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History Seminar

Cambridge Ancient History Research Seminar Michaelmas 2020

Seminars take place on Mondays at 17:15 virtually via Zoom. 


The ancient history research seminar this term will operate online, on the theme of oracles in the Greek and Roman worlds. Consulting oracles was one of the ways people and states in antiquity dealt with stress and uncertainty, danger and decision making in relation to the present and future, so it seems an appropriate subject for this time, and the seminar will try to make the most of the online format. There will be preparatory reading of relevant oracular texts, literary and epigraphic, for each session, the speaker will briefly introduce the material and its significance, the main debates surrounding it, followed by full discussion of all the issues raised, all the questions and ideas prompted by the reading.



January 25        Seraina Ruprecht: ‘Epistolography and Friendship in Late Antiquity’

February 1        Sophie Wardle: ‘Caveat emptor: Roman fakes and fictitious finds in

                        nineteenth-century London’

February 8        Zack Case: ‘Aristophanes the feminist?’

February 15      Jannis Koltermann: ‘Beyond Gossip. Suetonius and the Politics of Private Life’

February 22      Elisabeth Slingsby: ‘The Enemy Within: Representations of the Sullan Civil


March 1             Daniel Hanigan: ‘Invisible Straits: Dionysius of Byzantium and the

                         Mnemotechnics of Voyaging’

March 8             Peter Candy: ‘The Origins of the Structure of Roman Maritime Finance’

Zoom link and further details on Moodle: Course: Ancient History Seminar (

Organised by Dr Rebecca Flemming and Prof. Robin Osborne




27-29 June 2021

Athens: Economy & Democracy Conference (in honour of P. Millett)

Faculty of Classics and Downing College, Cambridge

Organisers: Daniel Jew (National University of Singapore), Sitta von Reden (Freiburg), Robin Osborne (Cambridge)  

This conference marks the retirement of Paul Millett, one of the most prominent of Finley’s students in economic history. We seek to focus on the city illuminated by Paul’s work: to attempt to understand the operation of the Athenian economy in detail, and to investigate its relationship to the structures, institutions and practices of democracy.

Planned lines of inquiry include women, work and leisure; religion and the economy; archaeology and democracy; slavery; behavioural economics; costs of living; lending and borrowing; trade and markets; luxury goods; wealth distribution; and property and aristocratic power.

Speakers: Claire Taylor (Wisconsin-Madison), Emily Greenwood (Yale), Emily Mackil (Berkeley), Jon Hesk (St Andrews), Jonathan Hall (Chicago), Mark Lawall (Manitoba), Moritz Hinsch (Humboldt), Noémie Villacèque (Reims), Paulin Ismard (Panthéon-Sorbonne), Ralph Anderson (St Andrews).

All welcome. If you wish to attend, please contact Daniel Jew ( 


RSS Feed Latest news

Unveiling the Invisible: Analysing Roman pottery

Feb 25, 2021

Archaeologists Alessandro Launaro, Senior Lecturer, and Ninetta Leone, Research Associate, have been working as members of the Cambridge MACH group to develop mathematical approaches to the classification of Roman pottery, part of the “Unveiling the Invisible” project funded by the Leverhulme Trust.

The Faculty reports with great sadness the death of John Easterling

Feb 23, 2021

A Fellow of Trinity from 1958, and Secretary of Trinity College Council for very many years, John was a University Assistant Lecturer in Classics (Ancient Philosophy) before he was appointed to the Office of University Draftsman at the Old Schools. John died on 23 February after a long illness.

Facilitating school visits and learning Latin with MoCA

Feb 23, 2021

Justyna Ladosz, Education and Outreach Coordinator in the Museum of Classical Archaeology, explains how she continues to facilitate lessons for school groups whilst the Museum remains closed, and how the Faculty’s students continue to deliver the Learn Latin with MoCA project.

Rebecca Flemming has been appointed a Joukowsky Lecturer

Feb 23, 2021

Dr Rebecca Flemming, Senior Lecturer in Ancient History and Fellow of Jesus College, has been appointed as a Joukowsky Lecturer for the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) for 2020-21. Rebecca also recently featured on BBC Radio 4’s In Our Time discussing the Justinianic Plague.

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