Interesting Venue on Quotations!

If you happen to be in Lausanne at the end of September and if you are interested in quotations, you may want to attend the collogue on quotations in medical writings. It will be held on September 23rd-25th at the University of Lausanne. Moreover, there is a call for poster that is still open until the 1st of July. For this, have a look here :

call for poster

Capture Medecine

As far as I am concerned, I will unfortunately not be there. I will probably attend another conference held almost simultaneously in Leipzig. For this venue, see the details here:

Sicut commentatores loquuntur: Authorship and Commentaries on Poetry.


Colloquium Atticum V

Please have a look at the nice programme from the Department of Ancient History in Hamburg!



You may find further information on the homepage of the Department of Ancient History.

Hippocrene – Mythological Society

A couple of weeks ago I have been contacted via email about this new initiative. Hippocrene is an intellectual society, started by young Belgian academics, that focuses on mythology with the aim to bridge the gap between academia and the public at large. It uses the channels of social media (Facebook: Hippocrene – Mythologisch genootschap) to release its outputs, which take the form of short notes on different subjects related to mythology. I find it particularly promising that the collected material is not restricted to Greco-Roman mythology and that the project also focuses on artistic creations inspired by mythology. Indeed objects of art representing mythological topics are often neglected, especially with regard to contemporaneous art, although they belong to the public space and bear witness to the still vivid reception of ancient mythological lore. I experienced this myself while working on the mythological quiz Antike Heute in Hamburg developed in collaboration with the Hamburg Open Online University (HOOU).

I have been asked to contribute to the society’s rubric on literature dedicated to mythology. It will contain a list of works on mythology or religious studies where the society’s followers will find a whole range of texts providing further readings about mythology. I am looking forward to making my choice about three works that I find particularly noteworthy.

Your may read the society’s own presentation in these posters:

Interesting Call for Papers

While reading this call for paper in one of my mailinglists, I just wondered whether “travelling with Demetrios” may imply going as far….

Call for papers
20. 7. 2019 “Fly me to the moon”. The moon in human imagination
University of Genova (Italy)
December 12th-13th 2019

Co-directors: Lara Nicolini, Luca Beltrami, Lara Pagani

From October 2018 through December 2022, NASA will mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Program that landed a dozen Americans on the moon between July 1969 and December 1972.

All kind of events, activities, exhibits, seminars dedicated to celebrating the first moon landing are understandably spreading everywhere and we want to join the celebrations in our own way.

The moon has always been a source of mystery and enchantment to people of all times and has lit up our imagination for centuries: : for writers and poets, the moon has been at one moment a beneficent and comforting presence offering refuge in nocturnal and idyllic landscapes, at the next a silent confidante to secret loves, but also a witness of misdeeds, crimes and mysterious adventures, as well as power capable of generating werewolves and creatures of the night. From ancient times to modern Western art and literature, the Moon is a recurring subject of poetry and all sorts of artistic treatments, an inspiration for mythologies and mysticism, the object of scientific inquiries and a crucial destination for science-fiction fantasies. We might say that the attraction our satellite exerts on literature is at least as powerful as its pull on the tides.

The importance of the Moon as a source for the visual arts and literature in all times has long been recognized and although the theme has been explored before, its influence is inexhaustible

An international conference would be -in our view- an excellent opportunity for researchers in many different fields to keep exploring our various images of the Moon and to exchange ideas and share experiences and research methodologies.

The University of Genova, and in particular its Departments of Classics and Italian studies (DAFIST and DIRAAS), invites submissions of articles on the subject of the Moon to be presented at an international conference to be held in Genova on 12-13 December 2019.

The deadline for submission is July 20th 20:17 UTC (date and time when the lunar module Eagle landed on the lunar surface).

Using the Moon as a source of inspiration, we invite scholars of Classical Studies, Medieval and Renaissance culture, Modern and Contemporary Literature, History and Philosophy, Music and Musicology, Cinema and Media Studies, to explore and discuss the many different ways that writers, poets, historians, artists, film makers have tried to capture the image of our satellite.

We welcome submissions from scholars of all seniorities but especially encourage doctoral and advanced students.

