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Homerathon to mark special anniversary

February 11, 2014

Homerathon to mark special anniversary

Feb. 10, 2014

An annual tradition for lovers of the classics, poetry, and oral recitation returns to campus when the 25th annual “Homerathon” gets under way at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11, at Murray-Aikins Dining Hall, second floor.

Refreshments will include pizza and salad.

The event features students reading from a variety of translations of Homer's Odyssey and Iliad.  According to Michael Arnush, associate professor and chair of the Classics Department, “Students read from a variety of translations, including Robert Fagles’ monumental translation of the Odyssey, and the Greek students in CC310 (“Homer’s Odyssey,” taught in Greek), will read some of the Odyssey in Homeric meter — dactylic hexameter — and render their own translation of a passage.”

Arnush and Leslie Mechem, lecturer in classics, had the idea for the first marathon reading in 1990. Said Arnush, “We began with a marathon, 10-hour reading, accompanied on occasion by a sitar during the day, and by a dramatic reading by David Porter, professor of classics and a widely published classics scholar. Lovers of Homer flocked then, and now, to sustain a passion for some of the oldest poetry of which we are the temporary custodians.” Department colleague Dan Curley, associate professor, dubbed the event “Homerathon,” a name that has stuck.

Through the years, the goal of the event has remained the same: to promote students’ ability to translate and to dramatically interpret the translations. Above all, according to the department’s web site, “Homerathon! reminds us that the ancient art of storytelling is alive and well.”

CC200 (“The Classical World”) taught by Jackie Murray, assistant professor of classics, and CC310 are sponsors of Homerathon 2014. The event is open to the campus community.

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