Quick Note on an Recent Publication

As my first impressions from the University of Erfurt, I would like to mention here a recent publication.

The small volume is about Konrat Ziegler, a Classicist from the University of Greifswald (1884-1974) whose activities reached far beyond the field of Classics. Here is the reference:

Kai Brodersen / Susanne Froehlich / Hannelore Kohl (Hrsg.): Kann ein gebildeter Mensch Politiker sein? Konrat Ziegler an der Universität Greifswald 1923-1933. Speyer: KDV, 2022.

There is also a reference on googel books, with some insights into its content.


ENCODE conference “Papyri and Crowdsourcing”

This may be an interesting venue. The conference is scheduled on Thursday the 17th of February 2022 in Würzburg. There is a pre-registration until the 12th of February and the conference can be attended in presence or online.

Here is the programme:

Thinking of Strabo

As the end of the year approaches with its tradition of exchanging gifts, I was offered a book: Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall. It even has a special page on Wikipedia (see here).

I have just started the first few pages, and was remembered of what Strabo said, in Augustan times, about the importance of geography, – of his Geography – for statesmen. Indeed he wrote his huge work, describing the known world from the Pillars of Hercules to India, convinced that the shape of the topography was of the greatest importance for successful interactions among peoples. This also implied, in his days, a historical dimension so that his work is full of examples that show how all kinds of topographical factors affected the course of history and determined the parts the different regions played in the succession of events.

Of course, our current world is much different from Strabo’s one, we face other issues and have other technical and intellectual means to reflect on such topics. But I am more than curious to see what Tim Marshall will present in his book. I am, however, not quite sure whether I am more looking forward to seeing how he is dealing with parts that are also mentioned in Strabo’s work, or more eager to discovering what he is telling about regions that Strabo did not included.

For a translation of Strabo’s text see: Roller, Duane (2014), The Geography of Strabo: An English Translation, with Introduction and Notes. Cambridge.

My book on Demetrios of Scepsis is out!

Demetrios of Scepsis and his Troikos Diakosmos. Ancient and Modern Readings of a Lost Contribution to Ancient Scholarship.

That is the title!

And here is a picture:

It is with great pleasure and much satisfaction that I provide here the link to the open access version of it. It is available at the Center for Hellenic Studies, in Washington. This is also the place where my studies on Demetrios started, back in 2007, and I am very grateful to the editorial board that they accepted it in their Hellenic Studies Series. It is number 85!


Of course, you may also want to have the printed version of it. This is available at Harvard University Press and you may follow this second link to see the offer:


Now I really can move on and I hope the work will inspire new studies on this fascinating scholar!

Conference on Claudius Aelianus

Next week, on October the 4th and the 5th, I am organising a conference on Claudius Aelianus and his miscellaneous compilations. I am very happy that, after all, it will take place in the very nice Warburg-Haus in Hamburg.

Because of the current situation the conference will have a hybrid format, but we are still a good bunch of people who were able to gather for the event. Please have a look at the programme and consider joining us virtually!

News from Tartu

Once again the digital meeting tools allowed me to catch up with old friends whom I have not seen for ages.

Last Wednesday I attended spontaneously a seminar on the Renaissance revival of ancient Greek verse forms entitled “Form and Genre in Humanist Greek”. It was organised by the project Helleno-Nordica and the University of Tartu, but has been postponed from April to June.

It was certainly not my topic, but I still spent a nice afternoon at the seminar learning a lot!

The second part of the event was dedicated to a short virtual tour of the current web exhibition implemented by the Tatu University Library. It was an answer to the current situation as the original exhibition could not open as planed because of the Library’s closure. The online version is extremely well done and I wanted to provide the link here, so that others may take the opportunity to visit the exhibition from the own homes.

The topic of the exhibition is dedicated to the Plantine prints owned by the Tartu University Library and the project bears the nice title Töö ja püsivusega (the Estonian version of “Labore et constantia”, the Plantine moto).

The most attractive part, at least from my point of view, is the fact that this exhibition offers the option to skim through some of the volumes held by the Tartu University Library. You find this part of the exhibition under the rubric Valik plantiine.

Plase take the opportunity and have a look at them!

Antigone Journal

Today I would like to mention a very nice initiative from an enthusiastic and open-minded team of Classicists. They started a few months ago the Classics website Antigone. Please use this link https://antigonejournal.com to visit the site. It is really worth!

I felt very honoured when I was asked whether I would be interested in contributing with a piece to this blog and, of course, I accepted with great pleasure. The result was published last week!

I decided to present a fascinating ancient document on which I worked for several years. It is a single leaf from a parchment codex and it was discovered, as a palimpsest, in the Cairo Genizah at the end of the 19th century. Today it belongs to the University of Geneva, but you may read the rest of the story in my piece on the Antigone website here.

While doing so, please also explore the other contributions. They are amazing pieces that all demonstrate the relevance of Classics today!

Two Venues Commemorating the Same Event

The two events are quite different, nonetheless they both take the Bicentennial of Greek Independence as they starting point.

The first is an international conference organised by the Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University. It is entitled “Teaching Classical Languages in the 21st century” and takes a very broad approach. The speakers come from a large array of different backgrounds and will all share their experiences in teaching Classics today. It is certainly worth attending and learning about all the issues and solutions that teachers from all around the world encounter. It is now easily possible thanks to the digital tools to which we had to get used in these difficult times. And this is one feature the conference shares with the second event.

The second conference, held at the University of Geneva, is scheduled for the 26th-27th of March. It topic is focusing on the concept of liberty. The current challenging situation also led the organisers to envision an online conference, so that it is possible to attend it from everywhere.

News from the Academy of Athens

A very interesting series of conferences! Unfortunately, I am organising a conference in Hamburg at the same date! But nonetheless it is worth mentioning it here.

I provide here the link: 1st Annual Conference at the Research Centre for Greek and Latin Literature of the Academy of Athens

While Working on ἀμφιλύκη

ἀμπηιλύκη is a hapax legomenon in the Iliad (Il. 7.433). It meaning is defined by the context and it must refer to the morning twilight. The etymology is disputed since antiquity and the question is still not satisfactorily answered. The most recent summary of the question can be found in an contribution in Glotta from 2013.

M.L. West, λυκάβας, λυκηγενής, ἀμφιλύκη, Glotta 89 (2013), pp. 253-264

The Homeric expression is also quoted by Claudius Aelianus in NA 10.26 and while working on the interpretation of this anecdote I made some interesting findings.

Amphilyce is also the title of a musical art work composed during summer 2020 by a Greek artist. It is worth listening…