholarship.  A. Schmekel (1892), J. Kaerst (1929), W. Capelle (1932)   and M. Pohlenz (1934)   formed a scholarly consensus - that Scipio possessed an abiding   interest in Greek philosophy which defined his character and informed   his public life.  This consensus was challenged by post-war scholarship   of Strasburger (1965/1966) and Astin (1967), who have   formed an alternative consensus which downplays such influences,   despite Erskine (1990).  The argument presented in this paper is that   Greek ethics is central to the understanding of Scipio.  The paper   focusses on the virtue language used of Scipio by Polybius   and Panaetius, and the theory of the moral imperative of power   formulated by the Middle Stoa.  Comments are also made about ethical   intention.

21 April
David Runia, University of Melbourne

The Sources for Our Knowledge of Early Greek Philosophy

Greek   philosophy flourished as part of Greco-Roman culture for over a   thousand years. However, the documentary record that has been transmitted of this intellectual activity is very patchy.   Almost no writings prior to the 4th cent. B.C. have been preserved, even though the first two centuries from 600 B.C. were extremely   important for the development of philosophical thought. Moreover, most   works from the 3rd to the 1st centuries B.C. have   been lost. After that things start to improve. I will outline this unsatisfactory state of affairs and then explain how scholars of ancient   philosophy have tried to overcome it. Special attention will be given   to the genre of doxography, which has been the   central focus of much of my research during the past decades.

28 April
Caroline Tully, University of Melbourne

The Cultic Life of Trees: What Trees Say About People in the  Prehistoric Aegean, Cyprus and Levant

Glyptic art is the most extensive body of Aegean Bronze Age representational art and consists of carved seals in the form of seal stones, engraved metal signet rings and the clay impressions (sealings) that the seals are used to produce. The most complex and spectacular scenes are engraved on the metal signet rings and are thought to depict human and divine figures engaging in cultic activities. In the absence of translated texts from Minoan Crete, glyptic iconography is the richest and most diverse category of evidence relied upon in the interpretation of Minoan cult. This paper uses glyptic images that depict human figures interacting with trees to examine claims first put forth by Sir Arthur Evans   (excavator of Knossos on Crete) in 1901 that Minoan religion was   characterised by a primitive, aniconic cult of trees, stones and   pillars, strongly influenced by the Levant and Egypt. As well as   responding to Evans the paper examines the images in light of   animism, royal ideology and performance and proposes a new reading in   which the Minoan landscape was co-opted in the service of elite ideology   and functioned as a politicised active agent in the enactment of power.

5 May
Ron Tappy, Pittsburgh Seminary

The Linear Alphabet and the Longue Durée

Near the   conclusion of the 2005 excavation season at Tel Zayit, Israel, The   Zeitah Excavations recovered a large stone bearing an incised, two-line   inscription. The special importance of the stone derives not only from its archaic alphabetic text (a twenty-two-letter abecedary), but also from its well-defined archaeological context in a structure dating securely to the tenth century BCE.   This lecture will focus on the long-term historical trends,   particularly in Egypt, that gave rise to the development of a linear   alphabet that grew out of but dramatically simplified older,   pictographic writing. The discussion will chart the long development   of the new, alphabetic writing system across the second millennium BCE.   The Tel Zayit Abecedary will be shown to represent the linear   alphabetic script of central and southern Canaan at the beginning of the   first millennium BCE, a transitional script that   developed from the Phoenician tradition of the early Iron Age and   anticipated the distinctive features of the mature Hebrew national   script.

