Universität Erfurt

Antike Kultur


77 Weeks in the Department of Classics, University of Newcastle

From 19. February 2000 to 8. August 2001, I had the good fortune of being a Senior Visiting Fellow, and Visiting Professor, at the Department of Classics in the University of Newcastle. Here, I want to say something about the time spent in the North East during the year and a half, or 77 weeks, or to be even more precise, 536 days in the Department.

In Germany, I hold the Chair in Ancient History at the University of Mannheim (where I continued to teach during the Mannheim terms), an institution founded, like the University of Newcastle, in the 1960s around an older ’nucleus“ (School of Economics, cf. Medicine) in the vicinity of a more traditional university (Heidelberg, cf. Durham). Ancient History is taught in Mannheim mainly as part of the ”Staatsexamen„ (which leads to a teaching career) and the ”Magister Artium„ degrees; Mannheim also experiments, as one of the first universities in Germany, with a new ”Baccalaureus Artium„ degree very similar to the Newcastle B.A. So my time in Newcastle not only provided opportunities for research, but also a chance to gain some ’first hand“ experience of teaching, and administration, in a ’B.A. world“.

In 1999, my family and I had planned to move to Newcastle for good, as I had been offered the Chair in Ancient History then. However, I had to realize that (at the age of 40!) I was too old to leave the German ”Beamter„ status (I do not pay into a pension fund, but will get an ’emeritus“ salary at, and only at, 65, provided I stay in Germany) and to join the British Superannuation Scheme (which assumes that you are 25 on joining, and only allows for less than 11 years of ’retrospective“ payment). Incidentally, this problem, a surprising and rather depressing fact in what could otherwise be described as The Age of Europe, has since gained some notoriety in Germany, and was highlighted in the ”Deutsche Universitatszeitung„ (12/01 of 22 June 2001, pp. 10-11: ”Pension hemmt Mobilität„) as ”der goldene Käfig„ (the golden cage) in which German professors are kept until their retirement. We had always dreamed of moving to the UK (and had made sure that our four children have names which are pronounceable, and sound the same, in German and English), but, as we had to discover the hard way, this will not be possible in this life.

So it was a most joyful surprise when I learned via Prof. Jonathan Powell (who has since moved to London) and Robin King (Research and Innovation Services) that I could at least come for some time as a Senior Visiting Fellow. I am most grateful for the University“s generosity in awarding me this Fellowship, and the title of Visiting Professor, and here want to report on my experience in teaching, research, and administration, in Newcastle.


Thanks to the Head of Department, Prof. Donald Hill, whose cheerful guidance of the Department's affairs sets a tone which I hope to be able to emulate one day, and thanks to the colleagues in Ancient History, especially Prof. Tony Spawforth, I was allowed to teach modules for second years twice: In 2000 I taught module CAH 203 (Athens and Sparta), a year later module CAH 201 (The Age of Cicero), with three lectures per week and further discussion groups; in both years I also taught the relevant parts of CAH 205 (Problems in Ancient History), and was second marker for other modules in Ancient History. I am most grateful for being allowed to teach - it facilitated integration into the department, and provided most valuable ’transferable“ experiences in teaching, and marking, ’set“ modules of the kind Mannheim was about to introduce, and has since adopted with less ”teething troubles„ than would otherwise have been possible. Of course, I also hope that the Newcastle students (who were friendly enough to give positive feedback) found the teaching worthwhile!

In addition to this regular teaching, I had the privilege of giving the Public Lecture in Newcastle on 30. Jan. 2001 on the question of ”How Caesar made Britain an Island, (the lecture was very well attended, and properly celebrated with a jolly reception, and a marvelous cake on the theme), as well as shorter lectures, with Jim Crow in the Department of Archaeology, and with Jeremy Paterson in the first "Corrupting Sea" Seminar (1. Nov. 00).

