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.

2018 Competition:

Coordinator: Amelia Brown (Queensland)
Judges: John Davidson (VUW) and Jane Bellemore (Newcastle)

Winner: Janek Drevikovsky (Sydney)
Honourable Mentions: Patrick Ryan (Sydney) and Clare Pryor (Sydney)

Winner: Patrick Ryan (Sydney)
Honourable Mentions: Janek Drevikovsky (Sydney) and Liam Maldoni (ANU)

Competition report

2017 Competition:

Coordinator: Amelia Brown (Queensland)
Judges: Jane Bellemore (Newcastle) and John Davidson (VUW)

Winner: Declan Noble (Sydney)
Honourable mentions: Clare Pryor (Sydney); Liam Maldoni (ANU)

Winner: Liam Maldoni (ANU)
Honorable mentions: Patrick Henning (Melbourne); Emily Kerrison (Sydney)

Competition report

Past competitions:

Past passages:

2018 Greek | 2018 Latin
2017 Greek | 2017 Latin
2016 Greek | 2016 Latin
2015 Greek | 2015 Latin
2014 Greek | 2014 Latin
2013 Greek | 2013 Latin
2012 Greek | 2012 Latin
2011 Greek | 2011 Latin
2010 Greek | 2010 Latin
2009 Greek | 2009 Latin

Past prize winners

Reports: 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2007–2012


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. 

2018 Competition:

Winner: Emily Kerrison (Sydney): ‘Psychagogia in Lucretius and Virgil’

Janek Drevikovsky (Sydney): ‘Promiscae scaenae: theatrical perversion and the death of Seneca in Tacitus’
David Pittavino (Sydney): ‘ou toi demoi, alla tois aristois: The Democratisation of History in Herodotus and Thucydides’

Coordinator: Peter Davis (Adelaide)
Judges: Graeme Miles (Tasmania) and Michael Champion (Australian Catholic University)

Competition report 2018

2017 Competition:

1. Samuel Wessels (Macquarie): “ΜΙΣΑΝΘΡΩΠΟΣ: Timon of Athens and the Evolution of the Misanthropic Tradition”
2. Janek Drevikovsky (Sydney): Eloquar an sileam? The Characterisation of Aeneas in Aeneid III”

Coordinator: Peter Davis (Adelaide)
Judges: Graeme Miles (Tasmania) and Michael Champion (Australian Catholic University)

Competition report 2017

Past competitions:


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.

2018 Competition:

Winner: Nicholas Ringwood (Auckland): ‘Sex and Gender in Greco-Roman Literature: A Study of Sophocles’ Antigone and Catullus’ Poem 63’

Runner-up: Ryan Brown-Haysom (Auckland): ‘Should the Nisus and Euryalus episode (Aeneid IX) be read as a tale of the triumph of love, or as a tale of the failure to perform a duty to the community?’

Co-ordinator: Patrick O’Sullivan (Canterbury)

Judges: 1st reader: Enrica Sciarrino (Canterbury) and 2nd reader: Arlene Allan (Otago)

2017 Competition:

1. Kiri Lenagh-Glue (Otago): “How did the Constitutio Antoniniana and Caracalla’s military policy affect the Roman Empire?”
2. Nicholas Ringwood (Auckland): “Herakles’ bow and the evocation of Pity in Sophocles' Philoctetes

Coordinator:  Patrick O’Sullivan (Canterbury)
Judges: Arlene Allan (Otago) and Mark Masterson (VUW)

Past winners


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.

Postgraduate students planning to enter the OPTIMA prize should note the following:

  • The written version of the presentation you submit is important because first impressions are formed by it – and these impressions count a lot in the initial judgment of the committee. The written version also allows for a far less subjective judgement as all the judges read the written versions but they cannot all hear the oral presentation.
  • There is no ‘marking schedule’ and no “points-weighting” applied to any specific aspect of the paper, whether it is the written paper or the oral presentation or question-time.
  • The combination of written and oral presentation are judged inclusively. A good written version of the paper and then a good presentation (and question session) will go a long way towards success.
  • Given the strength of the competition, being good in only one area (written/oral/question-time) is unlikely to win the competition.

2019 Competition

Winner: Emily Chambers (Adelaide): 'Dying to Have a Say: Freedom of Speech in Julio-Claudian Wills'

Ashleigh Green (Melbourne): 'The Augural Chickens of Rome'
Maree Clegg (Auckland): ‘Imitation, Emulation or Just Plain Make-Believe: The Literary and Physical Evidence for the Eighteenth-Century Restoration of Ancient Sculpture’

Co-ordinators: Matthew Trundle (Auckland) and Lea Beness (Macquarie)

Judges: Lara O’Sullivan (Western Australia), John Davidson (VUW) and Lea Beness (Macquarie)

2018 Competition

Coordinator: Matthew Trundle (Auckland)
Judges: Matthew Trundle (Auckland) and Lea Beness (Macquarie) and Roger Pitcher (Sydney)

Winner: Daniel Hanigan (Sydney): ‘Nomina Sacra? Etymology and “Negative Theology” in Clement of Alexandria’s Protrepticus’

Runners up:
Kylie Constantine (UNE): ‘I Sing in Change: The reception of Philomela’s voice in Milton Babbitt’s 1964 cantata, Philomel
Kristen Mann (Sydney): ‘Behavioural Archaeology and the Greek Oikos: Understanding the Material Household in Geometric Greece’

Previous winners


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.

2018 Competition:

Winner: Matthew O'Farrell (Macquarie)
Project: ‘Investigating Parallels in Byzantine and Sasanian Royal Biographies’

Co-ordinator: Alison Griffith (Canterbury)
Judges: Elizabeth Minchin (ANU) and Robert Cowan (University of Sydney)

2017 Competition:

Winner: Phoebe Garrett (Newcastle)
Project: “Structure and Persuasion in Suetonius’ Caesars”

Judges: James Richardson (Massey) and Peter Keegan (Macquarie)

Past winners


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 to cover part of the cost of attending the conference. 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 is available to order online.