Dr.   Ron Tappy is the G. Albert Shoemaker Professor of Bible and Archaeology. He also serves as director of the Kelso Museum of Near Eastern Archaeology and as the   project director and principal investigator of The Zeitah Excavations, an archaeological field project at Tel Zayit, Israel. In addition to completing graduate   work at the Jerusalem University-College and the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, Tappy received an MATS degree summa cum laude from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and   his AM and Ph.D. (with distinction) from Harvard University. His   teaching focuses on the life and literature of the Old Testament period,   biblical archaeology, and the history of Israel. Tappy’s research and   publication interests centre on the interrelated   nature of the cultural, political, and economic history of Iron Age   Israel as well as the various cultural groups with whom Israel   interacted. He began excavating at various sites in Israel more than 30   years ago, and his current field research at Tel Zayit   involves the exploration of a Late Bronze–Iron Age town in the   Shephelah (“lowlands”) region of biblical Judah. During the 2005 season   of excavation, his team discovered an inscription incised in stone of   the earliest known, securely datable Hebrew alphabet. (See New York Times,   Nov. 9, 2005.) He has written articles on a variety of topics,   including subjects in biblical archaeology, ancient Israelite burial   customs and beliefs about the afterlife, the 23rd Psalm,   and the Ten Commandments. He is a leading authority on the archaeology   of Israelite Samaria and has written two books on that subject.   Prior to accepting his current position at PTS, Tappy taught at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, Calif., and in the Near Eastern Studies Department at the University of Michigan. He is married to Connie Gundry Tappy and has one daughter, Madeleine Rose Tappy.

6 May
Ron Tappy, Pittsburgh Seminary
- Public Lecture

Strangers at Home: The Give and Take of Life in the Borderlands of Judah

6:30-7:45; Theatre A-Room 106, Old Arts

Professor Ron Tappy, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary   US, G. Albert Shoemaker Professor of Bible and Archaeology and the   Director of the Kelso Museum of Near Eastern Archaeology.

The near-30-dunam site of Tel Zayit lies in the strategic Beth Guvrin   Valley, roughly halfway between Lachish to the south and Tell es-Safi   (Gath of the Philistines) to the north. Although this area generally   belonged to the lowlands district of ancient Judah, it lay in an   often-contested zone wherein cultural and certainly political associations might shift from time to time, primarily between the highlands to the east and the coastal plain to the west. This lecture will outline the enduring status of Tel Zayit’s strategic position as a borderland community. The presentation will draw on historical, textual,   and archaeological evidence from three different periods in the   3,500-year depositional history of the tell that amply demonstrate the   betwixt-and-between nature of daily life that the inhabitants surely understood. The collage includes: (1) Tel Zayit’s shifting allegiances   during the tenth and ninth centuries BCE, (2) its fate in the wake of   Sennacherib’s Third Campaign in 701 BCE, and (3) its service to the   Romans as a fortified outpost following the reign of Hadrian.

Admission is free but bookings are required; seating is limited.
To register visit http://alumni.online.unimelb.edu.au/strangersathome

Download the flyer.

12 May
No seminar

19 May - South Lecture Theatre (Room 224), Old Arts
John Power, University of Melbourne

How Could Political Science Further Augustan Studies?

In 2014 and   early 2015, Professor Power prepared three papers* on a hitherto long   dormant interest – Caesar Augustus. In these papers, he explored some of   the ways in which his discipline could enhance   the understanding of the career of this unique practitioner of the arts   of governance. He has come to the judgement that the most appropriate   framework for this enterprise is that of historical institutionalism,   but this judgement raises a problem that must   be addressed before further progress may be made. For historical institutionalism, although it aims to develop a framework for comparative studies, is still heavily historical in orientation, and thus requires a grasp of minutiae and specifics that, in the   case of Caesar Augustus, is well beyond the grasp of a modern political scientist.  He is tackling   this problem through   the development of a working relationship with colleague, Frederik   Vervaet, but this has raised another more manageable problem. It has   required him to redefine the role of a Professor Emeritus – which he is now tentatively terming that of a Research Quality   Auditor – occupying a place somewhere between a Scholarly Friend and a   Research Assistant.

*Power, John 2014a, 'Caesar Augustus as Governancier: A Case Study in the Application of Selectorate Theory'. Paper delivered to 2014 Conference of the Public Policy Network, University of Canberra, Canberra.

*Power, John 2014b, 'Are there   Limitations on Academic Disciplines as Ways of Conveying Newly   Discovered Knowledge? Caesar Augustus and Historical Institutionalism'.   Paper delivered at the Institute for Governance and Policy   Analysis. University of Canberra, Canberra.

*Power, John 2015a, 'The Public Policy Network and the Study of Governance'. Paper delivered to 2015 Conference of the Public Policy Network, Deakin University, Melbourne.

Copies of any of these papers may be obtained from the author.

