Monday, December 24, 2007

Thomas McGinn

Thomas A.J. McGinn
2933 Polo Club Road
Nashville, TN 37221-4346

(615) 371-5245 (tel.)
(615) 371-1301 (fax)

Harvard College B.A. magna cum laude 1978
Cambridge University M.A. 1980
University of Michigan Ph.D. 1986

Title of Dissertation: Prostitution and Julio-Claudian Legislation: The Formation of
Social Policy in Early Imperial Rome

Special Areas of Interest: Roman Law and Social History

Recent Publications:

1. Prostitution, Sexuality, and the Law in Ancient Rome (Oxford University Press: 1998)
Paperback edition published by Oxford University Press in January 2003

2. A Casebook on Roman Family Law (coauthor with Bruce Frier: Oxford University Press: October 2003)

3. The Economy of Prostitution in the Roman World: A Study of Social History and the Brothel (University of Michigan Press: February 2004)

Recent articles and/or chapters:

Historia: Zeitschrift für alte Geschichte 53.2 ( 2004) 200-208: Missing Females?: Augustus’ Encouragement of Marriage Between Freeborn Males and Freedwomen

in J.-J. Aubert and A.J.B. Sirks eds., Speculum Iuris: Roman Law as a Reflection of
Economic and Social Life (University of Michigan Press 2002) 46-93: The Augustan
Marriage Legislation and Social Practice: Elite Endogamy vs. Male “Marrying Down”

Proceedings of the Cambridge Philological Society 47 (2001) 81-102: Satire and the Law:
The Case of Horace

Abstract from work review:

"As an example selected very nearly at random, consider Case 8, "The ability to procreate" (29-30). Citing Justinian's Digest (D., Ulpian in the thirty-third book on the Edict), the case examines whether a woman can validly marry a eunuch (spado, more generally a sterile or impotent male, as the authors point out on p. 363) and whether the latter may therefore receive a dowry. Ulpian distinguishes those whose infertility has been caused by castration, on one hand, from those whose condition results from unspecified (presumably natural) causes, on the other. The former cannot marry, concludes the jurist without further elaboration, but the latter can.

Ulpian's reasoning in this instance is elusive, to say the least. F/M describe the distinction as "odd," but point out that it is operative in other instances as well. Apparently there is some stigma attaching to castration, and not to infertility in general, that raises a bar to marriage. F/M ask: is Ulpian's objection founded upon morality? "Does Ulpian presume that the eunuch's castration was deliberate, not accidental? And if deliberate, who bears the blame?"

My own experiences in discussing this and comparable material with undergraduates suggest that the topic of deliberate castration in antiquity offers fodder for wide-ranging, if not always well-focused, discussions about cultural difference. F/M direct their reader instead to a topic of great cross-cultural interest and considerable contemporary political, legal, and social topicality: "in the Roman world, as in many other past and present societies, a strong tradition linked marriage to the procreation of children[...]. Nonetheless, as this Case shows, inability to beget children was not in itself necessarily a bar to marriage." To what extent does this concession undermine constructions of "traditional" marriages and families? Granting that the sources cannot definitively answer the question one way or other, F/M invite their reader to consider how a proposal to recognize same-sex marriage might fare in the hands of the Roman jurists: "are Roman policies linking marriage and procreation enough to make same-sex marriage impossible?"

While the approach of the cases as a whole in the volume is less hypothetical and speculative than this single instance might suggest, this case does illustrate the extent to which volume as a whole is conceived as an introduction to, and an exercise in, legal reasoning in general as well as Roman family law in particular. The authors suggest that to encounter this law is to encounter social and historical difference in a manner that challenges "the tacit presumptions of modern family life" and problematizes the claim of any particular family formation to be "authentically 'traditional,'" and they note the extent to which family relationships and the claims of nontraditional families have become subject to legal scrutiny in recent decades (3). At the same time, the reader is warned that the juristic sources "must always be appreciated as a set of primarily legal institutions, not as an anthropological description of actual Roman family life" (11) and that they concern themselves largely with the needs and interests of a landed elite (6)." - Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2005.04.32

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Marc Domingo Gygax, Princeton University

Marc Domingo Gygax,
Associate Professor,
Princeton University

Contact: Phone: 609-258-1084
Office: 163 East Pyne

Current Courses: CLA219 The Roman Empire (Precepting)
FRS103 Truth and Objectivity in Ancient and Modern Historiography

Background: Lic. Barcelona ’88, M.A. Tübingen ’90, Ph.D. Barcelona ’93.

