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Introductory Post

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Introductory Post

Postby Episteme » Thu Apr 29, 2010 3:01 pm

Greetings, Textkit community. I am a high school Latin teacher in Ohio who is looking for discussion in Latin and Greek from people who take it seriously. My bachelor's degree is in classics and philosophy (thesis on comparative epic) and my master's is in classics (thesis on Pindar). Other areas of intellectual interest include the early modern period (Shakespeare especially), philosophy from the pre-Socratics to Sartre (particularly existentialism, logic, and establishing a purely rational basis for ethics), the evolution/creationism/intelligent design "debate," and others. Other interests include bad movies, the blues, bluegrass, Elizabethan music, volleyball (I coach the boys' team at the school where I teach), among other things. I'm willing to discuss pretty much any topic as long as the other party involved is intellectually honest and in search of knowledge (which, I think, is best pursued through the dialectic) and not just an echoing chamber. At first, however, my posts will focus on literary and philosophical topics.

I think this will suffice for an introductory post. I look forward to interacting with you, Textkit community.
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Re: Introductory Post

Postby korudos » Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:03 am

Hi Epistime,

The first thing that jumps out at me is that you teach Latin at a high school. That is a rare thing! I have decided to follow an education in history rather than classics because the job market for teachers is better (albeit not much) for professors of history; nevertheless, I am curious about your school, for I have this dream of a classics revival in primary education, so I like to here about places where Athena's owls have come to roost and brood.

Aside from that, you sound like someone who would provide rich conversation, so welcome.
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Re: Introductory Post

Postby Episteme » Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:32 pm

Thank you for the welcome! Yes, I teach at a Catholic high school (although I am not a believer myself). These seem to be the last bastions of high-school Latin, since some elderly administrators still consider it necessary for the salvation of souls. Many, it seems, still think God speaks Latin.

I am intent on returning to graduate school, however, in either English lit. or classics. In English, my interests lie primarily in Shakespeare studies, but I'm also interested in Renaissance Latin and Greek, early humanism and its subsequent spread across Europe, Dutch humanism and the early efforts of the Dutch printing industry, Milton, and Poe. If I were to return to classics, I would be interested in archaic Greek poetry (particularly Pindar), Renaissance Latin and Greek, the early humanists, and the Dutch printing industry.

What period(s) of history chiefly interest(s) you? What about literary interests?
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Re: Introductory Post

Postby thesaurus » Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:47 pm

Cool! I'm just about to graduate with my MA in English Lit., and I'm writing my last seminar paper on some of Milton's Latin prose and its Humanist tradition. I originally planned on specializing in Victorian literature, but I've come to realize that I'm an early modernist at heart. However, this is moot, because I've also come to realize that I don't want to be an academic and thus have decided against continuing onto the PhD...

I'm very interested in Humanism and Renaissance Latin writing, although I still have much to learn. It doesn't seem there are many American scholars or teachers with interest in any Neo-Latin writing.
Horae quidem cedunt et dies et menses et anni, nec praeteritum tempus umquam revertitur nec quid sequatur sciri potest. Quod cuique temporis ad vivendum datur, eo debet esse contentus. --Cicero, De Senectute
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Re: Introductory Post

Postby marshall » Fri Apr 30, 2010 8:46 pm

Hello All,

I'm Marshall, and I'm currently working on my BA in History. I plan to pursue a PhD in Greek and Roman history, so Greek and Latin fluency will be requisite if I apply to an ivy league school - which I'm currently weighing against a state university.
I've got twin ten-month-olds (a boy and a girl) and have been happily married for two and a half years. I'm hoping to pick up these languages fairly quickly, though I know that this is no small endeavor.
I look forward to learning within this community.
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Re: Introductory Post

Postby korudos » Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:41 pm

Episteme wrote:
What period(s) of history chiefly interest(s) you? What about literary interests?


