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Winter / Spring 2022 Webinars
Celebrating a Decade of Complimentary Professional Development


RESCHEDULED - Tuesday, May 10, 2022, 6:00–7:00 pm ET (5:00–6:00 pm CT)
Greece & India, China & Rome: at the Crossroads of the Ancient World
Presenter: Georgia Irby, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA

In this webinar, Professor Irby discusses the relationships and contacts between the west and east of the ancient world. Drawing on both material and literary culture, she explores Greek and Roman knowledge of and interactions with India, China, and Sri Lanka. Long-distance exchange was complex, from commercial links (along the Erythraean Sea and the Silk Road) to philosophical cross-pollination and diplomatic embassies. Greek and Roman thinkers were fascinated by the peoples at the edges of their world, and they understood these distant peoples imperfectly, giving rise to utopias, dystopias, and fanciful hybrid-folk.

Georgia Irby, Professor of Classical Studies, has broad research interests including the history of Greek and Roman science. She received her PhD in Classical Philology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She has co-authored a Latin textbook, edited a two-volume History of Science and Technology in the ancient world, and has published on Greek mythology, Roman military religion, and Roman military medicine. Two of her recent books, Conceptions of the Watery World in Greco-Roman Antiquity and Using and Conquering the Watery World in Greco-Roman Antiquity (Bloomsbury, 2021), stem from her COLL 100 course, “Why Water Matters.” In the class and the books, she explores water as a focus of engagement with the natural environment in the ancient world, including physics, infrastructure (e.g., aqueducts), medicine, mythology, religion, and more. In a recent monograph Epic Echoes in The Wind and the Willows (Routledge, 2021), she investigates Kenneth Grahame's engagement with classical literature, especially the themes and imagery of the Iliad and Odyssey. Together with a number of smaller projects (including articles on sea monsters and on environmental history), she is currently working on a translation and commentary of the Hispano-Roman geographical writer Pomponius Mela. She is also the editor of the Classical Journal, one of the premier journals of the field. Her talk today stems from her work in ancient geography and cartography.


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