Students currently enrolled in the Classics graduate program here at Brock University will be required to submit an electronic copy of their final Major Research Paper to this repository as part of graduation requirements.
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The Political Influence and Changing Roles of the Vestal Virgins from the End of the Roman Republic through the Julio-Claudian DynastyThis study examines the influences and roles of the Vestal Virgins during the tumultuous periods of the late Republic (82-28 BCE) and early Empire (27 BCE-14CE). During the late Republic, the Vestal Virgins continuously used their prestigious position in society to influence events. Individual Vestals such as Fonteia and Licinia actively worked to aid their relatives in being acquitted from criminal charges and gaining the consulship. Together, the Vestals also helped in saving Julius Caesar’s life from Sulla’s proscriptions. Through the Julio-Claudian dynasty, the Vestals assumed new ritual roles due to the efforts of Augustus and became increasingly important to the domus Augusta rather than their own families. The Julio-Claudians continued this connection that Augustus began between the cult of Vesta. Monuments such as the Ara Pacis Augustae, the Palermo Relief, and the Sorrento Base are examined as instruments in projecting the new imperial religious and political program together with the Vestal Virgins as the protectors of Rome.
The Language of Slavery in Greek LiteratureSlavery was woven into the culture of ancient Greece. Greek literature reflects this reality but is distorted by the author’s perspective—a free (often elite) male. Though people were enslaved throughout antiquity, we rarely hear their voices and can be misled about their experiences by the surviving work that favours the enslaver and characterizes the enslaved in relationship to them. This MRP examines the considerations that can be taken in translating Greek literature, focusing on the conflicting demands of reflecting accurately the author’s voice and perspective and humanizing the enslaved to a fuller extent. I analyze the practice of translation and the definitions and terminology of Greek slavery to inform a series of case studies comparing and critiquing several translations of Homer’s Odyssey, Euripides’s Andromache, and Chariton’s Callirhoe. I conclude each case study with an alternative translation of my own to demonstrate a more humanizing approach to translation.
Homosexual Subculture in Classical Athens: An Analysis of Unconventional Same-sex Relationships in the Speech of Lysias Against SimonThe genre of Athenian forensic oratory is valuable evidence for evaluating Greek society’s perception of men involved in long-standing homosexual relationships. A close examination of such relationships reveals that some citizen status males dispensed with the obligation of marriage and formed an enduring companionship with a socially marginalized man. Much of the scholarship on Greek homosexuality, however, ignores the role of subaltern groups in same-sex relationships and denies the existence of homosexual practices beyond the codified structures of the well-known pederastic relationship model. Applying a multidisciplinary lens to Lysias’ speech Against Simon, this MRP considers how its narrative on same-sex desire, relationships, shame, and masculinity reveals a complex and diverse image of Greek homosexuality. By focusing on the participation of a subaltern man, I argue that a homosexual identity and subculture existed in classical Athens.