Seduction and Power
Bristol, October 22-25, 2010
IMAGINES II: Seduction and Power is a major international conference and part in a series, designed and organised between the Universities of Bristol (UK), Lampeter (UK), Heidelberg (Germany) and La Rioja (Spain).
IMAGINES II (Bristol 2010) goes beyond the treatment of reception in individual genres and periods, but rather takes specific genres as starting point and goes on to highlight the interconnections between different art forms and their impact on each other. Accordingly, it not only demonstrates the influence of the reception of antiquity on a specific manifestation of culture, but also shows how it shapes culture as such, ranging from post-classical traditional art disciplines to contemporary popular cultural expressions. As a result, IMAGINES not only traces individual representations of antiquity in the arts across history, but further explores the contemporary beliefs, anxieties, ideals and fears projected and immortalised through the imaged past.
IMAGINES now builds on this foundation by concentrating on specific themes. The first such theme, Seduction and Power (Bristol 2010), deals with the tensions and relations of gender, sexuality, eroticism, and power in reception.
Max Weber defined power as the ability of an individual in a social relationship to achieve his or her own will even against the resistance of others. His classification of forms of domination included the ‘charismatic authority’, a form of authority beyond legality or tradition, based on the quality of an individual personality considered to be extraordinary. The power of charisma is a key connecting element to the other focus of our conference, seduction.
After the 1960s, debates on the conceptualization of power have played a relevant role in sociological studies. Foucault’s famous study on the History of Human Sexuality sparked an intense interest in the social construction of sexual behaviour, including the politics of sex. Our approach to the topic explores thus the seductive character of power relationships, which have frequently been associated with concepts such as eroticism and sexuality. Female (and male) seduction, the exotic, despotic domination, perversion, irresistible magnetism, fascinating authority or charisma emerge strikingly in modern and ancient interpretations of human instincts, behaviours and relationships.
Focusses of the conference are e.g. the stereotyping of empowered women as violent, over-sexed and dangerous (the queens Semiramis, Dido, and Cleopatra or Empress Theodora) or the vilifying of “weak” falling prey to them (Marc Antony or Emperor Justinian). Alongside these stand the typecasting of “strong” men as heroes (Spartacus) and of the weakening influence of love on such men (Antinous on Emperor Hadrian), followed by the tantalising in-between, the hermaphrodite.
IMAGINES II: Seduction and Power will deconstruct these traditions and expose the underlying bigger picture. Following from this, it will show how the performing and visual arts interlink to form and transmit these images. Equally, it will highlight conflicting traditions in reception, changing images and their representation in the arts. Thus, it will show how the ancient world still plays the role of effective mirror of basic human behaviour and is used to propagate messages through history.
The thematic frame chosen for IMAGINES II lines up with new trends in Classical Reception Studies exploring gender, sexuality, homoeroticism and universal subjects such as imperialism and empires (see for instance the conference Engendering Reception: From Penelope to Atwood’s Penelopiad, University of Toronto 2010) In analysing the relationships of different notions of power and its receptions in connection with the idea of seduction in different historical contexts and artistic expressions, IMAGINES II provides new perspectives to emerging projects.
Day 1 – 22nd September:
15:45 – Opening
Martin Winkler (George Mason University): Three Queens: Helen, Penelope, and Dido in Franco Rossi’s Odissea and Eneide (public lecture).
17:30 – Marta García Morcillo, Irene Berti, Phil Bennets and Josh Bishop: Screening of silent films and live music focused on antiquity (public event).
Day 2 – 23rd September:
Silke Knippschild (University of Bristol): Woman on Top? Women’s suffrage and the Power of the “Oriental Woman”
Michael Seymour (British Museum): Power, Sin and Seduction in Babylon: the Case of Verdi’s Nabucco
Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones (University of Edinburgh): ‘Jewel-in-the-belly-button’ Orientalism in Oliver Stone’s Alexander: The Fantasy of the Harem and Hollywood’s Ancient World
11:45 – Martina Treu (IULM University, Milan): Dark Ladies, Bad Girls, Demon Queens. Female Power and Seduction from Greek Tragedy to Pop Culture
Pantelis Michelakis (University of Bristol): Film Genres in Cinematic Adaptations of Greek Tragedy
Irene Berti (Universität Heidelberg): Circe in Literature and Art of the Renaissance
Maite Clavo (Universitat de Barcelona): The Erotics of Power in Jordi Coca’s Ifigènia (2009)
15:30 – Maddalena Giovannelli, Andrea Capra (Università degli Studi di Milan): “Prince of Painters”, the Grimacing Mask of Power and Seduction in Aristophanes’ Assemblywomen
Montserrat Reig (Universitat de Barcelona), Jesús Carruesco (Institut Català d’Arqueologia Clàssica, Tarragona): Myth and Tragedy in Opera Staging in 21st Century
17:00 – Nicoletta Momigliano (University of Bristol): Isadora Duncan, Russian Ballet, and the Seduction of Minoan Crete
James Lesher (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill): Greek Elements in T. S. Eliot’s The Cocktail Party
Day 3 – 24th September:
Constantina Katsari (University of Leicester): Nelly and the Nudes on the Athenian Acropolis in the Fascist Era
Charlotte Ribeyrol (Université de Paris-Sorbonne): The Lure of the Hermaphrodite in the Poetry and Painting of the English Aesthetes
Pepa Castillo (Universidad de la Rioja): Claudia Quinta and Publius Cornelius Scipio: exempla virtutis in Vienna under Lepopold I (1640-1705)
Oscar Lapeña (Universidad de Cádiz): The Stolen Seduction: ‘Spartaco Gladiatore della Tracia’ (Riccardo Freda, Italia 1953)
Francisco Pina Polo (Universidad de Zaragoza): The Great Seducer: Cleopatra, Queen and Sex-Symbol
Marta García Morcillo (University of Wales-Lampeter): Seduced, Defeated and Forever Damned: Marc Antony in Post-Classical Imaginary
Martin Lindner (Universität Oldenburg): Power beyond Measure – Caligula in Pop Culture
Mary R. McHugh (Gustavus Adolphus College): Constantia memoriae – the Reputation of Agrippina the Younger
Charo Rovira (British Museum): Hadrian, Antinous and the Power of Seduction
Filippo Carlà (Universität Heidelberg): Saint or Prostitute? The Reception of Empress Theodora in the Performing and Visual Arts
Antonio Duplá (Universidad del País Vasco, Vitoria): History, Moral and Power: The Ancient World in 19th Century Spanish Historical Painting
17:30 – Erika Notti (IULM University, Milan): Presentation of the project Digital and Iconographic Theatre-Antiquity Lexicon (DigITAL)
*Day 4 – 25th September:
11:00 – Eric Shanower (San Diego, California): Trojan Lovers and Warriors: The Power of Seduction in Age of Bronze (please be aware that this talk will take place at The Bristol Gallery)
The session consisted of the screening of four short films related with the topic of the conference with music originally composed and live performed by two music students of the University of Bristol: Josh Bishop and Philip Bennetts. The event was followed by a discussion on the narrative use of music in film. Following the success of this initiative, in January 2011 a second event with the musicians was organised at the University of Barcelona by Dr Montserrat Reig.
More on that event Here.
Age of Bronze Exhibition
More on that event HERE
Silke Knippschild (University of Bristol): Woman on Top? Women’s suffrage and the Power of the “Oriental Woman”.
- Ever since Herodotus’ Histories and his seductive and powerful queen Semiramis, the fiction of the “Oriental Woman” could be employed in Western discourse as symbol for what happens if women are given independence. The movement of the suffragettes, women organizing themselves in unions and campaigning e.g. for the vote, coincided with an increase of representations of this imagined character in the performing and visual arts. This paper will analyze the link between the two phenomena and the political implications behind it.
- Michael Seymour (British Museum): Power, Sin and Seduction in Babylon: the Case of Verdi’s Nabucco.
This paper examines the particular vision of Babylon presented in Verdi’s opera Nabucco, first performed in 1842. Nabucco (abbreviated from Nabuchodonosor, i.e. Nebuchadnezzar) contains unique representations of the Babylonian Captivity and of Nebuchadnezzar himself, and also introduces an original fictional Babylonian seductress in the form of Abigaille. The narrative is of special interest for its highly creative blending, adaptation and revision of disparate biblical and classical sources. Combining a plot revolving around court intrigue with the biblical account of the Babylonian Captivity, Nabucco is a useful case study through which to consider the ways in which Babylon’s reputation as the archetypal City of Sin has been reinforced and reinvented over time. It is also a prime example of the heady cocktail of power and seduction that lies at the heart of the ancient city’s image and popular appeal.
- Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones (University of Edinburgh): ‘Jewel-in-the-belly-button’ Orientalism in Oliver Stone’s Alexander: The Fantasy of the Harem and Hollywood’s Ancient World.
- It was in 1978 that Edward Said famously broached a theory that film critics, amongst others, could use to explain the negative, exotic, and often erotic settings that Hollywood’s vision of the east routinely promotes. Orientalism describes a method by which western colonialist discourse has represented the ‘colonies’ and cultures of the Middle Eastern world as a way of justifying and supporting the west’s imperialist enterprise. Put more succinctly, Orientalism is an idiosyncratic means of representing Otherness. “The Orient”, wrote Said, “was almost a European invention, and has been since antiquity a place of romance, exotic beings, haunting memories and landscapes, remarkable experiences”. This romanticisation and eroticisation of the Orient is best played out in the myth of the harem, commonly identified as a gilded cage-cum-pleasure palace of sexual delight. Western cinema quickly appropriated the harem fantasy and from the mid 1910s Hollywood created the harem stereotype adjacent to, and dependant on, the canvases of the Orientalist artists of the Victorian period. The image of the harem offers an “open sesame” to an unknown, alluring world and this paper will explore how Hollywood epics – including Quo Vadis? (1950; dir. Le Roy), Alexander the Great (1956; dir. Rossen), Solomon and Sheba (1959; dir. Vidor), Esther and the King (1960; dir. Walsh), and Alexander (2004; dir Stone) – use the motif of the ruler or conqueror within his harem to transmit the idea of the autocracy and sexual authority of the male protagonist. The paper will also explore how the epic image of the harem was shared in other popular Hollywood genres, in particular musicals such as Kismet (1955; dir. Minnelli) and The King and I (1956; dir. Lang). The harem sequences in Hollywood epics propels the audience into the imaginary world of the East; but what has this to do with the historical ‘reality’ claimed by the films’ narratives and marketing?
- Martina Treu (IULM University, Milan): Dark Ladies, Bad Girls, Demon Queens. Female Power and Seduction from Greek Tragedy to Pop Culture.
- Many women of Ancient Attic Drama share as distinctive features an evil power and an ambiguous seduction, the effects of which may be observed inside the plot, especially in the relationship between the characters. Their fascination is also exercised on the audience, as is demonstrated by their everlasting success in theatre and outside theatre, mostly in the visual arts. Although different in many ways, these women symbolise the ‘dark side’ of mankind and show a clear duplicity of nature and action: they give birth and bring death, they seduce and kill, they either punish or save. These women are often variously connected to a common background: Earth and Underground, Motherhood and the Uterus, seen as a refuge and a menace. They seem to hold in their hands the secrets of sex and birth, life and death, mostly symbolised by strong iconic elements: the double axe and other deadly weapons, the hanging and the slip-knot, the vessels of death and the symbols of the cave-womb. Their origin can be traced back to several female archaic figures: the Bride of Death, the Mother Goddess, the Erinyes or Kindly Ones and other monsters and demons (in Greek culture they are mostly of female gender). My paper will therefore focus on some female characters – such as Clytemnestra and the Erinyes, Antigone, Medea – who still fascinate the audiences, especially through iconic symbols. How does this attraction towards such ‘dark ladies’ work, in theatre and outside theatre, and tie actors, characters and spectators together? I shall suggest a few answers, and I shall seek traces of these heroines and their heirs on contemporary stage, in pop culture and in modern mass media: cinema, visual arts, and comics.
- Pantelis Michelakis (University of Bristol): Film Genres in Cinematic Adaptations of Greek Tragedy.
- This paper focuses on Woody Allen’s Mighty Aphrodite (1996) and addresses two questions: how is tragedy involved in the production and interpretation of a comic film of the 1990s with aspirations for box-office and artistic success; and also why the tragedy that features in this film is specifically identified as Greek. Whilst the great majority of reviewers of the film saw the presence of tragedy as one of its most distinctive characteristics, many of them also found it puzzling and annoying rather than amusing. Can the parodic return by a comedy auteur to the origins of a respectable but dead or dying genre be seen as anything other than elitist, regressive and limiting? Can this return of cinema to theatre and of comedy to tragedy be emplotted as anything other than a formalist stratagem to be explained through a historical account of the opposition between comedy and tragedy? Instead of reading the film in the light of theories of genre and media interaction, this paper proposes to read theories of genre and media in the light of the film. More specifically, it looks at some of the tropes for thinking about continuity in change that genre and media criticism can derive from the film’s tragic inflection of the themes of identity crisis and gender and intergenerational conflict.
- Irene Berti (Universität Heidelberg): Circe in Literature and Art of the Renaissance.
Of all classical sorcerers and witches, Circe is the most popular in European literature and the figurative arts between the 15th and 16th century. The attention paid to Circe in this period is not only due to a new interest in the works of Ovid and Virgil, but is also a mirror of the contemporary cultural discourse on magic, femininity and power. Circe, who is able to cross the border between animals and humans, symbolises the power of the transformation and a type of (real!) woman who at the same time fascinates and scares.
- Maite Clavo (Universitat de Barcelona): The Erotics of Power in Jordi Coca’s Ifigènia (2009).
- The catalan writer Jordi Coca presented his version of Iphigenia’s myth at the BCN Greek Festival 2009. The play adopts the Euripidean scene at Aulis, but creates a free composition spanning different times and cultures: throughout the play, an old, anonymous woman, a victim of militarism, confronts the great Agamemnon. Death is the character who will marry Iphigenia. In the role of god, mother and chorus, puppets of female figures without a face move on the stage, driven by a mute character called ‘el Manipulador’. In a personal poetic composition, Coca has created a meeting between a war-loving king and his young daughter, whom he will sacrifice to his desires. The erotics of self-satisfying power and the erotics of death are subtly but cruelly represented in the dramatisation and opposed to collective expectations of life and freedom.
- Maddalena Giovannelli, Andrea Capra (Università degli Studi di Milan): “Prince of Painters”, the Grimacing Mask of Power and Seduction in Aristophanes’ Assemblywomen.
In Greek tragedy, characters, masks and actors form a compact unity, whereas comic masks are usually perceived as an object, almost a plaything in the hands of the actor. This peculiarity is one ingredient of the so-called “metatheatrical” spirit of old Greek comedy, whereby theatrical props, masks, etc. are often referred to as such. A similar antithesis between the two genres emerges from the pictorial record: some much discussed vases depict both tragic and comic actors on the same scene, yet the latter wear a very conspicuous mask, whereas the former are unmasked, as if to show the compact unity of character, mask and actor. Building on this generic opposition, we make a few observations about the masks of the three hags in Aristophanes’ Assemblywomen. A close examination of lines 1056-1057 is a good case in point, revealing the theatrical possibilities of the actor’s playing with his mask: the two hags are not ‘characters’ in the modern sense, but different instantiations of the metamorphic ability of one and the same actor, whose changing look is designed to render the face of the new regime, foisting power and seduction on the reluctant citizens.
The constant pointing to the presence of an audience, of a stage, and, in a broader sense, the reality of the theatrical representation itself are yet another problem for those who want to stage Aristophanes nowadays. The obstacle lies in the approach that, from Stanislavsky onwards, has influenced to some extent every modern actor, aiming at a total emotional identification with the character and a detailed reconstruction of his/her interiority. This approach clearly clashes with what has been previously described.
We therefore present the case of a theatrical representation which proved particularly successful in our perspective, namely Aristophanes’ Assemblywomen, directed by Serena Sinigaglia, staged at Milan’s Piccolo Teatro in April 2007 with videos of the staging. The director chose to characterize women strongly from the aesthetic point of view; acting is also marked by grotesque tones and is consistent with the stylistic features of the commedia dell’arte.
The work on facial expression relies on clownesque techniques, supported by unnatural and heavy make-up, which is a clear reference to the comic mask used in ancient staging. Such a strong characterization, together with a grotesque deformation of human physiognomy, has been misunderstood or even not appreciated at all by Italian critics, while it is definitely consistent with some fundamental features of the ancient comic genre, such as caricature and folk elements.
- Montserrat Reig (Universitat de Barcelona), Jesús Carruesco (Institut Català d’Arqueologia Clàssica, Tarragona): Myth and Tragedy in Opera Staging in 21st Century.
