News feed from Gregg Schwendner's blog.

What's New in Papyrology

  • Thu, Aug 27, 2015 at 7:53 PM, Roger Bagnall wrote: I am sorry to have to report that Leslie MacCoull has just died, age 70, in Tempe, Arizona. She will be best known to papyrologists for her work on the archive of Dioskoros of Aphrodite, but in later years she published extensively on John Philoponus.

  • Link https://www.academia.edu/14634070/Growing_up_Motherless_in_Antiquity_A_Conference_on_Mother_Absence_in_the_Ancient_Mediterranean

    Growing up Motherless in Antiquity: A Conference on Mother Absence in the Ancient Mediterranean
    Prof. Dr. Sabine R. Huebner, Universität Basel, Switzerland; Dr. David M. Ratzan, New York University

    26.05.2016 - 28.05.2016

    Prof. Dr. Sabine R. Huebner

    The last forty years have witnessed a vast reclamation project in ancient history, as scholars have worked to recover the lives of historically muted groups, particularly those of women and children. The result is an impressive body of work collecting the traces ancient women and children have left behind, as well as a sophisticated epistemology of the biases, gaps, and silences in the historical record. From this perspective, the absence of ancient mothers has represented an ineluctable reality and a methodological hurdle, but rarely a subject of study in its own right. Yet the evidence suggests that mother absence was not merely a secondary artifact of bias or artistic and historiographical conventions; it was also a primary condition of antiquity, one whose root causes, social articulations, and psychological effects have never been fully described or explored, even as it had a profound effect on ancient family life and the experience of childhood.
    In approaching the causes, forms, and effects of ancient mother absence we now stand to benefit not only from the last four decades of research into the ancient and pre-modern family (including a growing bibliography on ancient mothers, e.g., the recent collection of Petersen and Salzman-Mitchell (eds.), Mothering and Motherhood in Ancient Greece and Rome [Univ. Texas Press, 2012]), but also from recent research into contemporary mother absence. The root cause of ancient mother absence, of course, was death, with the result that a significant proportion of ancient children grew up without their biological mothers. In the contemporary West, by contrast, mother absence is increasingly the product of the number of working and career mothers (now two-thirds to three-quarters of all mothers in Germany, Switzerland, France, and the U.S.), a social revolution that is rapidly transforming the practices, economics, ideals, and politics of mothering. Cameron Macdonald’s Shadow Mothers: Nannies, Au Pairs, and the Micropolitics of Mothering (Berkeley 2011), for example, investigates the ways in which mother-work has been commoditized, outsourced, and negotiated between mothers and “shadow mothers” over the last two decades. Macdonald’s account of the economics, class tensions, and strategic postures shaping the relationships between contemporary mothers and a quasi-professionalized class of surrogates is a thought-provoking read for anyone acquainted with the various “shadow mothers” of antiquity. This and similar research suggests that ancient historians should attempt to see the phenomenon of ancient mother absence as a continuum, ranging from its obvious manifestation in the total absence caused by maternal death, to the partial absences of various forms of maternal separation brought about by economic necessity, divorce, slavery, social conventions, and perhaps even choice on occasion. It also provides us with a potential framework to understand the ways in which different parties or groups cognized and responded to maternal absence, from the children who grew up without their mothers to varying degrees, to those who stepped in, were employed, or commanded to mother them, a patchwork cast of stepmothers, family members, wet nurses, and domestic slaves—and perhaps we may even extend this analysis to the absent mothers themselves, to the extent that we can recover or reconstruct their experiences.
    We invite scholars to reconsider the absence of ancient mothers in terms of ancient mother absence (cf. Huebner & Ratzan (eds.), Growing Up Fatherless in Antiquity [Cambridge, 2009]) and seek papers on any aspect of ancient mother absence in the ancient Mediterranean, from any period, subfield, or methodological approach, including (but not limited to) the following themes:
    - The demography and sociology of ancient mother absence, including forms of mother absence not occasioned by death
    - The relationship of the cultural ideals of “good” and “bad” mothers to the realities of mother absence, and the cultural construction and deconstruction of mothers, including reflections and refractions of mother absence in various rejections of motherhood (e.g., cults of virginity or chastity, medical theories minimizing maternal contribution to conception, myths of male pregnancy and birth, etc.)
    - The anthropology, economics, ideology, status, and micropolitics of ancient mother-work and those who performed it (mothers, shadow mothers, stepmothers, etc.) and the effects or outcomes on children
    - The psychology, emotional life, identities, and strategies of absent mothers, the children who lived apart from or survived them, and those who filled the persistent familial gap (mothers, shadow mothers, stepmothers, etc.)
    - Visual or poetic representations of or engagements with mother absence and the discourse of mother absence in epitaphs, eulogies, personal correspondence, religion, cult, forensic rhetoric, politics, law, or medicine