Professor Domingo Gygax has taught and written mainly in the areas of Hellenistic history, Greek epigraphy, modern historiography and historical theory. He is the author of Untersuchungen zu den lykischen Gemeinwesen in klassischer und hellenistischer Zeit (2001), and currently he is working on a study of the origins and evolution of Greek euergetism.

Work abstract: "A passage of Plutarch’s biography of Alcibiades (Alc. 33.2) invites us to explore the way Athens rewarded its benefactors in the fifth and fourth century, especially the first awards of crowns to citizens. This article challenges the widespread assumption that Alcibiades’ crowning with gold when he came back to Athens from his exile is an invention by Plutarch or a previous source. First, there is evidence that the crowning was known to other ancient authors. Furthermore, if one takes into consideration not only inscriptions, but also literary sources, Plutarch’s report is not an isolated piece of information. It fits well in the history of the Athenian practice of bestowing honors. It has precedents in Athens, continuity after Alcibiades, parallels in other cities, and corresponds to the behavior one would expect from the dêmos as well as from a benefactor at the end of the fifth century. When viewed in this light, Plutarch’s information may help us to understand the first stages of the institution of honoring fellow citizens, which was to become so important in later times." - Plutarch on Alcibiades’ return to Athens, Springerlink.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Patrick Hunt, Stanford University

Archaeologist, artist, poet, musician...the talents of Dr. Patrick Hunt of Stanford University seem boundless and he has applied those talents in a variety of arenas as he strives to share his passion about Rome and the ancient world with people worldwide through his research, his writings, his participation in educational broadcasts, his tours, his illustrations, and his musical compositions.

Current Research:

"Dr. Hunt has directed Stanford’s Alpine Archaeology Project since 1994, conducting high altitude research in the Great St. Bernard pass between Switzerland and Italy. In 1996 he found the 9000 ft. high quarry for the Temple of Jupiter in the Fenetre de Ferret pass adjacent to the Great St. Bernard Pass and has directed a team that found a Roman silver coin hoard in the Swiss Alps in 2003. Another of his research interests has been to track Hannibal who crossed the Alps in 218 BCE with an army accompanied by elephants. He has led annual teams across at least ten Alpine passes in search of topographic clues matching the texts of Polybius and Livy who wrote about Hannibal nearly two millennia ago, including multiple Stanford teams between 1996 and 2006.

Three of Dr. Hunt's lectures about Hannibal can be downloaded from Stanford's iTunes U directory.

He has lived in London, Athens and Jerusalem as well as annual time spent in Switzerland, France, Italy every year since 1994, among many other countries, and has also conducted archaeological research in Peru on Inca sites and on Olmec, Maya and Aztec cultures in Central America.

Dr. Hunt has been published on such diverse topics as monuments like the Pantheon, ancient notables such as Gyges from Herodotus, linguistics, biblical studies, the origin of Byzantine Silk, studies in Hebrew poetry and literary wordplay, Roman monuments in operas, calendrical megaliths, Olmec and Maya sculpture, iconography on Greek vases and myth palindromes, nautical exploration, art history, Egyptian stone working and Phoenician lore and geoarchaeology among many other topics.

