Update #2

To say that July was a month of ups and downs would be an understatement. Definitely one of the highest points is realizing just how amazing of

This standard entry into the LIMC lists the date of the artifact as "Deuxieme moitie du VII s. av. J.-C" which translates as "the 2nd half of the 7th century BCE"

This standard entry into the LIMC lists the date of the artifact as “Deuxieme moitie du VII s. av. J.-C” which translates as “the 2nd half of the 7th century BCE”

an advisor I have. Throughout this entire process, Professor Swetnam-Burland (or Professor SB if you’ve been in one of her classes) has been an invaluable resource for constructive criticism and guidance. After contacting her about the difficulty I was having finding dates for all of the artifacts in the LIMC, she very helpfully pointed out that most of the object descriptions contained dates, but I had probably missed them since I am unfamiliar with French notation. While I must admit that this was a little embarrassing after spending so much time looking for the dates elsewhere, it was also incredibly helpful for ascertaining many of the objects’ time of creation as well as further familiarizing me with the layout of the LIMC. Certainly after all of this, I will be more confident in my use of this resource and will be less likely to discount small notations as unimportant.

Another up during July did not exactly relate to my research, but it does relate to my current educational track and my future ambitions. I had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Peter Schertz who is the curator of the Ancient Art Collection at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) as well as Courtney Morano who is his educator and the Interpretations Manager at the VMFA. If you’re a Classics major like I am, or just a Classics enthusiast, the VMFA is a great place to get your ancient artifacts fix. While I only briefly discussed the object of my summer research with Dr. Schertz, I did receive some amazing advice about Classics grad school, museum studies, and the future of museums in general. Being able to meet with professionals within the museums and Classics industry is always a beneficial experience and allows me to take one step further towards figuring out the path of my future career.

Unfortunately, along with the highs come the lows, and while the lows generally result in important progress, they’re still not enjoyable. Going through the LIMC again, I translated a new sentence which related that the objects which depicted Ajax’s suicide listed below were only a sampling of those extant. This new information sent me into a panic in search of a book entitled “Denkmalerlisten zur griechischen Heldensage” which purportedly lists all artifacts depicting Ajax’s suicide. I was fortunate enough to locate a copy at VCU which listed 51 artifacts as opposed to the 28 discussed in the LIMC. At this point, I was forced to sit back, go through all the research I had compiled, and figure out if it still supported my original intent for this summer’s project. I once again turned to my advisor for advice and have decided to narrow my focus as well as shift it. Instead of focusing on why some particular cultures like the Corinthians or Etruscans have multiple representations of Ajax’s suicide, the research has led me to explore how the depictions of Ajax’s suicide represent Greek and Roman attitudes towards suicide. At the moment, I am working hard on developing a concise thesis to guide my paper and to help me streamline the research I have already compiled. However, I also feel a renewed sense of excitement over my research which has arrived just in time to begin writing my paper.