ASCS Prizes and Awards


Greek and Latin Unseen Translation Competition

This annual Competition was introduced in 2007. It is open to second and third year undergraduate students in Australian and New Zealand universities. It involves a 45-minute unseen test in either the first or the second week of October. Entries are to be made by academic staff teaching relevant Greek and Latin classes. There is a prize of AUD$250 for the best entry in each language.

2016 Competition:

Winner: Grant Kynaston (Sydney)
Honourable mentions: Ruth Burden (ANU); Joseph James Parkinson (Sydney), Patrick Henning (Melbourne)

Winner: Grant Kynaston (Sydney)
Honourable mentions: Timothy Young (Sydney) Emma Steffensen (ANU), Octavian Catrinei (Melbourne); Timothy Waugh (Melbourne)

The coordinator of the 2016 competition was Amelia Brown; judges were John Davidson (VUW) and Jane Bellemore (UON).

2015 Competition

Winner: Patrick Henning (University of Melbourne)
Honourable mentions: Katie Logan (University of Auckland); Lucie Smith, (University of Auckland)

Winner: Tom Hardman (University of Melbourne)
Honourable mentions: Octavian Catrinei (University of Melbourne)
Grant Kynaston (University of Sydney)

Competition report


Douglas Kelly Australian Essay Competition

Doug Kelly(Formerly the ASCS Australian Essay Competition)

This annual Competition, which has been running since 1990, is open to undergraduate students in Australian universities. The essay submitted may be a revised version of an essay, tutorial paper or seminar paper by a student enrolled in a first, second or third year course. The essay may be on any aspect of Classical Studies (that is, the languages, history, thought and archaeology of the Ancient World). The length should be between 2000 and 3000 words, and the entry should be submitted through the ASCS Representative in each Australian university. The closing date for entries is usually towards the end of November each year. The first prize is currently $500, and there are up to two prizes of $100 each for “runner-up” entries. In 2015 the competition was renamed in honour of longtime ASCS member Douglas Kelly.

A named prize should encourage curiosity about the person whose name it bears. Douglas Kelly (24 April 1941 – 15 December 2015) was a notable scholar in Classics and Ancient History who served both the discipline and the Society over many years with surpassing generosity of time and professional expertise (indeed he was elected ASCS President from 1993 – 1998). He studied first in New Zealand before going on to Cambridge (PhD 1975 on ‘Sources and interpretations of Spartan history in the reigns of Agesilaus II, Archidamus III, and Agis III’), and then took up university positions in Australia, first in Sydney at Macquarie University and subsequently in Canberra at the Australian National University. He was renowned as an inspirational teacher and supervisor, who dedicated innumerable hours to supporting students fortunate enough to work with him: his dedicated attention to detail was the stuff of legend, his breadth of knowledge acknowledged by all. He inspired respect and affection in equal proportion within the Australasian community of Classicists and Ancient Historians. It is hoped that the title of the ASCS Douglas Kelly Australian Essay Prize will encourage the winners from year to year to enquire further about the ‘eponymous hero’ and to discover his record of accomplishments that is so highly regarded by those who knew him. 

2016 Competition:

1. Konstantine Panegyres (Melbourne), “Like a Snowy Mountain”: Iliad 13.754-755 Reconsidered’.
2. Aileen Westbrook (Macquarie) essay ‘The Handprints of Herodotus’
3. Rodney Harvey (ANU) ‘Childhood in Roman Greece: the Story of Daphnis and Chloe’

Click here to download the competition guidelines for 2016.

Coordinator: Peter Davis (Adelaide)
Judges: Graeme Miles (UTas) and Michael Champion (ACU)

2015 Competition:

Coordinator: Peter Davis
Judges: Graeme Miles (UTas) and Graeme Burke (UNE)

Grant Kynaston (University of Sydney), ‘GERAS: The “New Sappho” and the Mimnerman Tradition’

Daniel Hanigan (University of Sydney), ‘“To gar geras esti geronton”: On the Paradox of Gerontocracy in Homer’s Iliad
Nicola Bodill (University of Sydney), ‘Will these hands ne’er be clean? - The Furor in Hercules Furens

Competition report


John Barsby New Zealand Essay Competition

This annual Competition was initiated by the Classical Association of Otago in 2002 and named in honour of John Barsby, the Professor (now retired) of Classics at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. In 2009 ASCS assumed responsibility for the funding of the prizes, which currently are NZ$350 for first place and NZ$100 for second place. The winning essay is usually published in the international journal Scholia.