- The aim of this paper is to analyse some recent opera productions, including a recently composed work and a rediscovered one, which have the common features of being inspired by or containing allusions to Antiquity and of presenting in different ways the interplay of the themes of seduction and power. The focus of the analysis will be on Harrison Birtwistle’s The Minotaur, as staged by Stephen Langridge, and Szymanowski’s King Roger, in two productions by Krzysztof Warlikowski (Opéra Bastille, Paris, 2009) and by David Pountney (Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona, 2009). In the first case, in which Greek myth, rather than a specific literary genre or work, is the direct source, the themes of power and seduction are explored mainly in the context of individual human relationships (Ariadne and Theseus, in opposition to the bestial innocence of the Minotaur). This aspect invites a comparison to Martín y Soler’s Il arbore di Diana, with libretto by Da Ponte, which has recently received its first staged performance in modern times (Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona, 2009), in which myth is also used to discuss in an unequivocally contemporary manner the shifting balance of power and seduction in the relationship between man and woman. On the other hand, these themes are explored at a higher, social level (involving, in addition to identity, other issues like drugs, religion or politics) in the recent productions of Szymanowski’s King Roger. The source here being Greek tragedy, rather than myth, this opera has led the directors to a deeply ambivalent reading of the meaning of the worship of Dionysus and its relevance in a contemporary context. The analysis will further be enriched through a comparison with another opera and its recent productions, Henze’s The Bassarids, also based on Euripides’ Bacchae.
- Nicoletta Momigliano (University of Bristol): Isadora Duncan, Russian Ballet, and the Seduction of Minoan Crete.
In the first two decades of the 20th century the innovative dancing of Isadora Duncan and of the Russian Ballet shocked and seduced audiences in European capitals and beyond. In particular, Nijinsky’s 1912 ballet L’Aprés-midi d’un Faune astonished the audience of its Parisian premiere with its angular movements, frieze-like poses in profile (inspired by Archaic and Classical Greek sculptures and figured vases) and above all with his final erotic scene. In the same period, the excavations by Sir Arthur Evans at Knossos had sparked a remarkable interest in Minoan Crete. Evans’s discoveries, like Duncan’s and Nijinsky’s dances, had shocked and seduced the scholarly (and general) public with their imagery, showing provocatively bare-breasted, red-lipped, and kiss-curled females. Since its rediscovery, the material culture of Minoan Crete has offered a rich source of inspiration to modern writers and artists (such as painters, sculptors, and even architects), but its impact on performative arts has largely been neglected. Whereas the Greek elements in the works of Duncan and the Russian Ballet are well-known, this paper explores the connections between Minoan Crete and early 20th-century dance, starting with Duncan’s memorable visit to Knossos, and examining the work of the Russian Ballet, mostly through the work of the Russian artist and costume designer Leon Bakst.
- James Lesher (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill): Greek Elements in T. S. Eliot’s The Cocktail Party.
- In his 1950 Theodore Spencer lecture at Harvard, T. S. Eliot identified the Heracles of Euripides Alcestis as his source for the character Sir Henry Harcourt Reilly in The Cocktail Party (1949). In his depictions of Lavinia Chamberlayne and Celia Coplestone Eliot also drew in obvious ways on Euripides’ story of a wife who chose to die for her husband. J. M. Yoklavich (1951) and K. J. Reckford (1991) have claimed that the play displays parallels in both structure and content to Plato’s Symposium. I argue, however, that the most likely ancient source of inspiration, as one might expect on the basis of Eliot’s Four Quartets (1943), is the Presocratic philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus.
- Constantina Katsari (University of Leicester): Nelly and the Nudes on the Athenian Acropolis in the Fascist Era.
- Nelly was a female Greek photographer (virtually unknown outside Greece) who worked throughout the twentieth century. She studied photography in Germany and started working in Athens in the 1920s. In the 1930s her work focused on the Classical Greek past. She took thousands of pictures of the Acropolis, among which was a series of nudes. The uproar following the accidental publication of the series almost caused her to lose her job and livelihood. The Athenian scandal is not what we will talk about in this conference, though. I intend to make valid (I think) connections between Greece’s glorious past, the ideal of the perfect nude body and the contemporary fascist regime for which Nelly was working.
- Charlotte Ribeyrol (Université de Paris-Sorbonne): The Lure of the Hermaphrodite in the Poetry and Painting of the English Aesthetes.
- The Aesthetic movement appeared in England in the second half of the 19th century. The poets and painters belonging to this rather diffuse artistic group believed in the credo of Art for Art’s sake and were drawn to the arts of Ancient Greece. In their works, whether poetic or pictorial, the androgyne or the hermaphrodite plays a central role. “It” appears on the one hand as the locus of “boy love” and homoerotic desire, and on the other as the embodiment of creation for its own sake, beyond the logic of biological reproduction. However, this ambivalent aesthetic model inspired by Ovidian and Greek myths as well as by statues of adolescent youths, contradicted both the Victorian idealization of the virile Doric warrior and the attempts of doctors and scientists at circumscribing human sexuality according to clear-cut definitions of the masculine and the feminine. This paper will thus focus on the subversive aspect of this aesthetic fascination with Greek androgynous figures in the works J.A. Symonds, W. Pater, A.C. Swinburne, S. Solomon and E. Burne-Jones who themselves claimed to be “intellectual hermaphrodites”, and on the controversial reception of their works by contemporary critics, sexologists or psychiatrists who were often often wary of such blurring of sexual boundaries.
- Pepa Castillo (Universidad de la Rioja): Claudia Quinta and Publius Cornelius Scipio: exempla virtutis in Vienna under Lepopold I (1640-1705).
- In the Vienna of Leopold I, the performance of an opera was the main ceremony for the celebrations of birthdays, days of Saints, marriages, births, etc. Most of them were “heroic operas”, operas based on a plot about a historical event or personage of Antiquity or the Middle Ages, often more legendary than real. Furthermore, the opera’s main purpose was to enhance the figure and policy of the emperor in the eyes of his own court and those foreign aristocrats who might be present. This paper studies one of those lyrical dramas, Il fuoco eterno custodito dalle Vestali. The librettist Minato tells the story, set in Roman Italy of the Second Punic War, of two virtuous people, Claudia Quinta and Publius Cornelius Scipio Nasica, who made it possible for the image of the Mother of the Gods to arrive in Rome, thus securing a favourable end to the war. This opera, which was commissioned by Leopold I to celebrate the birth of a son (which in the event turned out to be a girl), was staged at a time when the Holy Roman Empire was threatened by expansion plans of France and the Habsburg House needed an heir more than ever. Accordingly, this opera is a play of analogies.
- Oscar Lapeña (Universidad de Cádiz): The Stolen Seduction: ‘Spartaco Gladiatore della Tracia’ (Riccardo Freda, Italia 1953).
- This paper proposes an in depth analysis of Riccardo Freda’s Spartaco, which has been the object of an unlikely censure by the Italian authorities on account of its treatment of the Romans. Some years later, the worldwide release of Stanley Kubrick’s Spartacus directly impacted on the film as well: its copies were removed in order to avoid comparisons. Freda’s film aligns itself with traditional Italian literary and cinematic depictions of Spartacus, a tradition radically different to the better known American reception of the historical character. The Italian tradition, rooted in the texts by Giovagnoli and Hipolito Nievo, underlines the need of presenting the new Italian state as a political unity and emphasises the unquestionable Roman profile of Spartacus. The American tradition, on the other hand, emerges from a modern division between liberty and slavery and evolves towards a defence of the mid-twentieth-century North-American bourgeois ideals as represented by Kubrick’s cinematic vision.
- Francisco Pina Polo (Universidad de Zaragoza): The Great Seducer: Cleopatra, Queen and Sex-Symbol.
- In antiquity queen Cleopatra was considered a woman of strong personality, educated and sophisticated, as demonstrated by her fluency in several languages. Her relationships with Caesar and especially with Marc Anthony conferred to her the image of an irresistible seductress. It was this image which artists in the 18th and 19th centuries adopted and elaborated, repeatedly focusing on well-known episodes from Cleopatra’s life and turning her into an erotic myth. On the basis of these representations, cinema transformed the queen of Egypt into a sex symbol, which is particularly apparent in her portrayal by Claudette Colbert (Cecil B. de Mille, 1934) and by Elisabeth Taylor (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1963).
- Marta García Morcillo (University of Wales-Lampeter): Seduced, Defeated and Forever Damned: Marc Antony in Post-Classical Imaginary.
