Liana Brent joined the Kenyon community in 2020. She is an archaeologist and her research focuses on Roman burial practices. Her other research interests include Latin inscriptions, Greek and Roman sculpture, museum practices, and the history of collecting antiquities. Brent is an active field archaeologist with experience excavating at Pompeii and Orvieto. Since 2011 she has excavated at the Vagnari Cemetery in southeast Italy, where she currently serves as the project's assistant director. Before coming to Kenyon, Brent held fellowships at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wolf Humanities Center and the American Academy in Rome.

Areas of Expertise

Roman art and archaeology, ancient death and burial practices, Roman urbanism

Education

2019 — Doctor of Philosophy from Cornell University

2015 — Master of Arts from Cornell University

2010 — Bachelor of Arts from Mcmaster University

Courses Recently Taught

This course introduces students to the masterpieces of the ancient Roman world in English translation and to the extraordinary civilization that produced them. We will explore the development of Roman civilization through celebrated texts -- for example, the plays of Plautus, Terence and Seneca; Cicero's speeches; the poetry of Catullus, Horace, Vergil and Ovid; and the novels of Petronius and Apuleius -- as well as through lesser known but still fascinating works. We will work toward a better understanding of the texts themselves, the people and the culture that produced them and the enduring relevance they hold for us today. This course fulfils a core course requirement for the major. No prerequisite. Offered every other year.

This course surveys the history of the ancient Romans from their early years as a negligible people in central Italy, to their emergence as the supreme power in the Mediterranean, and, finally, to the eve of their displacement as rulers of the greatest empire in antiquity. The course combines a chronological account of the Romans' remarkable political history with an examination of Roman society, including subjects such as gender, demography and slavery. We will read from a variety of ancient sources, including the historians Polybius, Livy and Tacitus and the poets Horace and Vergil. We also will mine the evidence offered by coins, inscriptions, papyri and even graffiti, which provide invaluable insight into the realia of daily life. This course fulfils a core course requirement for the major. No prerequisite. Offered every other year.

This course introduces the artistic, architectural and archaeological remains of ancient Italy and the Roman Empire from c. 900 BCE to 330 CE. We will study Roman material culture from its early beginnings under Etruscan influence through the era of the Roman republic, the imperial period, the rise of Christianity and the dissolution of the empire. We will examine architecture, sculpture, pottery and coins in their social and political contexts, with the goal of understanding all aspects of Roman society and those under Roman rule. The course will be based on slide lectures with assigned readings to supplement the images seen and discussed in class. This course fulfils a core course requirement for the major. No prerequisite. Offered every other year.

Knowledge of Latin opens the door to direct engagement with some of the greatest and most influential writings in Western culture without the obscuring filter of translation. The study of Latin also enhances students' ability to think analytically and to use the English language with greater understanding and sophistication. The benefit of these skills extends far beyond the study of Latin to all areas of life that demand critical thinking or effective oral and written communication. The aim of this yearlong course is twofold: (1) to give students a thorough knowledge of the grammar and vocabulary employed by Roman writers of the second century BCE through the second century CE, and (2) to have students read increasingly unadapted passages from those writers. After completing this course, students will be prepared to read with good comprehension the works of great Roman writers such as Cicero and Vergil. Faithful attendance and timely completion of all work are essential to success in this course. There will be daily assignments to prepare and frequent written homework, including translations from English to Latin. Classroom work will focus on understanding and practicing grammar and on reading Latin. Students also will be introduced to the literary and cultural context of the readings. Progress will be assessed by regular tests and frequent quizzes. There also will be a three-hour final examination in May. This course presumes no prior study of Latin. Students enrolled in this course will be automatically added to LATN 102Y for the spring semester. This course can be counted toward fulfillment of the major. No prerequisite. Offered every year.

Knowledge of Latin opens the door to direct engagement with some of the greatest and most influential writings in Western culture without the obscuring filter of translation. The study of Latin also enhances students' ability to think analytically and to use the English language with greater understanding and sophistication. The benefit of these skills extends far beyond the study of Latin to all areas of life that demand critical thinking or effective oral and written communication. The aim of this yearlong course is twofold: (1) to give students a thorough knowledge of the grammar and vocabulary employed by Roman writers of the second century BCE through the second century CE, and (2) to have students read increasingly unadapted passages from those writers. After completing this course, students will be prepared to read with good comprehension the works of great Roman writers such as Cicero and Vergil. Faithful attendance and timely completion of all work are essential to success in this course. There will be daily assignments to prepare and frequent written homework, including translations from English to Latin. Classroom work will focus on understanding and practicing grammar and on reading Latin. Students also will be introduced to the literary and cultural context of the readings. Progress will be assessed by regular tests and frequent quizzes. There also will be a three-hour final examination in May. This course presumes no prior study of Latin. This course can be counted toward fulfillment of the major. Prerequisite: LATN 101Y. Offered every year.

The goal of this course is to cultivate students' skills as readers of continuous Latin prose. To this end, students will expand their vocabulary as well as review and refine their understanding of the morphology and syntax of classical Latin. Upon completing this course, students will read Latin prose with greater precision, nuance and speed. Authors read with some regularity in this course include Caesar, Cicero and Sallust; however, the particular text or texts will vary from year to year and may be complemented with a selection of poems, for example those of Catullus. This course can be counted toward fulfillment of the major. Offered every fall.

Emphasis will be placed on improving reading efficiency through careful reading and translation of passages from Vergil's poetry. In addition, students will develop an appreciation of the often-subtle intricacies of Vergil's poetic language and the untranslatable music of his verse. Attention will be given both to understanding Vergil in his cultural and historical context and to exploring his continuing significance. This course can be counted toward fulfillment of the major. Offered every spring.

In this course, students will improve their skills in reading Latin and discuss scholarship on the author or authors being read during the semester. Each semester the readings change, so that LATN 301 and 302 can be taken, to the student's advantage, several times. Students are encouraged to inform the instructor if there is a particular genre, author or theme they would especially like to study. The list of authors regularly taught in this course includes, to name just a few, Horace and Ovid, the comic poet Plautus, and great prose stylists such as Livy, Tacitus, Petronius and Augustine. This course can be counted toward fulfillment of the major. Offered every fall.