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Greek Hero Odysseus Subject of 2007 Rouman Lecture March 21

By Lori Wright, Media Relations
March 21, 2007

The UNH John C. Rouman Classical Lecture Series welcomes Charles Rowan Beye, distinguished professor of classics emeritus at Lehman College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, who will speak on the figure of the Greek hero Odysseus.

Beye will deliver the spring 2007 Rouman Lecture, “Defining/Defending Odysseus,” at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 21, in Richards Auditorium in Murkland Hall. The lecture is co-sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and the Epsilon Upsilon chapter of Eta Sigma Phi, the classics undergraduate honor society. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Odysseus was the ruler of the island kingdom of Ithaca. He was one of the most prominent Greek leaders in the Trojan War, and was the hero of Homer's “Odyssey.” He was known for his cleverness and cunning, and for his eloquence as a speaker.

Educated at the University of Iowa and Harvard University, Beye has taught at Yale, Stanford, Boston University, where he was chair of the classics department for several years, and at the City University of New York, where he was the executive officer of a consortium graduate program in classics involving Fordham University, New York University, and the City University.

An early interest in ancient Greek epic poetry resulted in a number of scholarly articles on the subject as well as his “Ancient Epic Poetry” several times reprinted, most recently with an additional chapter on the Sumerian-Akkadian Gilgamesh story, and “Epic and Romance in the Argonautica of Apollonius,” which has changed our critical understanding of this Alexandrian poet. Students are possibly most familiar with his “Ancient Greek Literature and Society.”

Beye is also the author of a recent work of fiction, “Odysseus: a Life,” which was published by Hyperion Press, and he was chosen as one of this year’s lecturers particularly because of this exciting combination of scholarly and artistic interest in the hero from Ithaca.

Beye’s talk will be followed by a small public reception. For more information or directions see http://www.unh.edu/classics or contact Thelma Sidmore at tss@cisunix.unh.edu or 2-3522.

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