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No talks until September – but there is a 8th July paid event with a talk

With apologies, the current series of talks has had to be postponed. A new series will start again in September – same time/place.

However, if you are interested in a modern oratorio on a classical theme, composer Tim Benjamin will be introducing his musical drama Herakles, which will then be shown as a film of the world premiere by Todmorden orchestra and Todmorden choral society at 19:00, Saturday 8th July, in Clothworkers Centenary concert hall.

Tickets include the film, the introductory talk and a glass of wine. Full price: £8, Concession (unwaged) £5, Student £3.

For full details and to but tickets online, see the Hercules Project website.

Heraklesfilmposter

No talk March 30th

With apologies, there will be no talk this month due to potential speakers (and the organiser) being over-committed elsewhere this month.

The April talk (Thursday 27th) will be confirmed shortly.

In the meantime, anyone interested in the reception of the classical hero known to us as Hercules may like to check out the Hercules Project’s website, where the conference programme for July has just been announced, although booking (including a “listen after” attendance option) is not yet open. And where information about the world premier of Tim Benjamin’s Herakles, taking place in Todmorden on 30th April can be found.

Hercules in C21st Literature – 12:15-12:45 Thursday 23rd February

november_eleanor_poster

My poster for my talk.

Eleanor OKell, Research Administrative Assistant on Emma Stafford’s Hercules Project, talks about the presence of Hercules in two distinctly different examples of the historical novel: Kate Mosse’s Citadel set in the Languedoc during the Second World War and Stephanie Laurens’ The Truth About Love set in Cornwall during the Regency period.

Both these novels invoke Hercules by name and the hero provides contextualisation for the events and relationships therein. For example, in Mosse the myth of Hercules’ relationship with Pyrene underpins the whole landscape (it is an origin myth for the Pyrenees) and in Laurens the Garden of Hercules forms a frequently referenced part of the landscape; in both the presentation of Herculean myth as a background prompts the reader to extrapolate from the legend of Hercules to the characters depicted and their struggles. The similarities and differences between the two authors’ uses of Hercules suggests that C21st literature is open to exploring facets of the ancient hero’s character which go beyond monster-slaying and into the realm of the romantic/erotic.

Ancient Worlds Gallery 12:15-12:45 Thursday 23rd February 2017.

For talks by Emma Stafford on Hercules as a hero and his reception, see The Afterlife of the Hero, and on his depiction in Leeds, see Hercules’ Choice.

This talk has just been accepted for the Celebrating Hercules in the Modern World International Conference in Leeds, 7th-8th July 2017. The full programme will be released shortly.

FACING YOUR NEMESIS – 12:15-12:45 Thursday 26th January

Poster with images of Nemesis

My poster for Emma’s talk.

FACING YOUR NEMESIS: HOW AN ANCIENT GREEK GODDESS HAS BECOME THE ARCH-ENEMY OF MODERN SPORT AND POLITICS

Ancient Worlds Gallery, Leeds City Museum

Emma Stafford will explore the term ‘nemesis’, an ancient Greek word which, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is first attested in English in 1553.  Its dictionary definition is ‘retributive justice’, though in modern popular culture it more commonly indicates an ‘arch-rival’, or an enemy who is all-but-impossible to overcome.  It may not be immediately apparent what either meaning has to do with the ancient Greek goddess Nemesis, who first appears in ancient literature as a victim of Zeus’ unwanted attentions, apparently personifying the Homeric sense of nemesis as ‘righteous indignation’.  Over time, however, this rather passive figure takes on an increasingly fearsome persona, emerging in late antiquity as a winged figure wielding a measuring rod, bridle and whip as she tramples her enemies underfoot.

Today’s talk cancelled due to illness

With apologies to all those planning to come to this talk, illness yesterday/today has prevented its completion. The talk will be delivered instead on February 23rd 2017. The January talk will be on the 26th and by Emma Stafford, title “Facing your Nemesis: how an ancient Greek goddess has become the arch-enemy of modern sport and politics”.

Hercules in C21st Literature – 12:15-12:45 Thursday 24th November

november_eleanor_posterEleanor OKell, Research Administrative Assistant on Emma Stafford’s Hercules Project, talks about the presence of Hercules in two distinctly different examples of the historical novel: Kate Mosse’s Citadel set in the Languedoc during the Second World War and Stephanie Laurens’ The Truth About Love set in Cornwall during the Regency period.

