Babcock Launches ‘The Well-Laden Ship’

Robert Babcock‘s recent publication, The Well-Laden Ship, charts new territory as the first translation of the early
BobBabcockcroppedeleventh-century Latin poem that taught young students not to “look a gift horse in the mouth.”

Originally compiled by Egbert of Liège, the poem served as a schoolroom reader in the Middle Ages. It consists of many still-familiar proverbs, fables, and folktales derived from the Bible, ancient poets, and the common vernacular. As part of the Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library series, the text contains facing-page translations, making it easy for one to compare the English and Latin texts. As a result, Babcock’s translation of this rare reader provides early Latin derivations of not only Vergil and Juvenal but also “Jack Sprat” and “Little Red Riding Hood.”

The Well-Laden Ship will provide its reader a better understanding of the medieval education and poetry that informs our modern proverbial wisdom and folklore.


Watch the institute online here.

Watch the institute online here.

Clever slaves, braggart soldiers and cooks, enticing courtesans, and shouting fathers from ancient times are now on YouTube. The product of Sharon James’s National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute: Roman Comedy in Performance, these experimental videos will serve as teaching and learning tools for those studying the often troubling but funny genre.

Co-directed by alumnus Timothy Moore, the institute was a collaborative project involving 23 professors and three graduate students and visiting faculty members. Participants created multiple performance versions of scenes from Plautus and Terence by experimenting with staging, actors, translation, choreography, and more. By doing so, they crafted an excellent series of scenes that relates the ancient plays to our modern society.

Click here to use the performances for your own teaching, research, and learning.


Much of Berthold L. Ullman’s material on the manuscript tradition of Catullus is now openly available via Dr. Dániel Kiss’s new website, Catullus Online.

Prof. Ullman (professor of Latin 1944-1959), one of the leading scholars of Latin paleography and manuscript traditions of his generation, bequeathed to the department his invaluable collection of facsimiles, transcriptions and notes. Prominent among them are material on the manuscript tradition of Catullus, which incorporated the earlier notes of William Gardner Hale and Euan T. Sage and which were the basis of a projected edition that Ullman did not live to complete.

Dr. Kiss, a research fellow at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, developed the website as a repository of conjectures on Catullus, compiling material from prominent libraries throughout the world. Dr. Kiss made several trips to the department over the years to consult the Hale-Ullman Papers, part of the department’s special collections in Ullman Library.


The library journal Choice has selected Sharon L. James and Sheila Dillon‘s A Companion to Women in the Ancient World as an one of its Outstanding Academic Titles of 2012 in Ancient History.

“Choice grants this award to fewer than three percent of the books that are sent to it for review,” Prof. James explained. “My co-editor, Sheila Dillon, and I — along with our thirty-nine contributors — are very pleased that our Companion is one of them.”

Additionally, the Association of American Publishers gave the volume honorable mention in its 2012 PROSE Awards under the category of “Single Volume Reference in Humanities and Social Sciences.”

Prof. James partnered with Prof. Dillon, associate professor of art history at Duke University, to co-edit the volume for Wiley-Blackwell.