His academic publications include many journal and encyclopedia entries in peer-reviewed articles such as WORLD ARCHAEOLOGY (1989), BULLETIN OF THE INSTITUTE OF CLASSICAL STUDIES (1988), PAPERS OF THE INSTITUTE OF ARCHAEOLOGY, LONDON (1990), STUDIA PHOENICIA (1991), BEITRAGE FUR ERFORSCHUNG DES ALTEN TESTAMENTS (1992 & 1996), JOURNAL OF ROMAN ARCHAEOLOGY (1998), VOLCANOES, EARTHQUAKES AND ARCHAEOLOGY published by the Royal Geological Society (2000), ACTA of the XIIIth International Bronze Congress at Harvard University (2003), ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE ANCIENT WORLD (2003) and GREAT EVENTS IN WORLD HISTORY (2004). He has been a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society since 1989, named in WHO'S WHO IN BIBLICAL STUDIES AND ARCHAEOLOGY (1993) and he has also served as President of the Archaeological Institute of America’s Stanford Society since 1995. Patrick's primary archaeology book of 2007 is titled ALPINE ARCHAEOLOGY." -- Patrick

Many of Dr. Hunt's articles are featured on the website, "Philolog: Classical connections - commentary and critique", a rich resource for art historians, students and all lovers of classical art. His articles including "Arborisms in Ovid's Baucis and Philemon from Metamorphoses" are cited by the Cambridge School Classics Project in their efforts to promote classical studies. An excerpt:

"Perhaps to intensify the transformation of the two old people whose theoxeny - hospitality to their anonymous divine guests (Jupiter and Mercury) - is unique, Ovid fashions and foreshadows their future nature as trees by filling his poetic text with at least 30 references to wood or forest plants. This is a brief catalog of Ovid's passage with possible arboreal interpretations and allusions.

First, Ovid has his narrator (Lelex) tell about what he has seen growing side by side in the Phrygian hills, long after the transformation in their anonymous almost endless life as the yet-unnamed Baucis and Philemon are an oak (quercus) and linden (tilia) tree intertwined (tiliae contermina quercus 8.620).

Second, Philemon welcomes the gods to enter the poor couple’s forest hovel – whose roof is reeds and stalks of straw (stipulis et canna 8.630) - by way of a [wooden] gabled doorpost (vertice postes 8.638) (1). Baucis pulls off dry twigs and stems (ramaliaque arida 8.644) from the thatched roof as tinder for the meal’s fire. Then, using a forked stick (furca…bicornis 8.646) Philemon unhooks dried meat from a blackened wooden beam (nigro…tigno 8.648) and also unfastens a beech wood tub (alveus…fagineus 8.652-3) tub for bathing limbs.(2) Baucis sets up a couch of willow (salignus 8.656) and a wooden table for the fare. The mattress for the gods’ couch is also of soft sedge plants (molli…ulva 8.655). On the one hand, Ovid is accentuating their poverty, as Due mentioned - "praise of the poor but honest simplicity"(3) - so that all their furniture, old and battered, and all household accoutrements mentioned are of wood, hardly surprising given their meager resources, but the wood references are unnecessarily ubiquitous unless Ovid is creating an extended metaphor... More.

Dr. Hunt has been featured on The History Channel in one of my favorite series, "Engineering An Empire: Carthage" and "Engineering an Empire: "The Persians". His research on Hannibal's passage through the Alps will be featured in an upcoming program on The National Geographic Channel.

As a musician and composer, he has been awarded the ASCAPlus Award for Classical and concert music composed and performed in both 2007 and 2008, including several premiere arias from his opera BYRON IN GREECE.

Among many classical music works, he has written piano, choral and chamber music and is a Full Writer member of ASCAP since 1980 when some of his choral songs were published along with a movie score he composed. In 1999, a Duke University musical group performed his SONGS OF EXILE: By the Rivers of Babylon in Washington, DC, Raleigh and at Duke. He also set William Blake poems to choral music that was performed at Stanford in February, 2005.

"Dr. Hunt illustrated Richard Martin’s MYTHS OF THE ANCIENT GREEKS (New American Library-Penguin, 2003) and has illustrated his newest book of poems, HOUSE OF THE MUSE: Poems from the British Museum, newly published in the summer of 2005. His many poetry publications include poems in YOUNG AMERICAN POETS (1978), POET LORE (1978) and CLASSICAL OUTLOOK (1991). He is also translating Greek poets like Sappho and encyclopedists like Theophrastus.