From Newcastle, I was also invited for lectures elsewhere: Ann Arbor (University of Michigan, 17. Mar. 01), Bamberg (22. Jan. 01), Basel (7. Dec. 00), Durham (Classical Association, 24. Nov. 00), London (Royal Holloway, 16. Jan. 01), Munich (26. Oct. 00), and to the Roman Archaeology Conference in Glasgow (31. Mar. 01), where I co-chaired a panel with Prof. Richard Talbert (University of North Carolina). In addition I continued to work as an examiner for the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes (Bonn, several dates) and gave papers at German schools and teachers“ conferences in Ettlingen (7. May 01), Ising nr. Munich (4. Sep. 00), Karlsruhe (13. Apr. 00), Ludwigshafen/Rhine (24. May 00), and Schwabisch Hall (23. Jan. 01).

Finally, from 19. to 29. July 2001 I took a group of some 35 students from Mannheim (and Darmstadt) Universities to Newcastle, to explore the Roman (and more recent) North East of England. To Brian Shefton I am most grateful for enthusiastically showing the students around the Shefton Museum of Greek Art in the University, and to Susanna Phillippo for advice on how to organize the days, and for actually joining, and guiding, the group in Dunstanburgh and Warkworth.


The Visiting Fellowship, and the ideal research conditions in the Department of Classics, facilitated a number of publications, which are listed below. Oddly, the new conditions of the Research Assessment Exercise implied that any publication to be included had to be written during the fellowship in Newcastle, i.e. from mid-February 2000, and printed by the end of the same year (a rather short period given the usual delay in publication of finished articles in classics generally). Fortunately, though, enough items were written, and published, in time and thus included in the Department“s RAE submission. Some further publications have since appeared or are due out later this year; they ’belong“ to the Department, of course, and might, I hope, prove useful for the next Research Assessment Exercise. Another part of the research work which occupied me in Newcastle were the activities as editor (Studienwissen Antike: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft Darmstadt; Antike Kultur und Geschichte: Lit Münster; Enzyklopadie der Griechischen und Romischen Antike: Oldenbourg Munich) and co-editor (Ancient Society: Peeters, Leuven; Septuaginta Deutsch: Bibelgesellschaft Stuttgart; Plekos: University of Munich) and as advisor for academic publishers (C.H.Beck Munich, Primus Darmstadt, Routledge London) as well as academic foundations (Thyssen-Stiftung Düsseldorf, Ernst-Kirsten-Gesellschaft Stuttgart).

What made research in Newcastle so profitable for me? For a start, the library facilities are very good: I had the good fortune of sharing what used to be Prof. Trevor Saunders“ office with his widow, Teresa Saunders, who kindly allowed me to use the very good research library in that room. Then, the Departmental Library holds a lot of essential reference books and texts. And the Robinson Library provides very easy (open shelf) access (a rare feature of German libraries!) to a remarkably full collection of books on classics and archaeology. But the main bonus were the members of the department who shared their knowledge freely, and patiently answered my queries ranging from Greek medicine to Roman wine, from Greek inscriptions to Roman orators - and beyond: My book on Phlegon of Tralleis and his ”Nachleben„ (”Das Buch der Wunder„), for example, could not have happened without the contribution of Andrew Parkin (who selected the images of, and wrote the commentaries on, the vases from the Shefton collection), and without the help (including textual criticism!) on early modern French texts relevant for this project so kindly given by Susanna Phillippo.

In turn, Mannheim had the great pleasure of welcoming a number of Newcastle colleagues, starting with Kathryn Lomas who gave a very interesting paper on ”The Western Greek City - Ethnicity, Colonization and Citizenship in the Western Mediterranean„ (25. Jan. 2000). In 2001 Prof. John Moles gave a lively paper, at a Mannheim conference, on ”Dio Chrysostom and Trajan„ (1. May), Prof. Donald Hill lectured on ”Ovid, Augustus and Caesar's divine seed„, and gave an equally well-received public talk after a performance on Seneca“s Thyestes at the Mannheim Schauspielhaus (26. and 28. May), Prof. Philip van der Eijk explained to a large and very interested audience the ”Current issues in the historiography of medicine in the classical world„ (11. June), and Susanna Phillippo“s talk on ”Beginners“ Greek in a Cold Climate: From the Serpent Column to Euripides' Troy in 4 months„ (25. June) came at an especially crucial moment: The University of Mannheim has axed just Latin and Greek, so I shall now try to imitate the innovative method, developed by her, of teaching how to ”deal with Greek„ to students who otherwise will have no chance to do Greek at all. Her lecture, and seminar, led to a lively interchange between students, and staff, and showed Mannheim a way forward.



