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Polis Greek and Latin at Ave Maria University

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Salve! χαῖρε! The faculty members of the Department of Classics & Early Christian Literature at Ave Maria University use this space to share about the life of the department. We also enjoy passing along links and quotations of general Classical interest.
  • April 10, 2014 4:58 pm

    This noon Daniel Whitehead shared with his peers and professors an intriguing paper on Horace, Odes I.14, “O navis”. Everyone remarked on the confidence of his presentation and the challenging nature of his thesis. We offer our congratulations to Daniel who will be graduating this spring! Before undertaking studies in the law this fall, Daniel will participate in the Classics Department’s Latin course in Rome.

    More photos from Daniel’s senior presentation are here.

  • April 10, 2013 8:00 am

    "'In order to be educated,' said Mr. Pekkanen, 78, who is proficient in not only Latin but also ancient Greek and Sanskrit, 'it was once said that a real humanist must write poetry in Latin and Greek.'"

    Latin Makes an Appearance on Finnish Radio. News at VI.

    Which is one reason, among many, why Classics students at Ave Maria University are studying Latin verse composition this semester. The meter we are working on this week and last is the Alcaic, Horace’s favorite lyric meter. The students’ poem translation projects have also been moving forward. I asked them to select an English poem of their choice and to prepare a translation of it over the course of the semester, starting with the compilation of a miniature thesaurus for its words & expressions, proceeding to a draft in Latin prose, and next week to a draft in meter; most of them have chosen to use dactylic hexameter. Their topics range from Wordsworth to the west wind to baseball. I even heard tell that a couple weeks ago one student composed a Sapphic stanza for his fiancée on the occasion of their engagement. This is a practical application indeed!

  • April 3, 2012 9:53 am

    Etiam in bello

    The obituary of Leigh Fermor, war-hero and travel-writer, which appeared in The Telegraph (UK) last year (June 10, 2011), contains the following account of an incident on the island of Crete in April 1944:

    Dressed as German police corporals, the pair [Fermor and Bill Stanley Moss] stopped the car belonging to General Karl Kreipe, the island’s commander, while he was returning one evening to his villa near Knossos. The chauffeur disposed of, Leigh Fermor donned the general’s hat and, with Moss driving the car, they bluffed their way through the centre of Heraklion and a further 22 checkpoints. Kreipe, meanwhile, was hidden under the back seat and sat on by three hefty andartes, or Cretan partisans.

    For three weeks the group evaded German search parties, finally marching the general over the top of Mount Ida, the mythical birthplace of Zeus. It was here that occurred one of the most celebrated incidents in the Leigh Fermor legend.

    Gazing up at the snowy peak, Kreipe recited the first line of Horace’s ode Ad Thaliarchum – “Vides ut alta stet nive candidum Soracte" (See how Soracte stands white with snow on high). Leigh Fermor immediately continued the poem to its end. The two men realised that they had "drunk at the same fountains" before the war, as Leigh Fermor put it, and things between them were very different from then on.   

    (With credit to The Weekly Standard for recalling this story from The Telegraph.)