Rebecca R. Benefiel Associate Professor of Classics

Rebecca R. Benefiel

313 Baker Hall
540.458.8082
benefielr@wlu.edu
On sabbatical 2016-2017

   
Academic Positions:

Department of Classics, Associate Professor
Women and Gender Studies Program, Affiliated Faculty
Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program, Core Faculty
Digital Humanities Working Group, Humanities Faculty

Education

Ph.D., Harvard University, 2005
B.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1997
Graduate study in epigraphy, L'Università di Roma 'La Sapienza', 1997-1998

Research

Research interests include: Latin epigraphy, Roman social and cultural history, Latin literature, Pompeii and Herculaneum, Roman archaeology

Collaborative Research Projects:

Epigraphic Database Roma   (Supervisor)

The Ancient Graffiti Project   (Director)

EAGLE, The Europeana network of Ancient Greek and Latin Epigraphy   (Contributor)

The Herculaneum Graffiti Project  (Project Director)

The Oplontis Project  (Contributing Scholar)

Teaching

Professor Benefiel teaches a range of Latin and Classics course including:
CLAS 288 - Study Abroad: The Archaeology of the Roman Empire
CLAS 338 - Pompeii
CLAS 343 - Classics in a Digital Age (The Roman Emperor and Public Relations)
LATN 310 - Letters of Cicero and Pliny
LATN 320 - Literature of the Neronian Period
LATN 323 - Tacitus
LATN 326 - The Poetry of Ovid
LATN 350 - Latin Epigraphy

Other courses include Beginning and Intermediate Latin, and Advanced Latin Literature seminars on Suetonius, Ovid's Heroides, and The Representation of Rome in Latin Poetry

Selected Publications

Inscriptions in the Private Sphere in the Greco-Roman World, (eds.) Rebecca Benefiel and Peter Keegan, Leiden: Brill, 2016.

"The Culture of Writing Graffiti within Domestic Spaces at Pompeii," in: Inscriptions in the Private Sphere in the Greco-Roman World, (eds.) R. Benefiel and P. Keegan, Leiden: Brill (2016), 80-110.

"Regional Interaction," in: A Companion to Roman Italy, (ed.) A. Cooley, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester (2016), 441-458.

R. Benefiel, J. DiBiasie, H. Sypniewski, E. Zimmermann Damer, K. Helms, M. Loar, K. Lundqvist, F. Opdenhoff, “The Herculaneum Graffiti Project: Initial Field Season, 2014,” The Journal of Fasti Online. FOLD&R 361 (2016), 1-23. http://www.fastionline.org/docs/FOLDER-it-2016-361.pdf

R. Benefiel, H. Sypniewski, “Images and Text on the Walls of Herculaneum: Designing the Ancient Graffiti Project,” Off the Beaten Track. Epigraphy at the Borders, edited by A.E. Felle and A. Rocco, Oxford: Archeopress (2016), 29-48.

"Ancient Graffiti in Pompeian Domestic Spaces," in: Öffentlichkeit - Monument - Text: Akten des XIV Congressus Internationalis Epigraphiae Graecae et Latinae, (eds.) W. Eck and P. Funke, Berlin: De Gruyter (2014), 494-496.

"The Herculaneum Graffiti Project," ISAW Papers 7.4: Current Practice in Linked Open Data for the Ancient World, (eds.) T. Elliott, S. Heath, J. Muccigrosso (2014).

"The Graffiti," in: Excavations at Zeugma, (ed.) W. Aylward, Los Altos, CA: Packard Humanities Institute (2013), 178-191. [co-authored with K. Coleman]

"Campania," in: The Virgil Encyclopedia, vol. I, (eds.) R. Thomas and J. Ziolkowski, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell (2013), 226-227.

"Magic Squares, Alphabet Jumbles, Riddles and more: The culture of word-games among the graffiti of Pompeii," in: The Muse at Play. Riddles and Wordplay in Greek and Latin Poetry, (eds.) J. Kwapisz, D. Petrain, and M. Szymanski, Munich: De Gruyter (2012), 65-80.

"Grafitos en lugares domésticos en la antigua Pompeya," in: La Memoria en la Piedra. Estudios sobre Grafitos Históricos, (ed.) Pablo Ozcariz Gil, Gobierno de Navarra: Príncipe de Viana (2012), 221-230.

