Links – 20 Nov.

Here are some interesting articles, sites, and ephemera we’ve found this week!

A recent find in Japan shows just how far Roman goods could travel.

Interested in Roman hairstyles? Janet Stephens has a whole YouTube series on how to recreate them! Great for parties, a lesson on statues, or a costume for a play.

Some amazing mosaics have been uncovered in Zeugma, Turkey.

Promoting the CANE Writing Contest 1

As I’m sure you know from the announcements, the deadline for the CANE Writing Contest is December 15th, which means NOW is a great time to introduce it to your students.  Today’s guest post is by Ruth Breindel, a teacher at the Moses Brown School in Providence, RI, who explains how she integrates the Writing Contest into her curriculum.

Do you want a really good way to get your students to perfect their English writing skills? Or does your school mandate that all students need to do writing in English, no matter the course? The CANE Writing Contest is a wonderful way to satisfy these needs.

Some background: the writing contest is open to all high school students who take Classics. (Middle School teachers – see the end of the article for a special offer just for your students!) The topic is set by the President of CANE, published in NECJ in August, and is also on the web. The parameters are very straightforward: write about the topic!  A student can write an essay, poem, dramatic piece, or short story.  All entries must be 700 words or less.  You, the teacher, pick the 3 best papers from your students and send them to the CANE State Representative, who will judge all the papers for your state, and send the one winning essay on to the CANE President-Elect, who will pick the overall winner.  See the link at the top of this post for contest details and where to send your entries!

So how do I use the contest? I give the students the topic about a month before I want the paper. Since I can’t help them write the paper, I discuss, in general terms, what they can write about.

For example, for this year’s topic, After Adversity: Survival, Recovery and Renewal in the Ancient World, I spoke about it with each class based on what they had read. The first year class has been reading about Aeneas, so they know that he had to leave Troy, travel a great distance, and face hardships.

The second year class, which has read lots of stories, could write about Manlius and the Sacred Geese, or Regulus and his sense of honor and renewal (even those he is killed most cruelly by the Carthaginians, his name lives on).

The third year class, if they can bear to think about Cicero and Catiline again, have a ready-made topic right there! My fourth year/AP class has book one of the Aeneid and we have just begun book 2 – this topic is really made for them! And the advanced class can discuss Catullus and Lesbia – the mind boggles!

If you meet resistance, explain to them that the first place in New England prize is an Amazon gift card – that goes a long way to winning kids over. In addition, this year we are authorizing the state Representative to grant CANE membership to the first place winner in the state, even if that person doesn’t win the grand prize.  For students, this means they’ll receive issues of NECJ and be introduced to the world of classical scholarship!

Next, I count the papers as either a test or a quiz. The things the kids come up with are fascinating – they have great imaginations, and when doing creative writing can really make a topic most interesting. Creative writing is different for my students, since they are used to doing analytical papers in English and history; this is a good change for them, and allows them to use a different part of their brain.

What is the downside? Well, of course you have to read them! But it is fun to see what they come up with, and if you can keep yourself from making grammatical corrections (we all know they don’t learn any English grammar in English class), you’ll have fun. Use a simple grading system: A for being on topic and interesting; B for noticing there is a topic and maybe not being as much fun. C is for sloppy work that really doesn’t answer the question, or does so only grudgingly. D or F is for not using the topic – and yes, I’ve had that happen too. However, mostly this is a good chance to give an A or B to students, especially those who might need a boost in their averages (and we all have those kids, too).

The other downside is that you need to give them a night or so without other homework to write the paper. How you do that is up to the homework policy of your school. My view is that I’m giving them a month – get going, kids! Remind them once a week or so that the paper will be due, and they usually rise to the challenge.

Give it a try – it might be great for the kids and you!

AND: Middle School teachers can assign the same topic, read the papers and pick their favorite one, and CANE will send you a certificate to give your student.