2016 Competition:

1. Roswyn Wiltshire (Canterbury) ‘The Value of Ancient Literary Sources for Understanding Greek Art.’
2. Lilly MacDonnell (Auckland) ‘The Function of Aphrodite in the Iliad.’

Coordinator: Arlene Allan (Otago)
Judges: Enrica Sciarrino (Canterbury), Jonathan Tracy (Massey) and Mark Masterson (VUW)

2015 Competition:

Judges: Arlene Allan, Enrica Sciarrino, Sean McConnell

First place: Callum Aldiss (UVic): ‘Religious Observance: Bees, Roman Virtues and Virgil's Fourth Georgics’
Second Place: J. Joseph Boucher (Otago): ‘Money Grown on Trees: Charting Change in the Agrarian Economy through Oleiculture in the Later Roman Empire’


OPTIMA (“Outstanding Postgraduate Talk In a Meeting of ASCS”)

This annual Award, introduced at ASCS 31 (2010) in Perth, is aimed at rewarding the outstanding postgraduate presentation at the ASCS annual conference. First prize for the Award is AUD$500, with up to two runner-up prizes of AUD$100 each.

Click here to download the entry form for the 2017 competition

2017 Competition

Coordinator: Matthew Trundle (Auckland)
Judges: Lea Beness (Macquarie); Gwyneth Macintyre (Otago); Roger Pitcher (Sydney)

Overall winner:
Bill Richardson (Otago): 'The Rule of Two: Hegemon, Strategos, and Philip’s League of Corinth.'

Runners up:
Marc Bonaventura (Melbourne): ‘Athenian Ambivalence towards Foreigners: Trojans and Thracians in Euripides’ Hecuba.’
Alex Macdonald (Macquarie): ‘Covenant & Contradiction: Mark 12, Hebrews 11, & Jewish Resurrection.’

2015 Competition:

Coordinator: Lea Beness
Judges: Diana Burton, John Davidson, Roger Pitcher

Paul Johnston (Auckland): ‘Divine epiphanies in Homer and Euripides’

Byron Waldron (Sydney): ‘The Invisible Empresses of Diocletian: The Exclusion of Imperial Women in the Late Third and Early Fourth Centuries’
Joel Gordon (Otago): ‘Who the hell is Hades? Hades’ reception within modern film’


Early Career Award

This annual Award, introduced in 2005, is intended to offer acknowledgement and some financial support to those who are “early career” scholars, and to assist them in the development of an academic career. The Award is currently worth AUD$3000. Applications are open to those who have completed a doctorate by research in the last five years at an Australian or New Zealand university, and who do not hold a full-time teaching or research position at a university or tertiary institution or who are in a full-time but non-academic position.

2016 Competition:

Winner: Dr Camilla Norman (University of Sydney)
Project: Ritualized Behaviours in Pre-Roman Italy: RTI photography, X-ray fluorescence and the Daunian Stelae

Coordinator: Alison Griffith
Judges: Jeremy Armstrong (Auckland); Amelia Brown (UQ)


Student Conference Travel Subsidies

ASCS sets aside an amount of money each year (usually AUD$1000) to provide subsidies for postgraduate and other students at both Australian and New Zealand universities towards the cost of travel to attend its annual conference. Subsidies are provided towards the cost of travel only, but not for the costs of registration or accommodation. Students are also encouraged to investigate whether funding for conference travel is available from their own department or university.

It is a condition of applying for a subsidy that the applicant be a current member of ASCS. Applications are usually called for in October each year. For further information contact the ASCS Postgraduate Representative.

The ASCS Journal
Antichthon Journal


Fifty Treasures: Classical Antiquities in Australian and New Zealand Universities now available to order.

2017 AGM documents now online.