- In Plutarch’s Life of Antony, the triumvir’s complex personality is depicted as a strange mixture of virtues and vices. Mainly known for his military bravery, violent character, his ambition and his drinking excesses, Antony’s most recognisable feature was no doubt his fondness for Greek culture and ‘Asiatic life style’, which explained, according to the biographer – and the Augustan propaganda – his fatal attraction towards Cleopatra. Her enormous influence on him was only comparable with Caesar’s rise to power. The triumvir’s loyalty towards the dictator and the Ptolemaic queen determined also his biography, his death and ultimately his afterlife, thus shaping his post-classical image. Shakespeare’s dramas, inspired by Plutarch, stunningly display Antony’s double face, both as the dictator’s mourner and avenger and as passionate lover. Highly influenced by Plutarch and Shakespeare, novels, plays, operas, paintings and films have repeatedly portrayed Antony as a weak man fatally caught up in his dependant relationship with two characters destined to become immortal icons of western imageries. However, is it possible to find an Antony not marked by the long shadow of Caesar and Cleopatra? This paper will explore the impact of these traditions in reception, their nuances and exceptions in the performing and visual arts: from Shakespeare to Samuel Barber, from Johan Zainer to Tiepolo and Alma-Tadema, from Guazzoni to Mankiewicz and HBO.
- Martin Lindner (Universität Oldenburg): Power beyond Measure – Caligula in Pop Culture.
- The Roman emperor Caligula has long been one of the most prominent figures of classical antiquity to find its way into modern pop culture. The showpiece of a ruler seduced and seducing by power, interpretations range from oedipal complex or sadistic disorder to misguided reformer or religious fanatic (to name but a few). Caligula has rarely been treated as a complex figure like Alexander the Great or Julius Caesar, other favorites of pop culture. Nevertheless, he has proved to be the perfect “projection screen”, the icon of a much grimmer view on classical antiquity and counterpart to the cherished heroes of the ancient world. This paper will examine the presence of Caligula in film, comic, anime, caricature, pulp writings, and computer games. The aim is to look into how and why the different images of the proverbial bad ruler arose and to explain what their deconstruction can tell us for popular classical reception in general. The analysis is based on about 20 selected examples from various countries, ranging from the 19th to the 21st century.
- Mary R. McHugh (Gustavus Adolphus College): Constantia memoriae – the Reputation of Agrippina the Younger.
- Establishing a reputation, either good or bad, takes some effort. In antiquity, remembering someone unfavorably depended, in part, on a panoply of rhetorical strategies. The posthumous reputation of Agrippina Minor may be the most instructive case. Even long after her death, hostile authors delighted in reporting her numerous affairs, including incestuous relationships with her brother Caligula, her uncle Claudius—whom she seduced into marriage—and even her son Nero. She is also reputed to have been ruthless in exercising her influence to get rid of her enemies and was blamed for numerous deaths and persecutions. In sources hostile to the Julio-Claudian dynasty, Agrippina’s political acumen and her alleged influence on both her husband’s and her son’s policy garnered her the reputation of being devious and manipulative. In the imperial world of courtly intrigue, power plays, and back-door politics that historians like Tacitus and Suetonius describe, what could be a more effective strategy than a posthumous smear campaign? The mala memoria, as we might term it, of a supposedly bad woman has proven so tenacious as to be practically irreversible and irresistible even in modern times—an enduring constant of Agrippina’s reputation (despite several attempts in antiquity to rehabilitate her character). So it is not surprising that she turns up in a less than positive light in today’s popular culture. Two films are noteworthy examples of this: the Italian comedy Mio figlio Nerone (1956), in which she is played by Gloria Swanson, and the infamous Caligula (1979), in which she is reincarnated by a Penthouse Pet and engages in lesbian sex. It seems that Agrippina’s adventurously mischievous reputation, whether deserved or not, is secure: a constantia memoriae.
- Charo Rovira (British Museum): Hadrian, Antinous and the Power of Seduction.
- Hadrian and Antinous are one of the famous couples of Antiquity, but while Hadrian has not had a successful career in the field of the reception of Roman world, Antinous has become the epitome of Beauty. The paper will explore the differences in the reception of Hadrian and Antinous. The representations of Hadrian in the visual arts are scarce and generally related to Hadrian’s Wall, as in the Alma Tadema’s painting “Hadrian visiting a Romano-British pottery”. On the other hand, Antinous has influenced the representation of Antiquity since the Renaissance, during which his face was even used to represent characters completely unconnected to the Roman world, such as the statue of Jonas by Bernini, now in Santa Maria del Popolo in Rome. With a beauty that appeals to both men and women, modern representations of Antinous not only exploited the tragedy of his love story with the Roman emperor, but have also turned him into the paradigm of homosexuality.
- Filippo Carlà (Universität Heidelberg): Saint or Prostitute? The Reception of Empress Theodora in the Performing and Visual Arts.
- After the publication of Procopius’ Secret History in 1623, Empress Theodora has most frequently been visualised as a prostitute, devoid of moral values, and as a calculating social climber who married the byzantine Emperor Justinian – and influenced his politics to a great extent. A parallel ancient tradition, portraying her as a real saint, did not have any success, in part because it is transmitted in Syriac, in part because it did not strike the imagination of painters, writers, and directors. Even if Procopius’ version has been widely accepted, the 19th and 20th century nevertheless saw different interpretations of the character Theodora, ranging from monstrous creature to victim of aristocratic plots, from cruel sadomasochistic torturer to paladin of the lower social classes. These evolutions can be studied in reference to individual genres, authors and periods, in order to reconstruct the role of Theodora as a symbol of femininity, sensuality and sexuality from decadentism to feminism, from Freudianism to socialism. This paper will analyse a sample of representations (pictorial, theatrical, graphic, and in film) of the Empress, including B. Constant’s L’Imperatrice Théodora au Colisée, V. Sardou’s Théodora, L. Carlucci’s Teodora, R. Freda’s Teodora Imperatrice di Bisanzio, F. Dürrenmatt’s Eunuch und Kaiser, M. Manara’s Teodora and the Italian erotic comic Teodora.
- Antonio Duplá (Universidad del País Vasco, Vitoria): History, Moral and Power: The Ancient World in 19th Century Spanish Historical Painting.
After the foundation of the Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in 1752, the new artistic academies in Spain regularly employed historical subjects as academic exercises, imitating the French Academy and the work of one of its most outstanding artists, Jacques-Louis David. Through the second half of the XIXth Century, the National Exhibitions of Arts contributed to the development and popularisation of this kind of painting. Very often, the state bought these often huge paintings for museums or for the decoration of public buildings.
The classical world, and particularly the Roman Republic, is the topic of many works. It generally offers moral values and models, along the patterns build up by the classical reception in the Enlightment(s). We can see this in works like Cincinato, by Juan Antonio Ribera, The Death of Lucrecia, by Rosales and Scipio’s Continence, by José Ribelles. Besides that, we also find the battle for freedom and independence against foreign invaders, like in The Death of Viriato, by José de Madrazo, or Numancia, by Alejo Vera. Death is also a frequent subject which has strong dramatic possibilities. Heroes, political and military leaders or relevant people, like Caesar, Viriatus, Sertorius, Cleopatra, Seneca, etc., are frequent protagonists.
The study of this kind of painting makes it possible to establish connections between political needs, moral values and popular tastes to a particular reception of Antiquity in a very important moment of the history of Spanish culture.
- Martin Winkler (George Mason University): Three Queens: Helen, Penelope, and Dido in Franco Rossi’s Odissea and Eneide.
Writer-director Franco Rossi is the only filmmaker to have adapted both Homer (1968) and Virgil (1971) to the screen. Produced in Italy for European public television and with an approximate running time of six hours each, Rossi’s films express more closely than any others ever made—or likely ever to be made—the spirit of their originals. Rather than turning the ancient epics into standard spectacles, as had been the case with Ulisse (1954) and La leggenda di Enea (1962), Rossi and his screenwriters took care to present antiquity in a way both faithful to the original works, if with some unavoidable adjustments and omissions, and visually highly accomplished. The high quality of the films may be gauged by their portrayal of three of the most fascinating women in ancient epic.
In a manner unique for modern adaptations, Rossi’s Odissea shows Helen and Penelope less as opposites of each other (sexy adulteress vs. faithful wife) than as complements: strong-willed women who in different ways exert power over their husbands while at the same time suffering through the aftermath of a devastating war. Two sequences stand out. When Telemachus visits Menelaus and Helen in Sparta, Rossi first presents us with a Helen of such exceptional beauty that even jaded viewers can believe that countless men went to war over her. The context, however, is changed: a dark meditation on suffering and death replaces the bright wedding festivities that are in progress in Homer’s Sparta. The turning point in the reunion of Odysseus and Penelope is her affirmation of her rank and dignity as Odysseus’ wife and as queen of Ithaca. Dialogue and staging, with Penelope’s recognition and acknowledgment of Odysseus as two separate moments, anticipate much of recent scholarship on this episode.
