Greek and Roman Studies

News and Press Releases

 Spring 2014
January: Randall Pogorzelski spoke on "Terrorists and Classicists: Joyce, Virgil, and the IRA" on January 15 as part of the Ides Lecture and Performance Series.

February: Nandini Pandley spoke on "Read 'Em and Weep: Aeneas Among the Monuments" on February 20 as part of the Ides Lecture and Performance Series.

March: In honor of World Poetry Day (March 21), the Greek and Roman Studies organized "Virgilpalooza," a marathon reading of Virgil's epic poem The Aeneid, books 1-9!

IWU announcement

Article in The Pantagraph about Virgilpalooza

Fall 2013

October: Visiting IWU Professor Jesse Weiner spoke on "Argonauts in America or the Worst Epic Poem Ever Composed?" on October 16 as part of the Ides Lecture and Performance Series.

Description: Joel Barlow’s Columbiad (1807) was composed to be America’s national epic, modeled after the epic poetry and mythology of Greece and Rome. This talk analyses Barlow’s often polemical engagement with his classical models, with a focus on his manipulation of the myth of Jason, Medea and the Argonauts to reframe his version of American history.

November: John R Senseney spoke on "Architecture in the Vitruvian Universe" on November 13 as part of the Ides Lecture and Performance Series.

Description: "Against the background of the Greek art of building that the Roman architectural writer Vitruvius drew upon, this lecture explores Vitruvius' understanding of architecture as a system of cosmic order underlying nature. Particular attention is given to the ancient invention of architecture as a distinct entity, and the role of craftsmanship in creating the possibility of scientific knowledge."

December: Greek and Roman Studies students participated in "The Prometheus Challenge" Climb at Upper Limits Gym on December 4. Prometheus has been tied to a rock at the Upper Limits Gym! An eagle is eating his liver! Where is Hercules? Will YOU be our hero and win glory by saving Prometheus? Instruction and balayers provided. Entry fee for contest. Prize awarded!

Greek and Roman Studies students gathered at the I-House on December 8 for  a student organized celebration of Saturnalia, one of Rome's greatest holidays.

May 2013

IWU students reenact the Ludi Megalenses (Games in honor of Cybele, the Magna Mater) during May Term 2013.

Spring 2013

April: The Annual Greco-Roman Banquet, for ALL GRS majors, minors, and friends will be hosted at 4 White Place in Bloomington, from 7pm-9pm on April 23rd. Please Come! Bring a friend who might be interested in joining our program! Please note that this is a potluck, so bring a dish to share.

This is always a great time to socialize with other GRS students and faculty. We encourage costumes! Bring a copy of your favorite work in Greek, Latin, or Hebrew to share an excerpt with us!

The Eta Sigma Phi Initiation earlier that same night, same place. All current and new members of our ESP chapter are strongly encouraged to attend the initiation, which will begin at 6:30 pm on the 23rd followed by the banquet at 7pm.

March: The IWU Classics Club and Greek and Roman Studies program organized a "Peep-into-Poetry" event, featuring scenes from Greek or Roman history and myth from poetry. The event hosted 8 completed dioramas, in team and individual categories. The Grand Prize went to Olivia Dunham '13, for her depiction of Andromeda's Rescue by Perseus. The dioramas will be on display in The Ames Library from March 21st until March 28th. Photos, courtesy of Nancy Sultan, are on the Gallery page.

The Pantagraph article reporting on the Peep-into-Poetry event.

A You Tube Video of the Peep-into-Poetry event.

February: Classics Club and the Greek and Roman Studies department invited Dr. Tim Moore, of Washington University at St. Louis, for the Ides Lecture. He presented on "Roman Music in Roman Comedy."

January: The IWU Classics Club invited students to a Saturnalia, hosted by I-House. There were many games involved, and good food. The Mistress of Mischief was Lauren Czaja. See the Gallery page for photos.


Fall 2012


GRS/REL 210: Greek Myth & the Hero (IT)
GRK 101: Beginning Classical Greek I
GRS 214: Greek and Roman Comedy (LIT)
HIST 316: World of Alexander the Great (CHC)
LAT 102: Beginning Latin II
REL 120: Intro. to Biblical Studies (IT)
REL 325: Lost Books of the Bible (IT, W)
REL 294: Jesus & the Gospels (IT)

May 2013:

HIST/GRS/REL 370: Blood Rites and Mystery Cults (CHC)

Sign up today!

