Author Archives: John Stevens

April 8, 2015. Inaugural Lecture of an ECU Classical Student Association

PersianWars

Classical Studies Association
Inaugural meeting -April 8, 2015
Presentation by Dr. Anthony Papalas

We began the night with a presentation on “The Ionian Rebellion” by Dr. Anthony Papalas. To show his support for Classical curriculum, and in particular to the CSA itself, Dr. Papalas stated that “This meeting serves as a statement to people that trivialize the humanities.” He described the importance of a Classical education in today’s society. In past generations, Classics received much admiration and praise. It was pretty standard for college students to receive some sort of Classical training while at school. Now, however, it is not that popular. But that doesn’t mean that Classics in not relevant in today’s world. A degree in Classics shows prospective employers and professional schools that the applicant is dedicated and studious. It is also one of the top degrees that acclaimed law schools look for in applicants.
After this, Dr. Papalas lectured on the Ionian Rebellion. To help lay the groundwork for his argument, Dr. Papalas emphasized the culture and history of Ionia, the area centrally located on the western shore of Asia Minor. Greek cities located in Asia Minor are some of the best preserved sites for archaeology, even compared to those of European Greece. Also, many of the first great Greek thinkers and innovators were from Ionia. Around 500 B.C., the Ionians revolted against their ruler, the king of Persia, of which they had been made a part for 50 years. Dr. Papalas explained the various reasons for the rebellion, and the malicious role of Aristagoras in causing Ionian-Persian tensions. Nevertheless, the rebellion took hold and played a decisive role in the evolution of democracy, since the new weapon of the moment, the trireme, was so manpower-intensive that it necessitated a “peoples’ war” and led to the rise of democratic regimes. Once the war reached a stand-still, a decisive naval battle at Lade was forced, to end the revolt. The Persians won decisively, and this rebellion created harsh conditions between the Persians and Greeks, a fact that would plague the two nations for the next half century in the Greco-Persian Wars.

submitted with our thanks by Jacob Parks

MLA on FL Enrollments: Tongue-Tied Nation

Chronicle

March 23, 2015
By Michael D. Gordin

In mid-February, The Chronicle reported the results of a study by the Modern Language Association about foreign-language enrollments in the United States. Let’s just say that something would be rotten with the state of Danish, if American institutions actually offered that language (which they generally don’t).

After 20 years of growth, enrollments in foreign-language courses fell 6.7 percent between 2009 and 2013. Not all languages were hit equally hard. Spanish is still the most frequently studied foreign language in the United States — its enrollments are higher than all others combined — with French in second place. Yet even Spanish has declined. Meanwhile, American Sign Language has moved up to third, displacing German.

These trends are not unique to America, but they do seem to concentrate in Anglophone nations. The educational systems of other countries encourage the study of foreign languages — at the very least, buckling down on English training, essentially compulsory in pre-university and university education in many nations. Yet those people who by accident of birth are born speaking what has become a global language have apparently ceased to see the utility or the desirability of knowing how to speak or read any other tongue. In October 2013, The Guardian reported that the number of British universities offering degrees in modern foreign languages had declined by 40 percent over the previous 15 years, and the trend is accelerating.

» Read more

Destruction of Nimrud by Isis

Daily Reflector
By Sharieka Breeden
March 10, 2015

Recent attacks on ancient archeological sites by the Islamic State add a layer of horror atop an already terrible toll inflicted by the terrorist group, East Carolina University Department of Anthropology staff said Monday.

According to The Associated Press, the destruction of the nearly 3,000-year-old city of Nimrud in Iraq is part of the Sunni extremist group’s campaign to enforce its interpretation of Islamic law by purging ancient relics they say promote idolatry.

Reports indicate that the group bulldozed sites at Nimrud on Friday. They also released video of fighters smashing artifacts in the Mosul museum, and explosions and bulldozers hit Hatra, another ancient site near Mosul, on Saturday.

Iraq;_Nimrud_-_Assyria,_Lamassu's_Guarding_Palace_Entrance

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AP Stories

ISIS Video of the Destruction

March 21, 2015. NCCA Spring Meeting @ WFU.

SATURDAY, MARCH 21, 2015
WAKE FOREST UNIVERSITY
BENSON 409
WINSTON-SALEM, NC

9:30 Registration (Parking)

10:00 Maura Heyn, UNCG, Til Death Do Us Join: Provincial Portraiture in the Roman World

10:45  John Stevens, ECU, Doctus Vergil: 11 Lines That Lay the Foundation of Rome

11:30 Business Meeting

12:00 Lunch (Lunch Reservation Form due March 13)

1:00 Rebecca A. Sears, WFU, Musicians, Instruments, and Musical Documents in Roman Egypt

1:45 Robyn Le Blanc, UNC-CH, The Importance of Being Greek: Gods and Heroes in Roman Palestine

Two Way Immersion Programs

Pitt County Schools is launching a dual language immersion program at Belvoir Elementary School in the fall, where 48% of students are native Hispanic speakers. The program, with rotating instruction in Spanish and English, will be offered to all incoming kindergartners with parent approval.
Pitt County Schools World Language Coordinator, Ann Borisoff, says research shows there are scholastic benefits to bilingual instruction. “What happens is that a different part of the brain is accessed when you are working with a bilingual situation. Actually, learning in a lot of cases goes a lot faster and students obtain the same or better results on academic achievement tests as do their monolingual peers,” Borisoff.

»» WNCT Story

(Last year’s post from 3/21/14):
Pitt County Schools is doing a feasibility study on two-way immersion programs to start in 2015-16. In such programs the entire curriculum is taught partially in Spanish and partially in English. Prof. Ann Borisoff who has just completed a dissertation on this subject was featured in an article in The Daily Reflector on March 4, discussing the benefits of such an approach in Pitt County where schools like Belvoir Elementary are 48% Hispanic.
Borisoff said that not only do all the students become bilingual and biliterate, but achievement improves and students develop cross-cultural competence. Data from programs such as the dual immersion program in Greene County have shown that students in such language immersion programs not only learn the standard curriculum despite the language challenges, but actually perform equal or better on grade level tests than their mono-lingual peers. A sample classroom might be an equal mix of native-Spanish and native-English speakers on an alternate day schedule in which the same curriculum is taught exclusively in Spanish one day and in English the next.