26 May
Tyler Jo Smith, University of Virginia

Before, During and After: The Iconography of Ancient  Greek Sacrifice

The publication of Folkert van Straten’s HIERA KALA: Images of Animal Sacrifice in Archaic and Classical Greece in 1995 opened up a new chapter in the study of ancient Greek religion. Cataloguing and discussing   some 674 artefacts, the author assembled ancient Greek vases into   ‘broad iconographical groups’ and sculpted votive reliefs ‘according to   recipient deities and sanctuaries of provenance’. Using van Straten as   the starting point, this paper revisits the evidence   for animal sacrifice in Greek art and the ways in which classical   scholars have collected the evidence and approached it. The focus will   be limited to ancient Greek vases of the archaic and classical periods   (6th-5th c BCE), including examples produced in the city of Athens and elsewhere. In an effort to steer our thinking in   a new direction, the visual evidence will be considered in relation to   theories of the gaze and the archaeology of performance. By reframing   depictions of sacrifice on vases in these particular terms, it is hoped that the spectacle of sacrifice as portrayed by the vase-painter, as well as the experience of sacrifice on the part of actual participants, will both be better understood.

28 July - South Theatre, Old Arts

Jonathan Wallis, University of Tasmania

Horace, Virgil, and the Anxiety of Coincidence

The  ‘Augustan response to the Aeneid’ in the late poetry of Propertius, Horace, and  Ovid is well-trodden critical terrain. For very obvious reasons, such  scholarship predominantly focusses on literature produced after the Aeneid’s  publication in 19BCE (or soon after); so we hear of later personal poetry  accommodating Virgil’s epic tropes in search of generic enrichment (Harrison  2007), or contributing significantly to the perception of the Aeneid as a  strongly ‘Augustan’ poem by cleansing it of ambiguities and irony (Thomas 2001,  Robinson 2006). Yet this approach leaves mostly unexamined the considerable  body of Latin poetry published during the lengthy period during which Virgil was actively writing his epic and, we should presume, circulating it among  audiences of various kinds. O’Rourke (2011) has recently explored the  (mis)representation of Virgil in Propertius’ famous announcement of Virgil’s  planned poem at Prop 2.34.61-66. Building on this approach, in the present  paper I examine the extent and significance of Horace’s interaction with  Virgil’s epic in the mid-20s BCE. My discussion has two aims: to explore the  way in which Horace’s first collection of odes – published as a three-book set  in 23BCE – takes stock of the Aeneid’s increasing presence in the Augustan  literary scene, beginning with the lyric poet’s mock propempticon for an  ocean-daring Virgil at Odes 1.3; and to examine Horace’s  attempts to  characterise and contain the Aeneid’s evident significance (what we might call,  in fact, the epic’s earliest reception). The result invites us to  recontextualise the approach to the Aeneid taken subsequently by Horace’s later  poetry.

4  August

Andrew Jamieson, University of Melbourne

Bab adh-Dhra: A Case Study in Solving the ‘Storage Wars’

The   University of Melbourne’s Classics and Archaeology Collection contains   an important assemblage of Early Bronze Age pottery from Bab adh-Dhra in   Jordan.  The pottery – comprising of a complete   tomb (Tomb A72S ) group acquired by Dr Hallam in 1978 – comes from Paul   Lapp’s excavations in 1965.  From 1965 to 1967 under the auspices of   the American School of Oriental Research (ASOR), Lapp unearthed   thousands of pots and other artefacts from various   shaft tombs and charnel houses on the site. Artefacts recovered from   these excavations were stored in repositories in Jerusalem (where Lapp   was based) and in Amman.  Lapp died unexpectedly in a swimming accident   off the coast of Cyprus in 1970 before publishing the results of his excavations, which in addition to being a great loss   for the archaeology of the region meant that the Bab adh-Dhra material   remained in storage in unpublished limbo.  In 1977 Paul Lapp’s widow   Nancy Lapp devised a scheme whereby tomb groups from the original Lapp excavations would be distributed to interested ASOR member institutions for the purposes of display and education.  In response to this proposal the University of Melbourne paid $855 for 45 pots from Tomb Group A72S.  In a recent study   on the ‘Storage Wars’ Morag Kersel asks ‘Could the innovative plan of   Nancy Lapp, be the solution to the curation crisis?’ This paper will   discuss the pottery from Tomb A72S, Nancy Lapp’s innovative proposal and   Kersel’s analysis of the Storage Wars.