Announcements – 16 Nov


** Items denote anything newly added in this week’s announcements!

  • Deadline December 1: We are accepting proposals for papers and workshops at the 2015 Annual Meeting. Please visit here to read the guidelines and submit your proposal electronically. Alternatively, you can mail your one-page (300 word) abstract to:

CANE President

Elizabeth Keitel

Department of Classics
524 Herter Hall

University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA 01003.

  • Deadline December 1: If you have a great idea for a class activity but need funds for books and/or materials, please apply for the quadriannual CANE Discretionary Funds!  For more information on this or other grants/scholarships that CANE offers, visit this page.
  • Deadline December 1: The Alison Barker Travel Scholarship ( is offered annually to undergraduates wishing to participate in educationally-enriching travel abroad.
  • Deadline December 1: The Thomas and Eleanor Means Fund ( is granted to middle- and secondary-school students who wish to travel abroad for educational purposes.
  • Deadline December 15: This year’s CANE Writing Contest will be here before you know it!




  • Check out these updates from ASCANIUS.
  • The Yale University Art Gallery has recently renovated its ancient art galleries, and there is a great special exhibit entitled “Roman in the Provinces: Art on the Periphery of the Empire” running now through February 4th.
  • There’s an exhibit in Quincy Market in Boston that includes Lego reconstructions of a Greek vase and classical statuary through January 11.

**Certamina et Dies Classici et Eventus!

  • New Hampshire is sponsoring the Granite State Certamen December 6th at Dover High School in Dover, NH.
  • Brown University’s Annual Latin Carol Celebration will be held Monday, December 8th, at 8:00 pm at the First Bapist Church in America, 75 N. Main St, Providence, RI.
  • The Pioneer Valley Classical Association is holding its annual Classics Day on January 16 at Mt. Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA.  Latin students will have the opportunity to see lectures, attend hands-on workshops, compete in art, speaking, costume, and traditional certamen-style contests, and even see a play performed by peers! For more information, email its President, Bruce Arnold.
  • The Paideia Institute announces its 3rd annual Living Latin in NYC February 14-15, 2015 at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center Campus.  Guest speakers this year include Dr. Nancy Llewellyn, Milena Minkova, Dr. Terence Tunberg, Cristophe Rico, and Luigi Miraglia.


  • Live in western MA or northern CT and want to practice speaking in Latin? There is a large group that meets weekly in Amherst! For details, contact TJ Howell.
  • In the Boston area? Check out the Active Latin Meetup page for events.


  • See our new Jobs page for details.

Awards, Scholarships and Fellowships

  • The deadline for applications for the Bean Scholarships, offered by the College of the Holy Cross to students who intend to major in the Classics, is January 15th.
    Deadline: January 15


The M. Alison Frantz Fellowship, formerly know as the Gennadeion Fellow in Post-Classical Studies, was named in honor of photographer and archaeologist, M. Alison Frantz (1903 – 1995) whose photographs of antiquities are widely used in books on Greek culture.The Frantz Fellowship is awarded to scholars whose fields of study are represented by the Gennadius Library in Athens, i.e. Late Antiquity, Byzantine Studies, post-Byzantine Studies, or Modern Greek Studies.

Eligibility: Ph.D. candidates and recent Ph.D.’s (up to five years) from a U.S. or Canadian institution. Successful candidates should demonstrate their need to work in the Gennadius Library.

Terms: A stipend of $11,500 plus room, board, and waiver of School fees. Fellows are expected to be in residence at the School for the full academic year from September 1 to June 1. A final report is due at the end of the award period, and the ASCSA expects that copies of all publications that result from research conducted as a Fellow of the ASCSA be contributed to the Gennadius Library of the School.

Application: Submit application for Associate Membership with fellowship, curriculum vitae, description of the proposed project, and three letters of reference online on the ASCSA web site .

Web site: or


The award will be announced by March 15.

The American School of Classical Studies at Athens does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, sex, sexual orientation, color, religion, ethnic origin, or disability when considering admission to any form of membership or application for employment.