Sir Ronald Syme Memorial Lectures

A memorial lecture fund commemorates the career of Sir Ronald Syme OM, perhaps the greatest classical scholar New Zealand has ever produced.

Sir Ronald Syme black and white head shot

He began his studies in Classics at Victoria University of Wellington and went on to become Camden Professor of Ancient History at the University of Oxford.

Sir Ronald died in 1989, a few days before the 50th anniversary of the appearance of his famous book The Roman Revolution. He left a small bequest to the Classics Department of Victoria University of Wellington, which, together with contributions from a number of benefactors, now funds a biennial invitation to a prominent international scholar give a public to lecture in Wellington.

The next Sir Ronald Syme Memorial Lecture will be in 2020.

Previous lectures

2018

John Marincola, Leon Golden Professor of Classics (Florida State)

Asinius Pollio and the Roman Revolution

2016

Nicholas Purcell, Camden Professor of Ancient History (Oxford)

The Princess and the Procurator

2014

Thomas Habinek (Southern California)

Cynthia's Bones: Authorship and Personhood in Classical Rome

2012

Richard de Puma (Iowa)

Etruscan Forgeries: The Arts of Profit and Deceit

2010

Robin Seager (Liverpool)

The Domination of Pompeius

2008

Kathleen Coleman (Harvard)

Orchestrated Violence: the Role of Music in the Roman Amphitheatre

2006

Dennis Feeney (Princeton)

Virgil’s Tale of Four Cities: Troy, Carthage, Alexandria and Rome

2004

Mary Beard (Cambridge)

A Captive Audience: Victims and Prisomers at the Roman Triumph

2002

A.J. Woodman (Durham)

Tiberius and the Taste of Power: The Year 33 in Tacitus

2001

Werner Eck (Köln)

Roma Caput Mundi

1999

Tim Parkin (Canterbury)

Letting Nature Take Its Course: The Health of the Elderly in Antiquity

1998

Froma I. Zeitlin (Princeton)

Counting the Votes: Politics, Myth, and Utopia in Aristophanes

1996

T. Peter Wiseman (Exeter)

The Poet, the Plebs, and the Chorus Girls

1994

Erich Gruen (Berkeley)

The Roman Oligarchy: Image and Perception

1992

John Matthews (Queen’s College, Oxford)

Constantine and the Second Roman Revolution