Academics tend to hate ”admin„, but as it is part of what my (German) job is about (in Mannheim, I was Dean, and now am Dean of Finance, for the Faculty of Arts, in addition to being Chair of the Board of Examiners, and a member of the Senate), I was curious to find out more on how administrative duties are dealt with in Newcastle. I won“t mention the admin software made by SAP in Wallstadt near Mannheim, but I do want to mention that I, for one, found the ”Centre„ very helpful. This started with their support in finding somewhere for me to stay - and the helpfulness of Helene Dolder, Lynn Burnip and the staff in Castle Leazes was exceptionally great (this praise is even more due now that I have had different experiences with finding accommodation in St.Andrews where the university“s administration acknowledged receipt of my ”application„ for help only when I turned up in person and specifically asked for it, and has since never bothered to let me know whether my ”application„ was successful or not, or at least offered help with finding something on the open market). The ”Centre„ has also allowed me to join the SCR, which provided a starting point of meeting colleagues outside the department, and to take part in a some meetings on the Teaching Quality Assessment which were especially interesting as Germany has just, in Jan. 2001, created an equivalent of the QAA - which happens to be located in Mannheim!

Especially valuable for planning the new Baccalaureus Artium degree in Mannheim was the fact that I was allowed to take part in Examiners“ Meetings, and to see the Newcastle B.A. system in action.

Not least, the visitation by the QAA panel before the Ides of March, 2001, and the many preparations for it, were a most memorable time, and I won“t ever forget the hard work that the whole department, and notably Dawn Robinson, Prof. Donald Hill, Jaap Wisse and especially Susanna Phillippo selflessly put into this. It was good to see the department“s teaching very deservedly rated ”excellent„ in the end.


Living in Newcastle has been a great bonus, and I have enjoyed this lively city a lot. I was fortunate in being given what used to be a caretaker“s flat in Castle Leazes Halls of Residence, within easy reach of the university (and St James Park, where Peter Jones - a former member of the Department, who has known me from when I was 15! - first took me, and where we later saw 1860 Munich loose against NUFC). My family spent all German school vacations in Newcastle (travelling by train and crossing the north sea with the ferry from and to Amsterdam 16 times!). Our eldest daughter, Alma, lived from October to December 2000 with an English family (Susan and Michael Dutton and their children Adam and Heather), celebrated her 14th birthday in Newcastle and attended, in school uniform, Sacred Heart High School Fenham (thanks to Teresa Saunders for her help in organizing this!) with Heather - a most enjoyable experience for Alma (and one with long-term effects, not only on her English: Michael is the Asst. Cathedral Organist, and his enthusiasm has made Alma start to learn the organ herself at home now). The Cathedral has been her, and our, spiritual home (and having sung two Evensongs per week in Oxford for my two years there, it was a pleasure to come to a cathedral with a choir!), but we also attended, inter alia, a memorable Good Friday service in Durham Cathedral. I have enjoyed what the city of Newcastle has to offer (from the Greek Play at the Central High School to concerts in the King“s Hall with Eric Cross and in the City Hall, thanks to Teresa Saunders), and have enjoyed the countryside no less, from spectacular castles to walking along Hadrian“s wall (including a sponsored walk, with the Department of Archaeology, in pre-FMD-days), from Durham (where I was glad to meet Prof. Peter Rhodes, Dr. David Hunt, and other colleagues repeatedly) to Hexham, from the seaside (ever popular with our children) and Tynemouth Priory (with a memorable production of The Tempest) to Belsay Hall (first explored, at the Inaugural Classics Outing with Newcastle students organized by Susanna Phillippo, on 27. Sept. 2000). We very much hope to return to the North East soon, and frequently!

