Harriet Flower, the Andrew Fleming West Professor in Classics, is one of three winners of this year's Goodwin award from the Society for Classical Studies for her book "The Dancing Lares and the Serpent in the Garden: Religion at the Roman Street Corner" (Princeton University Press, 2017).
The Charles J. Goodwin Awards of Merit are named in honor of a long-time member and generous benefactor of the Society for Classical Studies. They are the only honors for scholarly achievement given by the society. The awards are presented at the annual meeting for an outstanding contribution to classical scholarship published by a member of the society during the three years before the current calendar year.
Flower, who joined the Princeton faculty in 2003, specializes in Roman history and historiography, epigraphy and Latin literature. She teaches undergraduate courses on Roman history and Latin literature at all levels, and graduate courses on a variety of topics, including the politics and religion of republican Rome. She received the University’s Howard T. Behrman Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Humanities in May 2018 and a Graduate Mentoring Award from the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning in 2016. She is a former head of Mathey College, one of Princeton’s six residential colleges.
The Goodwin Award citation stated: "A dense and rich account of an understudied aspect of Roman religion, Harriet Flower’s 'The Dancing Lares and the Serpent in the Garden: Religion at the Roman Street Corner' weaves together strands from complex and variegated sources into a coherent picture. ... Learned and confident, Flower offers a page-turner that sheds light on inaccessible aspects of Roman daily life with vividness and sympathy. Her intersecting paths of research culminate in her reassessment of the Augustan religious revival. By giving responsibility for local worship of the gods of the street corners to the lower classes of society, Augustus provides a vehicle through which they may share and invest, emotionally and financially, in his declaration of a new age of peace and prosperity. Scholars interested in Roman religion, in social history, and in the Augustan program will refer to this book for years."