Conference: Visualising War: Interplay between Battle Narratives across Antiquity

June 14-15, 2017, St Andrews

At this conference, researchers from different specialisations within Classics examined dialogue between battle scenes from different genres, media and cultures across antiquity (8thc. BC-4thc. AD), probing lack of interplay as well as interactivity. Reaching beyond the traditional parameters of ancient warfare studies, we commissioned papers that pair well-known, ‘canonical’ works with more marginal (e.g., technical, ‘foreign’, inscriptional, anecdotal) representations. Some looked at clusters of works produced within a short time of each other; others took a more diachronic view, looking at the ways in which interplay builds up over time.

All contributors were challenged to reflect on the ways in which we visualise and articulate different forms of interplay (e.g. borrowing, rewriting, allusion, occlusion). By combining close analysis with methodological reflection, the conference was designed 1) to produce novel insight into already well-known battle depictions in individual works; 2) to explore systematically, for the first time, the evolution of ‘the battle narrative’ in antiquity as a multi-faceted, interactive network of ideas; 3) to initiate fresh dialogue on methodologies of reading interaction between different periods and art forms.


  • Emma Buckley (Lecturer in Classics, University of St Andrews)
  • Serafina Cuomo (Reader in Roman History, University of Birkbeck)
  • Marco Formisano (Faculty Member, Literature Department, University of Ghent), with
  • Paolo Felice Sacchi, a PhD student of Dr Formisano and collaborator on one his projects
  • Lisa Hau (Lecturer in Classics, University of Glasgow)
  • Alice König (Lecturer in Latin, University of St Andrews)
  • Helen Lovatt (Professor of Classics, University of Nottingham)
  • Zahra Newby (Reader in Classics, University of Warwick)
  • John Oksanish (Assistant Professor in Classics, Wake Forest University)
  • Bettine Reitz-Joosse (Assistant Professor in Latin Language and Literature, University of Groningen)
  • Andrew Riggsby (Lucy Shoe Meritt Professor of Classics and Professor of Art History, University of Texas)
  • Courtney Roby (Assistant Professor in Classics, Cornell University)
  • Nicolas Wiater (Lecturer in Classics, Univeristy of St Andrews)


A full programme is available here.

This workshop was generously funded by the School of Classics at the University of St Andrews.