The heart of Rossi’s Eneide is Aeneas’ encounter with Dido in Carthage. To show how a new society is gradually coming into existence in the wilderness, Rossi filmed the exteriors for this long sequence in Bamiyan, Afghanistan. Readers and scholars are in agreement about Virgil’s nuanced portrait of Dido as a tragic figure, tricked as she is by Juno and Venus into loving Aeneas, but classical scholarship is divided about the nature of Aeneas as epic hero and, consequently, about the meaning of the Aeneid as a whole. Rossi, while emphasizing Dido’s tragedy, takes pains to show that Aeneas, who is sincerely in love with her, has to pay a personal price for the gods’ plan concerning the ancestor of the Romans. To Rossi the conclusion of Virgil’s proem—tantae molis erat Romanam condere gentem—is a statement about the incompatibility of love and power.
Rossi’s Helen, Penelope, and Dido could not have become unforgettable figures on the screen if it had not been for the extraordinary women who play them. The least known is Italian actress Scilla Gabel, who after years of appearing in costume and horror films finally comes into her own. By contrast, Rossi’s Penelope is Irene Papas, one of the foremost Greek stars of stage and screen, especially dedicated to the modern legacy of ancient drama and epic. Rossi’s Dido is Greek actress and singer Olga Karlatos, also less known than she deserves. Her wordless “Canto di Didone,” written by Mario Nascimbene, the film’s composer, is the leitmotiv for Rossi’s Eneide, repeated over the individual episodes’ credits even after the plot has moved to Italy. It serves as a reminder of the price for power and empire, the most important strand of meaning in the Aeneid.
Rossi is routinely ignored in works on the history of Italian cinema. There is some justification for this, for he rarely had the chance to direct feature films that did justice to his talents. But his television films set in antiquity are another matter. Rossi directed a noteworthy six-hour adaptation of Quo Vadis? in 1985 and, two years later, Un bambino di nome Gesù, a three-hour retelling of the life of Jesus. He did not live to make his Iliade, a favorite project for many years. In the history of screen adaptations of classical texts, Rossi’s films of Homer and Virgil are achievements that can take their place beside, and in the case of his Odissea above, better known versions. For all who value the survival of antiquity in modern media, Helen, Penelope, and Dido are Rossi’s chief claim to fame.
- Eric Shanower (San Diego, California): Trojan Lovers and Warriors: The Power of Seduction in Age of Bronze.
- Age of Bronze is the comics art version of the story of the Trojan War. It combines into one coherent storyline as many sources of the story as possible, from the oldest version of the story, Homer’s Iliad, to the present. Age of Bronze attempts to present the story in the proper historical setting, the Aegean Late Bronze Age. An instance of sexual seduction underpins the entire story of the Trojan War: the seduction of Helen, wife of King Menelaus of Sparta, by the Trojan prince Paris. Other instances involving varying degrees of sexual seduction are important early in the story: Paris’s seduction of the nymph Oenone, Herakles’s capture of the Trojan princess Hesione, and Achilles’s rape of his quasi-sister Deidamia. Power is also as seductive as sex in the story of the Trojan War. High King Agamemnon is willing to condemn his eldest daughter to death in order to achieve military victory over Troy. Odysseus of Ithaka, at first unwilling to join the Achaean army against Troy, finds himself caught up in the strategy of the war and enjoys it. And Trojan Pandarus uses his niece Cressida as a pawn in a game involving both power and sexual seduction in order to insure his own safety. This paper compares and contrasts these different elements of the Trojan War story, while showing how they weave together to create the epic we know today.
- Erika Notti (IULM University, Milan): Presentation of the project Digital and Iconographic Theatre-Antiquity Lexicon (DigITAL).
- Ancient theatre was a phenomenon of extraordinary artistic value and cultural complexity. Not only did it influence the entire production of Western theatre, but it also exercised its influence beyond the stage on the literature, arts, ideology and imagery of Western culture.
The project aims at developing a digital archive of texts and images related to ancient theatre (Digital and Iconographic Theatre-Antiquity Lexicon) by adopting an interdisciplinary and comparative approach, which is fundamental in the field of classics today. DigITAL is conceived as a digital iconographic lexicon that can be constantly and easily updated. DigITAL should therefore enrich the potential of traditional lexicons that have long been used in this field of study. Because of the great amount of data being catalogued, we should be able to define the role of theatre in creating images representative of Greek and Latin culture and transmitting ancient imagery to Western culture.
The DigITAL project is based on a main idea: theatre is conceived as the heart of a universe of signs and images. On the one hand Greek and Latin theatrical works provide representations of ordinary objects or abstract concepts which evoke images and symbols of collective imagery; on the other hand the same images evoked and represented on stage are mirrored in many different iconographic and literary fields. Historically, this process has called up and triggered a whole series of other related images that have left deep traces in history of art, literature and performance until today.
The main scientific purpose of our research project is to establish a set of criteria for investigating the interaction between images and words, that is to say between heterogeneous iconographic materials and both theatrical works and texts concerning theatre. The three universities involved in the project (Università Statale di Milano, Università IULM, Università di Bologna) intend to pursue this challenging purpose by providing contributions according to their own competences in different chronological contexts.
The DigITAL project aims to develop a new methodology for studying the encounters between arts and texts, the most fruitful of which is promoted by theatre.
- Ancient theatre was a phenomenon of extraordinary artistic value and cultural complexity. Not only did it influence the entire production of Western theatre, but it also exercised its influence beyond the stage on the literature, arts, ideology and imagery of Western culture.
- Irene Berti is Lecturer in Ancient History at the University of Heidelberg. Her main research interests are Greek religion and reception. She is also collaborator of the project “I Moralia di Plutarco“, preparing a new annotated translation of the Moralia into Italian. She is author of Il culto di Themis in Grecia ed in Asia Minore, Annuario della Scuola Archeologica Italiana di Atene, 79, (serie III, 1), 2001, 289-297. Epigraphical documentary evidence of the Themis cult: prophecy and politics, Kernos 15, 2002, 225-234. Now let Earth be my witness and the broad heaven above, and the down flowing water of the Styx… (Homer, Ilias XV, 36-37): Greek oath rituals, in: E. Stavrianopoulou (ed.), Ritual and Communication in the Graeco-Roman World, Kernos Suppl. 16, 2006, 181-209. Mito e politica nell’ Orestea di Pasolini, in: Imagines. La Antigüedad en las Artes Escénicas y Visuales, Logroño 2008, 105-115. A rare ensample of Friendship true: the Story of Damon and Pythias, in: I. Berti – M. Garcia Morcillo [Hrsg.], Hellas on Screen. Cinematic Receptions of Ancient History, Literature and Myth, Stuttgart 2008, 131-145. Per una storia della ricezione: appunti di metodologia, Tra/passato Prossimo 1 (in print). I. Berti – M. Garcia Morcillo [eds.], Hellas on Screen. Cinematic Receptions of Ancient History, Literature and Myth, Stuttgart 2008 (Habes 45). She is currently also working on a monograph entitled Göttliche Vergeltung im archaischen und klassischen Griechenland.
- Andrea Capra holds a PhD in Classics, Milan (2000), and is Lecturer in Greek Language and Literature at the Università degli Studi di Milan. Andrea’s research focuses on Plato, Aristophanes, lyric poetry, and ancient narrative. He is author of e.g. Aristofane, Le donne al parlamento, edizione, traduzione e commento a cura di Andrea Capra, Roma, Carocci 2010; Plato’s Hesiod and the Will of Zeus. Philosophical Rhapsody in the Timaeus and the Critias, in G.R. Boys-Stones, J. Haubold (eds.), Plato and Hesiod, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 200-218; Lyric Poetry, in G.R. Boys-Stones, B. Graziosi, P. Vasunia (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Hellenic Studies, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2009, 454-468.
- Filippo Carlà is a Post-Doc researcher at the University of Heidelberg (Germany). After studying at the University of Turin (Italy), he completed his PhD at the University of Udine (Italy) with a thesis on the monetary history of the Later Roman Empire. His main research topics are the history of the Later Roman Empire with a particular attention to economical and social issues, Roman monetary history, and the reception of antiquity in modern literature, art and cinema. He is author of Eunuch und Kaiser: Dürrenmatt, Giustiniano, Teodora, Belisario e lo Stato “totale”, in Tra/passato presente 1 (2010), in print. Further publications: Il modello di ogni caduta: il V sec. d. C. nelle sue riduzioni teatrali tra XIX e XX secolo. In: M. J. Castillo, S. Knippschild, M. G. Morcillo eds., Imagines. La Antigüedad en las artes escénicas y visuales. Logroño 2008, 91-114. Pasolini, Aristotle and Freud: Filmed Drama between psychoanalysis and “neoclassicism”, in I. Berti – M. Garcia Morcillo [eds.], Hellas on Screen, Stuttgart 2008, 91-117.