Finally, as mentioned before, I took a group of some 35 German students to Newcastle from 19 to 29 July 2001, in glorious weather, to convince them of why Newcastle and the Roman (and later) North East are so attractive.

The Future

I hope that the exchange between Mannheim and Newcastle is going to continue - a good start is that two Mannheim students will study in the Newcastle Department of Classics from September 2001, and a further student from Mannheim will work this winter for a term in the Newcastle Museum of Antiquities.
I also hope to be able to persuade Newcastle students, and more colleagues, to come to Mannheim. Fortunately, not all of the money for the Fellowship has been used. A week“s rent in Castle Leazes was ß 85.11 (internal rate), so for the 77 weeks less than GBP 6.600.-- have been used (I have paid all expenses - from heating via council tax to all my journeys - privately, of course), and the rest stays with the Department. Thus I hope that a return to Newcastle will at least not be a financial burden on the Department - after all, I, and my family, certainly want to come back to Newcastle upon Tyne.

Prof. Dr. Kai Brodersen

Publications enabled by the Visiting Fellowship in the Dept. of Classics 2000-2001

(4 items were used in the RAE 2000. Newcastle is welcome to use the others for the next RAE. I won't use them elsewhere and I'll send copies/offprints of the forthcoming items in due course)

Books etc.

  • Liebesleiden in der Antike: Parthenios, Erotika Pathemata. Zweisprachige Ausgabe. Darmstadt: Wiss. Buchgesellschaft 2000. 141 pp. (used in RAE 2000)
  • Die Sieben Weltwunder. Audiobook. Munich: Hoerverlag 2000. Cassette 53 mins.
  • Die Sieben Weltwunder: Legendäre Kunst- und Bauwerke der Antike. (Beck Wissen 2029) 4th ed. Munich: C.H.Beck 2001. 128pp.
  • Phlegon von Tralleis: Das Buch der Wunder. With illustrations from the Shefton Museum Newcastle, selected by Andrew Parkin. Darmstadt: Wiss. Buchgesellschaft 2001. 64 pp.
  • Die Wahrheit u ber die griechischen Mythen: Palaiphatos' Unglaubliche Geschichten. Stuttgart: Reclam 2001 in press (possibly useful for the next RAE)

Edited books

  • Virtuelle Antike: Wendepunkte der Alten Geschichte. Darmstadt: Primus 2000. 176 pp. (used in RAE 2000)
  • Gebet und Fluch, Zeichen und Traum: Aspekte religioser Kommunikation in der Antike. (Antike Kultur und Geschichte 1) Muenster: Lit 2001. 120 pp. (with own contrib.) (possibly useful for the next RAE)
  • Asterix und seine Zeit: Die groÜ e Welt des kleinen Galliers. Beck'sche Reihe 1404, Munich: C.H.Beck 2001. 243 pp. (with own contrib.)
  • Prognosis: Studien zur Funktion von Zukunftsvorhersagen in Literatur und Geschichte seit der Antike. (Antike Kultur und Geschichte 2) Muenster: Lit 2001. 141 pp.