Summer 2012

Check out this YouTube video of the NEH performing the Roman comedy Pseudolus, by Plautus, to experience Latin as a performed art! There are several videos up, including ones that feature singing in Latin. Our own Dr. Nancy Sultan took part in these productions.


A Roman Movie Extravaganza!

These films will be shown from 7-9pm in Beckman Auditorium, located in the lower level of The Ames Library.

September 14: I, Claudius (1976)

Oct. 1: Spartacus (1960)

Nov. 5: La Vita È Bella (1997)

Dec. 3: Life of Brian (1979)

These events are free and open to the public. Come for cookies and soda!

2012-2013 AIA Lecture Series Program

All talks will be given at UIUC.

Archaeological Institute of America/Central Illinois Society
2012/2013 Lecture Series

Sunday, September 9, 2012
Shannan Stewart, Department of the Classics, UIUC
"Setting the Table at Hellenistic Gordion"
3:00 P.M., Room 62 Krannert Art Museum (Auditorium)

Sunday, October 14, 2012
John J. Dobbins, University of Virginia
"Art, Archaeology, and Advanced Technology: The Case of the Alexander
Mosaic at Pompeii"
3:00 P.M., Room 62 Krannert Art Museum (Auditorium)

Sunday, November 4,   2012
John R. Senseney, School of Architecture, UIUC
"The Use and Transmission of Architectural Drawings in the Classical World"
3:00 P.M., Room 62 Krannert Art Museum (Auditorium)

Thursday, January 24,   2013
Wayne T. Pitard,  Spurlock Museum, UIUC
"In the Presence of the Aten: Rediscovering the Spurlock Museum's
Painted Panel from an el-Amarna Sanctuary"
5:30 P.M., Room 62 Krannert Art Museum (Auditorium)

Sunday, February 17 , 2013
Duncan Keenan-Jones, UIUC
"Reconstructing the History of Ancient Rome's Greatest Aqueduct"
3:00 P.M., Room 62 Krannert Art Museum (Auditorium)

Thursday, March 7, 2013
Peter Schultz. Concordia College
"Music, Healing and Sacred Space in Classical Greece: A New
Interpretation of the Thymele of Epidauros"
5:30 P.M., Room 62 Krannert Art Museum (Auditorium)

Sunday, April 7, 2013
Lanny Bell,  Brown University
"Mythology and Iconography of Divine Kingship in Ancient Egypt"
3:00 P.M., Room 62 Krannert Art Museum (Auditorium)

Faculty Updates, Spring 2012

Professor and Director of Greek and Roman Studies Nancy Sultan has been named the 2011-12 Bruce F. and Ildiko B. Meyer Honors Memorial Lecturer at Ball State University, and will deliver the keynote address at the Indiana Classical Conference in April.

Professor Nancy Sultan has been accepted to participate in the 2012 NEH Summer Institute on "Roman Comedy and Performance." She will spend a month in Chapel Hill, NC working on plays by Plautus and Terence with ten experts in the field of Greek and Roman drama and comedy.

Visiting Assistant Professor Amy Coles has presented the following talks:

"Non-Roman Gods in Mid-Republican Colonies: A Case against Religious Romanization." Paper presented at the Department of the Classics Colloquium at the University of Illinois. Urbana-Champaign, IL, March 2, 2012.
"Worshipping Locally: the Creation of Community in Ancient Roman Colonization," presented at the Religion Department Student-Faculty Colloquium at Illinois Wesleyan University on February 20, 2012.
"Religious Landscapes in Mid-Republican Latin Colonies: Products of Roman Hegemony?" Presented at the annual meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America, San Antonio, TX, on January 7, 2011.
"Reporting Religious Omens: Roman Mandate or Colonial Choice?"  Presented at the History Department Colloquium at Illinois Wesleyan University, on November 16, 2010.

"Colonial Prodigies: Evidence of a Religious Hierarchy?"  Presented at the Classics Colloquium at Washington University, St. Louis, MO, on February 15, 2010.
She has also published articles

IWU Presents a Homer-a-thon: An Epic Reading of the Odyssey

On Wednesday, March 21st, 2012, students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community members all gathered on the first floor of the Ames Library at 2pm to begin a non-stop reading of Homer's Odyssey. Some read in ancient Greek, others in Latin, still more in French, Italian, and even Russian, yet the stories carried through-- the man-eating Cyclopes, the fatally singing sirens, Penelope at her loom. The event ran until 3:30am, March 22nd. Good food and fun times were had by all!