- Jesus Carruesco is Lecturer in Classical Philology at the University of Tarragona (Universitat Rovira i Virgili) and research fellow at the Institut Català d’Arqueologia Clàssica (ICAC). He takes part in a research project on “The Articulation of Space in Greek and Roman Egypt” and in the interdisciplinary project “Space According to the Greeks”. He also collaborates with a research group on Greek drama and its tradition (University of Barcelona). He is author of: “Melville i l’home de mar: una reflexió plutarquea”. Actes del VIII Simposi Internacional de la Societat Espanyola de Plutarquistes. Plutarc a la seva època: paideia i societat, 809-814 (2003)”; “Clàssics antisistema: la tragèdia grega com a discurs subversiu”, in XV Simposio de la Sección Catalana de la SEEC: “Estudis Clàssics: imposició, apologia o seducció?” Lleida 2005; El naufragi del Deutschland de G. M. Hopkins: una oda pindàrica”, in AA.VV., Paraula Donada. Miscel·lània Joaquim Mallafré, Tarragona: Onada, 2006; “Las Basárides de Henze, entre el héroe y la polis”, in Studi e Materiali per le Baccanti di Euripide. Storia, memorie, spettacoli. Ed.Ibis, Pavia 2007; Fontenelle i els Nous Diàlegs dels Morts: unes Vides Paral·leles a la manera de Llucià”, in F.Mestre (ed), Lucian of Samosata. Greek Writer and Roman Citizen, Barcelona 2009 (in press).
- Pepa Castillo is Professor in Ancient History at the University of La Rioja in Logroño (Spain). She completed her studies at the University of Heidelberg with a dissertation on the subject Espacio en orden: el modelo gromático-romano de ordenación del territorio (Logroño 1996). She is also a Visiting Fellow of the Project Topoi (Freie Universität and Humboldt-Universität, Berlin). Pepa Castillo is author of several papers on Roman surveying, on the treaties of the so-called gromatici veteres and on the reception of antiquity in Baroque opera. She is currently working on a monograph on the latter.
- Maite Clavo is Tenured Lecturer of Greek Philology at the University of Barcelona. Her research focuses on Ancient Greek Literature and she is a member of the research Group “Estudis sobre la Literatura antiga i la seva recepció”. As a result of her interest in the contemporary reception of Greek theatre, she works on ancient and modern dramaturgy (at Pavia and Palermo); she is director of two DVD productions (‘Les Eumènides d’Esquil i l’escena contemporània’ 2004, ‘Medea en l’art, el ritual i el teatre’, 2008); she is also co-editor of Teatre grec: perspectives contemporànies (Lleida 2007) and coordinator of the IV Workshop del Laboratorio di mito e teatro mediterraneo (Barcelona 2009). She is the author of Cratinus and Comedy in Aristophanes’ Knights’ Parabasis (vv. 526-536), Itaca 12-13, 1996: 9-40. Comunicare a Delfi: L’Ione di Euripide e le Etiopiche, en Guglielmino, M. -Bona, E.(eds.): Forme di comunicazione nel mondo antico e metamorfosi del mito: dal teatro al romanzo, Torino 2003: 200-321. Vencer en el diálogo. Justicia y retórica en Esquilo y Platón, Ítaca 20, 2004: 73-86. Atenes i la unitat de l’Orestea, en M. Clavo, X. Riu (eds.) Teatre grec: perspectives contemporànies, Lleida 2007: 177-196. El altar, Argos, Atenas. Dramaturgia del espacio en Las Suplicantes de Esquilo, en Jesús Carruesco, M. Jufresa (eds.) La Concepció de l’espai a Grècia: questions metodològiques i perspectives interdisciplinàries, Tarragona 2009 (forthcoming).
- Antonio Duplá is Professor in Ancient History at the University of the Basque Country in Vitoria-Gasteiz (Spain). After his dissertation on the subject of the States of Emergency in the Late Roman Republic (Zaragoza, 1990), he has published several papers on the political and social problems of the Late Republic. He also works on modern historiography and has published works on cinema and Ancient Rome. In the field of classical reception he deals mainly with the links between classicism and fascism in Spain. He belongs to a research group on Consuls and Consulars in the Late Roman Republic lead by Francisco Pina Polo (Zaragoza) with Martin Jehne (Dresden) and Hans Beck (Montreal). He is author of Imperialismo defensivo y guerra justa: De Th. Mommsen a M. Walzer, in J. Martίnez-Pinna (coord.), En el centenario de Theodor Mommsen, RAH- Univ. de Málaga, 2005, 219-237. Cicerón en España (siglos XVII-XXI): Reflexiones polίticas e historiográficas, Ciceroniana. N.S. XII, 2006, 161-79 (XII Colloquium Tullianum). La difίcil reconstrucción de un “aquelarre polίtico”: la “revolución romana”, Revista de Historiografίa 5, 2006, 36-48. El cine de romanos en el siglo XXI (in print).
- Marta García Morcillo is Lecturer in Ancient History at the University of Wales-Lampeter. She completed her PhD (Barcelona) on the socio-economic role of Roman auctions and has published several works on the economic history of ancient Rome. A further area of her interest is the reception of Antiquity in film and in the visual arts. She is coeditor of Imagines: La Antigüedad en las Artes Escénicas y Visuales (2008) and Hellas on Screen: Cinematic Receptions of Ancient History, Literature and Myth (2008), to which she contributed papers on the influence of Antiquity in contemporary political posters and on ancient Greeks in films situated in the Roman world. Among her current projects is the co-edition of a book on the representation of iconic ancient cities in film.
- Maddalena Giovannelli graduated at the Università degli Studi di Milan in 2006, where she is about to finish a PhD in Classics with a dissertation on stage directions and “verbal scenography” in Aristophanes’s texts. She is founder of “Stratagemmi – Prospettive Teatrali”, a quarterly interdisciplinary journal dedicated to theatre studies, in which she ha salso published several articles. She is particularly interested in the reception of classical texts in contemporary Italian theatre, both as a scholar and as actress. She is author of L’uso della personificazione in Aristofane tra realismo e astrazione. Stratagemmi 1(2007) 49-94; La sfida del comico: Riflessioni per una messa in scena di Aristofane. Stratagemmi 2(2007) 49-100; Echi euripidei nel romanzo di Senofonte Efesio / M. Giovannelli. Acme 61:2(2008) 273-289; Ploutos o della ricchezza: Aristofane alla periferia di Roma, Stratagemmi 9 (2009) 133-160.
- Constantina Katsari is Lecturer in Ancient History at the University of Leicester and Fellow of the Royal Numismatic Society. She is on academic leave until January 2010 and is currently a Humboldt Fellow at the Deutsches Archaeologisches Institut in Berlin. She has been a Research Fellow for two years at the University of Exeter and for one year at the Moore Institute in the National University of Ireland, Galway. She finished her PhD in the History Department of University College London. Before she came to Leicester, she taught in the Ancient Classics and in the History Department of NUIG. She also taught as an Erasmus Exchange Teacher at the universities of Groningen, Athens, Valencia and Freiburg. She is author of The Roman Monetary System, Cambridge 2010 (forthcoming) and co-editor of Slave Systems: Ancient and Modern, Cambridge 2008 and From Captivity to Freedom: Themes in Anceint and Modern Slavery, Leicester 2008 (with E. Dal Lago) as well as Patterns in the Economy of Roman Asia Minor, Swansea 2005 (with S. Mitchell).
- Silke Knippschild is Lecturer in Ancient History at the University of Bristol. Her main research interests lie in the field of intercultural relations and cross-cultural influences between ancient Western Asia, Greece, and Rome and the reception of antiquity. She is the author of Drum bietet zum Bunde die Hände: Rechtssymbolische Akte in zwischenstaatlichen Beziehungen im orientalischen und griechisch-römischen Altertum (2002), co-editor of and contributor to Ceremoniales, Ritos y Representación del Poder (2004) and Imagines: La Antigüedad en las Artes Escénicas y Visuales (2008) and has published a series of articles in journals and edited books. She is currently working on a monograph entitled Spoils and Iconoclasm, dealing with the destruction and theft of political and religious identifiers in the first millennium BCE.
- Óscar Lapeña Marchena is Professor in Ancient History at the Universidad de Cádiz (Spain). He completed his PhD on the construction of the myths of Spartacus in 2001. His publications include El Mito de Espartaco: De Capua a Hollywood (Amsterdam 2007), Guida al Cinema Peplum (Rome 2009), La historia de Roma a lo largo de un siglo de cine. Apuntes a una filmografía, DHA XXV/1, 1999, 35 – 56. Espartaco antes y después de Kubrick. Las otras apariciones del gladiador tracio en el cine, Faventia XXIV / 1, 2002, 55 – 68; La imagen del Mundo Antiguo en la Ópera y el Cine. Continuidad y divergencias, Veleia XXI, 2004, 201 – 215; Visiones de Roma en la cultura popular: Titus (J, Taymor; USA / Italy 1999), o un paseo por el horror del escenario a la pantalla, Iberia VII, 2004, 77 – 102; La Ciudad Antigua en el Cine: mucho más que un decorado, in: P. Castillo, S. Knippschild, M. Garcia (eds.), Imagines. La Antigüedad en las Artes Escénicas y Visuales (la Rioja, Logroño 2008) 231 – 252, and Iconografía de los carteles del Péplum, en Metakinema, nº 3, 2008, 48 – 57.
- James Lesher received his Ph.D. from the University of Rochester and taught at the University of Maryland before joining the department of Philosophy at Chapel Hill. He has held research fellowships at Harvard, Princeton, the Center for Hellenic Studies and the National Humanities Center. He is author of Xenophanes of Colophon (Toronto 1992), The Greek Philosophers, Greek Texts with Notes and Commentary (Bristol 1998) and has co-edited Plato’s Symposium: Issues in Interpretation and Reception (Cambridge, MA 2006) with D. Nails and F. Sheffield. Essays of Aristotle’s Posterior Analytics, Papers from the Duke, UNC, Chapel Hill Conference 2009 is forthcoming as a special volume of Apeiron. He has further published over sixty articles on Greek Philosophy, among them papers centring on the reception of ancient philosophers and philosophy in the visual arts.
- Martin Lindner is Lecturer in Ancient History at the Universität Oldenburg. He completet his MA in Ancient History in Mannheim in 2003 and his PhD in Oldenburg in 2006. His publications are Rom und seine Kaiser im Historienfilm, Frankfurt am Main 2007. Tempelprostitution im Altertum, Fakten und Fiktionen (Oikumene 6), Berlin 2009. [hg. mit Tanja S. Scheer] and Nationalismus und Antikenrezeption (Oldenburger Schriften zur Geschichtswissenschaft 10), Oldenburg 2009. [hg. mit. Christine G. Krüger]
- Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones is a lecturer in Ancient History in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh. His research interests include Persian and Greek cultural history, ancient gender and the reception of antiquity in popular culture. He is the author of Aphrodite’s Tortoise: the Veiled Woman of Ancient Greece (Classical Press of Wales 2003) and co-author of Greek and Roman Dress A-Z (Routledge 2008). His most recent publication is Ctesias’ History of Persia: Tales of the Orient (Routledge 2009). He has edited several books on ancient dress and gender, including Women’s Dress in the Ancient Greek World (Duckworth/Classical Press of Wales 2002) and The Clothed Body in the Ancient World (Oxbow 2005). Forthcoming titles include King and Court in Ancient Persia (Edinburgh University Press) and the editing of The Blackwell Companion to the Ancient World in Popular Culture (Blackwell). Lloyd has written numerous articles including, The Queen of Sheba in Popular Culture, 1850-2000 in St John Simpson, ed., The Queen of Sheba: Treasures of Ancient Yemen (2002), Celluloid Cleopatras or Did the Greeks ever get to Egypt? in D. Ogden, ed., The Hellenistic World: New Perspectives (2002), The Fashioning of Delilah. Costume Design, Historicism and Fantasy in Cecil B. DeMille’s Samson and Delilah (1949) in M. Harlow & L. Llewellyn-Jones, eds., The Clothed Body in the Ancient World ( 2005), Gods of the Silver Screen: Cinematic Representations of Myth and Divinity in D. Ogden, ed. A Companion to Greek Religion (2007), and ‘Help me Aphrodite!’ Representing the Royal Women of Persia in Oliver Stone’s Alexander in F. Greenland & P. Cartledge eds. Responses to Alexander. Lloyd teaches a popular undergraduate course, “Hollywood’s Ancient World”, and was the historical adviser to the costume department on Oliver Stone’s film Alexander (2004).
- Mary McHugh received her Ph.D. in Classics at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and is currently an Assistant Professor of Classics at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN. Her dissertation dealt with issues of both commemoration and defamation of women in the Julio-Claudian family. She is the author of Historiography and Freedom of Speech: the Case of Cremutius Cordus published in 2004 by Brill in the edited volume Free Speech in Antiquity. Her essay on Tacitus’ potrayal of Agrippina the Elder in the Annales is currently under consideration for publication.
- Nicoletta Momigliano was educated at the University of Pisa (BA, 1982) and University College London (MA 1984; PhD 1989). She was a Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson College (1990-1993) and Research Fellow at Balliol College (1993-6), Oxford. She is currently Reader in Aegean Prehistory at the University of Bristol (which she joined in 1998). Her research interests include Aegean Bronze Age archaeology (especially Minoan Crete and western Turkey) and the history of Aegean Bronze Age studies, and she has published many articles and several books on these subjects. Since 2007 she has been editor of Annual of the British School at Athens. Publications relevant to Imagines include: With Y. Hamilakis (eds.), Archaeology and European Modernity: Producing and Consuming the ‘Minoans’. Special volume of Creta Antica (no. 7). Padua: Ausilio, Bottega d’Erasmo. Sir Arthur Evans, Greek myths, and the Minoans, in P. Darcque, M. Fotiadis, and O. Polychronopoulou (eds.), Mythos : La Préhistoire Égéenne du XIXe au XXIe Siècle après J.-C. Bulletin de Correspondence Hellénique, Suppl. 46. Paris: Ecole Française : 73–80. Duncan Mackenzie: a Cautious Canny Highlander and the Palace of Minos at Knossos (London, 1999)
- Erika Notti graduated magna cum laude at the Libera Università di Lingue e Comunicazione IULM (Milan) with a “laurea quadriennale” (MA) in Foreign Languages and Literatures in 2004. After being awarded a grant, she completed a PhD in Compared Literature: Literatures, Cultures and Europe: History, Writing and Translation at the same university in 2008. Since 2008 she has been teaching Cultural Anthropology at the Università degli Studi dell’Insubria of Varese. Throughout her studies, her researches have dealt with the analysis of forms and functions of myths in the history of Aegean and Indo-European cultures. She is author of Atlantide, Milano, Arcipelago, 2009, Lo spazio circolare nelle culture dell’Indeuropa, Milano, Arcipelago, 2007; Femminile e iniziazione alle origini dell’Indeuropa, Atti del Convegno: Donne e Cammino iniziatico nel XXI secolo (28/11/ 2009) in print, and co-author with G. Facchetti and M. Negri of Crete Thera Atlantis: “Culture” and Writing, in Proceedings of the International Conference on “The Atlantis Hypothesis: Searching for a Lost Land II (10-12 November 2008, Athens, Greece)” in print, as well as Atlantis: Plato’s Memories of the Aegean Culture, in Proceedings of the International Conference on “The Atlantis Hypothesis: Searching for a Lost Land (11-13 July 2005, Milos Island, Greece)” ed. Stavros Papamarinopoulos, Athens, Heliotopos, 2007.
- Francisco Pina Polo is chair of Ancient History at the University of Zaragoza. He was visiting Scholar at Wolfson College (Oxford) in 2005. His main research interests lie in the field of Republican Rome, focussing on politics, oratory, and institutions. He is the author of Las Contiones Civiles y Militares en Roma (Zaragoza 1989), Contra Arma Verbis, Der Redner vor dem Volk in der späten römischen Republik (Stuttgart 1996), La Crisis de la Republica (133-44 a.C.), (Madrid 1999), and The Consul at Rome: The Civil Functions of the Consuls in the Roman Republic (Cambridge, in press). He is also co-organiser and co-editor of the Congresos Internacionales de Historia Antigua at the University of Zaragoza and member of the research group Hiberus.