Both these novels invoke Hercules by name and the hero provides contextualisation for the events and relationships therein. For example, in Mosse the myth of Hercules’ relationship with Pyrene underpins the whole landscape (it is an origin myth for the Pyrenees) and in Laurens the Garden of Hercules forms a frequently referenced part of the landscape; in both the presentation of Herculean myth as a background prompts the reader to extrapolate from the legend of Hercules to the characters depicted and their struggles. The similarities and differences between the two authors’ uses of Hercules suggests that C21st literature is open to exploring facets of the ancient hero’s character which go beyond monster-slaying and into the realm of the romantic/erotic.

Ancient Worlds Gallery 12:15-12:45 Thursday 24th November 2016.

For talks by Emma Stafford on Hercules as a hero and his reception, see The Afterlife of the Hero, and on his depiction in Leeds, see Hercules’ Choice.

Boudicca and Numantia – uploaded

Poster with images of Boudicca and Numantia

In this talk Henry Clarke (Teaching Fellow in Roman History and Culture, University of Leeds) drew links between his teaching on Ancient Empires and the Roman World and his research into local responses to the Roman Empire.

He looked specifically at tales of resistance by non-Romans to either the advances of the Empire or of Roman power and control. Boudicca is perhaps the best known example of ‘British’ resistance to Rome, whilst the fate of the pre-Roman city of Numantia in Spain is a strong example of an ancient event that has been adapted to serve as a Modern Spanish symbol of the nation and its power to defend itself.

He began by outlining classical literary accounts of Boudicca and Numantia, before exploring how their stories have been adopted and adapted over the centuries into the National Symbols we see today.

Resistance talk Handout (pdf download, 1893kB)

Henry has previously talked about Ancient and Modern Rowing (link to the page with the uploaded talk).

Ancient and ~Modern Rowing Uploaded

InHenry_March_24 this talk, Henry Clarke, both Classicist at the University of Leeds and rowing coach at Leeds Rowing Club, combined his two passions to explore the links between rowing in the ancient and modern worlds. For the ancient world powers in Egypt, Greece and Rome, rowing was a fundamental means of transportation and warfare. The Trireme in particular required a high degree of skill and precision to ensure over 150 rowers would respond to orders instantly and as one body. Although the sporting aspect of rowing has been attributed to 17th Century England, frequent training exercises and racing competitions were considered essential for guaranteeing an effective crew by the Roman navy. The same goes for today’s competitive rowing clubs.

Days before the 2016 Boat Race is due to take place on the River Thames in London, Henry traced the history of rowing from the boat race in Virgil’s Aeneid to the modern annual contest between Oxford and Cambridge University. The talk explored the differences between the sport of rowing in the ancient and modern worlds; the crafts used to compete, from galleys and triremes to the latest racing shell; and the technological innovations introduced along the way.

Henry’s rowing-talk-handout (download: 1,810kB pdf).

 

 

Boudicca and Numantia: Modern Symbols of National Resistance from the Ancient World – 12:15-12:45 Thursday 27th October

Poster with images of Boudicca and Numantia

My poster for Henry’s talk.

In this talk Henry Clarke (Teaching Fellow in Roman History and Culture, University of Leeds) will draw links between his teaching on Ancient Empires and the Roman World and his research into local responses to the Roman Empire.

He will look specifically at tales of resistance by non-Romans to either the advances of the Empire or of Roman power and control. Boudicca is perhaps the best known example of ‘British’ resistance to Rome, whilst the fate of the pre-Roman city of Numantia in Spain is a strong example of an ancient event that has been adapted to serve as a Modern Spanish symbol of the nation and its power to defend itself.

He will begin by outlining classical literary accounts of Boudicca and Numantia, before exploring how their stories have been adopted and adapted over the centuries into the National Symbols we see today.

Ancient Worlds Gallery, Leeds City Museum, 12:15-12:45

Henry has previously talked about Ancient and Modern Rowing and the recording of that talk is due to be made available early next week (i.e. before Thursday).

Cupid and Psyche in Leeds: 29th September 12:15-12:45

rmposterThis talk will explore a number of works inspired by Apuleius’ story of Cupid and Psyche that can be found in the Brotherton Library’s Special Collections. Ranging from plays to novels, from operas to book illustrations, this cultural legacy covers the history of the reception of the story from 1511 to 1922 and items from it are being digitised with explanatory notes in an online resource through Regine May‘s Cupid and Psyche project.

An opportunity to see some of the materials destined for the online resource in more detail is available at Light Night on Friday 7th October 2016 in the anteroom to the Council Chamber on the first floor of Parkinson Building as part of “The Elements of Love: Cupid and Psyche”, please see our webpage.

Regine is not able to give this talk as planned, due to a meeting being rescheduled at short notice, so the talk will be delivered by Eleanor OKell.

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