Universität Erfurt

Antike Kultur

Hilary 08

Visiting Senior Research Fellow, St John's College, Oxford, Academic Year 2007/8: (2) Hilary Term

The President and Fellows of St John’s College Oxford have kindly made me a Visiting Senior Research Fellow for the Academic Year 2007/8. I have reported on Michaelmas Term already (see here), and as the end of the teaching period of Hilary Term has come, I submit a brief report on my activities for St John's College in Research, Teaching (which was the main focus of this term), et cetera.

Research

Research Project

My main research project (on which see here), a fresh edition, for Oxford Classical Texts (to be published by Oxford University Press), of the Roman History written in Greek by Appian of Alexandria (2nd century AD), progressed as planned. Meanwhile, several other publications appeared, or were submitted, during Trinity Term:

Research Publications

Newly Published

  • Kai Brodersen, Die Sieben Weltwunder. Legendäre Kunst- und Bauwerke der Antike. (Beck Wissen BsR 2029) Special Edition Munich: C.H.Beck 2008.
  • Asterix und seine Zeit: Die groβe Welt des kleinen Galliers. 3rd rev. ed. (Beck’sche Reihe 1404) Munich: C.H.Beck 2008

Newly Submitted

  • Articles "Appian" and "Seven wonders of the Ancient World", expanded for the forthcoming 4th edition of the "Oxford Classical Dictionary" . Oxford: OUP [Dec 07]
  • Nützliche Forschung: Ps.-Aristoteles’ Oikonomika II und die Haushalte griechischer Poleis, in: F.Burrer/H.Müller (eds.), Kriegskosten und Kriegsfinanzierung in der Antike. Darmstadt: WBG [Jan 08]
  • Vincere Scis, Victoria Uti Nescis. (Conference Proceedings on "Hindsight" in Ancient History). Muenster: Lit [Mar 08]

Completed and still awaiting publication are a bilingual edition of the Letter of Aristeas (Stuttgart: Reclam), an article on Hadrian’s Wall for N. Fryde & B. Heuser (eds.), Walls, Ramparts, and Lines of Demarcation (The Shape of War, vol. 1, Muenster: Lit), a contribution on "oracles" for A. Grafton, G. Most & S. Settis (eds.), The Classical Tradition (Cambridge Mass.: Harvard University Press); an article on "Space and Geography" for A. Barchiesi & W. Scheidel (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Roman Studies (Oxford: Oxford University Press), reviews of A. Birley, The Roman Government of Britain (2006) and of J. Creighton, Britannia (2006) for Historische Zeitschrift, a study entitled "Als die Römer frech geworden" for A. Chaniotis & Ch. Kuhn (eds.), Historizing Classics: Continuities, Contrasts, Controversies (Stuttgart: Steiner), and "Die griechische Bibel deutsch" (Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelstiftung), of which I am a co-editor.

Papers given at Research Seminars

I was invited to give papers at Research Seminars at these universities:

  • Birmingham (on texts and maps in the Roman Empire, 13.12.),
  • Cologne (on the Septuagint, 19.1. - a day trip from Oxford by train!),
  • Oxford (Laud Society, on the letter of Aristeas, 22.1.),
  • Durham (on Pomponius Mela, 23.1.),
  • Leeds (on Cetius Faventinus, 13.2.) and
  • Oxford again (Institute of Archaeology, on Roman Architectural Manuals, 27.2.).

Journal and Monograph Series

I have continued my work as managing editor of the journal Historia (which the EU journal ranking has put into the very top group of international "A" Journals for History) and its accompanying monograph series; one fascicle of the journal and three monographs (K. Ehling, Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der späten Seleukiden; V. Grieb, Hellenistische Demokratie; M. Troester, Themes, Character and Politics in Plutarch) have been published during Hilary Term. In addition, several books have appeared in other book series I am co-editor of: Edition Antike: Plautus I; Geschichte kompakt: E. Baltrusch, Caesar und Pompeius, 2nd ed.; Studien zur Alten Geschichte: T. Howe, Vandalen, Barbaren und Arianer bei Victor von Vita; M. Lindner, Rom und seine Kaiser im Historienfilm. In both the journal and the various monograph series several manuscripts were being evaluated and kept me "up to date" with current scholarship; among the monograph manuscripts I had to assess were one on "Antisemitismus in der Antike - Brüche und Kontinuitäten eines historischen Phänomens" (21.1.) and one on "Caesar und die Rheingrenze" (19.2.). I also prepared A. Kropp's defixiones (A Corpus of Latin Curse Tablets) for publication (3.3.).

