Georgia Irby, associate professor of classics at the College of William and Mary, will deliver Monmouth College’s 28th annual Bernice L. Fox Classics Lecture on March 4 at 7:30 p.m. in the Wells Theater.
Titled “Mapping Vergil: Cartography and Geography in the ‘Aeneid,’” the lecture is free and open to the public.
“At its core, the ‘Aeneid’ is a tale of travel and adventure, and the land and seascape become just as important as the peoples whom the exiled Trojans encounter,” said Irby. “Many cartographical and geographical topoi emerge from reading this great epic within the context of Graeco-Roman scientific geography. The ‘Aeneid,’ in fact, reflects the best cartographic advances of the day and is presented in the same way as other ‘maps’ from ancient Greece and Rome – not in the modern pictural sense but, rather, verbally.”
Irby studied mathematics and Latin at the University of Georgia before turning to Classics full time. She has a master’s degree from the University of Georgia and a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado. She has held teaching positions at Louisiana State University and at Baylor University. Now on the faculty at William and Mary, Irby teaches broadly, enjoying in particular the languages at all levels. She also revels in teaching mythology and science in the ancient world, and delights in drawing out her students creatively. She has even produced a music CD of songs in ancient Greek.
Irby has published on Roman religion, Greek and Roman pedagogy and Greek and Roman science. Her books include “A Little Latin Reader (2011) and “Encyclopedia of Ancient Natural Scientists: The Greek Tradition and Its Many Heirs” (2008). She is currently editing for Wiley-Blackwell a two-volume “Blackwell Companion to Ancient Science, Medicine and Technology.”
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.