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My offer of a paper for ASCS 34 (Australasian Society for Classical Studies) next year (January 2013, in Sydney) was accepted. They were blind reviewed. Here is the abstract:

The Seen and the Unseen: Perception and Authority in Livy’s Battle Narratives

At the battle of the Trasimene Lake in 217 B.C., the consul C. Flaminius led his army into a fog that arose from the lake, which obscured their vision of Hannibal’s army lying in ambush. This paper will examine a number of aspects in Livy’s representation of Flaminius and the defeat at Trasimene in conjunction with Feldherr’s (Feldherr 1998) ideas surrounding the spectator and the spectacular. Taken as a whole, the episodes explored in this paper will show that Livy did not set out simply to denigrate Flaminius by repeating the opinions of sources hostile to him, but to have him fulfil an important role in a thought-provoking exemplum about the exercise and the visible representation of power. The paper will link Flaminius’ nebulous perception of the natural world around him to his own invisibility in the Roman civil ceremonies that should have marked his investiture as consul and departure to command the army. It will also explore the theme of sound versus sight in the human perception of battle. It will show the connections between the rational mind of ‘autopsy’ and the irrational emotions which only hear the dissonant clamour of the invisible enemy, in the battle of Trasimene, Hannibal’s crossing of the Alps, and the sack of Rome by the Gauls in the 4th century B.C. as it appears in book 5.

There’s also some additional points I’d like to make about the “invisibility” of Flaminius at Trasimene and in Rome, but I’m leaving those as surprises in the paper.