Classics was well represented yesterday at UoR’s annual Doctoral Research Conference, held on 19 June, in which Nathalie Choubineh (upper right) and Luca Ottonello (bottom left) competed. This annual event, open to all doctoral researchers and staff from across the University, showcases the diversity of doctoral research undertaken at the University of Reading. Nathalie, who has passed her viva, subject to minor corrections, in April of this year, presented her research poster on Kretike, an aspect of ancient Greek dance that featured in her PhD thesis, written under the supervision of Profs. Barbara Goff and Amy Smith. Luca, who is a part-time PhD candidate, competed in the research image competition, with his digital reconstruction of the Temple of Bel in the ancient city of Palmyra. Palmyra is a case study for his PhD thesis that he is writing under the supervision of Prof. Amy Smith and Dr. Ian Ewart (School of Construction Management and Engineering). As well as meeting new people who shared their interests, both of them found the conference a welcome opportunity to think about ways in which to communicate their research to broader audiences. The Classics Department is proud to now display Nathalie’s poster in its hallway in the Edith Morley building, while Luca’s photograph is displayed with some of his 3D prints of Palmyrene architecture in the Ure Museum.
This year’s edition of the Reading Ancient Schoolroom ran for two weeks and welcomed several hundred schoolchildren to campus. Led by a team of specially-trained volunteers, some of them Reading students and others coming from as far away as Edinburgh to participate, the children experienced first hand what life was like in a Roman school. This year there was a focus on Roman mathematics (pictured above: maths teacher Dom O’Reilly with children from Dolphin School), but children also practiced reading from papyri, writing on ostraca and tablets, using quill pens, memorizing poetry, and studying Latin and Greek the way ancient children would have studied them. They also had the opportunity to sample Roman food made by our magnificent Roman cook, Reading undergraduate Charlotte Edwards, and special object handling sessions in the Ure Museum. For more information (and lots more pictures) see https://readingancientschoolroom.com/2017-schoolroom/. Schoolroom director Professor Eleanor Dickey was interviewed about the event on UKEd chat; you can listen to the interview at https://ukedchat.com/2017/07/17/ukedpodcast-episode-12/.
This summer do you fancy a paid internship to work in a museum? If so, look no farther than the Classics Department’s Ure Museum. The Ure Museum is pleased to announce an internship for Summer 2014, offered through the Reading Internship Scheme (at CPEC): see http://www.reading.ac.uk/careers/RIS/current.asp for details and how to apply.
The intern will curate the Ure Museum digital image collection—up to 20,000 images documenting the Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology, especially objects in its collection, related objects, events and archives—as part of a larger project to research and distinguish the audiences for the Ure Museum’s digital provision. The intern will work with curators and archivists to distinguish images according to their potential audiences, organise them and direct them to the appropriate means of digital publication. Successful completion of this project will increase the uptake in the usage of this important resource via social media, international networks (such as Europeana, the EU’s digital library) as well as the University’s own website and databases.
This is a 5-week internship for Summer 2014. Participating students are required to attend the pre-placement workshop at UoR on either 11th or 18th June 10am-12pm.
Applications due 1st June so don’t hesitate!
My name is Mariana Gomes Beirão, I’m Portuguese, 21, and I am currently doing a 3 month Erasmus internship in the Ure Museum as part of my MA in Ancient History, which I will defend next year. I have a degree in Languages, literatures and cultures with a major in English and minor in Italian. While doing my degree I discovered my fascination for classics mainly due to one of my Professors’ passion for his job. Rodrigo Furtado greatly influenced and impressed me to the point of, inadvertedly, entirely changing my course of studies. I began taking optional lectures and saw that they interested me more than my mandatory ones. I knew then I had to alter my path.
Moreover, before starting university I applied for an integrated masters’ in the Portuguese Army and was accepted. In my first year I sustained and injury to my knee and was forced to abandon my military career. At first I was devastated yet now it seems clear that the Moirae did their thing and everything fell into place. I find interest in learning about people long dead instead of being the one doing the killing.
Furthermore, my former summer jobs include working as a security guard in a golf resort, as a client liaison for a holiday rental company and for the past 3 years I’ve been teaching Portuguese as a foreign language to British ex-pats living in Portugal (to get a bit extra for the tuition). Finally, the least interesting aspects (not that any of the previous ones were particularly fascinating):
Firstly, I am a very active person, proof of that is that my fiancée owns the gym I go to (which is where we met). I enjoy running, doing gymnastics and kickboxing. Secondly, I love animals, especially horses, once again the fates had it all sorted as my soon to be husband has a few specimen of my favourite animal. Thirdly, I possess a PS3 and I proudly call myself a gamer. Lastly, I have failed to become a vegetarian due to the fact that Portugal isn’t very keen on rabbit food as almost everything has at least a pig’s internal organ in it.
Congratulations to our doctoral researcher Alastair Harden on the publication of his book Animals in the Classical world: ethical perspectives from Greek and Roman texts.
The sourcebook is a collection of nearly 200 specially-translated excerpts from Classical authors from Homer to Plutarch. It aims to contextualize modern animal rights debates within the civilizations of Greece and Rome, and to provide an introduction to the uses of animal imagery in Classical literature with the ultimate goal of understanding the place of the non-human animal in the moral and ethical parameters of the ancient world.
