Leading scholar in Roman religion will lecture at Brock

Rome, ‘the Eternal City’, has inspired more than two millennia of writers, thinkers, artists and architects.

On Oct. 20, Brock will share that inspiration when it hosts Christopher Smith, an internationally renowned scholar and director of the British School at Rome, Britain’s leading humanities research institute abroad.

Smith, who is a professor of Ancient History at Scotland’s University of St. Andrews, will give a lecture sponsored by the Department of Classics. The visit is designed to cement ties between Brock and the British School at Rome. Every year, the school offers Canadians residential scholarships in visual arts, architecture, archaeology, history and modern Italian studies.

“This is exactly the kind of interdisciplinary and international exchange that Brock seeks to promote,” said Katharine von Stackelberg, who is organizing the event with fellow professor Fanny Dolansky. “The British School at Rome is a major nexus for Commonwealth scholars and artists, and Dr. Smith’s visit marks the Department of Classics’ increasing international recognition.”

Smith, a historian and political theorist, will speak on Roman religion in the light of archaeological excavations.

“Much of information for early Rome is so fragmentary that even the smallest discovery can change our perspective,” said Dolansky. “But recent archaeology has provided a wealth of new evidence that completely challenges our assumptions. It’s exciting.”

Smith will also conduct a graduate seminar for students of the Classics MA program, an event that Dolansky said will highlight the importance of integrating teaching and research.

“Early Roman Religion: Problems and Perspectives” will take place on Oct. 20 from 7 to 8.30 p.m. in the Sankey Chamber.

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