Along with monographs, novellas, and other writing, Dr. Hunt wrote CARAVAGGIO, an art historical biography and critical book on the Baroque genius painter, published in London in 2004. It has been highly acclaimed in reviews including the ART NEWSPAPER International in London (December 2004) where it was described as “first-class” and “a rattling good yarn.” -- Patrick

He was invited to the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference in August, 2005, where he presented Myths Deeper Truths."

"Mythology is one of the deepest creative responses of humanity to the search for universals," Dr. Hunt observes, " Each great myth is often so profound and rich in mystery as to have not one but many possible meanings that are rediscovered and savored at different points in life. It is likely that each human who searches through myth is somehow elevated thereby."

To reintroduce myths to a modern audience Dr. Hunt is rewriting them, adding fictional dialog to the narrative. His retelling of Endymion was well received at the Writer's Conference and will be incorporated into a book due out later this year. An excerpt:

"While waiting for the moon, which would be full this night, Endymion turned and counted the brilliant stars on the other horizon. He looked at the familiar late winter constellations. Orion was already descending to the northwest and only his dogs still ran across the sky. Not far away the dim campfire was now silent as their wine stupefied the other sleeping shepherds. Endymion was sad over his loveless life. He remembered the goddess Artemis was also the moon, and he knew she was a virgin like himself, sworn to protect her chastity. He made a little prayer to the goddess.

“O Goddess of the Lonely Moon, hear my prayer. I know you have chosen your life, but I too am lonely. I ask your help to remain pure to the one I will love lifelong. Help me in my loneliness to wait for her.”

His latest book, "Ten Discoveries that Rewrote History," is due to be released later this month.

"If any global archaeologist were asked to name the top ten archaeological discoveries that have made the greatest impact on archaeology and history, most lists would be likely to unanimously mention the following huge impact discoveries: the Rosetta Stone, Pompeii, Nineveh, Troy, King Tut's Tomb, Machu Picchu, Thera-Akrotiri, the Dead Sea Scrolls, Olduvai Gorge starting with the Leakey Era and the Tomb of the Ten Thousand Warriors in China. This exciting book, written with a taut narrative, relates the dramatic moments of these discoveries, whether by professional archaeologists or by amateurs' accidents, and highlights their significance to history." - Penguin/Plume Publishers.

Contact Information:

Friday, July 27, 2007

Dr. Anise K. Strong

Anise K. Strong's primary areas of interest are Roman social history, gender and sexuality in the ancient world, and the reception of classical culture, especially in modern mass media. She is currently working on transforming her dissertation entitled, "Labeled Women: Roman Prostitutes and Persistent Stereotypes," into a book. She has published articles on ancient incest laws and sexuality in the HBO series "Rome," and has presented at multiple major conferences, including thrice at the American Philological Association annual meeting. She is an affiliate of the Classical Traditions Initiative.

Since I am passionately interested in the use of technology to facilitate the study of history, I was intrigued by a recent project she conducted within an introductory Roman Civilization course last spring.

"Each of the 115 students in the course edited or created a Roman history "stub" article on Wikipedia, ranging from the province of Gallia Aquitania to the house of Julia Felix in Pompeii. Each article contained references to at least one primary source from the ancient world (including images), one encyclopedic source, and one scholarly book or article. Each student also evaluated and commented on two-three other related student-written articles on their discussion pages.

Here's the link:

It was a wonderfully successful project, although it will be difficult to repeat. Numerous students
- juniors and seniors - told me it was the first time they had ever had to check an actual book out of the library in their college career. Rather than generating a generic, useless paper, they
contributed to the sum of readily accessible human knowledge.

Contact info:

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Roman scholar Annette Gieseck honored by University of Delaware

Annette Giesecke (second from the right), associate professor of foreign languages and literatures at the University of Delaware, received the institution's Outstanding Teaching Award May 24, 2007. The award is based on student and peer evaluations, alumni testimonials, the number and range of courses offered, involvement in individual instruction, quality of advisement and mentoring, demonstrated commitment to student welfare and development and an acknowledged reputation in teaching.

