A Compilation of Important Women From Roman History

A Compilation of Important Women From Roman History
By Matthew Breier

Ancient Roman society clearly demarcated male and female roles. Women were expected to act as dutiful daughters, wives, and mothers full of virtue, honor, and chastity. With unquestioned constantia (steadfastness), fides(loyalty), and pudicitia (sexual virtue), women spent their time in the home contributing to economic production and were not welcome in the political world…

Lucan’s Witch

Lucan’s Witch
By Erin Schott

From Morgan le Fay to Hermione Granger, witches captivate the imagination. Their motives and magical prowess enthrall the little child in all of us who yearns to cast a spell. And since there is no time of year when the witch receives more attention than Halloween, I thought this would be an appropriate moment to reflect upon the genesis of the contemporary witch by translating a passage of Lucan’s Bellum Civile. This “genesis” of the contemporary witch lies in Lucan’s Erictho, a frightening Thessalian sorceress whom Sextus Pompey has asked to reveal his father’s fate. Erictho has just told Sextus Pompey that she will use her dark arts to reanimate a corpse, which will then tell the fate of Pompey Magnus…

Negative Ethnic Stereotyping and Punica Fides

Negative Ethnic Stereotyping and Punica Fides
By Brooke Boyd

Punica fides, literally meaning “Punic faith,” is a derogatory Roman idiomatic expression synonymous with treachery; it alludes to the stereotype that Carthaginians had an inborn ethnic flaw that gave them a propensity for disingenuousness and faithlessness. The expression probably stems from allegations that the Carthaginians caused the Punic Wars by breaking several treaties. However, extant literary evidence suggests that the phrase did not enter the Roman vernacular until several generations after the Third Punic War’s conclusion, long past the point when there were any Punici in North Africa at whom the slur might be directed, though other negative ethnic stereotypes about Punics existed throughout Roman history…

The Allied Perspective on Athenian Imperialism

The Allied Perspective on Athenian Imperialism
By Alex Larrow

The Delian League was a prominent institution during the fifth century BCE, as it encompassed most of the Aegean from 478 to 404. The dynamic between Athenian imperialism in the league and democracy at home is frequently discussed. Something less talked about though just as important, is the perspective of the other cities in the league. One difficulty surrounding this question is the absence of primary sources from the allied states; as historian Dominique Lenfant notes, all sources from the time of the league are Athenian…

Fifth-Century Athens: Despotic, Democratic, or Both?

Fifth-Century Athens: Despotic, Democratic, or Both?
By Arthur Li

In the Greek tragedian Aeschylus’ 472 BC play The Persians, the Persian queen Atossa asks, “Who is set over [the Athenians] as shepherd and is master of their host?” The chorus resonates, “Of no man are they called the slaves or vassals” (Aeschylus, Persians, 241-42). Indeed, the Greeks’—and in particular, Athens’—victories over Persia at the battles of Plataea and Mykale seven years earlier had marked a paradigm shift in their conceptions of eleutheria—freedom. Prior to the Persian Wars, freedom referred merely to the status of people not enslaved; afterwards, to the status of entire city-states devoid of foreign influence and domination…

Money and Identity: The Socio-Political Power of Ancient Coinage and the Emergence of Greco-Bactrian Culture

Money and Identity: The Socio-Political Power of Ancient Coinage and the Emergence of Greco-Bactrian Culture
By Michael Pagano

Deep in the heart of Central Asia lies a civilization lost to time, a symbol of the interconnected nature of the ancient world near modern-day Afghanistan: the Kingdom of Greco-Bactria. For hundreds of years, this kingdom served as a hub of multiculturalism along the Silk Road. The taxation of luxury goods along the Silk Road and abundant natural resources allowed the Greco-Bactrians to fund massive initiatives to build hundreds of cities…

The Prosody of Latin S Impura Consonant Clusters in the Waltharius

The Prosody of Latin S Impura Consonant Clusters in the Waltharius
By Blake Lopez

Comprising the single most comprehensive account of the exploits of Germanic legendary hero Walther of Aquitaine, the Waltharius is a ninth or tenth-century CE Latin epic poem whose nearly 1500 dactylic hexameters offer a goldmine for the study of prosodic developments in post-Classical Latin poetic meter. In 1992, Edoardo D’Angelo tapped many of these veins in his Indagini sulla tecnica versificatoria nell’esametro del Waltharius, where he adroitly discusses and categorizes many instances of innovative vowel lengthening within the prosody of the poem…

Beyond the Gladiator: a Guide to Ancient Roman Sports

Beyond the Gladiator: a Guide to Ancient Roman Sports
By Erin Schott

The gladiator is an iconic symbol of ancient Roman sports, and rightly so. His brutal battles in the Colosseum provided entertainment for Romans of numerous socioeconomic backgrounds, ranging from the senatorial elite to the slave class. At the same time, the gladiator is such a famous symbol of ancient Roman sports that gladiatorial combats tend to overshadow other forms of athletic competition…

Perpetua in the Arena: A Translation and Literary Analysis

Perpetua in the Arena: A Translation and Literary Analysis
By Dara Sánchez

From a prison diary in Carthage, Perpetua gives a captivating account of martyrdom in the Passio Sanctarum Perpetuae et Felicitatis (Passio Perpetuae). Amidst the foul conditions of the prison, her father’s pleas for her to reject Christianity, and her separation from her infant, Perpetua wondrously describes the visions that come to her in dreams…

An Emotional, Brutal Translation of Iliad 5.1–29: The Beginning of Diomedes’ Aristeia

An Emotional, Brutal Translation of Iliad 5.1–29: The Beginning of Diomedes’ Aristeia
By Noah Apter

Through my word choice and overall translation of the text, I want to preserve the vivid imagery and raw emotions we feel while reading Homer (examples include intense feelings of awe, glory, and dread). When reading any original narrative Greek text, I feel like I can produce a realistic and precise painting of what is happening in the passage inside my head…