Dr Rosie Wyles stands up for comic costume

Kent Lecturer in Classical History and Literature, Dr Rosie Wyles (@RosieWyles) was asked to provide expert knowledge as a contributor to the Radio 4 episode one of the series “Natalie Haynes Stands up for the Classics” aired on 11 April at 4pm.

In the first episode of the second series of this popular broadcast the acclaimed comedian and classicist Haynes gives the case for the brilliance of Aristophanes, the ancient comic playwright.

Introducing Dr Wyles, Haynes quipped “Rosie Wyles, you quite literally, and I hardly ever get to say this accurately, wrote the book on costume in Greeks plays!”

Dr Wyles offered insight into the cost and significance of costumes in ancient comedy. She also discussed the differences in funding and participation in the 5th-century Athenian drama festivals. Astonishingly the festival could cost the city and its citizens as much as a tenth of the amount spent on its navy for a year. This contribution was informed by her research. She drew on her existing monograph Costume in Greek Tragedy (Bloomsbury 2011). She also showcased some of her new research, due to be published next year, on the role of costume and transformation in Wasps, one of Aristophanes’ most political comedies.

Dr Wyles said “I was delighted to be asked to be part of this series. I admire Natalie Haynes’ work as a comedian, writer, and leading advocate of the Classics, immensely. The broadcast chimes in well with my own commitment to highlighting the relevance of Classics in the 21st-century. It was also great to work with a producer, Mary Ward-Lowery, who was so enthusiastic about Classics”

The programme is accessible on on the BBC Radio 4 website for the next 23 days, click here.

Underwater archaeology

In the run up to the British Museum’s extraordinary new exhibtion,  ‘Sunken Cities’,  on the underwater cities discovered off the coast of Egypt, Dr Csaba La’da (Reader in Ancient History, Papyrology, and Egyptology) offers insights into the extraordinary underwater discoveries that have been made from ancient shipwrecks; find out more by listening to the two podcasts below:

Shipwrecks 1 (featuring 22 shipwrecks & how the ships were identified)

Shipwrecks 2 (featuring discussion of the Antikythera mechanism)