Fresco from the Bar of Salvius, Pompeii. In it, a bar maid holds a jug in one hand and a cup in another. One customer shouts “over here!”while another says “no, it’s mine!” The exasperated barmaid replies “whoever wants it should take it. Oceanus come here and drink”. (Caption and Image by Dr. Sophie Hay and used by Permission).

On February 3, 326 CE, Constantine issued a legal clarification for Augustus’ Lex Julia de adulteriis, ruling that the wives of tavern owners (here labeled an uxor tabernarii) could be brought up on charges of adultery, but that the the barmaids working within the tavern could not be. Their lowly status as an or meant they were then legally on par with prostitutes as infames ( CTh 9.7.1).

In 336 CE, Constantine laid down another law that further clarified the leges Juliae. It established that unions between elite men and certain types of disreputable women — enslaved women and their…


Fallen Warrior, Temple of Aphaia at Aegina (c. 480–70 BCE)
In a tweet, the National Rifle Association (NRA) reiterates a familiar appropriation and translation (with a singular implied direct object assumedly referring to the election?) of Plutarch’s infamous Greek quotation of Leonidas on the second night of vote tallying (November 5, 2020).

Late in the afternoon on November 5, 2020 — close to 24 hours after polls across the country had closed for the 2020 elections — the NRA tweeted a familiar phrase: “Come and Take It.”

In May of 2018, I wrote about the valorization of ancient Sparta for Eidolon. The article underscored Spartan culture as a romantic figment…


Embedding open content into your syllabus is just one way to promote #OA and save your students a little bit of cash at the same time.

It is syllabus time for many once again. If you are like me, you want to save your students from spending too much on textbooks, but still want to have a rich array of current reading for students assigned on your syllabus. A few years ago, I put together a popular list of “ Open Access Books for Teaching Greek and Roman Inscriptions.” I wanted to piggyback on that by offering just a few…


Originally known as the Flavian Amphitheater, the Roman Colosseum is oftentimes directly associated with the death of Christians; however, as Keith Hopkins and Mary Beard point to in The Colosseum, there is no authentic evidence from the first century to support the notion that Christians were ever martyred within it:

The fact is that there are no genuine records of any Christians being put to death in the Colosseum. It was only later…that Christian writers invested heavily in the Colosseum as a shrine of the martyrs.

As Beard and Hopkins explore, the earliest martyrdom texts referencing the Colosseum as a…


Roman era mosaic of a woman looking into a mirror, Musée National de Carthage (Image by Fabien Dany via Wikimedia under a CC-BY-SA-2.5 License).

Please note that this is an updated and cross-posted article. The original can be found on the SCS blog here. I will continue to update this list of responses and statements for the foreseeable future.

It has now been nearly two weeks since the SCS-AIA annual meeting in San Diego, and many have written evocative, emotional, and important pieces about the racist events that occurred there. Instead of posting each separately on our social media or blog, I have tried to compile as many as I could in this post.

In their own words:

Dan-el Padilla Peralta, “Some thoughts on…


By Erin Averett, Sarah E. Bond, Derek Counts, and Bethany Wasik

(This blog was originally posted on the SCS Blog)

The following post is meant as a impromptu guide to pitching your monograph or edited volume focused on the ancient Mediterranean to an editor at the national conference of the SCS-AIA in San Diego. The catalyst for its formation is a conversation on Twitter with Chelsea Gardner and other young professionals within the fields of classical archaeology, ancient history, and classical philology, who sought advice on pitching their work to editors. The helpsheet was crowdsourced as a google doc between…


Thousands of refugees are currently standing at the US-Mexico border. In their 2,500 mile journey from Central America, these women, children, and men from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador have endured much in order to petition for a grant of asylum within the United States. As I have written about before, the concept of the sanctuary city is an ancient one; within the archaic and classical Greek world, the concept of ἀσυλία (asulia) developed in relation to spaces in and around temples.

Despite the fact that these individuals are unarmed, President Trump has sent 5,800 troops to the border in…


For the past year and half, I have written extensively about the appropriation of ancient symbols, texts, and material culture as a rallying point for hate and marginalization within the U.S. and Europe. I wanted to take a moment to aggregate this work, to address how and why ancient historians are working to record this abuse, and to amplify the research of others studying the semiotics of hate groups:

1. The fasces: My latest for Hyperallergic addresses the connection between corporal violence and the fasces, a bundle of rods often accompanied by an axe that was carried by lictors serving…


A few weeks ago, I began to ponder the ways in which Greek and Roman art is presented within the modern museum context–and to ruminate on whether we put a bit too much emphasis on the perceived front of a piece of art rather than the side or back of it.

This led to a hashtag that refers specifically to numismatic terminology. In the study of coins, there is the obverse of a coin (i.e. “heads”) and the reverse (i.e. “tails”), and numismatists tend to consider and to value both sides. …


This week over at Hyperallergic, I wrote about new exhibits at the British Library and the Victoria & Albert Museum which both engage with the cultural heritage of ancient and medieval Ethiopia. An examination of the Ethiopian cultural heritage held in the libraries and museums of Britain can perhaps demonstrate a seminal point about digitization and the digital humanities more broadly: Digital editions can never fully replace an analog object. No matter how many manuscripts we digitize and make available online or 3D scans we create of the Parthenon frieze, they are not a replacement for repatriation.

“Marble relief (Block XLVII) from the North frieze of the Parthenon. The frieze shows the procession of the Panathenaic festival, the commemoration of the birthday of the goddess Athena” (Caption and Screenshot via Sketchfab and authored by Daniel Pett).

One reason for…

Sarah E. Bond

Associate Professor of History at the University of Iowa. Ancient History, Digital Humanities, and Public History For All. Thoughts are my own, y'all.

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