The JoyceFest: celebrating Joyce Reynolds
My old Director of Studies from undergraduate days -- and later colleague -- Joyce Reynolds is now 95, going pretty strong, and lives across the road. (I hesitate slightly on the 95: she is either 95 now, or on her next birthday in a month or so . . . I have been too polite to ask!)
When I say going pretty strong, I mean that she is a bit unsteady on her feet, resolutely refuses to wear her hearing aid (which would actually be a very good idea: Joyce, if you are reading this, DO give it another go), and is in our Faculty Library most days of the week. Currently she's editing a new book on the graffiti from the House of the Menander at Pompeii, and has all kinds of new inscriptions from Cyrenaica and Aphrodisias she's working to publish.
Her life's work has been Roman inscriptions from all over the Roman empire (which are still being discovered in large numbers). I guess the jewel in her crown must be the texts she published from the city of Aphrodisias (in what's now Turkey) -- including a series of letters, publicly inscribed in the city's theatre, between leading Romans and the Aphrodisian authorities. These give an extraordinary glimpse of the working relations between an eastern town and those in charge of the empire (including the major players in the Roman civil wars at the end of the Republic).
Anyway, thanks to a wonderfully generous donation, we were able to have a day on Saturday (we called it the "JoyceFest") celebrating her ongoing achievements. There were about 90 of is altogether: ex-students, professional colleagues, and friends of all sorts from the UK and overseas.
The main day's events were held in Newnham: two lectures in the morning (William Harris on Roman literacy, and Silvia Orlandi on some tantalisingly fragmentary texts from Augustan Rome); then a nice long lunch (that's the Petronian buffet at the top); then two more lectures in the afternoon (Paola Ceccarelli on Hellenistic inscribed letters and Peter Thonemann on marriage in ancient Anatolia), followed by prosecco and softies in the Museum of Classical Archaeology over the road.
In the evening we then had a small(ish) dinner in King's where Joyce got a presentation to mark her greatness (beautifully inscribed glass) and made a robust speech -- to the effect that the study of ancient inscriptions needs more funding and resources in Cambridge, as elsewhere. At 95 she turns out to be a rather adept fund-raiser! (Didn't manage any great photos, but you can see the honorand above!)
Personally I'm hoping that the Newnham classical genes will bring me similar longevity. My other old teacher, Pat Easterling, is still at the top of her game, and 80 next year. Cross fingers it's the same for me.
Here's a few more pics, if you're interested ... with some of the characters of the day.
Prof North and Dr Tanner:
Dr Orlandi and Prof Treggiari behind:
And Professor Rouché: