The Creation of an Early Christian Book Culture: Dr. John S. Kloppenborg, University of Toronto

Event date

Contact person: Sarah Rollens

Early Christianity originated in a culture in which fewer than one in ten persons could read and even fewer could write. Most early Christians were illiterate. Yet the Jesus movement quickly built a culture that privileged literary texts and reading practices. Although we take for granted literacy in modern Western cultures and think that reading the Bible in church is normal, it would have struck many as unusual that early Christ followers organized their meetings around reading and discussing ancient texts. This lecture explores the contours of this culture of literacy (that is, “book culture”) and charts its emergence in the ancient world.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

Greek and Roman Studies

Rediscovering Ancient Roman Hairdressing: Janet Stephens, Speaker

Event date


Before 2008, scholars assumed that the
    hairstyles depicted on ancient Roman female portraiture were
    universally false—either wigs or invented by the sculptor with
    no reference to the subject’s “actual” hair.  Janet
    Stephens’ overturned this assumption after rediscovering the
    Roman practice of sewing hairstyles together using needle and

This lecture-demostration features a live
    recreation of an ancient hairstyle on a volunteer model and
    discussion of ancient artifacts and technology, the latin
    literature of grooming and hairdressing, the practical and social
    ramifications of hair in Roman daily life, anachronism in the
    intellectual history of ancient hairdressing and hair science. 

Janet Stephens is a Maryland Senior Cosmetologist and educator who is a self-trained experimental archaeologist. Her interest in recreating ancient Roman hairstyles began with a chance visit to the Walters Art Museum in 2001, and she is now the recognized authority on the topic. She presents her research at universities, museums, and archaeology conferences, and was a 2012 Rome Prize finalist and American Institute of Archaeology travelling lecturer in 2014-15 and 2016-17. She has published in the Journal of Roman Archaeology and EXARC—the Journal of Experimental Archaeology, is a contributing author to the Berg Cultural History of Hair (forthcoming 2018), and has a popular YouTube channel devoted to historical hairdressing from antiquity through the 19th century.  


Greek and Roman Studies

Llewelyn Morgan: Bamiyan at the Centre and the Margins

Event date

Dr. Llewelyn Morgan of Oxford University will offer a lecture on the monumental statues of the Buddha once found in the Bamiyan valley of Afghanistan.  Bamiyan has often been entirely forgotten by the world at large, but at times also has become the focus of intense attention for people the world over. This talk investigates the role of Bamiyan in the human imagination, from the first millennium to 2016.

A Celebration for Hanukkah

Event date


• Latkes made by Prof. David Sick (far inferior to your grandmother's) and other refreshments
• A brief lecture by Prof. Joseph Jansen on the Seleucids, Ptolemies, and Hasmoneans
• The Dredel Song in Latin

Please join us!

Greek and Roman Studies
Eta Sigma Phi Ca'esar

Plato’s Caves: Diversity and Justice in the Republic

Event date


Speaker: Prof. Rebecca LeMoine (Florida Atlantic University)

Once a celebrated ideal, multiculturalism has come under heavy fire in recent years. Increasingly, citizens, political leaders, and scholars alike are rejecting the promotion of cultural diversity on the grounds that greater heterogeneity means more conflict. Yet, what if the backlash to foreigners is akin to the hostile reaction of the prisoners in Plato’s cave allegory to their liberator? What, in other words, if the abandonment of multiculturalism purchases temporary peace at the price of greater ignorance and conflict in the long run? In this talk, Dr. LeMoine challenges traditional readings of Plato’s Republic, revealing the dialogue’s concern with demonstrating the importance of cross-cultural engagement to the cultivation of justice.

Greek & Roman Studies

The concern of the Greek and Roman Studies program is not only to help our students gain expertise in the languages and cultures of ancient Greece and Rome but also to realize a number of more general goals, which will have an influence on the quality of their lives and accomplishments regardless of their specific ambitions.

About the Department


Past News and Events

Recurring and Upcoming Events    

Greek and Roman Studies Book Signing: October 28, 2013

Professors Ariel Lopez and Geoff Bakewell will be discussing their recent publications, Shenoute of Atripe and the Uses of Poverty and Aeschylus′s Suppliant Women: The Tragedy of Immigration respectively, in Blount Auditorium at 4:30 on October 28, 2013. A reception and book signing to follow.

Ides of March Reenactment: March 27, 2013