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UNH Hosts Lecture on Political Humor in World's First Democracy Oct. 22

By Lori Wright, Media Relations
October 15, 2008

The intersection of humor and politics is thousands of years old, tracing its roots to ancient Athens. This October, journey to the 4th and 5th centuries B.C. to explore this powerful political tool that is a mainstay of culture today.

The Classics Program at UNH hosts Jeffrey Henderson, the William Goodwin Aurelio Professor of Greek Language and Literature at Boston University, who will deliver the annual John C. Rouman Lecture Wednesday, Oct. 22.

Henderson’s lecture, "Pericles the Squill-Head: Political Humor in the World's First Democracy," begins at 7:30 p.m. at Richards Auditorium in Murkland Hall. The lecture is free and open to the public.

“Athenian politicians were much more abusive, particularly in attacking not only an opponent's policies and qualifications but also his family (especially wives and mothers) and friends. Political comedy was a national institution funded by government and the wealthiest citizens for the enjoyment and edification of all,” Henderson said.

Known for his pioneering work on Greek drama and politics, and for his editions and translations of the comic playwright Aristophanes, Henderson serves as vice president for research of the American Philological Association, the professional organization for classicists in North America; and as general editor of the 500-volume Loeb Classical Library, published by the Harvard University Press and the world’s premier series of texts and translations of Greek and Latin authors.

For more information call R. Scott Smith, coordinator of the Classics Program, at 2-2388.

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