Teaching

Tutorials

I was very grateful indeed for being allowed to teach for St John’s, and was given the chance to hold up to eleven individual tutorials in every week of this term:

  • BA Ancient & Modern History - 1st year
  • Michael Girkin: Latin Reading (8)
  • BA Classical Arch & Ancient History - 1st year
    George Bray: Tacitus and Tiberius (4)
    George Bray: Roman History Core Course (8)
    Tanya White: Roman History Core Course (8)
  • BA Ancient & Modern History - 2nd year
    Ruth Ball: Politics, Society and Culture from Nero to Hadrian (8)
    Thomas Hannah: Politics, Society and Culture from Nero to Hadrian (8)
  • BA Classical Arch & Ancient History - 2nd year
    Rachel McCombie: Politics, Society and Culture from Nero to Hadrian (4)
  • BA Lit Hum - Course 1 - 2nd year
    James Earle: Cicero and Catiline (rev., 4)
  • BA Classics with Oriental Studies - 4th year
    Kathryn Stevens: Aspects of Ancient History (8)
  • Postgraduate in Classical Arch & Ancient History
    Maurice Walters: Aspects of Ancient History (8)

Also for St John’s, I set and/or marked 6 collections by Ruth Ball (see above), Carmine Battista (BA Classical Arch & Ancient History - 3rd year), Sophie Brockmann (BA Ancient & Modern History - 3rd year), Jonathan Foulds (BA Lit Hum Course 1 - 2nd year), Thomas Hannah (see above), and Kathryn Stevens (see above). The marvellous house we are given for the year provided an ideal teaching room for all these tutorials and classes.

Admissions

To make myself useful for the St John’s college in another way, I had formally trained as an Interviewer for Oxford Admissions last term, and was now able to co-interview with Martin Stokes (Music, 9 interviews, 3.12.) and Peter Haarer (Ancient and Modern History, 3 interviews, 5.12. plus evening "market" in Brasenose College 6.12.).

Exams, Evaluations, References et al.

For my home university, Mannheim, I had to mark two dissertations (A. Ohler on Sparta’s economic history, 21.1., and D. Becki on The Reception of Alexander the Great ). For other institutions, I was asked as a referee or evaluator; they included Bryn Mawr (9.12.), University Waterloo (12.12.), Cambridge University Press (14.12.), Kommission für Alte Geschichte und Epigraphik Munich (14.12.), Columbia University (22.12.), Trinity College Oxford (22.12.), Magdalen College Oxford (17.1.), Universitaet Muenster (29.1.), Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (panel meeting in Bonn 30.1.-1.2., evaluation report 8.2.), Gerda-Henkel-Stiftung (7.2.), C.E.Stevens & Ch. Oldham Travelling Scholarship (14.2.) and Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe (15.2.).

et cetera

St John’s College

The Visiting Fellowship not only provides the house (on which more below), but also the right to lunch and dine in college - a great privilege! It enabled me to enjoy regular meetings with colleagues and friends from St John’s, and to invite others, including Johannes Zachhuber (dinner on 11.12.), Brian Bosworth and Elizabeth Baynham (Australia, dinner on 21.1.), Dr. Anne-Marie Drummond (20.2.), Dr. Caroline and Dr. Johannes Saltzwedel (22.2.), and Dr. Juliane Kerkhecker (6.3.). In turn, I found myself invited to dinners at Wadham (Reinhold Strohm, 5.12.), Trinity (Johannes Zachhuber, 20.2.), Corpus Christi (Neil McLynn, 22.2.), and Queens (Angus Bowie, 27.2.).

Chapel Choir

Advent started with singing carols at the very well attended MCR Dinner on 2.12., to be followed by the Staff Carol Service on 7.12., and singing for the Fellows’ Christmas Dinner on 14.12., the Inter-Collegiate Evensong in St Mary’s (27.1.), and for a the christening of a fellows' grandson (27.2.). During term, we again sang two evensongs per week: While the College Chapel was still a building site, we sang in the parish church of St Mary Mag’s on Sundays, and in St Giles on Wednesdays, from February all services in the refurbished College Chapel with its wonderful new Aubertin organ, which Bernard Aubertin introduced us to on 24.1. I was again even allowed to do some canting, and readings, and to join the choir for the Sunday dinners - and to fry pancakes for the chapel on Shrove Tuesday (5.2.)!

