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Skidmore College

Caesar lives on

March 15, 2016

Some 2,400 years ago a conspiracy of Roman senators assassinated Julius Caesar. "Not only is our contemporary calendar the result of his efforts," notes Skidmore classics professor Michael Arnush, but Caesar helped lay "the foundation of the Roman empire and hence western civilization."

This fall Arnush's students re-enacted the Ides of March upheavals, based on The Death of Caesar by Barry Strauss. And now Strauss will deliver Skidmore's David H. Porter Classical World Lecture on Thursday, March 24, at 5:30 p.m. in Davis Auditorium of Palamountain Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

The Bowmar Professor of Humanistic Studies (and winner of the Clark Distinguished Teaching Award) at Cornell University, Strauss is a military historian with a focus on ancient Greece and Rome.

Strauss books

His books have been cited for their "insight and panache" and translated into nine languages. His Battle of Salamis: The Naval Encounter That Saved Greece—and Western Civilization was named a best book of 2004 by the Washington Post, and the city of Salamis made him an honorary citizen. The Spartacus War was a Books & Culture favorite of 2009, and Masters of Command: Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar and the Genius of Leadership was one of Bloomberg's best books of 2012. Death of Caesar, his most recent, has been called "a truly exciting narrative" in which "figures who had seemed forever frozen in marble breathe again."

Barry Strauss
Barry Strauss

Strauss is editor of the Princeton History of the Ancient World series and sits on editorial boards from the International Journal of the Classical Tradition to the Quarterly Journal of Military History. He has appeared in many TV documentaries, in major newspapers, and on NPR and the BBC.

The holder of a B.A. degree from Cornell and a Ph.D. from Yale, he has received research grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the German Academic Exchange Service, the Korea Foundation, the American School at Athens, and the American Academy in Rome.

In 2015 Skidmore's Classics Department renamed its annual lecture in honor of David Porter, president and professor emeritus. He gave frequent lectures for the department's "Classical World" gateway course while he was president from 1987 to 1998, and later he taught a range of classics courses as Skidmore's Tisch Family Distinguished Professor.

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