News and Events
Appian and the Romans: A Conference at the University of Sydney
The University of Sydney is pleased to host the conference which will be held from 5-7 July 2010.
The Series: Ancient Historians and Ancient Rome
In 2007 Dr Eleanor Cowan of the University of Leicester, Dr Kathryn Welch of the University of Sydney and Dr Anton Powell, founding editor of the Classical Press of Wales, joined forces to plan a series of conferences examining the key authors of Roman History whose work was in need of wider examination. The series was launched in 2008 by Dr Cowan with a conference on the early Imperial author Velleius Paterculus. The papers from that conference are currently being prepared for publication. Professor John Rich has proposed a third, on Cassius Dio, in Nottingham in 2012. Our conference will be the second in this series.
'THE Greeks and Romans knew what to do about asylum seekers. Our very language reflects the ancient nature of the problem. Refugee, asylum, migrant, sanctuary, all are derived from Greek and Latin roots. Yet the difference between the ancient response and the modern one is striking. For the Greeks and Romans, the correct action to take wasn't debatable. Every right-thinking person knew what to do. When people were washed up on your shore, you fed and clothed them, and offered them a helping hand.'
Classics recruit focuses on politically incorrect Greek
Kevin Lee Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Dr Sebastiana Nervegna, speaks to the Australian's 'Higher Education Supplement' commentator, Luke Slattery about soap opera, comedy, sex and the Greeks, and Classics at the University of Sydney:
'ON my way to interview Sebastiana Nervegna, the latest recruit to a buoyant University of Sydney classics department, I give the address to the taxi driver. "You're interviewing an academic," he snorts. "How exciting. Not."
'His scorn evaporates when I explain that Nervegna is an expert in Menander, a late 4th century Greek playwright who refocused Athenian comedy on domestic intrigues: his tightly constructed plots are driven by sensational lusts and infidelities, peopled with the rich and the poor.
'"So he invented the soap opera," asserts the cabbie with attitude. "Did he also invent farce?' Minutes later I put the question to Nervegna, and she explains that although Menander's work seems to have inaugurated romantic comedy and contains elements that could be seen as farcical, this kind of comedy had precursors.'