FOCUS 2008

On The Border
Animals, Hybrids and Monsters in Ancient Culture

A Painting of a man composed entirely of fish. Second Focus Conference

Organized by the Centro Interdipartimentale di Studi Antropologici sulla Cultura Antica, Università degli Studi di Siena, and the Focus Program in Ancient Mediterranean Cultures and Religions, The Ohio State University

The Ohio State University
January 11-13, 2008

Information: Dept. of Greek & Latin at OSU,


Friday, January 11, 2008 Jennings Hall 040

2:00 PM Opening of the Conference

First Paper Session: 2.15 PM – 5.30 PM

2:15 Tom Hawkins, OSU: "Bird Spotting in Classical Literature: Cases of Underdetermined Birds"

2:45 Donatella Puliga, Siena: "Cockcrowing: From the Myth of Alektryon to the Gospel"

3:15 Svetlana Hautala, Siena: "The Animals in the Ancient Artillery: Raw Material and Source of Metaphors"
Coffee Break

4:15 Maurizio Bettini, Siena: "Laughing Weasels. Animal Voices from Myth to Natural History"

Saturday, January 12, 2008 Page Hall 010

Second Paper Session: 9:00 AM – 12.30 PM

9:00 Julia Nelson Hawkins, OSU: "Bees, Bulls, Rebirth: Poetry and Imperial Authority in Virgil and Ovid"

9:30 Karen Ravelli, OSU: "Ovid's Procne, Medea, and Callisto: The Animal, Demonic, and Divine"

10:00 Richard Fletcher, OSU: "The Art of Becoming-Animal in Apuleius"

Coffee Break

11:00 Kasia Jazdzewska, OSU: "Irrational Force: Hunting and Spectacles in Plutarch’s De sollertia animalium"

11:30 Katia Verdiani, Siena: "A Wolf Against Two Lions: Dolon, the Ill-fated Trojan Spy"

12:00 Simone Beta, Siena: "Dionysus's Zoo: The Animals the God of Wine and Theatre Loved (and Hated)"

Third Paper Session: 2:30 PM-5:30 PM

2:30 Laura Cherubini, Siena: "The Virgin, the Bear, the Upside-down Strix: An Interpretation of Poliphonte's Story in Antoninus Liberalis, 21"

3:00 Laurie Kilker, OSU: "Taming the Bear at Brauron, Literally and Literarily"

Coffee Break

4:00 Katie Rask, OSU: "The Domesticated Wild: Etruscan Deer Bones and a Theory of Sacrifice"

4:30 Angela Giardino, Siena: "Be(com)ing Monster, or How Metamorphosis and Hybrids Create Identity"

5:00 Anna Angelini, Siena: "Bizarre Sea-creatures Between Jewish Sources and Greco-Roman Tradition: Some Stories of Swallowing"

Sunday, January 13, 2008 Page Hall 010

Fourth Paper Session: 9:30 AM -12:00

9:30 Roberto Danese, Urbino/Siena: "The Sex of the Ass: Misunderstandings of the Entry of Christ in Jerusalem in the Western Tradition"

10:00 Max Teitel-Paule, OSU: "The Portentous Owl, or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Bubo"

10:30 Andrea Guasparri, Siena: "Is Perception Cultural? Folk Biology and Ancient Animal Naming"

11:00 Fritz Graf, OSU: "Dog Matters: On Dogs in Greek and Roman Ritual"
Conclusion of the Meeting