ASW Fall 2021 Schedule

Tuesday, October 12 – Laura Bevilacqua (UChicago, Classics)
“Dice oracles, polytheism and the mechanisms of decision-making in imperial Asia Minor”

Tuesday, November 9 – Madeleine Harris (UChicago, MAPH)

“Understanding the Athenian Arrhephoria: female initiation rite or civic rite?”

Tuesday, November 30 Taco Terpstra (Northwestern)
Title TBA

*Thursday,* December 2 – Tom Wang (UChicago, MAPH)
“Mark Antony’s Asia: A New Monetary Approach (41-31 BCE)”

This convening is open to all invitees who are compliant with UChicago vaccination requirements and, because of ongoing health risks, particularly to the unvaccinated, participants are expected to adopt the risk mitigation measures (masking and social distancing, etc.) appropriate to their vaccination status as advised by public health officials or to their individual vulnerabilities as advised by a medical professional. Public convening may not be safe for all and carries a risk for contracting COVID-19, particularly for those unvaccinated. Participants will not know the vaccination status of others and should follow appropriate risk mitigation measures.

At the current moment, we will be meeting in Classics 021 at 3:30pm for our meetings. If you have any questions, feel free to send me an email (

ASW: Winter Quarter Schedule

Hi everyone,

It is my pleasure to announce the Ancient Societies Workshop schedule for winter quarter. Following the guidelines set by the university, all of these presentations will be hosted virtually on Zoom. If you have any questions, feel free to send me an email (

1/12: Maria Liston (University of Waterloo) “Epidemics and Plagues in Early Byzantine Thebes”

1/26: Debby Sneed (CSU Long Beach) “Disability and Disasters: Differential Experiences of War in Ancient Greece”

2/9: Timothy Clark (University of Chicago) “Parthians in the Flesh: A New Image of the East in the Great Parthian Altar of Lucius Verus at Ephesus”

2/23: Mills McArthur (University of Chicago) “A Forgotten Battle of the Peloponnesian War”

3/9: Amanda Gaggioli (Stanford University) “Deciphering Earthquake Disaster and Resilience in Mediterranean Archeology”

Poster listing the dates and talks

Best wishes,


Abstract: Laurel Bestock (Brown) “A Line in the Sand: blurring boundaries at Uronarti, Sudan.”

Hi everyone,

Here is the abstract for our upcoming lecture that is co-sponsored with the Interdisciplinary Archaeology Workshop. Because of this, we are not meeting on our usual Tuesday slot. We will instead be joining IAW on October 22nd (Thursday) at 4:00pm CT (note the earlier time).

The Zoom link will be sent out today and on Thursday morning to everyone in the mailing list. If you do not receive it or want to be included, feel free to reach out to me at

Here is the abstract Dr. Bestock gave for her talk:

Taking the notion of a line as a motif, this talk will introduce recent excavation and survey at the Sudanese site of Uronarti as a means of looking at, and blurring, boundaries both past and present. Uronarti, a fortress at the southern frontier of Egypt in the early 2nd millennium BC, was the location of a stela in which the king Senwosret III claimed to have established his border against the craven and vile Nubians to his south. Yet not only do we know Nubians were encouraged to cross this boundary, we also find that behind the supposedly stark political divide the project of drawing a line between people of different ethnicities is an impossible task. Perhaps no clearer indication of this comes from lines of architecture: strictly planned rectilinear mudbrick construction is typically regarded as “Egyptian” and round dry stone construction as “Nubian”. Where do we draw the line at Uronarti when we find an extramural settlement with dry stone round huts and 100% “Egyptian” pottery? The question of lines and the limits of thinking them absolute is no less relevant in the modern era; while Uronarti lies in modern Sudan, well south of the current border, its regional landscape was effectively re-colonized by Egypt in the mid-20th century by the construction of the Aswan High Dam and the attendant displacement of local populations. Finally, this talk will ask how the lines of archaeologists – be they physical lines of a trench or transect, or notional disciplinary lines – impose rather than reflect order. The work of the Uronarti Regional Archaeological Project to develop a universal tablet based recording system has given us a chance to examine our own methodology and ask what archaeologists have in common and what not; to discover, often to our amusement, where our own lines lie.

Abstract: Matthew Sears (New Brunswick) “Remembering Military Disasters in Ancient Greece”

Hello everyone,

Here is the abstract for our first workshop of the fall quarter!

Remembering Military Disasters in Ancient Greece

Ancient Greece has provided no shortage of victory monuments, both material and literary. Less conspicuous are the ways the Greeks remembered military loss, defeat, and disaster. While the literary tradition, from Homer to Euripides, offers many meditations on the suffering of others in defeat, such as the Trojans and the Melians, the Greeks sometimes publicly reflected on and commemorated their own recent sufferings too. This presentation will consider some of the ways the Greeks marked military disasters, and the ways military disasters influenced Greek attitudes towards war.

