Latin lovers unite: Classical association members meet for two-day conference

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Was Caesar a weirdo? What do The Godfather and the Roman Empire have in common?

And does communicating Latin via Twitter inspire high school students to keep up with classical languages

These are some of the cultural, historical and pedagogical topics to be addressed when the Department of Classics hosts the 53rd Annual Institute of the Classical Association of the Empire State Oct. 28-29. The theme is Vis Unita Fortior, or unity.

Founded in 1964, CAES is a not-for-profit professional organization of teachers and professors of ancient Latin and Greek dedicated to advancing interest in the study of the classical languages and civilizations in New York’s schools and colleges.

The keynote dinner speaker, scheduled for Friday evening in Hale House, is W. Jeffrey Tatum of the School of Art History, Classics and Religious Studies at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He will look at Caesar’s early life and family values.

Union faculty presenters and their topics include:

  • Peter Bedford, the John and Jane Wold Professor of Religious Studies and director of the Religious Studies program: “Religion in the Ancient World”
  • Angela Commito, visiting assistant professor in classics: “Teaching the Ancient Mediterranean Environment”
  • Hans-Friedrich Mueller, the Thomas Lamont Professor of Ancient and Modern Literature: “From Salius to Augur: Julius Caesar’s Priestly Career”
  • Stacie Raucci, associate professor and chair of the Classics Department: “Celluloid Caesar: Julius Caesar on Screen”

In addition, Edythe Malara ’16, a graduate student at Clarkson University, will speak on “Caesars and Corleones: Augustan Rome and The Godfather.”

Representatives from Skidmore College, the Hackley School, Mount Mercy Academy, the Niskayuna, Pittsford-Mendon and Shenendehowa high schools, and West Irondequoit Central Schools also will present.