Please send a brief curriculum vitae, and a proposal of approximately 500 words to,,

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following topic areas:

  • the Moon in mythology / lunar myths / the Moon and the Poets
  • the Moon in Ancient and Modern Novel and in Scientific literature
  • the Moon in Greek and Roman Literature
  • the Moon in Religion and History of religions
  • the Moon in Linguistic / Sociology etc. / Questioning the Grammar: Genre and Gender of the Moon
  • Science of the Moon / Knowledge and Science about the Moon (from Aristotle to Galileo to NASA)
  • Animals and the Moon
  • Iconography of the Moon (from the ancient times to space-age art) / Moon in Art History / Moon and Moonlight in the visual arts / Lunar landscapes / Visions of the night
  • the Moon in Science fiction, Cinema and media studies (from Verne to Hollywood)
  • Music by Moonlight: the Moon in the Music / Songs about the Moon

Submission guidelines

Authors from all over the world are invited to submit original and unpublished papers, which are not under review for any other conference or journal. All papers will be peer reviewed by the program committee and selected on the basis of their originality, significance, and methodological soundness.

Submitted abstracts can be written in Italian or English (the same goes for the papers).

The length of contributions must be between 4 and 8 pages (about 20/25-minutes papers). Submission implies the willingness of the author to attend the conference and present the paper.

The organizing committee looks forward to welcoming you all to a fruitful conference with open discussions and important networking opportunities.


Submission deadline for abstracts: 20 July 2019

Author notification: 30 September 2019

Conference dates: 12-13 December 2019

Conference venue

Genoa is one of the most beautiful Italian cities and a Mediterranean seaport. It embraces different cultures and traditions from the past, combined in a unique and original architecture. Its vast old town is an intricate maze of narrow alleys extending up to the seafront of the Old Harbour. In the center Medieval buildings coexist with rich Renaissance noble palaces a (UNESCO World Heritage Site), museums and several churches hosting important art masterpieces, in a unique cohesion of past splendor and contemporary everyday life.

For more information and the original call for paper, see


A Conference on Gardens!

While reading, with a bite of delay, as the first volume was published in 2007, the monumental collaborative work Lieux de savoir (ed. Christian Jacob), I stumbled over the announcement concerning this conference:

Gardens: History, Reception, and Scientific Analyses.
23-24 February 2019, Nagoya University, Japan.

As gardens also belong to some of the places discussed in some of the contributions of the French volume, I was very interested to see that the garden was here an object of study on its own and that it was approached from such a wide range of different angles. Have a look at the programme here!

C. Jacob (ed.), Lieux de savoir: Espaces et Communautés, t. 1, Paris, Albin Michel, 2007 (
C. Jacob (ed.), Lieux de savoir : Les Mains de l’intellect, t. 2, Paris, Albin Michel, 2011 (

I am looking forward to seeing volume 3 and volume 4!

Antike Heute in Hamburg (AHinHH)

I am very happy to present here a project I carried out in collaboration with the HOOU (Hamburg Open Online University) over the last summer. It was great fun and I really appreciated to work with the team of the HOOU!

The idea was around for quite a while and I have to thank three people here for their inspirations: two very dear friends from back home and a colleague from abroad. I am fully aware that the project owes much to the nice conversions we had. So I start to thank my two friends for their warm welcome each time we met and the lively exchanges during these encounters! As far as my colleague is concerned, the project can be seen as an answer to our regular and very inspiring meetings last spring.

The project takes the form of an online quiz on Graeco-Roman mythology (with unfortunately for the time being only three questions!). It takes as its starting point works of art in the public space of Hamburg, allowing people, who are willing to answer the quiz, to get aware of the everyday presence of items inspired by Classical heritage.

This is especially relevant for Hamburg, as it is situated in an area that was never included in the Roman empire. Yet, until quite recently, there was a willingness to use Classical references to represent and embellish the city.

So if you are curious or you would like to test your knowledge either on Hamburg or on Graeco-Roman mythology, please have a go! You find the link here ( or you may click on the image below.

Capture d_écran 2018-12-16 à 15.45.18

2018: a “monstrous” year?

I am about to start a course on ancient monsters. We will focus on mythological handbooks such as Hyginus’ Fabulae, Ps.-Apollodorus’ Bibliotheke, Antoninus Liberalis’ Metamorphoses, and Ps.-Eratosthenes’ Catasterisms, and the goal consists in translating and discussing passages where monsters are mentioned. I am very much looking forward to this class.

