John Gruber-Miller, professor of classics at Cornell College, will deliver Monmouth College’s 26th annual Bernice L. Fox Classics Lecture on Feb. 28 at 7:30 p.m. in the Wells Theater.
Titled “Peeking into a Periegete’s Mind: Probing Pausanias’s ‘Description of Greece,’” the lecture is free and open to the public.
“The Roman travel writer Pausanias is our most important ancient source for the art and archaeology of ancient Greece,” said Gruber-Miller. “He wrote his ‘Description of Greece’ during the second century CE when the great renaissance of Greek literature and culture known as the Second Sophistic was in full bloom.”
Over the past two summers, Gruber-Miller and two undergraduate researchers have been probing Pausanias’s text, attempting to uncover the truth of what he writes. His illustrated Fox Lecture presentation will be divided into three parts: Pausanias’s research topics/questions, his methods for reaching answers and the development of his authority.
“At the same time, we will ask our own questions,” said Gruber-Miller. “Why should we read the travel writings of a Roman in Greek lands? What image and identity does Greece hold in our imagination? What can we learn about doing research today from an ancient writer?”
At Cornell, Gruber-Miller teaches a range of courses in classics, Greek and Latin and is the adviser for the college’s interdisciplinary classical studies program. He was the editor for “When Dead Tongues Speak: Teaching Beginning Greek and Latin,” which was published in 2006. Gruber-Miller received his bachelor’s degree from Xavier University and his master’s degree and Ph.D. from Ohio State University.
Established in 1985, the lecture honors the late Bernice L. Fox, who taught classics at Monmouth from 1947 until 1981. The goal of the series is to illustrate the continuing importance of classical studies in the modern world and the intersection of the classics with other disciplines in the liberal arts.