Summer Reading for an Interested Student

Dear [removed],
Thank you so much for following up!
I think you might enjoy the writing of Adrienne Mayor.  She writes for a general audience and her books sell well, but she holds a  research post at Stanford and her writing is widely respected and cited by academics.  I found her book Amazons both fun and groundbreaking: it changed how I teach the material.  Her first book, The First Fossil Hunters, is strongly recommended by one of my colleagues who studies ancient science.  But, really you could read any or all of her books and be confident you were making a good choice.
A little older in James Davidson’s Courtesans and Fishcakes: The Consuming Passions of Classical Athens.  It was written as his PhD, but became a best seller.  I use sections of it in my 4000 level Sex and Gender course, but it is very readable and fun.
If you want to read more literature written in the ancient world rather than ABOUT the ancient world, Emily Wilson’s brand new translation of the Odyssey is BEAUTIFUL and really accessible.  Likewise, you might look for Ann Carson’s translations of Sappho and various Greek plays.  She’s a poet in her own right and they are stunning.
Also, my dear friend Josephine Quinn has just published a book In Search of the Phoenicians that everyone is raving about.  It contextualizes the culture groups living around ancient Judea and says quiet a lot about the history of how Europeans and Americans came to think about their own relationships to the lands that are now the modern state of Israel.
Finally, if you’re really more interested in Rome, then look for books published by Mary Beard.
Once the fall semester starts …. [Removed]
All best,
Liv Mariah Yarrow
Associate Professor, Classics Department
Rose Mary Sheldon’s Ambush and other books on ancient warfare
Eric Cline’s 1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed
James Romm, Ghost on the Throne
Richard Miles, Carthage Must Be Destroyed
A.E. Stalling’s translation of Hesiod’s Works and Days
Sarah Rudens’ translation of Apuleius’ Golden Ass

Social War Coin Iconography


This is BM 1867,0101.1099.

I believe Pobjoy’s write up on this coin and most of the social war coins.  Capture.JPG

The BM catalogue calls the scepter tied with a fillet the mast.  This is just wrong.  That is not what masts on ships on coins or gems look like.

addendum, later same day: This is the same description given in HN Italy 416–mast and sail–still wrong, but at least I know where BM is getting it, must check but probably also in Campana…

Filleted Scepter is clearly right reading BUT this is problematic to me because of it being iconographically unprecedented until later.  That scepter tied with a fillet is a hallmark of the famous fleet coinage of Antony and also appears on the coins of Sextus Pompeius.

Also the hand shake with the prow in the background is an iconography of the civil war period (RRC 469, 470/1a).

Now all these parallels could have a common Hellenistic precursor, but if they do, I don’t know what it is (and that bothers me).  I think it unlikely the later Roman Civil War types would copy Social War types.

It just makes me a little worried about the issue and its legitimacy, but there are a number of specimens which a good deal of variation…..


Hmm. Capuan Iconography and Dating

So I assume along with the great and the good that the Mars Eagle types was introduced to support the introduction of denarius and thus it dates to 211 BCE and after.  Right? right. Capture.JPG

Ok.  Fine. But doesn’t it seem likely that the Roman eagle inspired the eagle on the Capua As (HN Italy 503, BM 1937,0606.19 illustrated below) and Didrachm (HN Italy 480):Capture.JPG

I know I know.  Iconography is a terrible way to date coins but it does strike me as a little funny.

Not a Shield, but a Patera

Frugi’s coin is clearly a patera and part of the priestly implements (RRC 418):Capture.JPG

Now lets look at an under appreciated coin from much earlier RRC 271


Same rendering.  Same object.  EVEN the same type of wreath!  We now much put Cavedoni‘s idea that it might be connected to the lex Acilia back on the table which Crawford threw out.  (I find myself relieved that he also makes the Piso Frugi parallel!)