For press releases, see:

Pantagraph article, "Epic Endeavor: Homeric Classic Recited in Entirety by IWU students, faculty"

WJBC, IWU Students Embark on "Homerathon"

Professor Nancy Sultan Selected Program Scholar of "Ancient Greeks/Modern Lives Project"

Nancy Sultan, Professor & Director of Greek & Roman Studies, was selected as a Program Scholar for the "Ancient Greeks/Modern Lives" Project, funded by an 800,000 NEH grant to Aquila Theatre.

Description from the webpage:

Ancient Greeks/Modern Lives places live theatrical events, reading groups and lectures in cultural institutions to inspire people to come together to read, see, and think about classical literature and how it continues to influence and invigorate American cultural life. Aquila Theatre, the Urban Libraries Council, the American Philological Association, the Center for Ancient Studies at New York University and the Harvard Center for Hellenic Studies are guiding this program traveling to 100 public libraries, museums, galleries and art centers across America focusing on veteran, inner-city, rural and underserved communities. Programming will occur from September 2011 to April 2013, and will be built around Greek drama and how its themes resonate today.

Visiting Assistant Professor

GRS welcomes Amy Coles from Penn as the 2009-10 sabbatical replacement for Professor Jason Moralee.  Amy will teach ancient history and Latin courses, and will be helping with co-curricular activities such as the Ides, annual banquet, and other spontaneous celebrations throughout the school year. You can read her biography under the "Faculty" link.

Amy Coles at Rhamnous Amy Coles at Rhamnous

Rachel Miller, a Greek and Roman Studies Major, Is Awarded a Grant Through Spain's Ministry of Education

Rachel Miller (class of 2009) has been accepted into a program offered through Spain�s Ministry of Education. As part of the program Rachel has been awarded a grant which allows her to live and work in Spain. (The grant was only presented to qualified college graduates within the United States and Canada.) The job consists of assisting a teacher in one of Spain�s public grade schools, which is located in the region of Castilla. We wish her the best of luck as she embarks on her journey this upcoming September! 

Nancy Sultan, Professor and Director of Greek and Roman Studies at IWU, receives "Excellence in Teaching" Award

On January 10, 2009, The American Philological Association (APA) recognized Nancy Sultan's dedication and contribution to teaching the Classics through the "Excellence in Teaching" award.


The Illinois Wesleyan Lambda Iota Chapter of Eta Sigma Phi, which was established at IWU in the Spring of 2007, held their annual induction on April 22. This collegiate honor society was originally established in 1914 at the University of Chicago and Northwestern to honor students of Greek and Latin. The new members include: Amelia Benner, Ashlea Canady, Katie Feehan, Amy Frasca, Danielle Grewe, Scott Himel, Kari Irwin, Sam Katz, Katharine Klein, Paul Lazoen, David Longawa, Aislinn Lowry, Amelia Luna, Ashley McGee, Rachel Miller, Steven Trzyna. New chapter officers will be elected at the beginning of the new school year.

Upcoming Ides Events! Join us on November 13th in the Hansen Student Center for a dramatic reading of An Iliad!

Coming up in December, join the Greek and Roman Studies Department and the Classics Club for a movie marathon!

Alumni send us your news!


On November 7, 2005, the Illinois Wesleyan University faculty voted to add a new INTERDISCIPLINARY MAJOR and a revised MINOR in Greek and Roman Studies. The Major and Revised Minor requirements are listed online.

This is an historic moment for Illinois Wesleyan University, and is the result of years of curricular planning by Nancy Sultan (who was hired in 1993 as the first classicist on campus), Jason Moralee (Ancient History) and April DeConick (Religion). The major never would have been possible without the help of Jason, April, and many other supportive colleagues and devoted students! 

Stay tuned for announcement of new programming and courses in the future!


A profile of Professor Nancy Sultan and her interest in the classics.

"Faculty and students combine talents to recreate a vivid past," IWU Magazine, Winter 2004

An article about the collaboration between Greek and Roman Studies and the School of Theatre Arts to produce a Greek chorus from Euripides' Eumenides.