Ancient Routes to Happiness

October 25, 2012 - October 27, 2012
University of South Africa

Muckleneuk Campus
South Africa

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John Moles
Newcastle University
Susan Prince
University of Cincinnati
Philip van der Eijk
Humboldt-University, Berlin

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Convening in 2012 for the 13th time, the Unisa Classics Colloquium combines stimulating scholarship with a pleasant and intimate atmosphere. Over two and a half days, approximately 16 scholarly contributions from around the world are to be presented. The 50 minute slots provide ample time for discussion and valuable feedback. Parallel sessions are avoided in order to promote unity of focus in the conference, and delegates get to know each other properly.

We start on a Thursday morning, meaning that participants should arrive in Pretoria on the 24st at the latest and only book a flight out from the afternoon of the 27th, but preferably later.


Thursday, October 25th

John Moles (Newcastle UK), Selling Christian Philosophy to pagans: The case of Luke-Acts.

Pauline Allen (Australian Catholic University/University of Pretoria), How to be a serene capitalist or a contented pauper: Some tips for happiness from late antiquity.

Daniel R. N. Lopes (Sao Paulo), The conception of happiness from Solon’s speech in Herodotus’ Book 1.

Liz Irwin (Columbia), Debating the happiness of Periclean Athens: From Herodotus' Solon to its legacy in Aristotle.

Chiara Thumiger (Humboldt), Ancient medical views on mental health and flourishing.

Clive Chandler (Cape Town), Happy madmen in antiquity.

Olakunbi O. Olasope (Ibadan), Prostitution in classical Athens.

Friday, October 26th

Susan Prince (Cincinnati), Antisthenes and the short route to happiness.

Andrew Domanski (Wits), Plato’s Symposium as a road map to fulfilment and happiness.

Richard Evans (Cardiff), The Sybarite way to happiness.

Yosef Z. Liebersohn (Bar-Ilan), Are kinetic pleasures really necessary for eudaimonia? The Epicurean route to happiness: A reappraisal and reconstruction.

Katherine O’Reilly (King's College London), The Cyrenaics on anticipated pain.

Alta Schoeman (Stellenbosch), Queen, military leader, empire builder – but was Zenobia happy?

Koos Kritzinger (Pretoria), Martial’s idea of happiness.

Suzanne Sharland (KwaZulu-Natal, Durban), Horace on happiness.

Saturday October 27th

John Moles (Newcastle UK), Christ dead or alive: The onomastic battles between pagans and Christians in the first century.

Louise Cilliers (Free State), The pursuit of happiness: A comparison of some Christian and pagan views.

Liana Lamprecht (UNISA), Man’s quest for happiness and the good life: The role of human activity, capability, fragility … and ultimately – responsibility.

David van Schoor (Rhodes), Mortal piety and divine revenge as ways to happiness in Euripides.

Samantha Masters (Stellenbosch), Helen and Paris in late fifth century BCE Athenian vase-painting: ‘The happy couple’ or a case of mistaken identity?

Conference Fee

More detail on the conference fee will follow at a later stage. As an indication, the 2010 conference fee was $150, inclusive of transport and meals during the conference. Postgraduates, other students and interested parties not able to claim back conference fees from their institutions should please contact the organizers for a discount.


During past conferences, guests stayed at the Brooklyn Guest Houses ( situated in a leafy suburb close to Unisa, the University of Pretoria, and the Brooklyn, Hillcrest and Hatfield shopping centres. A discounted group booking for delegates is negotiated.


We plan excursions to the Winex wine festival in Sandton (Johannesburg) ( and after the conference (the 28th) to the Pilanesberg Game Reserve (

Further information on the conference at:

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