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“The Old Words Have Blood on Them: Ancient Texts and Us”

Classics Department Event

Thursday January 26, 4:30 in the Chairman’s Room, Settle Hall

A Presentation by Professor Andrew S. Becker, Virginia Tech


     In this talk Dr. Andrew S. Becker (Virginia Tech) will explore a variety of (relatively) modern poems & perspectives (from literature, anthropology, and linguistics) that we can use for thinking about ancient Greece and Rome, and then explore ways of using our study of these ancient literatures as “equipment for living.”


     In his presentation, he will draw on a wide variety of authors such as philosophers José Ortega y Gasset and Ludwig Wittgenstein, Kenneth Burke (literary and cultural theorist) Wendy Steiner (art historian), Toni Morrison (novelist), George Miller (psychologist), Háj Ross (linguist), and poets Ellen Hinsey, Kenneth Koch, W.H. Auden, Donald Hall, Walt Whitman, Wallace Stevens, Louis MacNeice, and Eavan Boland to show us that the study (and just plain reading!) of classical poetry can enrich our lives today!


     Dr. Becker has won several awards for teaching and undergraduate advising at Virginia Tech.  He has published a book on Homer’s Iliad, as well as articles on Plato, Vergil, ancient rhetoric, and several on the rhythm and meter of Latin poems.  He is president of the Classical Association of Virginia, and of the national organization called the Society for the Oral Reading of Greek and Latin Literature.  He and his wife, Dr. Trudy Harrington Becker, also a Classicist, lead study-abroad courses to southern Switzerland and Rome in the summers.

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