Welcome to Cornell Classics
Classics is the interdisciplinary study of the ancient (1700 BCE-600 CE) Greek and Roman civilizations that gave subsequent European culture its distinctive character. The study of Greek and Roman antiquity includes: Greek and Latin language, literature, and linguistics; ancient philosophy; history; archaeology and art history; papyrology; epigraphy; and numismatics.
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A Test of Time and A Test of Time Revisited: The Volcano of Thera and the Chronology and History of the Aegean and East Mediterranean in the mid Second Millennium BC
Sturt W. Manning
The eruption of the Thera (Santorini) volcano in the Aegean Sea in the mid-second millennium BC was a clearly defined, specific moment in Aegean and east Mediterranean prehistory that impacted on all the major cultures of the region. The effects of the eruption have been linked with the destruction of the Minoan palace civilisation of Crete, the legend of Atlantis, and even events described in the Biblical account of the Exodus. Scientists have studied the remains of the volcano and traced eruption products and far-flung climatic impacts throughout the east Mediterranean and in ice cores and tree-ring data. At Akrotiri, a major prehistoric town buried by the eruption, archaeologists unearthed the partially intact remains multi-storey buildings, painted frescoes and myriad objects of everyday life. The date of the eruption has long been a subject of importance and controversy since accurate dating would offer a unique linchpin for the study and synchronisation of the history and cultures of the region in the mid-second millennium. It would provide a key test both for the established historical chronology of ancient Egypt and derived archaeological chronologies. Yet the exact date remained stubbornly unresolved and varied in the literature by over 100 years. A Test of Time, first published in 1999, sought to resolve the issue through a critical review of the archaeological and scientific data, including the presentation of radiocarbon dates, which together suggested a new ‘early’ chronology for the Aegean c. 1700–1400 BC. This edition comprises the original, unrevised text, together with a substantial new appended essay which critically reviews the continuing debate between 1999 and 2012 and presents a raft of new scientific data, including the Bayesian modelling of radiocarbon dates relating to a range of relevant archaeological sequences from Egypt and the eastern Mediterranean.
Olin Library is maintaining a list of resources for Classics.
- Tuesday, April 5, 2016: Massimo Osanna (Superintendent of Pompeii) in Goldwin Smith Hall, Kaufmann Auditorium (G64)
- Wednesday, April 6, 2016: Daniele Maras (Pontificia Accademia Romana di Archaeologia) at 6:00 in Goldwin Smith Hall, Kaufmann Auditorium (G64)
- Friday, April 15, 2016: Roberta L. Stewart (Dartmouth College)
- Monday, April 18, 2016: William Van Andringa (Université de Lille 3) in Goldwin Smith Hall G22
- Friday, April 29, 2016: Claudia Moatti (University of Southern California)
Edith Hall (King's College, London) delivered the first Francis R. Halpern Lecture on October 2, 2015: What Do the Ancient Greeks Have to Say to the Third Millenium?
Watch the video here.
News and Announcements
- What does Elvis Presley have in common with Dionysus?
- Cornell-led research resolves long-debated Mesopotamia timeline
- Concealing the bodies of ancient statues with censorship or fashion adds another layer to their complicated politics.
- How Anti-Trade Nativism Wrecked the Ancient Greeks
Cleon was an Athenian demagogue, a shrewd operator known for violence and for getting things done.
- Cicero on Going Emeritus
- Retiring faculty honored, invited to remain active
- President Hunter Rawlings on priorities and 'pinch-hitting'
- Reinventing Pygmalion: Tracey Emin’s “Rocky” Marriage
- Mortua lingua discipulorum auxilio reviviscit*
*"With the help of some students, a dead language is coming back to life.”
- Schizophrenia in the Golden Ass
- Cornell Cast Collection Figures Introduced to Klarman Hall
- What Rome Can Teach Us Today
- From Bacchus to Burgundy: Wine Culture in Art
- The Empty Chair and the Silent Voice. Symbols of Loss, Grief - and Hope?
- Database of classical works now freely searchable
- Congratulation Ioannis Ziogas!
- Brandtly Jones Precollegiate Award Citation
- Ancient Scientific and Technical Texts
- Exposing new audiences to a real Greek tragedy
- Two juniors receive Caplan Travel Fellowships
- ISIS Destroys Ancient Palmyra Columns By Tying Prisoners to Them and Blowing Them Up, Shocking New Report Reveals
- American Bacchae
- New book examines 'I' vs. 'us' in late antiquity
- Why ISIS wants to erase Palmyra's history
- Fontaine plays Sherlock Holmes with book on rare play
- Katie Cruz honored as 2015 Merrill Scholar
- Classics department celebrates our 2015 graduates!
- Congratulations Katie Kearns!
- Charles Brittain received Constance E. Cook and Alice H. Cook Recognition Award for his contributions to improving the climate for women at Cornell.
- Why ISIS destroys antiquities?
- Responding to Islamic State’s Destruction of Ancient Artifacts.
- Casts and Present exhibition marks Cornell’s Sesquicentennial by returning to the University’s deep roots in teaching from objects.
- Near Eastern and Classics Professor Kim Haines-Eitzen is featured on Academic Minute.