- Montserrat Reig is currently Lecturer at the Department of Greek Philology at the University of Barcelona and she collaborates with the Department of Literary Theory and Comparative Literature. She is involved in a research project on Greek Literature, specially drama, and its reception and in the interdisciplinary project “Space according to the Greeks”. She is author of various works devoted to the reception of antiquity in modern literary fiction, theatre and cinema: Algunes reflexions a propòsit dels Argonautes i la reoralització del mite en el cinema”, in Anuari de Filologia, Studia Graeca et Latina, vol. XXIII, n. 11 (2002); “Melville i l’home de mar: una reflexió plutarquea”, in Actes del VIII Simposi Internacional de la Societat Espanyola de Plutarquistes. Plutarc a la seva època: paideia i societat, 809-814 (2003); Humorisme et classicisme: le roman espagnol dans le contexte européen pendant les premières décennies du XX siècle” in Ítaca. Quaderns Catalans de Cultura Clàssica. 21, 223-232 (2005); “Humorisme et classicisme: le roman espagnol dans le contexte européen pendant les premières décennies du XX siècle” in Ítaca 21, 223-232 (2005); “Unas bacantes sicilianas: K. Szymanowski y el dionisismo según W.Pater”, in Studi e Materiali per le Baccanti di Euripide. Storia, memorie, spettacoli. Ed.Ibis, Pavia 2007; L’Edipo in America: Gabriel García Márquez” in P.Pinotti-M.Stella, L’Edipo in viaggio. L’illusione edipica tra Vecchio e Nuovo Mondo, Pavía 2008 (in press). She is also coauthor of two DVD produced by the University of Barcelona: “Aeschylus’ Eumenides and the contemporary scene” (2006-2007) and “Medea in Art, ritual and literature” (2008-2009).
- Charlotte Ribeyrol, former student of the Ecole Normale Supérieure and holder of the Agrégation in English, is a Lecturer in 19th century English literature and art history at the Sorbonne University in Paris. Her research focuses on Hellenism and Aestheticism in English literature and painting in the second half of the nineteenth century and more particularly on the works of A.C. Swinburne, Walter Pater, and John Addington Symonds. She has published several articles in the field of Victorian studies : Filiations saphiques : de Swinburne à Virginia Woolf et H.D., in Modernité de Swinburne, Denis Bonnecase (ed.), Etudes Anglaises, Paris: Klincksieck, avril-juin 2009, pp.205-221. Homeric Colour: recherches sur la couleur chez les Esthètes anglais, in La couleur dans l’Antiquité, Marcello Carastro (ed.), Grenoble : Editions Jérôme Million, 2009, pp.43-61. Avant-gardes et arrière-gardes britanniques au temps de l’ Exposition franco-britannique de 1908, in Regards sur l’ entente culturelle, Michael Kelly (ed.), Synergies, Revue du GERFLINT, 2, 2009, pp.93-104. Other papers are awaiting publication as part of a collection of articles celebrating the centenary of A.C. Swinburne’s death, including A Channel Passage: Swinburne and France, in A.C. Swinburne and the Singing Word, Yisrael Levin (ed.), Ashgate and Too Greek: Swinburne, entre normes et excès helléniques and Swinburne et les peintres de son temps: typologie des correspondances swinburniennes, in Tombeau pour Swinburne, Denis Bonnecase (ed.), ADEN.
- Charo Rovira is project curator at the British Museum, where she has been involved in the exhibitions Moctezuma: Aztec Ruler (currentlly) and Hadrian. Empire and Conflict (2008). She is also a member of the research group CEIPAC (University of Barcelona) and participates in the excavations on the Monte Testaccio (Rome) since 1996. She wrote her PhD (Barcelona) on the trade relationships between the Eastern and the Western Roman empire, and has published several articles on the organization of trade in the first century AD and on epigraphy on instrumentum domesticum. She also studies the reception of the Roman Empire in the modern world, particularly on the views of Hadrian in French literature, such as Museums and Literature : Marguerite Yourcenar’s Mémoires d’Hadrien in Imagines. Antiquity in the Performing and Visual Arts / La Antigüedad en las Artes Escénicas y Visuales, M.-J. Castillo, S. Knippschild, M. García, C. Herreros (eds.), Universidad de La Rioja 2008, 387-394.
- Michael Seymour is project curator in the Department of the Middle East at the British Museum. His research has focused on the history and politics of archaeology in the Middle East, particularly Iraq, and on the representation and reception of ancient Mesopotamia. He was co-curator of the British Museum exhibition Babylon: Myth and Reality and is currently the recipient, with Dr Irving Finkel, also of the British Museum, of an AHRC research grant for the project The Idea of Babylon, addressing the representation and reception of Babylon in European culture. Among his publications are Babylon: Myth and Reality (with I.L.Finkel) (2008) and The Idea of Babylon (forthcoming).
- Eric Shanower (San Diego, California) is the award-winning cartoonist of the graphic novel series Age of Bronze (Image Comics), a comprehensive retelling of the Trojan War set in the appropriate historical period. With cartoonist Skottie Young, he is adapting L. Frank Baum’s series of Oz books to comics for Marvel Comics. Shanower’s past comics work includes the Oz graphic novel series, An Accidental Death with writer Ed Brubaker, The Elsewhere Prince with Moebius and R-JM Lofficier, and art for the introductions to Harlan Ellison’s Dream Corridor. He has provided illustrations for television, magazines, and children’s books, two of which he wrote himself. He lives in San Diego, California, with his partner, David Maxine. Examples of his work can be found at www.age-of-bronze.com. Eric Shanower is author of A Thousand Ships, Age of Bronze vol. 1, Image Comics, July 2001: script and art. Sacrifice, Age of Bronze Vol. 2, Image Comics, Inc. June 2004: script and art. The Living House of Oz by Edward Einhorn, Hungry Tiger Press, June 2005: illustrations Adventures in Oz, IDW Publishing, August 2006: script and art. Betrayal Part One, Age of Bronze Vol. 3A, Image Comics, Inc. Jan 2008: script and art. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Marvel Publishing, 2009: adaptation script “Happily Ever After” in How Beautiful the Ordinary edited by Michael Cart, HarperTeen, October 2009: short story script and art.
- Martina Treu teaches Ancient Theatre and works as a researcher at the IULM University in Milan, Italy. She also works on different projects for the IULM Foundation and partners. She is founder and member of the Scientific Committee of CRIMTA (Research Centre in Ancient Drama) at the University of Pavia. For six years she has been Visiting Assistant Professor of Ancient Drama at Venice and Brescia Universities; she has also been teaching in Public Programs for Higher Education about new media and online archives. She has worked in many theatres and cooperated as a Dramaturg to adaptations of classical texts for the Italian stage (Appunti per un’Orestiade italiana 1999/2000; Repubblica da Platone, 2003-2004; Troiane, 2004-2005, Solstizio d’estate, 2008). She is author of Undici cori comici. Aggressività, derisione e tecniche drammatiche in Aristofane, Genova, 1999; Cosmopolitico. Il teatro greco sulla scena italiana contemporanea, Milano, 2005; La Mitologia a test, Milano, 2008 (French translation La mythologie, Paris, 2009); Il teatro classico nel Novecento, Roma, 2009 Young Antigone, Reception of Classical Texts Research Project ESeminar paper/discussion, The Open University, 2007; Poetry and Politics. Advice and Abuse. The Aristophanic Chorus on the Italian Stage in Aristophanes in Performance 421 BC- AD 2007: Peace, Birds and Frogs, Oxford, 2007; Antico-classico = Anti-classico?, in Classicisme i anticlassicisme com a necessitats intellectuals, Ítaca, Quaderns Catalans de Cultura Clàssica, Societat Catalana d’Estudis Clàssics, Barcelona, 2005; Vicence à la grecque: Oedipe Roi et le Théâtre Olimpico, in Les Autorités. Dynamiques et mutations d’une figure de référence à l’Antiquité, Grenoble, 2007; Il Lessico della classicità nella letteratura europea moderna, I La letteratura drammatica, Roma. 2008/ 2009 (contributor and co-editor); Aristophanes and the Suburbs of the World: the Game of Wealth and Poverty, New Voices in Classical Reception Studies, 4, 2009; Never too late: Antigone in Italy, in Mobilizing Antigone on the Contemporary World Stage, Oxford (forthcoming).
- Martin M. Winkler is University Professor of Classics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. His most recent books are Cinema and Classical Texts: Apollo’s New Light and The Roman Salute: Cinema, History, Ideology (both 2009). He has also edited essay collections on the epic films Gladiator (2004), Troy (2006), Spartacus (2007), and The Fall of the Roman Empire (2009). He has published over seventy articles, book chapters, reviews, etc. on Roman literature, on the classical tradition, and on classical and medieval culture and mythology in film.
Dr Silke Knippschild
Dr Marta García Morcillo
Dr Pepa Castillo
Mr Alberto P. Martí