  • Vom Buch zum Text: Edition und U bersetzung. In: Ch.Reitz (ed.), Vom Text zum Buch. (Subsidia Classica 3) St.Katharinen: Scripta Mercaturae 2000, pp. 80-92 (used in RAE 2000)
  • Tiberius und Gaius Sempronius Gracchus - und Cornelia: Die res publica zwischen Aristokratie, Demokratie und Tyrannis. In: K.-J.Holkeskamp/E.Stein-Holkeskamp (eds.), Von Romulus zu Augustus: Große Gestalten der romischen Republik. Munich: C.H.Beck 2000, pp. 172-186 (used in RAE 2000)
  • Neue Entdeckungen zu antiken Karten. In: Gymnasium 108 (2001), pp. 137-148
  • Die Hängenden Garten von Babylon. In: H.Sarkowicz (ed.), Die Geschichte der Garten und Parks. (Insel-TB 2723) Frankfurt/Main and Leipzig: Insel 2001, pp. 40-51
  • Itineraria non tantum adnotata sed etiam picta: The Presentation of Geographical Knowledge for Travel and Transport in the Roman World. In: C. Adams and R. Laurence (eds.), Travel and Geography in the Roman Empire. London: Routledge 2001, pp. 7-21 (possibly useful for the next RAE)
  • ”In den stadtischen Gru ndungen ist die rechte Basis des Hellenisierens„: Zur Funktion der seleukidischen Stadtegründungen. In: S.Schraut/B.Stier (eds.), Stadt und Land: Bilder, Inszenierungen und Visionen. (Veröffentlichungen der Kommission fu r Geschichtliche Landeskunde in Baden-Württemberg B 147) Stuttgart: Kohlhammer 2001, pp. 355-371
  • Wir waren römisch geworden! Wendepunkte der Beziehungen zwischen Rom und Germanien um die Zeitenwende. In: St.Krimm/U.Triller (eds.), Europaische Begegnungen: Die Faszination des Südens. (Dialog Schule - Wissenschaft: Acta Ising 2000) Munich: Oldenbourg/BSV 2001, pp. 9-28
  • The ’Urban Myth“ of Euboean Cyme: A Study in Lexicographical Tradition. In: Ancient History Bulletin 15 (2001), pp. 25-28 [also available as http://www.trentu.ca/ahb/ahb15/ahb-15-1-2c.html]
  • Savage“s savages: How the gorillas became savage beasts because of Hanno's Periplus. In: K.Geus and N.Zimmermann (eds.), Festschrift fu r Werner Huß . Leuven: Studia Phoenicia 2002 (possibly useful for the next RAE)
  • Die Tabula Peutingeriana: Gehalt und Gestalt einer ”alten Karte„ und ihrer antiken Vorlage. In: D. Unverhau (ed.), Geschichtsdeutung auf alten Karten. Wolfbenbu tteler Forschungen. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz in press
  • Frauen und Manner auf griechischen Fluchtafeln. In: Ch.Ulf/R.Rollinger (eds.), Geschlechter - Frauen - Fremde Ethnien in antiker Ethnographie, Theorie und Realitat, Innsbruck: Studienverlag 2002

Short contributions

  • King Kong the Carthaginian. Classical Association News (ISSN 0963-4789) 23 (2000), pp. 1-3
  • Pausanias, Reisen in Griechenland, 3 vols., transl. E.Meyer and F.Eckstein. New edition. Düsseldorf: Artemis&Winkler 2001 [vol. III, pp. 382 ff.]
  • Die Bedeutung der Septuaginta für die Altertumswissenschaft. In: Bibel und Kirche 56 (2001), pp. 101-103
  • Ancient Wine from the Rhine [article on Roman wine from the Palatinate, written for a volume on Wine in History edited by J.J.Paterson]


  • A.Momigliano, Ausgewahlte Schriften. Vol. III: Die moderne Geschichtsschreibung der Alten Welt, ed. G.W.Most. Stuttgart: Metzler 2000, xx & 486 pp. (with A.Wittenburg)
  • Reviews
  • A.Mastrocinque, Appiano: Le guerre di Mitridate (1999). In: Classical Review n.s. 50 (2000), p. 590
  • M. Todd, Roman Britain (Neuausgabe 1999). In: Historische Zeitschrift 272 (2001), pp. 433-434
  • K.Grewe, Großbritannien ... Ein Führer zu bau- und technikgeschichtlichen Denkmalern aus Antike und Mittelalter (1999). In: Klio 83 (2001) 291-292



Nutzermenü und Sprachwahl