Giesecke is a professor in UD's classics program, teaching courses in ancient Greek and Latin as well as Greek and Roman literature and civilization in translation. She chaired Ancient Greek and Roman Studies and currently serves as director of Undergraduate Studies.

Her research interests are Latin and Greek poetry, Greek and Roman art and architecture and Utopianism in ancient Greece and Rome. She is the author of The Epic City: Utopia and the Garden in Ancient Greece and Rome and Atoms, Ataraxy and Allusion: Cross-Generic Imitation of the De Rerum Natura in Early Augustan Poetry.

Giesecke received her bachelor's degree in classics at the University of California at Los Angeles and her doctorate at Harvard University. She taught at Victoria University in New Zealand for four years and then taught at both UCLA and Loyola Marymount University before coming to UD in 1998.

At the ceremony on Honors Day, May 4, Giesecke was cited for her “deep passion for her subject [that] is inspiring to her students and colleagues.”


I am delighted to be part of the University of Delaware's dynamic Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, and I feel that in joining the UD faculty, I have somehow come full circle. Allow me to explain. I am a native of Los Angeles and received my Bachelor's Degree in Classics at UCLA. A degree in Classics was not at all what I had visualized when I enrolled in college, because I intended to pursue a career in genetic engineering. Thanks to my high school ancient history teacher, whose enthralling narratives of the exploits of Alexander the Great kept me quite literally on the edge of my seat, and to my father, who can still recite from memory the proem of Homer's Odyssey which he had learned as a child, I decided to take Ancient Greek just for fun. Once I read the Iliad and the fabulous tales of Herodotus in the original, I was hooked. Upon completing my undergraduate work, I was fortunate enough to be offered a full scholarship to pursue graduate studies in Classical Philology at Harvard. It was in graduate school that I first experienced the seasons, the culture, and the profound sense of history which distinguish the East Coast.

In order to explore the possibility of a career in the museum world, I returned to Los Angeles as a curatorial intern in the Department of Antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum before writing my dissertation. In the course of my internship, I decided to focus on language and literature and began working on one of my favorite authors, the Roman poet Lucretius, whose powerful verses remain our most complete exposition of Epicurean philosophy. After completing my dissertation on the profound influence of Lucretius on the poetry and ideology of Virgil and Horace, I accepted a position as assistant professor of Classics at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. There I taught courses ranging from Aeschylus' Agamemnon in Greek to Etruscan and Roman Art and Architecture. I also fell deeply in love with the rich Maori culture and the stunning scenery which make New Zealand a truly enchanted place. Four years later I returned to UCLA, this time on the opposite side of the podium. While I was dividing my time between teaching at UCLA and Loyola Marymount University, I was offered my present position at the University of Delaware and a chance to return to the East, now in a teaching capacity.

My interests have always been diverse, and as the field of Classics encompasses such a wide range of disciplines (history, philosophy, rhetoric, prose and poetry of all varieties, art, and archaeology included) it is the ideal field for me with respect to both research and teaching. My research interests are Latin poetry, particularly the epic poetry of Lucretius and Virgil; Greek tragedy; the Homeric epics; the relation between texts and images; and ancient painting. It is, however, Lucretius and his keen observation of phenomena in the natural world, the fervor of his essentially utopian vision, and the magnitude of his influence which remain the focus of my work. Strangely, Lucretius has never been regarded as a utopian author, and in applying the increasingly popular theories of utopics to the analysis of his verses, my aim is to demonstrate just how timely and relevant Classical antiquity remains.