11 August

Brent Davis, University of Melbourne

The Minoan Script: Recent Advances in the     Decipherment of Linear A

The Minoans’ enigmatic writing system,   conventionally called ‘Linear A’, remains stubbornly undeciphered,   despite more than a century of scholarly effort.   Given the importance of the Minoan civilisation, the decipherment of   this script has always been of the utmost concern to archaeology. The script is clearly an indigenous Minoan invention, probably based on an earlier Minoan script called Cretan Hieroglyphic.   Like Linear B, Linear A was used extensively for administrative   recordkeeping but, unlike Linear B, it was also used to inscribe   ritual objects - especially stone offering tables, which are found by the   hundreds at ritual sites throughout eastern and central   Crete. Nearly 50 of these stone offering tables contain various   versions of the so-called ‘libation formula’, a long series of Linear A   signs. Parts of this formula never vary from vessel to vessel, while   other parts always vary from vessel to vessel. By comparing these variants of   the formula, it becomes possible to make some well-supported statements about the nature of the language behind Linear A - a crucial step toward decipherment, as the first key to deciphering   the script is to identify the language behind it.

18 August

Leanne Michelle Campbell, University of Melbourne

Iconographies, Individuals and Cultures of the Ancient     Egyptian and Aegean Bronze Age

This completion seminar   will present an overview on the research undertaken for the doctoral   thesis titled, “Human Iconographies in the Late Bronze Age: Minoan,   Mycenaean   and Egyptian Amarna Interconnections and Conscious Representations”.    The thesis critically examines the social, political and economic   features of these three Bronze Age cultures using an art historical   approach involving selected representations of human   iconography.  The comparative analyses of body shapes, dress codes, hairstyles, and physical adornments, amongst other visual cues,   demonstrate in detail how these societies developed new iconographies   that were visually self-aware and knowingly conscious   of neighbouring artistic traditions.  A key research finding indicates that certain stylistic elements were deliberately borrowed, manipulated   or rejected by the elite and artists of these culturally distinct   groups.  Tracing similarities, differences and   changes in the representation of human iconographies over time has enabled patterns in the visual record to be identified.  The data   presented through this dissertation reveals non-textual documentation to   be read and used to reconstruct interconnections,   influences and developments of Minoan, Mycenaean and Egyptian societies, and inform a deeper understanding of cultural ideals and   realities.

25 August

Irad Malkin, Tel Aviv University

Greek Colonization: The Right to Return

The lecture   explores the validity of the concept of “Greek colonization” in modern   scholarship. It refutes some current “negationist” claims (=there was no   such thing, merely scattered   migrants who, centuries later, invented stories about foundations), and   justifies treating it as a discrete historical phenomenon, responsible   for a large extent for the rise of the polis and commonalities of Greek   civilization. It re-assesses links between   mother cities and new foundations which created a web of mutually   recognized mother cities throughout the Greek world. This mutual   recognition was in place from the very beginning (mother cities in   general are ignored by the negationists) and was formalized through the colonial “right of return” to the mother city.

1 September

Frederik Vervaet, University of Melbourne

Mass Deportations, Slave Revolts and the Augustan Pax     Servilis: Socio-political Considerations

The   resounding defeat of Antigonid Macedonia at Pydna in 168 BCE gave Rome   the status of hegemonic power across the entire Mediterranean. This   geopolitical watershed also had tremendous ramifications   for the Roman-controlled slave trade. This venture now took the form of   a veritable public-private involuntary mass migration as countless men,   women and children were enslaved and forcefully deported from the newly conquered or dependent territories to Italy   and its peripheral provinces. The most notorious unintended consequence   of this forced deportation undoubtedly are the four major slave wars   that rocked Sicily and Italy from ca. 136 to 36 BCE. After scrutinizing   the socio-institutional and economical aspects   of this interconnection, this paper will also ponder the – well known   but poorly understood – question as to why the establishment of the   Augustan monarchy marked the end of these great slave rebellions. This   issue is all the more deserving of attention as   mass enslavement and forced collective deportations continued unabated   under Imperator Caesar Augustus until at least ca. 10 BCE. After   discussing the circumstances and structural interconnectivity of the   involuntary mass deportations and major slave revolts,   the focus thus shifts to the political, socio-institutional, and   socio-economic causes for their disappearance under Augustus and his   immediate successors.

