The Charles Beebe Martin Memorial Lectures

The Martin Lectures Fund was established by gifts of many friends of Professor Charles Beebe Martin ’76, in recognition of his service of more than 40 years as a teacher of Greek and the Fine Arts.

The 2023 Charles Beebe Martin Lectures

Helen Morales, Argyropoulos Professor of Hellenic Studies
Department of Classics
University of California Santa Barbara 

Art, Activism, and Ancient Fiction 

October 30 - November 3, 2023

Harmonia Rosales' The Garden of Eve
Harmonia Rosales, The Garden of Eve (2022)
Used by the kind permission of the artist

Monday, October 30 at 7:30 pm: Re-encountering antiquity with Harmonia Rosales

Tuesday, October 31 at 4:45 pm: Aesop, slavery, and queer kinship

Thursday, November 2 at 4:45 pm: Riddles of incest

Friday, November 3 at 4:45 pm: Heliodorus' blackness  

All lectures are free and open to the public, and take place in the Craig Lecture Hall of the Oberlin Science Center, at the corner of Lorain and Woodland Streets.  The opening night's lecture will be followed by a reception.

History and Listing of the Martin Lectures

Volumes I-XXX were published by the Harvard University Press by arrangement with the Martin Classical Lectures Committee. Thereafter a new series was established, with publication by the Princeton University Press.

Each volume, except the first, was delivered by a single individual and accordingly each such volume has its own title.

Browse History of Martin Lectures


James J. O’Donnell, University of Pennsylvania

The Lives of Augustine

  • Mar. 5: “Death in Hippo”
  • Mar. 6: “The Man without Qualities”
  • Mar. 8: “The Past Recaptured”
  • Mar. 9: “The Tongue Set Free”

Ian Morris, Stanford University

The Greek Economic Miracle

Feb. 11: “The Case of the Missing Capitalists”
Feb. 12: “How the Good Life Got Better in Ancient Greece”
Feb. 14: “Weight of Numbers: the Economic History of the Very Long Term”
Feb. 15: “Making Sense of Miracles”


Gregory Nagy, Harvard University

Masterpieces of Classical Metonomy

Mar. 3: “Music at the Festival”
Mar. 4: “Art and its Attractions”
Mar. 6: “Beauty and its Delicate Creations”
Mar. 7: “Mysteries of Fusion”


Michael Putnam, Brown University

Poetic Interplay: Catullus and Horace
NS. Vol. VII, Poetic Interplay: Catullus and Horace (2006)

Mar. 8: “Time and Place”
Mar. 9: “Speech and Silence”
Mar. 11: “Helen”
Mar. 12: “Virgil”


Leslie Kurke, University of California at Berkeley 

Aesopic Conversations: Popular Tradition and Cultural Dialogue in Antiquity

Feb. 28: “The Aesop Tradition and Aesop at Delphi”
Mar. 1: “Aesop as Sage: Political Counsel and Discursive Practice”
Mar. 3: “The Aesopic Parody of High Wisdom”
Mar. 4: “Aesop in Plato and Herodotus, or the Socio-Politics of Prose”


Erich Gruen,  University of California at Berkeley

Identity Theft: Cultural Appropriations and Collective Identity in Antiquity

Feb. 27: “Fictitious Kinships”
Feb. 28: “Foundation Legends”
Mar. 2: “Cultural Appropriation and Approbation”
Mar. 3: “Embracing the ‘Other’”


Robin Osborne, The University of Cambridge

The Politics of Pictorial Representation in Early Athenian Democracy

Mar. 5: “Painted Pottery and its History”
Mar. 6: “The Politics of War”
Mar. 8: “Athletics and the Politics of Desire”
Mar. 9: “Pots and Politics”


Joseph Farrell, The University of Pennsylvania 

Juno’s Aeneid: Narrative, Metapoetics, Dissent

Feb. 25: “The Choice of Aeneas: Achilles and Odysseus in the Eyes of Homer’s Critics”
Feb. 26: “The Wrath of Jono In Vergil’s Homeric Program”
Feb. 28: “The Vergilian narrator and Augustus’ Culture of Dissent”
Feb. 29: “No Second Troy? Reading with Aeneas”