While preparing the course since last spring, I discovered with great pleasure that I was not the only one who was dealing with monsters this year!

First, I could follow, however from rather far away, the book launch of the Making Monsters Anthology edited by Emma Bridges and Djibril al-Ayad. You may find a summary of the event and more informations about the book at the blog of The Institute of Classical Studies.

Congratulation to all the contributors!


Secondly, I met last week, Lena van Beek, a colleague from the Medieval German Studies who is preparing her PhD on Giants in Medieval Literature. She also gave a seminar last semester on monsters! You may find a nice interview about her course on the website of the University of Hamburg.

Moreover, during her course, she prepared with her students a blog and I am very happy to present it here. All the contributions have been made by the students in small groups and represent the outcome of their seminar. Have a look at their work. It is worthwhile!

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them

Capture d_écran 2018-10-07 à 23.35.20

Congratulation also to all of them!

Cicero at Open Book Publishers

Having given a talk on ancient commentaries this summer, and remembering a conference on ancient commentaries a few years ago, during which one talk compared ancient commentaries and modern ones, I am happy to share a few thoughts on a recently published work. It is Ingo Gildenhard’s, Cicero, Philippic 2, 44-50, 78-92, 100-119. Latin Text, Study Aids with Vocabulary and Commentary. This work is much more than a commentary, as it is lined out as a textbook and provides a whole range of additional information one would perhaps not expect in a commentary.

The book falls actually in two parts: in a first part, we have the Latin text, with three rubrics of questions (Study Questions, Stylistic Appreciation, Discussion Points). It also provides a list of vocabulary as useful help for the translation of the original. The second part is dedicated to the commentary of each of the sections of Phillippic 2 that the author included in his work and he discusses, among many other points, the questions listed in the first part.

Even though the book is targeting UK readers (with the Oxford Cambridge and RSA (OCR) As/A Level specifications as its primary focus), it may certainly also be useful outside the UK. As suggested by the author, and especially when considering a non-English speaking educational environment, I could very well imagine that the book could still be inspiring, in particular for teachers (secondary teachers and beyond). Moreover, the work is published open access and can be read for free as a digital edition.

Therefore have a look at it!



Finally, this is not the only work Ingo Gildenhard published this way. Under the rubric Classics Textbooks at Open Book Publisher you can find a whole list of works, most of them by Ingo Gildenhard.

Reading Herodotus

I am back from an afternoon that I spent with a friend reading Herodotus. We started last spring with book 5, chosen by my friend because it was a part of the Historiai, with which we are least familiar. We wanted both explore something, which was more remote from our everyday topics.

We have great fun discovering together the text, its topics and Herodotus’ language and expressions. We were, however, most surprised by the way the stories were connected to each other, or rather how often they were interrupted by further stories, digressions or comments. For an expert on Herodotus, this may not be new, but for us it was amazing to see how many different stories Herodotus narrates within other stories. Indeed he often interrupts the narration when mentioning a name or a person and starts telling the history of the place, with may subordinated stories, or gives further details about the life, past and future, of the protagonist, again with may other stories told in more or less details within the story.

For instance, I remember very well discussing in different circumstances the famous passage, in which Herodotus speaks about the introduction of the Phoenician writing system to Greece (Hdt 5, 58-61). I was less aware of the fact that it comes as a digression, within a story about the ancestors of Harmodius and Aristogeiton that Herodotus starts when telling his audience that Aristagoras from Miletus went to Athens after his request for support has been rejected in Sparta by Cleomenes. Moreover, we do not learn what would be the outcome of Aristagoras’ visit to Athens, before having heard Herodotus’ account about the Peisistratids and the early stages of Athens’ democracy.

There are more than 40 chapters between Aristagoras’ arrival in Athens and the narration of his negotiations with the Athenians. We modern readers are able to go back and forth within a book, but we just wondered how Herodotus’ audience would have felt when having to wait such a long time before having the rest of the story!







Having fun with Demetrios…

As first short note, after my holidays, I just would like to draw attention to Pour l’amour du grec, another blog, from which you may learn, among other interesting things, how reading the highly scholarly work of Demetrios of Scepsis may still provide some everyday knowledge for those fond of travelling to the Greek seashore…

Il a mangé un oursin entier