8 September

K.O. Chong-Gossard, University of Melbourne

Catfights, Meltdowns and Murder: The Reception of        Euripides’ Andromache in French Theatre and Italian Opera

The plays of the ancient Greek tragedian Euripides had a tremendous influence on theatre and opera in France and Italy in the 17th through 19th centuries.   This talk explores how the plot of Euripides’ “Andromache,” written   around 425 B.C., was adapted and transformed in Jean Racine’s   “Andromaque” (1667), Italian Baroque operas of the 1700s and Rossini’s   “Ermione” (1819). Particular attention will be paid to   dramatic elements that were peculiar to the Euripidean play and were   retained in subsequent adaptations, such as the catfights between rival   women, the emotional meltdown of the character of Hermione and the   characterisation of Orestes the (non)-murderer.

15 September

Monique Webber, University of Melbourne

Darlings, Workhorses, and Dilettantes: Exploring Rome’s     Artists in Ancient Thought and Modern Scholarship

The role of imagery in ancient Roman   concepts of the self and society is often cited in modern scholarship.   It is widely accepted that the visual was prevalent in quotidian life,   both as a conveyor of meaning and as a measure   of personal engagement with romanitas. At the same time, artist biography has from the Renaissance largely defined – and been retroactively applied to – art history. However the artists   of ancient Rome as a professional class (let alone as individuals)   remain largely unknown to us. Who created Rome’s imagery, not only for   the public state, but also for the private populace? What was their   relationship with their clients? How were Rome’s artists   defined, professionally and creatively, by society and by themselves?   And does a lack of knowledge render incomplete our understanding of   Roman visual culture? This paper will explore the visual and literary   evidence for Rome’s artists, and consider how this can extend our understanding of visual culture beyond the imperial superstars.

16 September (Wednesday)

Professor John Oakley,  AAIA Visiting Professor,  William and Mary College

Athenian White-Ground Lekythoi: Masterpieces of Greek Funerary Art

The images found on classical Athenian   white-lekythoi are the subject of this lecture. These oil containers   were placed in and on Athenian tombs as grave   gifts, and therefore, not surprisingly often have scenes connected with   graves and funerals, making them very important documents for   understanding ancient Greek funerary rites. In fact, they are the   primary source of funerary images from fifth-century Athens   and are found in nearly every museum whose holdings include Greek art,   since they are often considered the most beautiful of Greek vases. This   lecture examines the development of the standard themes found on white   lekythoi, namely two women in a domestic setting,   the visit to the tomb, and the mythological ministers of death: Hermes,   the ferryman Charon, and the brothers Hypnos (sleep) and Thanatos   (death). And it synthesizes what these scenes tell us about classical   Athenian perceptions of and reactions to death.

22 September

Gil Stein, University of Chicago

Persian Personae: Material Culture, Ethnicity and Elite    Identity in the Achaemenid Tombs from Hacinebi Turkey

Empires   by they very nature comprise multiple ethnic groups, whose relationship   with their rulers is ambiguous and complex. Two intact burials from the   5th-4th century   BC Persian period at the site of Hacınebi, near the Euphrates river   crossing at Zeugma/Apamea (SE Turkey), provide a rare opportunity to   investigate the relationship between material culture styles, and elite   identity in the multi-ethnic Achaemenid empire.   Achaemenid material culture was an imperial synthesis drawing on   stylistic elements from Scythia, Mesopotamia, Egypt, and other regions;   as a result, it is extremely difficult to identify the ethnicity of any   individual burial based on the style of specific   objects. However, when the artifacts and styles are examined within   their mortuary context, our interpretations become better grounded.

The   Hacınebi tombs are compared with burials from other parts of the   Persian empire to examine the question of whether the burial practices   and grave goods reflect Persian/Iranian ethnic   identity as opposed to the use of what we can call “portable elite   material culture” by local non-Persian elites in the satrapies. It is   important to distinguish between burial goods and burial practices,   since they do not necessarily convey the same information   about social identity. I suggest that the individuals in the Hacinebi   burials were most likely Mesopotamian or Persian high ranking personnel   in a Persian military garrison guarding this key route of communication   near the Royal Road to Sardis. Taken together,   textual, iconographic and archaeological data on burial practices,   military garrisons, and material culture styles at Hacınebi highlight   the complex hybrid identities and cultural koine that linked Persian and non-Persian elites across the cosmopolitan   Achaemenid empire.