Topics such as warfare, science, farming, vegetarianism and public entertainment join the more traditionally-philosophical corners of this growing area of Classical studies, and passages are included from authors of all genres of Classical literature including poets, novelists and historians.
The book suggests that we can learn as much about ancient ethical parameters from a Homeric simile, a passage of Sophocles or a throwaway comment from Thucydides as we can from the nuanced language of philosophical discourse, if we look in the right places.
The book joins the Animal Ethic series published by Palgrave Macmillan (www.palgrave.com/philosophy/animal_ethics.asp) in conjunction with the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, which recently founded the new print Journal of Animal Ethics. The photograph on the cover was taken in the Ure Museum.
New on Classics Confidential:
In the fifth interview recorded at the Classical Association meeting and the second shot on location in the Ure Museum CC’s Anastasia Bakogianni talks to Dr Sonya Nevin about the project to create animations based on the characters and stories depicted on ancient Greek vases. This was also the subject of her presentation at the conference on the Classics and Museums (1) panel.
Sonya helped to create these animations as the Classics consultant working in collaboration with Steve K. Simons, who specialises in the digital restoration and animation of ancient Greek vase images. For more information about their on-going work see: www.panoply.org.uk
The first animation they produced based on Exekias’ vase depicting Achilles and Ajax playing a game of dice was entitled the Clash of the Dicers
It was produced as part of the Ure-View project, an outreach initiative that brought together Classics students and young people from two Reading secondary schools, Kendrick and Maiden Erlegh. The two groups were asked to work collaboratively to produce story boards based on what they saw depicted on ancient vases housed in the Ure Museum.
These animations also featured on the Stories of the World programme presented as part of Arts in Parliament series at Westminster Hall (24 July 2012). The animations help to draw attention to the importance of athletics in the classical world but they can also be used as a teaching resource. An exhibition of a new set of animations from the recent Ure Discovery project, will be launched on 17th June 2013 at the Ure Museum. The animations, with insights into their backstories, will be appearing on the Panoply website from that date.
Another animation The Cheat was created specifically for The Open University’s module The Ancient Olympics: Bridging Past and Present, which also drew attention to the links between the ancient Olympic games and their modern reincarnation.
As Sonya points out what all these animations have in common is that help to focus the viewer’s attention on the ancient artefacts. They utilise the new technologies available to us, but the stars of the show are the ancient vases themselves.
Click on the image below or follow this link to watch the interview!
New on Classics Confidential:
In the fourth interview recorded during this year’s Classical Association conference, CC’s Anastasia Bakogianni talks with Dr Amy Smith, a member of the Classics Department at the University of Reading. This interview and the one with Dr Sonya Nevin that follows were recorded on the premises of the Ure Museum, with Amy’s kind permission in her capacity as the Museum’s curator. CC gratefully acknowledges its debt to Dr Smith and the Classics Department at the University of Reading for allowing us to film on location!
In this interview Amy talks about the Ure Museum’s long history, its early days and the excavation work of Percy Neville Ure, the University’s first Professor of Classics, and the museum’s development over the years. She also speaks about some of the current collaborations that the Ure is involved in with local schools in Reading and the British Museum.
In the second part of the interview Amy talks about her love for the iconography of the classical world and her engagement with digital classics. Lastly Amy tells us about a recent volume she co-edited with Sadie Pickup: Brill’s Companion to Aphrodite. The idea for the book arose when a headless statue of Aphrodite was chosen as the item on loan from the British Museum that would be displayed in the Ure Museum; thus we return full circle back to the museum at the heart of the Classics Department at Reading.
Click on the image below or follow this link to our Youtube channel to watch the interview!
Thirty keen adult learners joined members of the Department of Classics for a Day School, planned in collaboration with the Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology, for a presentation of their research on the topic of Greeks & Egyptians, on 18 May 2013.
During the day 30+ participants learned about the interactions of ancient Greeks & Egyptians in Egypt, from members of the department and two of the Department’s recent PhD recipients.
Participants were also given the opportunity to view the Ure Museum collections, some relevant artefacts in which were discussed by Dr. Smith (Curator) and Prof. Rutherford (on the topic of mummified cats).
Participants gave enthusiastic feedback and called it ‘… a most enjoyable and stimulating study day…’, commenting that ‘the range of topics and their enthusiastic presentation were excellent’.
In its efforts to bring present and future students’ attention to the wide range of research facilities available at the University of Reading the Research Review has highlighted Dr Amy Smith and her research in the Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology:
In this audio Dr Smith introduces the Ure Museum and explains how the collection and its database are used by students and scholars, including the complications inherent in studying 3d objects and relevant conservation issues.
This is the second ‘unusual space people use for their research’ highlighted in a series that started with the ‘Gut lab’ (Nutritional Sciences).
Unless otherwise indicated, all seminars will take place at 4pm in the Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology (HumSS G38). Everyone welcome.
Girolamo F. De Simone (Naples):
“Beyond Pompeii and Herculaneum: archaeology on the dark side of Vesuvius”
Roger Bagnall (ISAW, New York):
“On the edges of society? Funerary workers in Roman Egypt”
Helen Roche (Cambridge):
“Sparta and the Nazis”
Arietta Papaconstantinou (Reading):
Dimis Spatheras (Rhetymno):
“Emotions and the Law”