Vulpis et Ciconia

Vulpis et Ciconia  
By Dara Sánchez

The poem “Vulpis et Ciconia” tells a tale in which the Fox’s cunning nature does not come to its advantage. In this fable, a Fox invites a Stork to dinner but gives her a plate with liquid broth, which restricts the Stork from eating while the Fox enjoys her meal.1 In response, the Stork invites the Fox to dinner and puts the food in a vase, disabling the Fox from enjoying her dinner as the Stork satisfies herself. The lesson readers are meant to get from this, as explained in the promythium and re-emphasized by the Stork as a dialogued epimythium, is that: harm must not be done, but when it is, the one who caused harm must endure the same punishment for there to be justice…

The Egyptian Revival Jewelry Movement

The Egyptian Revival Jewelry Movement: Exploring the Ethics of Cultural Influence
By Angela Nguyen

Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the allure of ancient Egypt swept across the globe. Its grand architecture, enigmatic gods, and powerful civilization sparked a worldwide fascination, which reached new heights with the 1828 release of “Description de l’Égypte,” chronicling Napoleon’s expedition into Egypt, the historic completion of the Suez Canal in 1869, and culminating in the groundbreaking unearthing of King Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922. These moments brought ancient Egyptian wonders to the forefront, which became mainstream culture via fashion, art, and architecture in a wave known as “Egyptomania.”

A Close Translation of Demosthenes’ Letter 1.5-7

A Close Translation of Demosthenes’ Letter 1.5-7
By Isaiah Weir

Around 324 BC, the city of Athens condemned Demosthenes, one of their greatest orators and statesmen, on charges of embezzlement and bribery. Forced into exile, he wrote several letters pleading his case but to no avail. However, after the death of Alexander the Great, Demosthenes, a lifelong enemy of Macedonian rule, wrote this letter, urging Athens toward political unity and a general uprising for the freedom of the Greeks…

The Anatomy of a Misunderstood Woman: An Examination of Helen of Sparta

The Anatomy of a Misunderstood Woman
By Lily Burkin

Greco-Roman depictions of religious and mythological women provide a unique lens through which femininity can be seen wielding influence over humanity, while also remaining subject to limitations compared to male counterparts and villainization when they threaten the social order. An infamous example of a woman shamed for her unusual actions is Helen of Troy, the countless narratives about whom—when synchronized—paint a complex and contradictory picture of her motivations within the Trojan War. Despite the influence Helen exerts over powerful male figures, narratives of the Trojan War attempt to strip her of autonomy and reduce her to the “most beautiful woman in the world,” even as she displays shocking levels of emotional and intellectual depth in her struggle for control over her personage…

Magic, Religion, and Social Stigma

Magic, Religion, and Social Stigma
By Fiona Green

James Frazer, a visionary classicist and anthropologist, reshaped the academic landscape with his profound insights in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (Segal, 1). In his book The Golden Bough, Frazer proposed a conception of the distinction between magic and religion. Magic, he argued, was akin to science because it trusted in fundamental laws which governed the world and could be used to one’s advantage if one knew how to manipulate them. A magician uses these laws to compel gods and supernatural beings, whereas religion consists of  “a belief in powers higher than man and an attempt to propitiate or please them” (Frazer, 50). Thus, for Frazer, religion consists of submitting to and persuading supernatural beings…

Roman Ghost Stories and Superstitions on Societal Behavior

Roman Ghost Stories and Superstitions on Societal Behavior: Analyzing Pliny the Younger’s Letter 7.27, Petronius’ The Satyricon, and Mostellaria
By Aidan Jones

Ancient Roman literature has commonly portrayed ghosts in a satirical sense with the use of plays and short stories; however, it is clear that ghost stories have greater effects on Roman culture and society. By analyzing Pliny the Younger’s “Letter to Sura,” Petronius’ “Dinner at Trimalchio’s” in The Satyricon, and Plautus’ Mostellaria, we can determine how these texts reflect beliefs of the supernatural and hauntings, helping us understand the societal fear associated with ghost stories…

A Review of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians Television Series

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Review of the Television Series
By Erin Schott

Students typically become classics majors by one of two routes: either their parents force them to take Latin in high school (my situation), or they read Percy Jackson. Rick Riordan’s popular book series provides an easy, fun entry point into the world of Greek mythology for young readers. Recognizing the series’ potential to draw in new majors, the Penn Classical Studies department offers a freshman course centered around Percy Jackson, and on March 20…

The Reception of Minoritized Translators of Classical Epic Poetry

The Reception of Minoritized Translators of Classical Epic Poetry
By Imaan Ansari

Translating without interpreting is nearly impossible. The primary factors affecting a translator’s decisions are the original work’s author, the author’s intended audience, and the audience receiving the translation upon publication. No translator is impartial; otherwise, all translations would be the same. For ancient literature, the progression by which translations are differently received throughout time can be understood through the prism of “Classical reception,” a phenomenon that also crafts the archetype of the accepted or ideal translator…

Fables of Phaedrus, “The Dogs Sent Envoys to Jupiter”

Fables of Phaedrus, “The Dogs Sent Envoys to Jupiter”
By Dara Sánchez

Animal fables in ancient Rome were not viewed with high regard in comparison to other genres of literature. Yet Phaedrus, an alleged freeman of Augustus from the 1st century AD, does not allow these preconceived notions to deter his ambitions. In this feces-filled poem, Phaedrus describes to us an etiological myth that explains why dogs smell each other’s behinds. He mixes the sacred gods, Jupiter and Mercury, with the vulgarity of dogs and excrement, contrasting such different things, and playing on borderline absurdity…

Penelope’s Wait: A Translation of Ovid’s Heroides Book I Lines 1–50

Penelope’s Wait: A Translation of Ovid’s Heroides Book I Lines 1–50
By Erin Schott

Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey have endured for thousands of years because they tell stories still true to the human experience. The Iliad recounts the horrors of war and the egotism of those in power, while the Odyssey narrates an arduous homecoming to a place that is not the same as before…