Pre-Modern Seminar No 37: Camilla Asplund
On Monday November 3rd PhD Camilla Asplund Ingemark from Åbo Akademi University in Turku, Finland, will give a talk called:
“Of Apes and Wet-Nurses: Reading the Implicit in an Ancient Roman Story”
The seminar will take place in the library of Skandinavistika (Ülikooli 17, 3rd floor, room 305) at 18.15.
Wine, bread, fruit, cheese and ham will be served.
Camilla has sent us a short presentation of her lecture:
“In this seminar I will present an analysis of a story recorded by the Ancient Roman author Aelian (165/170–230/235 AD), dealing with the disastrous consequences of the imitative capabilities of apes. In this quite brief narrative, an ape observes a wet-nurse bathing a baby and tries to do the same, but as the ape takes boiling water for the baby’s bath, the story does not end well. I will discuss Ancient Greek and Roman conceptions of apes and nurses, and attempt to interpret the potential meanings of the story for a Roman audience. I suggest the story is an analogue of modern stories of untrustworthy babysitters, and that the fears they express could to some extent be the same: it is dangerous to leave your offspring in the hands of someone other than yourself.“
Everybody is welcome!