The Triumph of Life over Death

The Triumph of Life over Death
By Kailia Utley

Exploring the influence of Classical Antiquity on the Italian Renaissance in art pieces that commemorate the lives of prominent individuals such as the Emperors Constantine and Titus from the Roman Empire, and the humanist scholars Leonardo Bruni and Carlo Marsuppuni from the Florentine Renaissance.

Kindred

Kindred
By Citlali Meritxell Diaz

Niobe and Medea were both mothers who, through their actions, brought about their own children’s end. Mocking Leto for only having two children, Niobe attracted the goddess’ wrath, resulting in the death of her fourteen children at the hands of Apollo and Artemis, Leto’s progeny. Similarly, Medea’s own wrath against her unfaithful husband struck down her children. She killed their children and his new wife, leaving him effaced in his bloodline…

Dido’s Ambiguous Depictions: Powerless or Empowered?

Dido’s Ambiguous Depictions: Powerless or Empowered?
By Caroline Pantzer

Did Roman audiences view powerful female characters of myth and literature in a dismissive, simplistic manner? Or did they understand and appreciate the complexity and ambiguity of such figures? In writing the Aeneid between 30–19 BC, Vergil places himself as an author within the epic tradition’s pre-existing “literary canon” of powerful, intelligent female characters…

Telemachus, Heredity, and the Persistent Weirdness of Parent-Child Relationships

Telemachus, Heredity, and the Persistent Weirdness of Parent-Child Relationships
By Natalie Dean

Poets such as Sappho and Pindar garnered plenty of attention during their lifetimes, but many of them also led rich afterlives in which they continue to influence the world of poetry. In the current pop culture scene, works inspired by or retelling Greek and Roman myths are very popular, including loosely inspired children’s books such as the Percy Jackson series and edgy, politically relevant retellings such as the musical Hadestown…

Bull and Bull-Leaping Iconography: Knossos, Tell el-Dab’a, and Beyond

Bull and Bull-Leaping Iconography: Knossos, Tell el-Dab’a, and Beyond
By Anna Keneally

Since Arthur Evans’s discovery of the bull leaping mural at the Palatial Complex at Knossos in 1900, scholars have worked to understand the phenomenon of bull leaping, which has been documented widely, in some capacity, throughout the ancient Mediterranean basin. Through my research, I have identified patterns and parallels between many forms of bull leaping iconography, which suggests a greater interconnectivity and continuity of theme and style within these images…

Roman Matrons and Sexual Morality at the Convivium

Roman Matrons and Sexual Morality at the Convivium
By Erin Schott

Scholarly uncertainty abounds concerning Roman banqueting practices, but one of the largest gray areas is the role of women at feasts (convivia). Katherine Dunbabin and William Slater devote a single paragraph to women in their nearly thirty-page overview of Roman dining, describing the evidence as “minimal.” The lack of evidence available to reconstruct essential aspects of women’s lives, such as how they ate, is deeply problematic. It suggests that scholars might at least delve into what minimal evidence is available…

Emily Wilson’s The Iliad Book Launch  

Emily Wilson’s The Iliad Book Launch  
By Riley Glickman

Following the success of her translation of The Odyssey, Penn’s favorite translator and resident celebrity classicist is back! Tuesday, September 26 marked the launch of Emily Wilson’s new book, a translation of The Iliad. The Free Library of Philadelphia in Center City hosted the book launch with a discussion, followed by a book signing for those who attended. The moderator of the talk was Penn’s very own Professor Murgnahan. Through Professor Murgnahan’s carefully guided questions, the packed auditorium spent an hour listening intently…

The Faces of Psyche

The Faces of Psyche
By Sophia Woo

The conception of gender is heavily influenced by the societal and cultural approaches to the term at a particular place and time. The Cambridge Dictionary defines gender as the socially constructed way of behaving and the expectations for certain groups of people in society, namely, men and women

Upcoming Events at the Penn Museum

Upcoming Events at the Penn Museum
By Erin Schott

For any Philadelphian interested in history, the Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology offers a plethora of artifacts and exhibits. Among other treasures, it houses the largest Sphinx in the Western hemisphere and the headdress of Queen Puabi from the royal tombs of Ur. The Museum hosts events that allow people of all ages to learn about the collections while enjoying themselves. Here are a handful of in-person and virtual events that the Museum is offering in the coming months. We encourage kids and adults alike to attend these events to learn more about both ancient history and current events…

As a Budding Classics Student, Only Frederick Douglass Can Save My Education

As a Budding Classics Student, Only Frederick Douglass Can Save My Education
By Hunter Ryerson

Just before my ninth birthday, my father drove me to a Confederate graveyard deep in the American South. A statue of a gray-coated officer loomed in the afternoon light. At the time, I barely understood the profound implication behind those rows of crumbling gravestones set in the red clay ground: that these men and boys had died for a cause of oppression…