Frederick Ahl to Give First Chamberlain Memorial Lecture

Posted: March 21, 2011 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: March 18, 2011 at 2:43 pm

This information was provided by the Department of Modern and Classical Languages

Frederick Ahl, professor of classics at Cornell University, will give the inaugural Jeffrey T. Chamberlain Memorial Lecture on Thursday, March 24, at 3 p.m. in the Grand Tier of the Center for the Arts. His topic is “Humor and Wit in Virgil’s ‘Aeneid.’”

This new lecture series, organized by colleagues and friends in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, is intended to honor Chamberlain’s memory, as he was an exceptional teacher, scholar and administrator.

Ahl is an internationally recognized scholar who has written books and articles on classical authors such as Homer, Sophocles, Ovid, Lucan, Statius and others. He is also a translator of Greek and Roman tragedy and epic.

Ahl’s translation of Virgil’s “Aeneid” was published in hardcover by Oxford University Press in 2007. Although numerous verse translations of the “Aeneid” into English have been done since the 16th century, his is the first that preserves the epic poem’s original meter, the dactylic hexameter, which had previously been considered to be inimitable in English.

Ahl’s version of the “Aeneid” was the last work of world literature that Chamberlain read and greatly enjoyed.

Before his untimely death in 2009, Chamberlain taught French language, literature and linguistics at Mason for more than 20 years and served two terms as chair of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages. He was deeply involved in all aspects of academic and community life and served as university marshal.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Refreshments will follow.



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