Mick Stringer Poeticus

Doctoral Research Student Mick Stringer has learnt that one of his poems is to be included in a poems and arts exhibition to be held in Dunedin, New Zealand on September 1st 2013.

The poem came to the notice of the organisers, Poems in the Waiting Room (NZ) a couple of years ago.  This is a Dunedin based arts in health charity which prints and distributes free poetry cards (currently 5700) every season to medical waiting rooms, rest homes, hospices and prisons throughout the South Island and parts of the lower North Island.  It was included on one of the cards and subsequently selected  to accompany his work by one of the artists who will be exhibiting.

A website has been set up to publicise the exhibition and Mick has contributed some more poems, including the Roman one that made it into last year’s Creative Arts Anthology, together with a poetic biography. You can check it out at:



Travel Award Enables Doctoral Researcher to Attend Conference in Moscow

From our doctoral researcher Elena Chepel:

Thanks to the generosity of the Department’s Austin Travel Fund I had  the opportunity to attend the largest international classical conference in Russia, Gasparov readings, that was held in April, 18-20 at the Russian State University for the Humanities (RSUH), Moscow.


conferenceThis year the topic was Poetics of classical ode with main focus on Pindar and Horace. The organisers, Prof. Nikolay Grintser and Prof. Nina Braginskaya brought together a constellation of classical scholars from UK, Serbia, France, Russia, USA, and Greece. Among the contributors were Prof. Ian Rutherford (University of Reading), Dr. Sergey Stepantsov (Lomonosov Moscow State University), Prof. Ewen Bowie (University of Oxford), Dr. Ana Petkovic (University of Belgrade), Prof. Richard Martin (Stanford University), Prof. Dmitry Trubochkin (State Institute for  Art Studies, Moscow), Prof. Chris Carey (UCL).


RSUH runs this annual conference to commemorate life and academic research of the prominent Russian classicist and translator Mikhail Gasparov. Among the works translated by him are Horace’s On the art of poetry, Aristotle’s Poetics, Cicero’s Orator, Ovid’s Ars amatoria, and Phaedrus’ Fables. He is the author of the standard Russian translation of Pindar and Bacchylides. He also studied in depth classical and modern European versification.


As my PhD topic deals with ritual forms in Greek comedy, including prayers, hymns and other forms of worship of gods, I attended this conference to learn more about choral odes and other lyric genres in their ritual context and about their relationship with other literary genres, especially comic genres. The conference turned out to be most fruitful and inspiring for my research.


conference2I found Prof. Lucia Athanassaki’s talk on the celebratory occasion in Pindar and Horace extremely useful. She made a groundbreaking point about Horace’s awareness of the sociopolitical and ritual context of the Pindaric odes. I benefited a lot from the brilliant paper given by Dr. Maria Kazanskaya (Universite de Paris 4, Sorbonne – St-Petersbourg State University). It considered deviations from high style in Pindaric odes including low-style expressions, everyday images and irony.


Vivid and lively discussions continued during the coffee breaks. I had chance to meet new people and share ideas about my research in an informal and friendly atmosphere.


Dr. Alexey Belousov from the Lomonosov Moscow State University presented to the Department of Classics at Reading a bundle of volumes of Aristeas, a very successful Russian journal of classical philology and ancient history, that accepts articles in Russian, English, French, German, and Latin.


Every year, the Department of Classics supports its students with generous travel awards.

Strengthening Our International Reach

Adalberto OttatiThe Department is pleased to welcome Adalberto Ottati, doctoral student at the University of Rome, La Sapienza & Junior Researcher at the Institut Català d’Arqueologia Clàssica, Tarragona (ICAC). Adalberto will be visiting our Department for the whole spring term as part of the Erasmus exchange programme we established with ICAC last year.

During his stay, Adalberto will continue his research on the historical, architectonical, and artistic aspects of a section of Hadrian’s Villa that is not known very well: the so-called “Accademia”. This complex is made by different buildings which stand out for their uniqueness, both in terms of style and structure: the alternating of straight and curved lines; the mixing of original architecture and classical style; and the use of artificial and natural compositions to create idyllic landscapes as background to the architecture.

Scholars have traditionally identified the Accademia complex as the emperor’s summer residence, but the most recent studies tend to interpret it instead as a palatial area reserved to the empress Vibia Sabina. Adalberto’s PhD thesis focuses on largely new archaeological evidence comprising both statuary and architectonic finds, emerged in recent and ongoing archaeological investigations at Hadrian’s Villa, which he has co-directed since 2003.

Funding success for Niki Karapanagioti

Niki Karapanagioti, who is now in her third year as a doctoral researcher in the department, has been awarded a scholarship from the Panagiotis Triantafyllidis Bequest Fund, which is for graduate students from the Peloponnese and is jointly administered by the Greek ministries of Economics and Education.

Niki’s research on Herodotus is already funded by a prestigious award from the Greek State Scholarship Foundation (Ίδρυμα Κρατικών Υποτροφιών or ΊΚΥ); this new award has been back-dated to the first year of her PhD, before her current funding started. Congratulations Niki!