Lecture Info:

Date: October 13
Time: 4:20pm CT
Location: Zoom (information will be sent to the list)

If you missed the announcement on the listserv, please email me. I will be checking emails up until the meeting. You can also subscribe to the listserv by clicking the subscribe tab on the left.

If you have any questions, feel free to send me an email at

Fall 2020 Schedule

Welcome back to a new academic year! I am your new student coordinator, Eduardo García-Molina, and it is my pleasure to present the current fall schedule for the Ancient Societies Workshop. Some important things to note given the current circumstances:

Ancient Societies will be completely online during fall for the safety of our participants.

Our current time-slot is 4:20pm CT. We will be sending an email with a poll to gauge if this is a workable time for our participants.

You can find more information about our theme for this year, “Disaster in the Ancient World,” by going to the “About” section.

Zoom information for each meeting will be sent out to the list-serve. It will also be posted on this site two hours in advance to avoid “Zoom-bombing.” If you want to be included in the list-serve, we have added a “subscribe” tab with a link that will take you directly to sign up.


Matthew Sears (New Brunswick) “Remembering Military Disasters in Ancient Greece”
Date: October 13
Time:  4:20pm CT
Location: Zoom (information will be sent to the list and also posted on here on the day of)

Laurel Bestock (Brown) “A Line in the Sand: blurring boundaries at Uronarti, Sudan” [Co-Sponsored with the Interdisciplinary Archaeology Workshop]
Date: October 22
Time:  4:20pm CT
Location: Zoom (information will be sent to the list and also posted on here on the day of)

Jordan Johansen (Chicago – PAMW) “’More Effective than a Million Soldiers:’ Gender and Warfare on the Ptolemaic Border”
Date: November 10
Time:  4:20pm CT
Location: Zoom (information will be sent to the list and also posted on here on the day of)

Yanxiao He (Chicago – NELC) “Who Can Represent the Hellenistic Space? Representing the Unrepresentable in the 2nd Century BCE”
Date: November 20
Time:  4:20pm CT
Location: Zoom (information will be sent to the list and also posted on here on the day of)

Lex Ladge (Chicago – Art History) “Benefactions in Times of War: Material Representations of Aid Under the Early Attalids”
Date: December 1
Time:  4:20pm CT
Location: Zoom (information will be sent to the list and also posted on here on the day of)

*Thanks to Lex Ladge for helping me format this poster!

Spring 2019 SCHEDULE

April 9: Paul Kosmin (Harvard)

The Making of the Southern Sea


April 23: Ami Huang (UChicago)

The Sheep, the Priestesses, and the Governor: A Case Study on Economic Outsourcing in Kassite Nippur


April 30: Karen Radner (Ludwig-Maximilians Universität München)

The Deportation of the Israelites in the Context of the Resettlement Policy of the Assyrian Empire


*THURSDAY* May 2, Haskell 315: Günther Schörner (Vienna)

Looking for Non-Elite Identities: Recent Fieldwork in Northern Tuscany


May 21: Larry Carrillo (UChicago)

Winter 2019 Schedule

January 15: Katherine Blouin (Toronto)

From the Boukoloi to John Cassian and beyond: Shifting landscapes and (un)wavering Identities in the ancient northeastern Nile delta


January 29: Jared Kreiner (UChicago)

Count Me Out: Census Revolts in the Roman Empire


MONDAY, February 11, *4:30 in Swift 403* (co-sponsered with Early Christian Studies): Ary Bryen (Vanderbilt)

The Judgment of the Provinces: Law, Culture, and Empire in the Roman East


February 12: Manuel Fernandez-Gotz (Edinburgh)

Changing Identities in times of Crisis: Reassessing the Roman conquest of Gaul


February 26 *4:00 pm*: Robert Marineau (UChicago)

Making It Manly: Literary Shaping of an Old Hittite King’s Reputation


March 12: Jordan Johansen (UChicago)

Honorary Decrees of the Ptolemaic Nesiotic Koinon


Fall 2018 Schedule

Tuesday, Oct 9, 3:30 PM: Douglas Boin (St. Louis University): “Constantine’s Fountain: On the Intersection of Identity, Art, and Power,” Classics 21

Tuesday, Oct 23, 3:30 PM: Brendan Hainline (UChicago): “sšw jsw: ‘Ancient Writings’ and Authenticity in Egyptian Texts,” Classics 21.

THURSDAY, Nov 8, 3:30 PM: Jennifer Finn (Marquette University), “One House Left Standing: Negotiating Dynastic Identity in the Conquest of Empire,” Classics 21

Tuesday, Nov 20, 3:30 PM: Mills McArthur (UChicago), “ΕΚ ΤΩΝ ΕΡΓ ΕΠΙ ΣΟΥΝ ΟΙΚ: Workplace as Occupation Title,” Classics 21

For more information, please contact the workshop coordinator, Tim Clark,