"Dialogues of Graffiti in the House of the Four Styles at Pompeii (Casa dei Quattro Stili, I.8.17, 11)," in: Ancient Graffiti in Context, (eds.) J. A. Baird and Claire Taylor, London: Routledge (2011), 20-48.

"Dialogues of Ancient Graffiti in the House of Maius Castricius at Pompeii," American Journal of Archaeology 114.1 (2010), 59-101.

"Rome in Pompeii: Wall Inscriptions and GIS," in: Latin on Stone. Epigraphic Research and Computing, (ed.) F. Feraudi-Gruénais, Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield (2010), 45-75.

"Amianth, a Ball-Game, and Making One's Mark," Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 167 (2008), 193-200.

"Pompeii, Puteoli, and the status of a colonia in the mid-first century AD," in: Pompei, Capri e la Penisola Sorrentina, (ed.) F. Senatore, Roma: Bardi Editori (2004), 349-368.

"Teaching by Example: Aetiology in Plutarch's De Mulierum Virtutibus," Ploutarchos n.s. 1 (2003/2004), 11-20.

"A New Praetorian Laterculus from Rome," Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 134 (2001), 221-232.

"The Inscriptions of the Aqueducts of Rome: the ancient period," The Waters of Rome 1 (2001), 1-10.

Forthcoming:
- "The Scope and Typology of Graffiti at Oplontis," in: Villa A ("of Poppaea") at Oplontis, (eds.) J. Clarke, S. De Caro, and M. Thomas, vol. II, American Council of Learned Societies.
- D. Petrain and R. Benefiel, “Good Fortunes at Oplontis? (A reconsideration of SEG 38.1001)” Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik.
- “Urban and Suburban Attitudes Toward Writing on Walls: Pompeii and Environs,” Writing Matters, (ed.) Irene Berti et al., University of Heidelberg.
- “Gladiators, Greetings, and Poetry: Graffiti in first century Pompeii,” Scribbling Through History: Comparative Studies of Graffiti from Ancient Egypt Onwards, (eds.) C. Ragazzoli, O. Harmansah, and C. Salvador, Bloomsbury.
- "The Ancient Graffiti Project," Journal of Digital Archaeology.

 

Current Projects:
The Joy of Writing. Roman Culture and Ancient Graffiti in Pompeii

Honors and Awards

Invited Research Scholar, Universität Heidelberg (SFB 933 Materiale Textkulturen), 2013

State of Virginia (SCHEV) Outstanding Faculty Award, 2011

National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of Digital Humanities Grant, 2016-2018
Associated Colleges of the South Faculty Advancement Grant, 2016
Associated Colleges of the South Faculty Advancement Grant, 2014
Library of Congress Kluge Fellowship, 2011-2012
Archaeological Institute of America Olivia James Traveling Fellowship, 2008-2009  
American Philosophical Society Franklin Research Grant, Summer 2007
Mednick Fellowship, Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges, Summer 2006  
Whiting Dissertation Completion Fellowship, 2004-2005  
Rome Prize, American Academy in Rome, 2002-2003

In the news . . .

Work featured in Smithsonian Magazine:
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/Reading-the-Writing-on-Pompeiis-Walls.html 

In The Atlantic Monthly:
http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2016/03/adrienne-was-here/475719/ 

In Forbes Magazine:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/drsarahbond/2016/07/04/new-project-uncovers-ancient-games-and-gladiators-through-the-graffiti-of-the-fans 

In ScienceNews:
http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/54963/title/Graffiti_on_the_walls_in_Pompeii

In Current World Archaeology:
http://www.world-archaeology.com/issues/pompeii/#.Un6iF5Sgnew 

In National Geographic:
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/13/130129-roman-italy-graffiti-colosseum-archeology-photo/

(and in National Geographic, Italian version)
http://www.nationalgeographic.it/popoli-culture/2013/01/30/news/cosa_significano_gli_antichi_graffiti_scoperti_al_colosseo_-1486336/

On NPR (Virginia Insight):
http://www.jmu.edu/wmra/pgm/insight/111609.mp3

In USA Today:
http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/discoveries/2009-07-15-pompeii_N.htm