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Research events play an important role in our active research culture. Academic staff from the University and other institutions come together with students to share and debate the latest ideas and developments.

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29 November 201715:00

Prof. Pat Wheatley (Otago) Polis vs. Basileus: Some New Perspectives on the Siege of Rhodes, 305/04 BC

Abstract to follow. Full details
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6 December 201717:00

Dr Emma Cole (Bristol) Greek Tragedy and the Australian Psyche

The reception of Greek tragedy in Australia largely mimicked its reception in England until the mid-twentieth century. The establishment of state theatre companies and the New Wave Theatre movement in the second half of the twentieth century, however, resulted in a series of more localised engagements, and today Australian classical performance receptions are frequently more playful and experimental than their British counterparts. Adaptations now trump translations, and radical reinventions which use the classics as a springboard for entirely new plays are more common than either. Recent productions, for example, have involved Euripides’ prize-winning Bacchae set in a urinal, a chorus of Trojan women murdered, a gender-bending Antigone, and an Iphigenia at Aulis written in a form devoid of named characters and staged without an Iphigenia present on stage at all. In this lecture I discuss a series of these receptions and both suggest and problematise ways that these engagements reflect the Australian psyche. I argue that today’s ‘gloves-off’ attitude towards the classics is tied to Australia’s complex colonial history and involves an intense localising of Greek tragedy to explore issues of national identity. The plays under discussion indicate that Australian productions of Greek tragedy are an overlooked part of contemporary classical performance reception, and that the classics today are being reclaimed and refashioned to explore pressing socio-political issues in twenty-first-century Australia. CA Southwest Lecture. Full details
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13 December 201715:00

Dr Rebecca Flemming (Cambridge) Galen and the plague

The Antonine Plague, the great epidemic that first swept across the Roman Empire in AD 165, and recurred in waves over the following decades, is now generally agreed to have been smallpox. This identification has been argued for and assumed in the most recent sustained treatments of the topic and has shaped the lively debates on the demographic and economic impact of the plague. But this move rests on shaky foundations, and this paper will challenge this conclusion, and attempt to take the discussion in some new directions, using the evidence provided by the physician Galen, wider comparative work in historical epidemiology, and recent genomic research into past pathogens. Full details
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10 January 201817:00

Prof. Helen Lovatt (Nottingham) Argonauts: Myth and Reception

The myth of Jason and the Argonauts has been told and retold since its very beginnings. It was already a well known story before the Odyssey. But when does a myth cease to function as myth and become crystallised by its most famous versions? For the tale of the Argonauts, the versions of Apollonius and Euripides’ Medea are crucial. This paper explores the interface between myth and reception in the Argonautic tradition by looking at a number of case studies: Charles Kingsley and the Orphic Argonautica, Robert Graves and his Greek Myths, and the influence of the 1963 Harryhausen movie ‘Jason and the Argonauts’ on recent children’s literature. CA Southwest Lecture, in association with the Hellenic Society. Full details
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21 March 201817:00

Prof. Patrick Finglass (Bristol) Title TBC

Abstract to follow. Full details
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2 May 201817:00

Dr Jonathan Prag (Oxford) Rams and Warships: bronze rostra from the final battle of the First Punic War

This paper will present the spectacular finds from the underwater survey being undertaken off western Sicily by the Soprintendenza del Mare of Sicily. Principal among these is the very rare find of 12 bronze rams from warships which sank during the final battle of the First Punic War between Rome and Carthage, in 241 BC. At least 8 of the rams are inscribed (7 Latin, 1 Punic) and the rams and their inscriptions not only provide new information on warships and institutions in the period, but also create significant problems for our current understanding of naval warfare at this date. CA Southwest Lecture, in association with the Roman Society. Full details
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