As a teacher, I am a strong believer in the holistic approach to Classical antiquity. That is, I attempt to give students the broadest possible vision of the Greek and Roman world in literature, language, and myth courses alike by mingling historical material with ample illustrations of material culture as expressed in the arts, architecture, and other physical remains. Above all, my desire is to ensure that the study of Classics-the very roots of the Western heritage-remains alive and to demonstrate the versatility and usefulness of Classics as a major. Students who have had a Classical education are increasingly sought after by professional schools and businesses because they demonstrate the ability to write and reason, and this makes it especially exciting for me to be an integral part of the University's Classics program. "


The Epic City: Urbanism, Utopia, and the Garden in Ancient Greece and Rome (Hellenic Studies Series)

"As Greek and Trojan forces battled in the shadow of Troy's wall, Hephaistos created a wondrous, ornately decorated shield for Achilles. At the Shield's center lay two walled cities, one at war and one at peace, surrounded by fields and pasturelands. Viewed as Homer's blueprint for an ideal, or utopian, social order, the Shield reveals that restraining and taming Nature would be fundamental to the Hellenic urban quest. It is this ideal that Classical Athens, with her utilitarian view of Nature, exemplified. In a city lacking pleasure gardens, it was particularly worthy of note when Epicurus created his garden oasis within the dense urban fabric. The disastrous results of extreme anthropocentrism would promote an essentially nostalgic desire to break down artificial barriers between humanity and Nature. This new ideal, vividly expressed through the domestication of Nature in villas and gardens and also through primitivist and Epicurean tendencies in Latin literature, informed the urban endeavors of Rome."

Journal for the Society for Utopian Studies:

Giesecke, Annette Lucia, Beyond the Garden of Epicurus: The Utopics of the Ideal Roman Villa 12.2 (2001): 13-32.

Giesecke, Annette Lucia, Lucretius and Virgil's Pastoral Dream 10.2 (1999): 1-15.

Office: 111 Jastak-Burgess Hall
Phone: 831-0545

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Jo-Ann Shelton, University of California at Santa Barbara

Telephone: 805-893-3806 Email:

Ph.D., Berkeley 1974
Roman social and cultural history; Attitudes toward animals in the ancient and modern world; Roman and Greek tragedy; Roman epistolography.

>>Click here for a full CV


  • As the Romans Did (second edition, Oxford 1998)
  • Seneca's Hercules Furens: Theme, Structure, and Style (Göttingen 1978)
  • Slavery and the Roman Literary Imagination (Cambridge University Press, 2000)
Abstract: "The study of slavery poses significant challenges for classical scholars. Slaves were numerous and ubiquitous in Roman society, and their almost constant presence surely affected the thoughts and behaviors of free persons. Many ancient writers, from almost every genre, provide information about the practice of slavery, but they do not describe what it was like to be a free person surrounded by and dependent upon other human beings whom one considered inferior, yet essential. The proverb quoted by Seneca, totidem hostes esse quot servos, reveals that the pleasures and profits of slave ownership were accompanied by anxieties. These anxieties are the topic of this engaging book. Fitzgerald analyzes representations of slavery in literary texts in order to illuminate the ways in which slave owners imagined, structured and interpreted their experiences of being attended by servants. In the introduction, Fitzgerald provides several definitions of the phrase "living with slaves," which he uses throughout to denote the situation of the slave owner. (Fitzgerald generally uses the noun "master" to designate the dominant figure in the relationship, and masculine pronouns to refer to slaves.) He notes that the Romans inherited from the Athenians a conceptual structure that defined slavery and freedom, like body and mind, as polar opposites, but he suggests that it was difficult to reconcile this [End Page 599] theoretical opposition with the various interactions between slaves and free persons in everyday life."

