The Carl C. Schlam Memorial Lecture
The Twentieth Annual Carl C. Schlam Memorial Lecture
Anthony J. Boyle
University of Southern California
October 11, 2013 at 2:30 p.m.
The Thompson Library, room 165
1858 Neil Ave Mall
The Ohio State University
Few myths of the ancient world have had a greater impact on the European theatrical, literary and artistic tradition than that of Medea – the ‘barbarian’ princess and sorceress who betrayed her father and family for love of a Greek adventurer and who, when abandoned for another woman, killed in revenge both her rival and her children. Euripides’ tragedy of 431 BCE is often regarded as the canonic version of the myth, but the story of Medea embedded itself, too, in the drama, literature and culture of ancient Rome. The lecture discusses the reception of the myth in republican Rome and its dramatization in the early empire by the greatest of Rome’s tragedians, Seneca, whose influence on the European tradition has been undervalued by Hellenocentric classical scholarship. It analyzes the reception of Seneca’s treatment of the myth from antiquity through the Renaissance to the present day, in which Medea is often resurrected as an icon of gender, political and racial oppression.
A graduate of the Universities of Manchester and Cambridge in the United Kingdom, Professor Boyle taught for twenty years at Monash University Australia before taking up his appointment at USC in 1989. His primary area of research is Roman literature of the late republic and the early empire. At the undergraduate level he teaches a variety of Latin language and literature classes and more general courses on Roman civilization, literature in translation (especially drama), politics and art. His graduate seminars address particular authors, or genres, or the Latin literary system as a whole, emphasizing the semiotic interplay between text and text and text and culture. He is the author or editor of twenty-four books on Roman literature, including a large-scale edition of Seneca's Medea to be published by Oxford University Press in January 2014. His current project for Oxford is an edition of Seneca's Thyestes. Professor Boyle is editor of the classical literary journal, Ramus, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2011.
The Lecture Series
The Carl Schlam Lecture Fund was established by family, colleagues, students and friends to recognize and honor Prof. Carl C. Schlam, who taught Classics at The Ohio State University from 1967 to 1993. It commemorates Prof. Schlam's collegiality and delight in the sharing of ideas among scholars, whether privately or in larger groups. This he demonstrated by his frequent and participatory presence at lectures across the university, which he genuinely viewed as a community of scholars. He is affectionately remembered for his amazing range of intellectual interests, his kindness and helpfulness to students and colleagues, his pride in his family's accomplishments, and the joys of a good conversation.
Carl Schlam was born in New York October 23, 1936. A graduate of Stuyvesant High School, he earned his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. at Columbia University, where he had the good fortune to work closely with Professors Moses Hadas and Gilbert Highet, whose interests, scholarship and styles influenced him greatly. While working toward his doctorate he served as instructor at Case Institute of Technology, the Monclair Academy, Barnard School for Girls, and Rutgers University, and was appointed assistant professor of Classics at The Ohio State University in 1967, a year also distinguished by his marriage to Helena Frenkil. He attained the rank of professor in 1986, having served as Visiting Professor at Haifa University in 1975-76. His death of cancer after a long illness came on December 25, 1993.
His dissertation on "The Narrative Structure of the Metamorphoses of Apuleius" was to prove the foundation of his principal research activity, resulting in two seminal works on Apuleius, Cupid and Psyche: Apuleius and the Monuments (1976), and The Metamorphoses of Apuleius: On Making an Ass of oneself (1992). His sensitive reading and careful presentation did much to encourage reevaluation of The Metamorphoses as a well-written and carefully constructed work of quality. Apuleius led to later Latin, the Italian Humanists and Neo-Latin. A skilled bibliographer, he served his fellow-scholars and the direction of Apuleian studies well with bibliographic surveys in the Classical World (1971) and Lustrum (2001, Band 42), a work splendidly augmented and seen to press by his collaborator and colleague Ellen Finkelpearl.
Professor Schlam was an active and regularly productive member of the major classical organizations: the American Philological Association, the Archeological Institute of America, the Classical Association of the Middle West and South, as well as the Ohio Classical Conference, the Greater Columbus Latin Club, and the Societas Internationalist Studiis Neolatinis Provehendis. At Ohio State he was a strong supporter and participant in the activities of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. He was a frequent presenter at conventions and congresses of classical, post-classical and neo-Latin groups.
Previous Carl C. Schlam Memorial Lectures
Date Lecturer Title
David Konstan (Brown University)
Marilyn Katz (Connecticut Wesleyan)
"Women and Democracy in Ancient Athens"
Harold Gotoff (University of Cincinnati)
Ross Kraemer (University of Pennsylvania)
"Why is Asenath a Woman? Constructing Gender in an Ancient Novel"
Duncan Kennedy (University of Bristol)
"A Sense of Place: Rome, Empire, and History Revisited"
Peter Rose (Miami University)
"Theorizing Athenian Imperialism and the Athenian State: The Case of Mytilene"
Sander M. Goldberg (University of California, Los Angeles)
"Cicero and the Comedians"
Mark Griffith (University of California, Berkeley)
"Enslaved to Dionysos: Satyrs, Audience, and Aeschylus' Proteus"
Carole Newlands (University of Wisconsin, Madison)
"The 'Other' John Gower and the First English translation of Ovid's Fasti"
Josiah Ober (Princeton University)
"The Moral Authority of the Past: Precedent, Amnesty, and Thucydidean History"
Ellen Finkelpearl (Scripps College)
"Toward a New Apuleius"
Erich Gruen (University of California, Berkeley)
"Identity Theft in the Ancient Mediterranean"
Walter Burkert (University of Zurich)
"East and West: Ancient Variations of a Eurasian Conflict"
Richard Thomas (Harvard University)
"The Streets of Rome: Bob Dylan and the Classics"
Martin L. West (All Souls College, Oxford)
Alessandro Barchiesi (UniversitÃ degli Studi di Siena/Arezzo and Stanford University)
"Poetic Careers, Ovid to Boccaccio"
Sarah Morris (University of California, Los Angeles)
Passing Children Through the Fire: Ritual Infanticide in Greece and the Near East
Alan Cameran (Columbia University)
Greek Mythology on Roman Sarcophagi
Susan Stephens (Stanford University)
Plato's 'Egyptian' Republic