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Classics conference

National classical association conference returns to Memorial

Campus and Community

By Janet Harron

For the first time in a decade, Memorial University is hosting scholars of Greek and Roman antiquity at the Classical Association of Canada’s national conference, running May 8-11.

More than 130 participants will present on a wide variety of topics, including equestrian acrobatics, vitamin D deficiency in the ancient Roman population, sexual intercourse as a cure for epilepsy in boys, medieval manuscripts and many others.

Foremost scholars

The keynote address will be delivered by Dr. Nicholas Purcell, the Camden Professor of Ancient History at Oxford University.

The author of The Corrupting Sea, a history of the relationship between people and their environments in the Mediterranean region over a span of 3,000 years, Dr. Purcell will discuss Mediterranean Roman Seafarers in the Atlantic World on Wednesday, May 10, at 7 p.m. in the Innovation Theatre, Bruneau Centre for Research and Innovation. All are welcome to attend.

“Dr. Purcell’s research interests mesh very well with Memorial’s emphasis on similar contexts surrounding the North Atlantic.” — Dr. Milo Nikolic

Department of Classics members Drs. Catherine Simonson, Tana Allen, Milo Nikolic and Craig Maynes are key members of the conference organizing committee.

Dr. Nikolic emphasizes what a big “get” Dr. Purcell is.

“We are delighted to be able to welcome Professor Purcell, one of the foremost scholars on the social and economic history in the Mediterranean basin, in particular on the importance of the ancient Mediterranean Sea as a medium of connectivity and livelihood,” says Dr. Nikolic.

“His research interests mesh very well with Memorial’s emphasis on similar contexts surrounding the North Atlantic.”

From the age of Cabot

In addition to Dr. Purcell’s presentation, Dr. Mark Joyal, former head of classics at Memorial and current head, University of Manitoba, will discuss In Altum, In Gelidum: 350 Years of Classical Learning in the New Found Land.

In this public talk on Tuesday, May 9, at 7 p.m. at the Fluvarium in Pippy Park, Dr. Joyal will address this province’s residents’ appreciation of the ancient Greeks and Romans, from the time of John Cabot to the founding of Memorial University.

“Given Newfoundland’s status as the British Empire’s oldest colony, it deserves to be presented and placed in context.” — Dr. Mark Joyal

According to Dr. Joyal, classical learning and education played a role in Newfoundland society soon after John Cabot’s arrival in 1497.

“The evidence for this role is little known and rather limited, but given Newfoundland’s status as the British Empire’s oldest colony, it deserves to be presented and placed in context,” said Dr. Joyal.

Dr. Pam Hall, author of the soon-to-be-published Towards an Encyclopedia of Local Knowledge will speak on local knowledge cultures. A number of Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences members from disciplines outside of classics will also participate, including Dr. Patricia Dold, Department of Religious Studies; Dr. Seamus O’Neill, Department of Philosophy; Dr. Agnes Juhász-Ormsby, Department of English; and Dr. Marica Cassis, Department of History.

For more information on the conference please see the website or visit the conference’s Facebook page.


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