6 October

Selim Pullu, University of Afyon

Urartian Irrigation Channels and Dams in Ancient Anatolia

Land, air, fire and water are four   elements that marked the start of the universe. Three of these four   essential elements making biological life possible, owe their existence   to the fourth one that is water. Thus water has been   valued sacred endowment at all stages that mankind has passed in terms   of social, economic and cultural development. Creeds and cultures have   flourished nearby water. Water also gave life to various cultures and creeds and created   a unique richness  in   Anatolia, where innumerable civilizations emerged throughout history.   Many beliefs found their ways in this land and displayed their   respective rituals. In these   rituals, water was regarded sacred with its connotations to power,   fertility and well being and also as a means to spiritual catharsis. Many   dams, water reservoirs and irrigation canals from the 8th century B.C.   up to today have brought fertility to Van (city) and its surroundings. Facilities phased in during the Urartian period, which is known as the “Hydraulic Civilization of Asia Minor”, were   significant both in terms of their technology and in orienting local communities to farming. Especially the Menua (Semiramis/Şamram) and Ferhat were two important "irrigation canals" used by the Urartian Kingdom. Water originating from a source   locally known as (Semiramis/Şamran) where is in the Gurpınar plato by   two canals leading, respectively, to west and north. The   Semiramis/Şamran canal which is 51km long and its most interesting   feature   is that it passes over the Hoşap stream that flows to Lake Van. The   Ferhat Irrigation Canal is another interesting site of water engineering   by the Urartians has been watering   farmlands for  around   2700 years. It is the finest of many canals bringing water to farmlands   from a large freshwater source. The canal starts from the southern edge   of Balık Lake   and it flows all the way through rocks. Its   first construction is estimated to be a rock inscription testifies the   existence of another dam constructed by the Urartian (during the reign   of Rusa the Second, 685-645 B.C.) around 7th century B.C. In this   seminar I aim to share some information about the surveys and   excavations about those monumental constructions which held from 1991–2007 almost every year.

13 October

Sonya Wurster, University of Melbourne

Philodemus’ De dis 1 and Understanding Epicurean πρόληψις

Using the multispectral images, the Oxford (O) and Naples (N) disegni, alongside the original papyri, this paper presents a more detailed analysis of Philodemus’ De dis 1 (PHerc. 26). In particular it focuses on columns 12 to   15, arguing that they provide further insight into both the Epicurean   concept of πρόληψις (‘preconception’) and the role of reason in   Epicurean epistemology. In particular it addresses the   question of whether προλήψεις are innate or whether they are gained   over time through the application of reason. Based on evidence from De dis 1 and using as an example the πρόληψις of the gods as   immortal and blessed beings, who do not interfere in the affairs of   humans, this paper will argue that προλήψεις are acquired over time, and   confirmed through reasoning, rather than being innate.

This paper will begin with a brief discussion of Epicurean epistemology together with a summary of the condition and content of De dis 1. It will then examine the evidence, including the material found in De dis 1 columns 12 to 15, for Epicurean πρόληψις to show that a   πρόληψις is not innate and is gained as an adult. Having established the   nature of Epicurean πρόληψις, this paper will lastly examine the evidence from De dis 1 to show Philodemus’ view that each time you encounter an event you must employ reason to supplant traditional thinking with Epicurean teachings based on empiricism. Taken together, the evidence from Philodemus’ De dis 1 shows that reason is employed to verify a πρόληψις, which once verified, can be used as a criterion of truth alongside αἴσθησις (‘the senses’) and πάθη (‘feelings’).

20 October

Cecily Grace, University of Melbourne

King Midas Between East and West

This thesis consists of a comprehensive study of king Midas of Phrygia.   Evidence for Midas derives mostly from regions to the east and west of   his kingdom. By contextualising this evidence as deriving from complex   socio-political and cultural contexts, the discrepancy between the historical Midas and Midas as portrayed in the   eastern and western sources, is revealed. It is proposed that the scant   Phrygian texts referring to Midas provide a more historical perspective   on his reign. Fresh interpretations of these texts are achieved by viewing them as intimately connected with the   symbolic iconography of the monuments upon which they are engraved.