22 St Giles

It was our aim to open the house to the college. The whole college choir used it as rehearsal space, between the rehearsals and evensong, every Wednesday until the services returned to the Chapel. I also held all my tutorials and classes in the house every week, and had students (George Bray 1.-5.12., Kreigh Knerr 8.-10.12.) stay with us for a couple of days when the college could not provide accomodation for them after the end of term. The house also allowed us to have several overnight guests, among them Dr. Susanna Phillippo / Newcastle (16.-17.12. and 9.-10.2.), KMD Robert Sattelberger / Speyer and family (2.-8.1.), Prof. Dr. Martin Dreher / Magdeburg and family (3-9.2.). Prof. Dr. Richard Talbert / Chapel Hill (19.-24.2.), Dr. Caroline and Dr. Johannes Saltzwedel / Hamburg (21.-28.2.) and several groups of my Mannheim students (Rene Gilbert and Kai Hockenberger 7.-11.1., Annick Benz and Alexandra Wassmer 15.-18.1., Holger Müller 22.-28.1., Teresa Wenzel and Lutz Spitzner 3.-12.2., Valentina Boltze, Inken Diederich and Gesina Zöller 27.2.-2.3.). We were also able to have some of our children’s friends staying with us, and two exchange pupils from Assisi in Italy (29.2.-8.3.). And also in our house, we celebrated a Thuringian "Angrillen" with Gerard van Gelder, Cynthia and Anthony Hall, Helen Hatcher, Catherine and Kevin Hilliard, Ritchie Robertson, Kathryn Stevens, Maurice Walters (2.2.).

St Giles Church

It was very good to belong to the parish church of St Giles. Rufus (at 14 he is our youngest son) and I were allowed to join the choir, so we rehearsed every Friday, and sang both the Mattins and Holy Communion Service, and Evensong every Sunday (with me missing the 8 Evensongs again only during term because of the "rival" evensong with St John’s Chapel Choir). Cynthia Hall (who took the whole choir to the Panto on 4.1., much to the boys’ [and our!] joy) is an excellent conductor, and manages to bring the boys and ‘gents’ of this only all-male parish church choir in Oxford to musical excellence in very joyful rehearsals and services. We very much feel we belong to St Giles church, where Rufus also again was the organist for a service (on 30.12.), Dr Geoffrey Tyack gave a fascinating talk on the Townesend’s Monument (9.12., the last time Sir Howard Colvin was there before his death), and I contributed an essay entitled "Both our hearts" to the collection "Being an Anglican", edited by Alice Keller, in the Parish Magazine of St Giles’ & St Margaret’s, Oxford, Feb 2008 (http://www.st-giles-church.org/Magazine_February-08.pdf), 22-24.

Christmas

It was a special treat to spend Christmas with the whole family in Oxford - not least as the College provided us with a Christmas Tree and a Duck! We attended the Playhouse’s Panto "Aladdin", and we sang in the Carol Service (23.12.), attended the Midnight Communion (24.12.) and sang again in the Christmas Service (25.12.). We were happy to spend Christmas Eve in the house (and with a long walk across Port Meadow) with Jennifer Reuer (a graduate at Balliol, who sings in St John’s Chapel Choir) and Donald Russell, and to be invited for a marvellous Dinner on Christmas Day by Cynthia and Anthony Hall, and Boxing Day visits by Alma’s godmother Anne-Marie and her family, plus a dinner at Liz Carmichael’s, a First Sunday after Xmas of special christmas tea at Stephanie and Christoph Dalley’s, and a wonderful dinner, with Peter Parsons, to which Donald Russell had invited us to his home (2.1.). And in London, we visited the Central Mosque in Regent Park, the Jewish Cemetery in Willesden and the giant Hindu Temple in Neasden (29.12.).

Oxford and the Europan School Culham

The two younger of our four children, Edna (who celebrated her 17th birthday on 1.2.) and Rufus (14), are with me in Oxford; our elder daughter Alma (21) is a student in Munich, while our elder son Isidor (19, who achieved his school-leaving diploma with a perfect result on 6.3.) and my wife Christiane will join us from Easter onwards. Edna continued her work as a Cadet in the St John Ambulance which holds training sessions every Tuesday in Marston, and Rufus his regular organ lessons with Peter Ward-Jones at St Giles. And we enjoyed several memorable theatre productions, mostly in the Oxford Playhouse: Sheridan’s Rivals (26.1.), a student play on Alice through the looking glass (2.2.), Alan Ayckbourn’s Trip to Scarborough (4.2.), standup comedy by Mark Watson (11.2.), the Gilbert & Sullivan Society’s production of "Patience" in the Wesley Memorial Hall (21.2.), and Michael Frayn’s excellent Spies (23.2.).
The University of Erfurt (founded in 1379, the same year as New College) had invited me for interviews (17./18.12., 9.-14.1., 25./26.2.) which resulted in a unanimous vote of the Senate to make me president of this fine university after my year in Oxford, so we'll move from Oxford to Erfurt then. We continue to be enormously grateful for all the opportunities the year at St John’s gives us, and look forward to the spending Trinity term all together in Oxford.

8.3.2008

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