New Brunswick NJ hosts CAAS 2016 meeting 20-22 Oct, and Rutgers Classics is most definitely showing up


When it comes to CAAS 2016, all roads lead to New Brunswick

It’s that time again—for one of the most rewarding of academic conferences, the annual fall meeting of the Classical Association of the Atlantic States (CAAS). It all goes down this week with panels, paper sessions, and a performance packed into a very full program on Friday 21 and Saturday 22 October. The location is New Brunswick NJ, at the sleek Heldrich Hotel and Conference Center (10 Livingston Avenue).

As CAAS itself describes it, these “meetings combine scholarly papers on ancient literature, history and archaeology with panels and presentations on the teaching of the Classics, providing a relaxed and enjoyable forum for all college and secondary school teachers who are interested in the Greco-Roman world.”

This year marks the seventh time New Brunswick has hosted the event, but the first in more than a dozen years. (Since its founding in 1907, CAAS has chosen the city as a meeting location in 1923, 1959, 1978, 1983, 1995 and 2002.) The 2016 meeting promises to be a Rutgers reunion of sorts. Spotted on the program alone are about a dozen and a half current and past Rutgers Classics students and faculty. You can see the full program here and an abridged and RU-annotated schedule below. Continue reading

RU Libraries, Art Museum and Classics stage ‘Counterfeit Caesars’ exhibition on master Roman coin forgeries


This just in—reposting a welcome press release from Rutgers University Libraries…

“The United States Department of Treasury estimates that about $70 million dollars in counterfeit currency is currently in circulation. Counterfeit money is a tremendous problem in modern economies, but it is not a new problem by any stretch of the imagination.

This month, Rutgers University Libraries, the Zimmerli Art Museum, and the Rutgers University–New Brunswick Department of Classics are teaming up on a display of counterfeit coins from the Ernst Badian Collection of Roman Republican Coins. Counterfeit Caesars: The Criminal Genius of Coin Forger Carl Wilhelm Becker (1772–1830) will be on display through February 6, 2017 at the Zimmerli Art Museum in the Class of 1937 Study Gallery (71 Hamilton Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901).

While the gallery is dedicated to showcasing works that supplement Rutgers academic courses, it is open to all visitors. Currently, the Study Gallery also includes a display of American prints and an ACT UP Art Box.


‘Counterfeit Caesars’ on display at the Zimmerli. Credit: Tim Corlis

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Fresh quarters for RU Classics, in new Academic Building atop historic “Holy Hill”


The new Rutgers Academic Building, now the home of RU Classics—6th floor, 15 Seminary Place, New Brunswick NJ. Credit: DEVCO

Two hundred forty years ago—in December 1776, during the American Revolution—the British sited their artillery on this hill during their occupation of New Brunswick.


One hundred sixty years ago—in 1856—the New Brunswick Theological Seminary chose the same height for its grand Hertzog Hall, thereby making the hill “holy”.


Fifty years ago—in 1966—Hertzog inexplicably fell victim to the wrecking ball, and an architectural monstrosity, Zwemer Hall (charitably known as “The Dixie Cup”) rose up on Holy Hill in its place.


And now on 6 September 2016, on this same elevation Rutgers has opened its $116 million, 175,000 square-foot Academic Building. It serves as new home to its School of Arts and Sciences and a number of SAS departments—including Classics. It marks the first new academic facility on the Rutgers College Avenue Campus since the 1960s.



For Rutgers Classics, it meant saying goodbye to its home (of half a century or so) in the Ruth Adams Building of beloved Douglass Campus, and setting up shop at the following new address:

Department of Classics, Rutgers Academic Building, Room 6183

15 Seminary Place, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Tel. 848-932-8223, e-mail Continue reading

RU Classics grad student (and Cook Scholarship holder) Emmanuel Aprilakis reflects on 2016 ASCSA summer program in Greece


The Palamidi Fortress in Nafplio. Credit (for this and all photos): Emmanuel Aprilakis

Emmanuel Aprilakis is much looking forward to his second year as a graduate student in the Rutgers Classics department, having earned his B.A. summa cum laude from the Macaulay Honors College at CUNY Hunter College in 2015. He is mainly interested in Greek literature and religion with a focus on Attic drama. Emmanuel’s broader research interests include ancient epic, comparative mythology, ancient athletics, sculpture, vase painting, and museum ethics.

