Austin College Ancients Week Celebrates Societies’ Roots

By: Press Release
By: Press Release

SHERMAN, TEXAS—Austin College students and faculty will observe Ancients Week on campus February 10 – 14. A number of lectures, free and open to the public, will highlight the week and celebrate the roots of Western civilization in the ancient world’s philosophy, literature, art, science politics, laws, and religion.

On Tuesday, February 11, at 11:30 a.m., Mark Hebert, associate professor of philosophy, will present “Aristotle and the Good Life” in Wright Campus Center, Room 231. That afternoon, Molly Jones-Lewis, visiting assistant professor of classics, will present “In Search of the Paylloli Poison Control and Non-Roman Identity in the Roman Empire” at 4:30 in Caruth Administration Building, Room 201.

Public events continue Wednesday, February 12, at 7:30 p.m. in Wright Campus Center, Room 231, with a showing of the film Gladiator and a brief introduction by Robert Cape, professor of classics.

On Thursday, February 13, at 4:30 p.m., Martin Wells, visiting assistant professor of classics, will present “The Archaeologies of Deconstruction and Reconstruction at Hellenistic Gordion” in Wright Campus Center, Room 231.

Karann Durland, professor of philosophy, is coordinating Ancients Week and working with several faculty members in the process. She explained that the week’s activities grew from a desire of many faculty members to further “cultivate a vibrant intellectual community that exists outside the classroom for both students and faculty.” Elements of ancient civilization, she said, continue to shape modern societies.

“We, and especially our students, are often so focused on the contemporary world that we lose sight of this,” Durland said. “Our lives—and often our understanding of contemporary issues—is the poorer for it. Ancients Week celebrates ancient civilization and its contemporary significance in ways that should stimulate lively conversations as well as reflection on the value of a liberal arts education. “

Durland said that considerations for the next academic year would be a week focused on another historical period, such as Medieval and Renaissance or Restoration and Enlightenment.

Ancients Week is supported by the Johnson Center for Faculty Development and Teaching, the Philosophy Department, the Religious Studies Department, the Department of Classical and Modern Languages, the Western Intellectual Tradition Program, and the Mellon Course Partnership Program.

Austin College is a leading national independent liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas. Founded in 1849, making it the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original charter and name, the College is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA). Recognized nationally for academic excellence in the areas of international education, pre-professional training, and leadership studies, Austin College is one of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges That Change Lives.


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