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Rutgers' Sarolta Anna Takacs to deliver Moses Finley Memorial Lecture April 8

March 23, 2010

Sara Miller
(315) 443-9038

Sarolta Anna Takács, professor of history at Rutgers University, will deliver this year’s Moses Finley Memorial Lecture at Syracuse University. Her presentation, “Julian the Apostate on Homer” will be Thursday, April 8, at 4 p.m. in Maxwell Auditorium.

The event is part of the Finley Lecture Series, presented by the Program in Classics in SU’s College of Arts and Sciences and made possible by the generosity of College of Arts and Sciences alumnus Robert Papworth ‘68. For more information about the lecture, which is free and open to the public, call (315) 443-5903. 

Donald Mills, associate professor of classics in The College of Arts and Sciences, says: “Classical scholarship often includes the study of the influences of classical literature on subsequent ages. Professor Takács’ lecture will examine the influence of Homeric poetry on Roman thought in the early centuries of the Christian era.” 

Takács’ books about Roman civilization include “Vestal Virgins, Sibyls, and Matrons: Women in Roman Religion” (University of Texas Press, 2007), which looks at Roman women and the role they played maintaining Rome’s socio-political structure, as well as the understanding of the Roman self by means of religious rituals. In “The Construction of Authority in Ancient Rome and Byzantium: The Power of Rhetoric” (University of Cambridge Press, 2008), Takács investigates how political rhetoric shaped the ancients’ understanding of reality and shows how the traditional virtues (the mos maiorum) are not simply repeated or adapted cultural patterns, but become tools for the legitimization of political power, authority and even one nation’s domination of another. She is also editor of “Roman Studies: Interdisciplinary Approaches” (Rowman and Littlefield Inc.). 

Before joining Rutgers, where she also serves as dean of the university’s School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program, Takács taught at the University of Oregon, UCLA and Harvard University, where she also held the position of academic dean. Takács received a bachelor’s degree in classics from the University of California, Irvine, and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in history from UCLA. 

The Finley Lecture Series honors the memory of Sir Moses I. Finley, SU Class of 1927. One of the 20th century’s most influential historians, he enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a professor of ancient history and as a master of Darwin College at the University of Cambridge.

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