Timothy J. Moore, professor of classics at the University of Texas, will deliver Monmouth College’s 26th annual Bernice L. Fox Classics Lecture on March 1 at 7:30 p.m. in the Wells Theater.
Titled “Musical Comedy: Roman and American,” the lecture is free and open to the public.
Moore will propose that for all their differences, the musical comedies of ancient Rome and contemporary America are remarkably similar in many ways. The comedies of the Roman playwrights Plautus and Terence, like the musical comedies of contemporary America, mixed spoken dialogue with songs.
“We can therefore learn much about Roman comedy, the American musical and the nature of musical theater by comparing how the two genres approach various aspects of the form,” he said. “The Roman plays, like their modern descendents, use music to distinguish characters, mark the progress of love affairs, and reinforce emotional and humorous moments. At the same time, differences in the musical structures and tone of the two genres reflect changing notions of how music and drama should work together.”
Moore is the author of “Artistry and Ideology: Livy’s Vocabulary of Virtue” and “The Theater of Plautus: Playing to the Audience,” as well as articles on Livy, Tibullus, Roman comedy, Petronius, ancient music and Japanese Kyogen comedy. He is currently completing a book on music in Roman comedy.
A member of the University of Texas faculty since 1992 and a full professor since 2005, Moore previously taught at Texas A&M University and was a Mellon Faculty Fellow at Harvard University. His undergraduate work in Latin and history was completed at Millersville University in 1981 and he earned his Ph.D. in classics in 1986 from the University of North Carolina.
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.