This summer, thanks to the generosity of Rutgers Classics’ Ethel S. Cook Travel Scholarship, Emmanuel participated in the Summer Session of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. We asked Emmanuel a few questions about his experience in Greece this summer. Continue reading

RU Classics grad student Alicia Matz takes department’s Cook Travel Scholarship to Rome


Roman Forum, looking E from the Tabularium. Credit: Alicia Matz

Alicia Matz is entering her second year in the Rutgers Classics graduate program, having earned a 2015 BA in Classics from the University of Puget Sound (Tacoma WA). Her research interests encompass both the Greek and Roman worlds, ranging from Aristophanic comedy, to Augustan literature and material culture, to reception of the classical past, especially in science fiction and fantasy literature.

This summer, thanks to the generosity of Rutgers Classics’ Ethel S. Cook Travel Scholarship, Alicia participated in the Classical Summer School of the American Academy in Rome. We asked Alicia a few questions about her Italy summer experience. Continue reading

RU represents in Dublin at 9th Celtic Conference in Classics


In Dublin’s St. Helen’s Hotel (24 June 2016), RU Celtic Conference presenters (from left) Steve Brandwood, Brian Hill, Prof. Thomas Figueira, Prof. Sarolta Takács, Prof. Emily Allen-Hornblower, and Dave Wright

Rutgers Distinguished Professor of Classics and Ancient History Thomas Figueira notes the strong Rutgers Classics showing at the 9th Biennial Celtic Conference in Classics at University College Dublin, Eire (22-25 June 2016).

A major focus was the panel Ethnicity and Multiculturalism in Herodotus: Through Others’ Eyes which he organized with Professora Associada de Estudos Clássicos Carmen Soares of Coimbra University (Portugal).


In the panel, Figueira was joined in presenting a paper (“Language as a Marker of Ethnicity in Herodotus & Contemporaries”) by Associate Professor of Classics Emily Allen-Hornblower with “Emotion and Ethnicity in Herodotus’ Histories”, and Professor of History Sarolta Takács (a member of the Classics Graduate Committee and Director of the Modern Greek Studies Program) with “Herodotus’ (After)life in Byzantium”. Rutgers Classics doctoral Candidates Steven Brandwood (“Ethnicity and Translation”) and Brian Hill (“Protocols of Ethnic Specification in Herodotus”) also presented.

This panel is part of a larger initiative to strengthen intellectual dialogue between Lusophone classicists and ancient historians in Portugal and Brazil and North Americans.

Among Anglophone participants were Renaud Gagné (Cambridge), Rosaria Vignolo Munson (Swarthmore), and Gregory Nagy (Harvard). The videocast of a paper by Gregory Nagy and colloquium with the participants in the panel can be viewed below.

In another panel (Coins of the Roman Revolution, 49 BC-AD 14: Evidence without Hindsight), doctoral student David Wright presented the paper “Savior Imagery in the Coins of Demetrius Poliorcetes and Sextus Pompey”.

Distinguished alumnae were also presenters (in the panel Modern[Ancient] Epic): Janice Siegel PhD’94 (Associate Professor of Classics, Hampden-Sydney College) with “Apollonius’ Argonautica and the Wizard of Oz” and Liz Gloyn PhD’11 (Lecturer in Classics, Royal Holloway College, University of London) with “Release the Kraken? Ancient Monsters in Modern Epic”.

For full details on the proceedings of the conference, see here (pp. 17-20, 23-24).


RU’s historic 250th anniversary Commencement, Classics degrees and honors in review


It was a B1G day on the Banks for RU Classics on 15 May 2016 as Rutgers celebrated a super-commencement to mark its 250th anniversary! The site? Rutgers’ High Point Solutions Stadium, where approximately 52,000 people, including more than 12,000 graduates seated on the field, took in the pageantry and proceedings.

President Barack Obama received an honorary degree and delivered a riveting 45-minute address, in which—among many other points—he referenced the pub where our Department got its start in 1771.

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View of the President’s speech from the faculty section. Credit: Emily Allen-Hornblower

Congratulations to our Classics majors who received their degrees with the Class of 2016 at the School of Arts and Sciences Convocation that immediately followed the Commencement: Jessica Bailey, Matthew Klein, Oleksiy Lunhu, Daniel McCann, Margaret Morris, Michael Romero, Thi Trinh, Arya Vaseghi (who earned Departmental Honors), and Jennifer Yook.

And additional congratulations to our new PhD Katheryn Whitcomb, who joins the Classics faculty of Franklin & Marshall College next year as a visiting assistant professor. In the proceedings doctoral candidate David Wright also received a much-prized distinction, the degree of M. Phil.

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