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Department of Classics

Cornell University Cornell University Cornell Univeristy Department of Classics

Department of Classics


Tablet

Portrait on a Roman funerary stele

Vessel Lid

Lid of an Etruscan cinerary urn

Red-Figure Bell Krater

Red-Figure Bell Krater

Green Glass Bottle

Roman Glass Bottle

Eagle

Jupiter and eagle

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Welcome to Cornell Classics

Classics is the interdisciplinary study of the ancient (1700 BCE-600 CE) Greek and Roman civilizations that gave subsequent European culture its distinctive character. The study of Greek and Roman antiquity includes:  Greek and Latin language, literature, and linguistics; ancient philosophy; history; archaeology and art history; papyrology; epigraphy; and numismatics.

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Recent Publications

Technical Ekphrasis in Greek and Roman Science and Literature

Technical Ekphrasis in Greek and Roman Science and Literature: The Written Machine between Alexandria and Rome
Courtney Roby

Ekphrasis is familiar as a rhetorical tool for inducing enargeia, the vivid sense that a reader or listener is actually in the presence of the objects described. This book focuses on the ekphrastic techniques used in ancient Greek and Roman literature to describe technological artifacts. Since the literary discourse on technology extended beyond technical texts, this book explores 'technical ekphrasis' in a wide range of genres, including history, poetry, and philosophy as well as mechanical, scientific, and mathematical works. Technical authors like Philo of Byzantium, Vitruvius, Hero of Alexandria, and Claudius Ptolemy are put into dialogue with close contemporaries in other genres, like Diodorus Siculus, Cicero, Ovid, and Aelius Theon. The treatment of 'technical ekphrasis' here covers the techniques of description, the interaction of verbal and visual elements, the role of instructions, and the balance between describing the artifact's material qualities and the other bodies of knowledge it evokes.

Olin Library is maintaining a list of resources for Classics.

 Project Spotlight

Cornell Halai And East Lokris Project (Greece)

Archaic Skyphos (detail)

CHELP is a regional archaeological project focusing on the polis of Halai (Greece) and its immediate neighbors.

Events

Edith Hall (King's College, London) delivered the first Francis R. Halpern Lecture on October 2, 2015: What Do the Ancient Greeks Have to Say to the Third Millenium?

Watch the video here.

News and Announcements