Working Papers by Author

Maud W. Gleason - Classics Department, Stamford University


111001 Identity Theft: Masquerades and Impersonations in the Contemporary Books of Cassius Dio
Maud W. Gleason, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - The contemporary books of Cassius Dio’s Roman History are known (to the extent that they are read) for their anecdotal quality and lack of interpretive sophistication. This paper aims to recuperate another layer of meaning for Dio’s anecdotes by examining episodes in his contemporary books that feature masquerades and impersonation. It suggests that these themes owe their prominence to political conditions in Dio’s lifetime, particularly the revival, after a hundred-year lapse, of usurpation and damnatio memoriae, practices that rendered personal identity problematic. The central claim is that narratives in Dio’s last books use masquerades and impersonation to explore paradoxes of personal identity and signification, issues made salient by abrupt changes of social position at the highest levels of imperial society.
This paper replaces (110901) originally published in November 2009. It has now been published in Classical Antiquity 30 (2011), pp. 33-86.

110901 Identity Theft: Masquerades and Impersonations in the Contemporary Books of Cassius Dio
Maud W. Gleason, Stanford University
Revised November 2010. See entry 111001.

070801 Making Space for Bicultural Identity: Herodes Atticus Commemorates Regilla
Maud W. Gleason, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract: Herodes and Regilla built a number of installations during their marriage, some of which represented their union in spatial terms. After Regilla died, Herodes reconfigured two of these structures, altering their meanings with inscriptions to represent the marriage retrospectively. This paper considers the implications of these commemorative installations for Herodes’ sense of cultural identity.
This paper has now been published in Local Knowledge and Microidentities in the Imperial Greek World (Cambridge University Press, 2010).

010702 Shock and Awe: The Performance Dimension of Galen’s Anatomy Demonstrations
Maud W. Gleason, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract: Galen’s anatomical demonstrations on living animals constitute a justly famous chapter in the history of scientific method. This essay, however, examines them as a social phenomenon. Galen’s demonstrations were competitive. Their visual, cognitive and emotional impact (often expressed by compounds of ѳαῦμα and ἔκπληξις) reduced onlookers to gaping amazement. This impact enhanced the logical force of Galen’s arguments, compelling competitors to acknowlege his intellectual and technical preeminence. Thus, on the interpersonal level, Galen’s demonstrations functioned coercively. On the philosophical level, Galen was using a rhetoric traditional to Greek science, a way of arguing that involved a unitary view of nature and an emphasis on homology between animals and man. But he was also using a rhetoric of power and status differentiation articulated via the body. As played out in the flesh, public vivisection resonated with other cultural practices of the Roman empire: wonder-working competitions, judicial trials, and ampitheater entertainment.
This paper has now been published as "Galen's Anatomical Performances" in C. Gill, T. Whitmarsh, J. Wilkins, eds. Galen and the World of Knowledge (Cambridge University Press, 2010).