Selected Articles

  • "Putting Women in Their Place: Gender, Species and Hierarchy in Apuleius' Metamorphoses", in Defining Gender and Genre in Latin Literature, Peter Lang, New York (2005), pp. 301 - 329
  • "Dancing and Dying: The Display of Elephants in Ancient Rome Arenas", Daimonopylai, (ed. M. Joyal and R. Egan, Winnipeg 2004) 363-38
  • "The Spectacle of Death in Seneca's Troades", Seneca in Performance, (ed. George Harrison, London 2000) 87-118
  • "Elephants, Pompey and the Reports of Popular Displeasure in 55 B.C.", Veritatis Amicitiaeque Causa, (ed. S. Byrne and E. Cueva, Wauconda 1999) 231-271
  • "The Contributions of Ancient Greek Philosophy to the Modern Debates about Animal Use", Ancient Greece and the Modern World, (Patras 1998) 85-93
  • "Family Matters: The Structure and Dynamics of the Ancient Roman Family", Laetaberis 11 (1996) 1-27
  • "The Use and Abuse of Animals in Lucretius, De Rerum Natura", Eranos 94 (1996) 1-26
  • "Paradigm and Persuasion in Seneca's Ad Marciam", Classica et Medievalia 46 (1995) 157-188
  • "Contracts with Animals: Lucretius, De Rerum Natura", Between the Species 11 (1995) 115-121
  • "The Display of Elephants in the Ancient Roman Arena", ISAZ Newsletter (2001) 2-6

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Dr. Ray Howell, University of Wales, Newport

"For over a decade, Dr Howell has directed excavations at the decayed medieval urban site at Trelech, near Monmouth, in what was, in the 13th century, one of the two largest towns in Wales. Excavations there, largely conducted by UWCN undergraduate and postgraduate students, have revealed evidence of a presumed medieval hospice site, a motte and bailey castle, and large scale medieval and 17th century iron working.

Recently, Dr. Howell played an active part in the campaign to save the Newport Ship, an important late medieval vessel uncovered by workmen who were excavating the site for a new arts centre on the banks of the River Usk. The ship, which was dated to c.1465, has now been saved for posterity. During the campaign Dr Howell, who is the Council for British Archaeology’s honorary education officer for Wales, managed to enlist the support of Welsh actor and Hollywood star, Sir Anthony Hopkins, gaining some valuable publicity for the campaign.

Dr Howell is also currently working on the new five-volume Gwent County History. He is co-editing Volume I, Gwent from earliest times to the Norman conquest with Professor Miranda Aldhouse-Green of UWCN, and Volume II, Gwent from the Norman conquest to the Tudor accession, with Tony Hopkins of the Gwent County Record Office.

Dr. Howell’s research activities have attracted considerable media interest, with contributions to programmes for the BBC, HTV, S4C, Radio Wales, Radio Cymru and the BBC World Service. His most recent television appearance was in S4C’s major new series “Y Pompeii Cyntaf” which was broadcast in October and subsequently shown twice on S4C Digital." - Council for British Archaeology

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Thomas Samuel Burns

Dr. Thomas Samuel Burns
Emory University
Ph.D. The University of Michigan, 1974 under the co-direction of Sylvia L. Thrupp and John W. Eadie

Work in Progress:

Comparative Study of Late Roman Urbanism in Pamphylia (southcentral Turkey) and the German Provinces on the Rhine and Upper Danube, being done in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Adelaide, Australia.

Archaeological Excavation of a Late Roman/ Early Medieval farmstead at Babarc, Hungary, 1989 to the present, renewed field excavations to run May through July 1998 with Prof. Drs. H. Bender and Z. Visy, technical analysis of findings and publication in progress.

“The Barbarian Invasion in the West: the First Generation, Initial Contacts, Confrontations, and Settlements.” As part of the encyclopedic Aufstieg und Niedergang der RÄmischen Welt. Geschichte und Kultur Roms in Spiegel der neueren Forschung ed. Wolfgang Haase. Professor Haase has set aside 50-80 pages of type for my contribution to the section “Politische Geschichte: Provinzen und Radvolker” of part three of the project on late antiquity.

Valentinian I (364-75 AD): An Iron Man with Vision a biography of one of the last great Roman leaders. He is the only remaining major Roman Emperor without a modern biography for whom amble evidence exists.


1) Excavation of a Roman Military Watchtower, ca. 350-425 AD, at Passau-Haibach, with Prof. Dr. H. Bender, 1978 and 79.

2) Excavation of a Pre-Roman, Celtic Oppidum at Manching near Ingolstadt, a section with Prof. Dr. H. Bender, under the overall supervision of F. Maier, Römisch-Germanische Kommission, 1985.

