Department of Classics

University of Mississippi

Author Archive

Ancient Italy in Context: June 2016

Posted on: July 13th, 2016 by mpranger

Dr. Hilary Becker took 8 intrepid Classics majors and minors on a study tour of sites in Rome, Latium and Campania for four weeks this June. Several of the students were supported by McDonnell Foundation scholarships. Here’s just a sampling of their adventures!

Tomb_of_the _Scipios

Historic Greek-English dictionary discovered, donated

Posted on: July 13th, 2016 by mpranger

In sorting through materials shelved in an extra office (our “departmental library”– now to house a member of the University’s ever-growing faculty!), we discovered this week a historical gem! This 1849 Greek-English Lexicon, a forerunner of the Liddell and Scott lexicons widely used today, bears the signature of James Jones Quarles of College Hill, Mississippi. Quarles was the first graduate of the University of Mississippi in 1851, and later a member of the faculty. Further signatures belong to John H. Quarles, who is likely a brother of J. J. Quarles. He is listed in the Historical Catalogue of the University of Mississippi: 1849-1909 as “Not graduating” in 1856. On a later page, Frank Quarles records that this lexicon was left to him by his father, J. J. Quarles. Frank was the grandson of the original owner of the book, and is listed as a “New student” at the University in 1904-05. The Department has donated the Quarles lexicon to the University of Mississippi Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections for preservation.


Page showing 1850 signature of James Jones Quarles, who was the first graduate of the University of Mississippi in 1851.










McDonnell foundation doubles gift to Classics

Posted on: April 19th, 2016 by mpranger

In 2009 UM alumni Mike and Mary “Bickie” McDonnell of Memphis made a generous gift of $250,000 to establish the Mike and Mary McDonnell Endowment in Classics. The endowment’s first priority is the support of study abroad opportunities for Classics majors, and more than two dozen of our students have benefitted from their help since the first funds were donated.  This year, the McDonnells have committed another $250,000 to the endowment. We are beyond grateful for this support for Classics, and are excited to make direct experience of the sites of ancient Mediterranean culture available to even more of our students. You can read more in this article from the UM Foundation.


Dr. Hilary Becker named UM’s Mississippi Humanities Council Teacher of the Year

Posted on: October 13th, 2015 by mpranger

CLA_Humanites_2015posterJoin us for a public lecture celebrating Dr. Becker well-deserved honor on October 28 at 7:00 in Bryant 209.

Dr. Becker will talk about one aspect of her wide-ranging research in Etruscan and Roman archaeology and economic history in this “case study” focused on the trade in pigments in ancient Roman.

A reception will follow in the Farrington Gallery on the first floor of Bryant Hall.

Lecture on 10/15: Imperial Ideology and Distributional Politics under Severus Alexander

Posted on: October 13th, 2015 by mpranger

Norena headshotDr. Carlos Noreña, Chair of Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology and Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley, will present a multimedia look at the public image of the emperor and the allocation of material resources under the Roman emperor Severus Alexander.   Join us Thursday, October 15 at 5:30 in Bryant 209.

The lecture is presented by the University of Mississippi Department of Classics For information about accessibility and accommodations, please contact Dr. Molly Pasco-Pranger at and 662/915.7097.


11/3 Tom McGinn, "The Expressive Function of Law: Problems and Possibilities"

Posted on: October 27th, 2014 by mpranger

Please join the Department Monday 11/3 at 5:30 in the Tupelo Room at the Barnard Observatory for a lecture by Dr. Thomas McGinn of Vanderbilt University on the idea in Roman law of the lex imperfecta, a law without a sanction attached, and its relation to the modern theory of law’s “expressive function,” i.e., that law can make a statement or influence social norms in ways unconnected to enforcement or its consequences.

10/22 Steven Ellis, "Pompeii from the Bottom Up"

Posted on: October 27th, 2014 by mpranger

Our first AIA lecture of the year was a grand success with Dr. Steven Ellis of the University of Cincinnati speaking to a packed house about his long-running archaeological project in a working-class neighborhood in Pompeii.

10/2: Joe Goodkin's Odyssey

Posted on: September 29th, 2014 by mpranger

Join us for a free community performance of Joe Goodkin’s Odyssey, a 30-minute original musical composition for solo acoustic guitar and voice, which tells the story of Homer’s Odyssey in a series of 24 short songs.  It has been performed over 100 times for audiences of all ages and was honored in 2003, 2004, and 2012 with an American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) Award.  Thursday, 10/2 at 5:30 in the main floor Bryant Hall Gallery.  Contact Dr. Pasco-Pranger at 915-7097 if you have questions!

Dr. Aileen Ajootian named ASCSA Whitehead Professor

Posted on: August 21st, 2014 by mpranger

Aileen_AjootianDr. Aileen Ajootian of the Department of Classics has been selected to serve as Elizabeth A. Whitehead Visiting Professor at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens for 2014-2015. In this prestigious position, Dr. Ajootian will reside at the American School and continue her research project treating several large but fragmentary Roman architectural sculpture programs excavated in the Forum at ancient Corinth. Upon completion, the study will be submitted to the ASCSA for publication in their series of Corinth volumes. In addition, she will teach a seminar to the Regular Members of the School, who are graduate students in Classics from US and Canadian universities. As Dr. Ajootian describes it, the seminar, Studying Ancient Sculpture: From Apotheke and Marble Pile to Publication, “is designed to encourage young scholars to focus on ancient sculpture, to help them learn current methods of analysis, to guide them through the process — from visual analysis and physical description to research, interpretation, and publication.” The University of Mississippi has been Cooperating Institution of the American School for many years, and Dr. Ajootian herself has maintained a close research relationship with the School throughout her years at the University.

Congratulations to 2014 Classics graduates!

Posted on: June 18th, 2014 by mpranger
Drs. Cook, Lobur, Becker and Pasco-Pranger at convocation.  Drs. Ajootian, Fenno and Hame offer their congratulations in absentia!

Drs. Cook, Lobur, Becker and Pasco-Pranger at convocation. Drs. Ajootian, Fenno and Hame offer their congratulations in absentia!

We had another bumper crop of excellent Classics majors graduate this year and sent them off in style on 5/10/14.  Our heartiest congratulations to Kaitlyn Barnes, Amanda Cummings, Kathryn Fowler, Megan Fowler, Amanda Griffith, Tess Hill, Ben Jacques, Vinod Kannuthurai, Alex Kitson, Jennifer Liverett, Stephen Macoy, Aaron McMillin, Charlie Pritchard, Alex Rhea, and Brandon Wehking.