    Abstracts should be no more than 400 words (exclusive of title and biographical note), describing a 20-minute paper to be delivered in English. Please include the full title of your paper and a brief biographical note on your academic affiliation and previous research. Qualified junior researchers and recent PhD graduates are encouraged to apply. The deadline for full consideration is Oct. 15, 2015.
    Please submit your abstract by email to: david.ratzan@nyu.edu or sabine.huebner@unibas.ch.
    Prof. Dr. Sabine Huebner
    Departement für Altertumswissenschaften, Universität Basel

  • Digital Classicist London 2015: Seminar 10, Usama Gad
    Digital Classicist Seminar Berlin (2012/2013) - Keynote

    Published on Dec 4, 2012 Lecture by Dr. Gabriel Bodard (King's College London) - "A View on Digital Classics Collaboration: from a cacophony of epigraphic databases to a citizens' web of inscriptions
    Digital Classicist Seminar Berlin (2012/2013) - Seminar 5Published on Feb 5, 2013Dr. des. Patrick Sahle and Ulrike Henny (Cologne Center for eHumanities) Aegyptologie trifft Digital Humanities: Das Buch der Toten,"Egyptology meets Digital Humanities: The Book of the Dead"

    Digital Classicist Seminar Berlin (2014/2015) - Seminar 1Published on Nov 24, 2014Charlotte Roueché (King’s College London), “Digital Classics: Back to the Future?”
    Digital Classicist Seminar Berlin (2014/2015) - Seminar 2Published on Nov 25, 2014
    Markus Schnöpf (BBAW/IDE), "Reviewing digital editions: The Codex Sinaiticus"

    Digital Classicist London Seminars 2014 - Seminar 1 - Ségolène Tarte
    Published on Jul 7, 2014 Ségolène Tarte (Oxford) 'On Cognition and the Digital in the Study of Ancient Textual Artefacts'Digital Classicist London & Institute of Classical Studies seminar 2014, Friday June 6th.
    Hugh Cayless (Duke University): Integrating Digital Epigraphies

    Streamed live on Jul 17, 2015Integrating Digital Epigraphies (IDEs) is being developed as a Linked Data platform for digital epigraphy. The first round of development leverages data from partner projects including the PHI's Searchable Greek Inscriptions project, the SEG, the Claros concordance of epigraphical publication data, and epigraphy articles in JSTOR to develop a set of web services. Identifiers from any of the projects may be used to retrieve related data from any of the others. The goal of IDEs is not to be a portal or aggregator superseding partner projects, but a data hub that allows all of them to leverage each other’s work.

  • Graeco-Roman Archives from the Fayum
    Peeters Publishers
    Series:  Collectanea Hellenistica (KVAB), 6
    Authors:  Vandorpe K., Clarysse W., Verreth H.
    Year: 2015
    ISBN: 978-90-429-3162-6
    Pages: 496 p.
    Price: 105 EURO

    The Fayum is a large depression in the western desert of Egypt, receiving its water directly from the Nile. In the early Ptolemaic period the agricultural area expanded a great deal, new villages were founded and many Greeks settled here. When villages on the outskirts were abandoned about AD 300-400, houses and cemeteries remained intact for centuries. Here were found thousands of papyri, ostraca (potsherds) and hundreds of mummy portraits, which have made the area famous among classicists and art historians alike. Most papyri and ostraca are now scattered over collections all over the world. The sixth volume of Collectanea Hellenisticapresents 145 reconstructed archives originating from this region, including private, professional, official and temple archives both in Greek and in native Demotic.TABLE of CONTENTS