Korinthos Statues (source: Wikipedia Commons).
A performance of the play Birds by Aristophanes (source: Wikipedia Commons).
Forgan Smith (building 1), The University of Queensland, St Lucia
Venue: Forgan Smith (building 1), The University of Queensland, St Lucia.

Non-members are welcome. A donation of $10 per person includes entry in the lucky door prize and afternoon tea.

Gods on the Comic Stage: Aristophanes' Birds

Our preliminary speaker is completing her MPhil thesis on the topic 'Gods on the Comic Stage' with particular reference to the manner in which the Athenian gods were mocked in the comedies of Aristophanes (fl. 4th/3rd cent. BCE). Despite seeming to be sacrilegious, perhaps old comedy confirmed the popular beliefs of theatregoers rather than encouraged their abandonment.

[Note: for those interested: Aristophanes, The Birds and Other Plays tr. Sommerstein and Barrett (2003) is available in Penguin Classics; also as an e-book]

Headless in Corinth: Portrait Statues of Imperial Officials in Late Roman Greece

Over the course of the past century of excavations, substantial parts of eight Late Roman official portrait bodies have been uncovered in Corinth. Although all have been briefly summarized and assigned dates in earlier publications, these dates rely more on assumptions about stylistic decline and Corinthian history than any iconographic comparanda. There has scarcely been any attempt to restore their public context, nor is there general agreement on who precisely they represent. As one of the very few assemblages of Late Roman public sculpture from Greece, these statues, with heads and bases restored, are eloquent witnesses to the civic and sculptural conditions of Late Roman Corinth. This paper presents all the statues together for the first time, and compares them with recently published sculpture from Messene, Thessaloniki and Aphrodisias. Their find-spots and associated inscriptions allow new conclusions about civic administration, as well as the identity of these figures, while the comparanda suggest new dates and new reasons for their range of styles. Their costume marks them as involved in the military and political administration of the eastern Empire, probably as governors of Achaea, generals, or local elites in imperial service, while their very existence reveals the continuity of sculptural production at Corinth for this purpose alone, even after other forms of sculpture in the round ceased.