Christina Kraus, Yale University

Tacitean Polyphonies: The Agricola and its Scholarly Reception

Apr. 13: “The Agricola and the Problem of Genre”
Apr. 14: “In the Castra with the Lead Pipe: The Fetishization of Roman Britain”
Apr. 16: “Which Tacitus? The Agricola and the Career of the Author”
Apr. 17: “The Challenges of Commentary”


Simon Goldhill,  Cambridge University

Virgins, Lions, and Honest Pluck: The Victorians and Classical Antiquity

Feb. 22: “Desire and the Classical Body: Victorian Imaging, from Waterhouse to Warhol”
Feb. 23: “Who Killed Chevalier Gluck?”
Feb. 25: “The Most Popular American Book Ever”
Feb. 26: “How Classics Destroyed the Church”


Victoria  Wohl, University of Toronto

Euripides and the Politics of Form

Feb. 21: “The Politics of Form”
Feb. 22: “Broken Plays for a Broken World”
Feb. 24: “Beautiful Tears”
Feb. 25: “The End”


Alessandro Barchiesi, University of Siena and Stanford University

 The Council of the Gods

Nov. 5: “The Divine Senate”
Nov. 6: “The Council in Hell”
Nov. 8: “A Triadic Model”
Nov. 9: “Adjustment Team”


David Frankfurter, Boston University

Christianizing Egypt: Syncretism and Local Worlds

Nov. 4: “Re-Modeling the Christianization of Egypt”
Nov. 5: “Domestic Religion and Religious Change”
Nov. 7: “A Site of Blessings, Dreams and Wonders: The Egyptian Saint’s Shrine as a Crucible of Christianization”
Nov. 8: “Whispering Spirits, Holy Processions: Christianizing the Egyptian Religious Landscape”


Richard Martin, Stanford University

 Homer Abroad: Greek Epic in Comparative Perspective

Oct. 6: “Crete and Homeric Singers”
Oct. 7: “Ireland and Homeric Audiences”
Oct. 9: “Kyrgystan and Homeric Heroes”
Oct. 10: “Mali and Homeric Composers”


Ruby Blondell, University of Washington

Helen of Troy on Screen

Nov. 2 “Olympus Moves to Hollywood”
Nov. 3 “The First Flapper Queen”
Nov. 5 “There She Is, Miss America!”
Nov. 6 “Ridiculous Female Trappings”


Steven Ellis,  University of Cincinnati 

The Pompeian Context: Lessons from the Excavation of a Roman City

Nov. 6: “Context and Complexity in the Social and Structural Making of Pompeii”
Nov. 7: “Retail Investment and the Socio-economics of Sub-elite Construction”
Nov. 9: “The Specialized Roman City: The Rise and Fall of Urban Innovation”
Nov. 10: “Life of Marcus Surus Garasenus: A Syrian in Pompeii”


Shadi Bartsch-Zimmer, University of Chicago

Revolutionary Re-readings: The Western Classics in Modern China

Oct. 8: “The Road to June 4, 1989”
Oct. 9: “Plato's Republic in the People's Republic of China”
Oct. 11: “The Politics of Rationality”
Oct. 12: “Socrates, Confucius, and Chinese Nationalism”


Daniel Selden, Professor of Literature and Classical Studies, University of California Santa Cruz

Holy Wandering: The Worlding of the Alexander Romance

Nov. 4:  Mapping the Alexander Romance
Nov. 5:  The Quest for the Waters of Life
Nov. 7:  Guardians of Chaos
Nov. 8:  Iskandar and the Idea of Iran


Esther Eidinow, Chair in Ancient History, Department of Classics and Ancient History, University of Bristol

Magical Thinking and Magical Beliefs in the Ancient World

May 9: Imagining Magic
May 10:  Performing Magic
May 12:  Fearing Magic
May 13:  Living with Magic