New Additions to the Alumni Bookshelf

March 4, 2024 by Department of Classics

So far this year, three UofT Classics alumni have new publications out:

Sarah Pothecary (PhD, 1995) - Strabo’s ‘Geography’: A Translation for the Modern World (Princeton University Press, 2024)

Strabo’s Geography is an encyclopedic description of the ancient world as it appeared to a contemporary observer in the early Roman empire. Information about taming elephants, collecting saffron, producing asphalt, and practicing yoga is found alongside accounts of prostitution, volcanic activity, religious festivals, and obscure eastern dynasties—all set against the shifting backdrop of political power in the first century CE. Traveling around the Mediterranean, Strabo gathered knowledge of places and people, supplementing his firsthand experiences with an immense amount of reading to create a sweeping chronicle that attempts to answer the implicit questions “Who are we?” and “Where do we come from?” Sarah Pothecary’s new translation of Strabo’s complete Geography makes this important work more accessible, relevant, and enjoyable than ever before.

Sarah McCallum (PhD, 2012) - Elegiac Love and Death in Vergil’s ‘Aeneid’ (Oxford University Press, 2024)

Elegiac Love and Death in Vergil's 'Aeneid' poses new questions about Vergil's pervasive engagement with elegy, both amatory and funerary, throughout his final epic endeavor. A foundational discussion of elegiac experimentation in the Eclogues, Georgics, and Aeneid 1-6 explores the aesthetic and conceptual development of destructive Vergilian amor (passion). The unique emphasis of subsequent chapters on the amatory and funerary elegiac dimensions of crucial episodes in Aeneid 7-12 illuminates the intergeneric character of Vergil's martial maius opus. A detailed examination of the inter- and intratextual strands of pivotal moments in the Aeneid evinces Vergil's intense engagement with literary predecessors and contemporaries, his evolving artistic vision, and his enduring influence on subsequent Roman poets. Each chapter of this volume enhances our understanding of the generic complexity of the Aeneid, presenting revisionary readings of key episodes and transformative interpretations of its main characters.

Jeffrey Easton (PhD, 2018) - Municipal Freedmen and Intergenerational Social Mobility in Roman Italy (Brill, 2024)

This book challenges prevailing models of the ways formerly enslaved individuals in Ancient Rome navigated their social and economic landscape. Drawing on the rich epigraphic evidence left behind by municipal freedmen and freedwomen, who had been owned and manumitted by the communities of Roman Italy, it pushes back against ameliorating views of slavery as a temporary condition and positive notions of a prosperous and consciously proud Roman freedman class. Manumission was a far more complex process, and it did not always put former slaves and their descendants on the straight and narrow path of upward mobility.

Congratulations to all!