3) Excavation of a Late Roman farmstead at Babarc near Mohacs, Hungary, 1989 – 99, Field Director, May through July, 1998. With Prof. Dr. Z. Visy, University of Pécs and Prof. Dr. Helmut Bender, Universität Passau. Publication in progress, anticipated 2005.

4) The traveling coin exhibition, “Rome and the Germans as Seen in Coinage,” originally organized in 1987, is now at its second venue in Australia after being shown at thirty locations in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. This exhibit is co-organized with Prof. Dr. Bernhard Overbeck, Staatliche Münzsammlung, München.


1) The Ostrogoths; Kingship and Society, Historia, Einzelschriften, No. 36, Franz Steiner Verlag, Wiesbaden, 1980.

2) A History of the Ostrogoths, Indiana University Press, Bloomington,1984. A selection of the History Book Club.

3) Rome and the Germans as Seen in Coinage, with Bernhard H. Overbeck (Emory University, Atlanta, 1987). A catalog for the exhibition.

4) Barbarians Within the Gates of Rome: Roman Military Policy and the Barbarians, ca. 375-425 A.D. Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 1994. A selection of the History Book Club.

5) Urban Centers and Rural Contexts in Late Antiquity, with John W. Eadie (East Lansing, Michigan State University Press, 2001)

6) Rome and the Barbarians, 100 BC to AD 400, (Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003). A selection of the History Book Club, the Discover Book Club, and the Reader’s Subscription Book Club.
Recent articles:

"The Twilight of Roman Raetia: An End and a Beginning," Exegesti Monumentum Aere Perennius: Essays in Honor of John Frederick Charles (Indianapolis, 1994) pp.1-18.

"Alaric, Stilicho and Radagaisus (402-06): Reflections upon Limits and Realities," in Minorities and Barbarians in Medieval Life and Thought [v.7, Sewanee Medieval Studies, ed. Susan Ridyard, Sewanee, TN, 1996] pp.141-58.

"Extending the Fulbright Teaching Experience: Internet Distance Learning," The Funnel. Newsmagazine of the German - American Fulbright Commission, 33.3 (Summer, 1997) pp.50-52.

"Imperial Propaganda and the Barbarians: Marius, Caesar, and Augustus," Humanitas – Beiträge zur antiken Kulturgeschichte. Festschrift für Gunther Gottlieb zum 65. Geburtstag, P. Barcelo and V. Rosenberger, eds. (Schriften der Philosophischen Fakultäten der Universität Augsburg, v.65, Munich, 2001) pp.63-79.

Medieval Italy. An Encyclopedia, edited by Christopher Kleinhenz, entries for Amalasuntha, Ostrogoths, Theodahad, Theodoric, Totila, and Witigis (Routledge, New York and London, 2004.

Recent Papers:

"Evolving Platforms of Roman and Barbarian Interaction, ca. 100 BC – AD 450," SUNY at Geneseo, Annual History Department Distinquished Lecture, September, 2000.

"Sometimes Bitter Friends, Romans, Barbarians, and the Birth of Europe," Tulane University, 29 October 2001.

“The Film Gladiator and Real Barbarians, Ancient and Modern,” Saint Marks’ College, Adelaide, Australia, September 2002.

“Perspective on Romans and Barbarians, ca. 100 BC – AD 400,” Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand, September 2002.

“Hidden Realities: Foreigners on Rome Coinage,” Classical Association of South Australia meeting in Adelaide, October 2002.

“Time and Change as Seen from the Roman Attitudes towards Barbarians,” Post-Graduate Seminar in Classics and General Linguistics, University of Adelaide, Australia, October 2002.

“The Decline of the Ancient City in Late Roman Pamphylia, Southcentral Turkey,” University of Adelaide, Australia, October 2002.

“Rome and the Barbarians, 100 BC – AD 400,” Smithsonian Institution, November 2003.

“Jobs, Markets, and the Transformations of Roman Frontiers,” The Society for Hungarian Antiquities and the Pannonius University of Pécs, Hungary, June 2004.