I am mainly interested in classical history, but my adviser suggests that I should become an Americanist. Combining the two, as in investigating the influence of Caesar et.al. on the American military tradition and policies regarding western expansion and the civil war, works for me though.

Pindar, to me, still reads like the visual equivalent of abstract expressionism--beautiful, but too far past my horizon. At this stage, I look forward to reading Homer fluently. I only know enough to know what a beginner I am. Lately, I have been finally able to decipher Vergil in an enjoyable rather than excruciating way, but it is all still slow going.
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Re: Introductory Post

Postby thesaurus » Sat May 01, 2010 3:22 pm

marshall wrote:Hello All,

I'm Marshall, and I'm currently working on my BA in History. I plan to pursue a PhD in Greek and Roman history, so Greek and Latin fluency will be requisite if I apply to an ivy league school - which I'm currently weighing against a state university.
I've got twin ten-month-olds (a boy and a girl) and have been happily married for two and a half years. I'm hoping to pick up these languages fairly quickly, though I know that this is no small endeavor.
I look forward to learning within this community.


Welcome!

If you're dedicated, you can pick up the essentials of Greek and Latin fairly quickly--gaining mastery in reading the languages it what will take a long time (the same is true of anything).
Horae quidem cedunt et dies et menses et anni, nec praeteritum tempus umquam revertitur nec quid sequatur sciri potest. Quod cuique temporis ad vivendum datur, eo debet esse contentus. --Cicero, De Senectute
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Re: Introductory Post

Postby Ioan Dafydd » Sat May 01, 2010 5:00 pm

Hi Everyone,
I'm John (Ioan is the Welsh version!) and I want to return to learning Latin in particular. I have a PhD in nineteenth-century history, which I undertook on a part-time basis whilst working full-time. I didn't have much time left to work on leaning Latin which I had begun Wheelock's Latin. I now want take it up again. I am reaserching an eighteenth century British MP who uses Latin in his correspondence. I have identified several of his quotes, but need to find others. However, the main reason for me taking up Latin again (and I may venture into Greek) is that I just want to be able to read it!

John
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Re: Introductory Post

Postby thesaurus » Sat May 01, 2010 5:48 pm

Welcome, Ioan.

What was your focus in the 19th century? As I mentioned above, I used to study Victorian literature quite a bit, so I'm a big fan of 19th century anything. (Speaking of Englishmen using Latin, I recently wrote an article on Latin themes and references in one of Thomas Hardy's novels.)
Horae quidem cedunt et dies et menses et anni, nec praeteritum tempus umquam revertitur nec quid sequatur sciri potest. Quod cuique temporis ad vivendum datur, eo debet esse contentus. --Cicero, De Senectute
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Re: Introductory Post

Postby Episteme » Sat May 01, 2010 5:59 pm

I'm very glad to find a fellow early modernist with an interest in humanistic Latin and Greek, Thesaurus! If you don't mind my asking, what dissuaded you from living among the groves of Akademe?

Welcome, Marshall and John! I teach Latin (and Greek has always been the focus of my research), so I'm willing to help out with your study of these languages.

Korudos, you can't go wrong with Homer! My adviser, a Pindarist, said that his desert island texts would be Homer, Hesiod, and the epic fragments. I enjoy Virgil as well, and I taught AP Virgil my first year, but for my money, you can't beat Pindar and Ovid. I find your ideas on the classical influence on American history/culture/government/military very interesting indeed--I'd enjoy hearing more about it.
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Re: Introductory Post

Postby Ioan Dafydd » Mon May 03, 2010 11:29 am

Hi Thesaurus,
I too have had a long term interest in the 19th century, though I have an equal interest in the 18th. My PhD was in history: a study of one of the largest estates in Wales (the Cawdor estate). The 18th Century MP I am researching is John Campbell (1695-1777) who was a friend of Robert Walpole, and enemy of Pitt the Elder. His grandson became the 1st Baron Cawdor in 1796.
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