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    Analyzing the Aeneid and its Translations with Topic Models and Word Embeddings
    (2022) Langen, Carter; Kuper, Charles; Grissom, Alvin
    We review new advances in word embeddings and apply them to cross-lingual literary analysis of Latin and English translations of Latin. We introduce word embeddings, summarize the developments to them that allow them to be trained from small data, on morphologically rich languages, and cross-lingually in detail. We also review Latent Dirichlet Allocation, and Polylingual Topic Models. We then use these models to analyze Vergil's Aeneid and the John Dryden, John Conington, and Theodor Williams translations into English.
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    When the Emperor Wasn't Divine: Patient-Doctor Interactions in Tacitus' Annals
    (2022) Bayona, Joshua; Mulligan, Bret
    In his Annals, a sixteen book history of the Roman Empire, the Roman historian Tacitus includes four episodes of an emperor or a member of the imperial class interacting with a doctor. Although there has been much scholarly study of ancient medicine and physicians in Roman antiquity, as well as of Tacitus' Annals, very little attention has been paid to these patient-doctor interactions in the Annals, despite the considerable sociopolitical, historical, and cultural implications inherent to medical interactions in Roman society, implications that can be used to elucidate Tacitus' text. This thesis fills this gap in Tacitean scholarship by examining the effect that the social and political undertones of these four medical interactions have on Tacitus' political history as a whole. In particular, I first examine Tacitus' representation of imperial doctors as stereotypically Greek professionals, and what consequences that ethnic labeling has on his argument about foreign influence on the principate; namely, that Greek physicians are a manifestation of a Greek influence on imperial politics that Tacitus deems negative. Then, I turn to the amorphous and muddled power dynamics of these interactions, and the ways the physicians subvert and fulfill expectations for how Roman doctors should act. From this analysis, I conclude that Tacitus' depiction of doctors is a thematic extension of his broader arguments surrounding the principate, and especially its susceptibility to foreign interference, and the unstable, contradictory nature of its authority.
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    Corrupted and Corrupting: Thucydides' Critique of Democracy in the Sicilian Expedition
    (2021) Fanikos, Jack; Edmonds, Radcliffe G., III, 1970-
    In Books VI and VII of his History of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides writes his account of the Sicilian Expedition, a massive Athenian campaign in Sicily against Syracuse, its allies, and, eventually, Peloponnesian reinforcements. While it is a military campaign, Thucydides' portrayal is political as well. Athenian commanders make decisions on the battlefield that will have political implications for them in the future. Thucydides uses this military and political environment to level a specific criticism against the democracy at Athens. Throughout his account, Thucydides argues that democracy pressures and corrupts military leaders because, if they are to retain their prominent positions, they must prioritize the political considerations over military ones. In this environment, the individual leaders matter less than the democratic system because they will all have the same political considerations. One of the prominent political considerations is how to please the people. To please the people, military leaders make decisions based on what the people believe or would believe to be true rather than what is actually true, and as a result, they often underestimate their enemies and over estimate their own military capacities. This pattern is most easily discernible by examining four moments in the Sicilian campaign: the debate on whether to send an army, the attack on Epipolae, the debate on whether to retreat after Epipolae, and the army's final retreat and collapse. In each of these examples, the Athenian leaders Alcibiades, Nicias, and Demosthenes make errors because they try to please the people rather than make sound military decisions.
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    The fall Of Oedipus : changes in his sense of identity and fate
    (2021-05) Rui, Yangshuyan
    In this thesis, I focus on Oedipus' sense of himself, regarding his kingship, social identity, and fate in Sophocles’ Oedipus Tyrannus, and then draw out Oedipus' reactions and how emotions change when these subjects are discussed by other characters and the public. Unlike articles that examine the human perspective versus the divine perspective, I argue that Oedipus Tyrannus shows the examination that Oedipus as an individual has to go through in society; moreover, Oedipus cannot ignore the opinions of others or stick to his own preferences to maintain his image. Oedipus creates an ideal image of himself as king based on his past experiences and achievements and defines his own fate in advance, without knowing the public perceptions and ideas. In his search for the murderer, Oedipus discovers that his kingship is not as strong as he has thought, and that the foundation of his power is not entirely based on his accomplishments and experiences. When the king identity is shaken, Oedipus experiences his different identities in conversations with different characters. In this process, Oedipus completely falls out of the framework he originally set. Fate is explored at last, which undergoes frequent interpretations and comparisons by different characters; it eventually makes Oedipus realize that he has failed to define it.