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Current Research

Politeness in Cicero's Dialogues


Jon Hall is currently writing a book on politeness in Cicero’s dialogues, looking in particular at aspects of face-to-face conversation (or sermo) in ancient Rome. The study focuses on verbal displays of modesty, expressions of comitas, the role of teasing in aristocratic interaction, non-verbal shows of respect, and Cicero’s theorising on politeness.

Cicero the Philosopher

Sean McConnell is currently working on Cicero’s philosophical treatment of old age and the role of old men in politics. Important evidence appears in the dialogue De re publica, including explicit parallels between the Spartan gerousia and the Roman senate, but a particular focus is on the dialogue De senectute and its intertextual and argumentative links with Plato’s Republic.

Demetrius the Besieger

Pat Wheatley is currently writing three books on the period of Alexander the Great and his Successors (the “Diadochoi”). The first is on Demetrius Poliorcetes, “The Besieger of Cities” (336-282 BC), the most outstanding historical figure after Alexander, and will be published by Oxford University Press in 2019. As his name suggests, Demetrius was an enigmatic character, prodigious in his military adventures, and profligate in his private life, and he oscillated wildly between successful and catastrophic ventures. Research on Demetrius’ life is beset by pernicious historiographic difficulties: the last scholarly book on him was in French in 1968, and no work in English has ever been attempted. Pat is also writing a book entitled Through a Glass Darkly: Sources for the Successors to Alexander, and is completing A Historical Commentary on Arrian’s History of Alexander, vol. iii (also contracted with OUP), the final volume of Prof. Brian Bosworth’s magisterial work on Arrian, which was left unfinished at his death in 2014.

Herakles and Early Christianity

Arlene's book, Hermes, appeared in June 2018 as part of the ‘Gods and Heroes of the Ancient World series (published by Routledge). Her co-edited volume (with Eva Anagnostou-Laoutides, Macquarie) entitled,​ Herakles Inside and Outside the Church: From Late Antiquity to the End of the Quattrocento, the first in a series on the reception of Herakles/Hercules, is currently under review by Brill. She is presently working on her contribution to the fifth volume in that series (edited by Alistair Blanshard), which focuses on modern receptions of the god/man: her chapter deals with the influence of the peplum film genre and current events of the early 1960s on cartoon series, The Mighty Hercules. Arlene is also in the early stages of preparing another book proposal, tentatively titled, “Encountering the Greek Gods in the Texts of the Early Church.”​

Roman Spain

Dan Osland is currently working on a project that uses the archaeological record from the city of Mérida, Spain, in order to illustrate the kinds of changes that took place in the urban setting across the period of Late Antiquity. The overarching idea behind this work is to add to the published body of evidence as to what factors were most influential in causing urban change in the fourth through eighth centuries AD.

Roman Coins and the Caesars

Gwynaeth McIntyre’s current projects focus on the Roman coin collection at the Otago Museum. First, she is working with Dan Osland and Charlotte Dunn on photographing and cataloguing the complete collection (~1000 coins). Second, she is working on a research article examining how coins were used to promote imperial values, family, and succession within the Julio-Claudian family. Finally, she is researching innovative ways of student assessment and the incorporation of e-Learning technologies into the classroom by introducing the development of online exhibitions of the coins into CLAS 344 – From Augustus to Nero: Scandal and Intrigue in Imperial Rome. She is also beginning work on a new monograph project on Suetonius’ De vita Caesarum.

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