Ehrlich takes classics honours

Simeon ‘Shimi’ Ehrlich, an MA student in Classical Studies, took home the top poster prize at the annual meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA), the largest gathering of classicists in the world, held the first week of January in Philadelphia.

The AIA awards cash prizes for the best research paper as well as the best poster, a visual approach to delivering a conference paper.

Ehrlich won the top poster prize for his presentation, Horae in Roman Funerary Inscriptions: On Lifespans Measured in Hours.

The subject of his thesis, Ehrlich’s poster traces Roman epitaphs that record the life of the deceased in terms of the number of hours they lived, not in years, months or days, as was common in antiquity. While classicists have observed this practice, there has been no analysis of its significance.

Ehrlich’s findings note the inclusion of the horae in its pagan roots may have had an astrological significance relating to death and resurrection, later adopted by the Christian tradition. Inscriptions noting the horae may have also been a way of expressing affection for the deceased, or chronicling the life of someone who died young or the lifespan of a wealthy or powerful individual.

To view the poster, visit Western’s Department of Classics Studies website.