Oct
28
Filed Under (Classics, Latin) by oknorr on 28-10-2012

Every Latin student should know the wonderful Halloween stories in Petronius’ satyrical novel, the Satyricon (ch. 61-62).

During a dinner party in honor of an itinerant scholar and two of his students, the nouveau riche host, Trimalchio, and his fellow freedman, Niceros, entertain the guests with funny stories of werewolves and corpse-stealing witches. Check out the full Latin text (somewhat advanced difficulty, alas) and an English translation at http://ancienthistory.about.com/library/bl/bl_text_satyricon2_ghoststory.htm.

Thursday, Nov. 8th
7:30 PM
*WU Campus : Rogers Music Center : Hudson Concert Hall

Dr. Jodi Magness
Kenan Distinguished Professor for Teaching Excellence in Early Judaism
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

In this slide-illustrated lecture, we survey Jewish tombs and burial customs in Jerusalem in the time of Jesus, and consider the archaeological and literary evidence for the burials of Jesus and his brother James. The lecture includes a discussion of the claims surrounding the so-called “James ossuary” and the “Talpiyot tomb” (recently said to be the tomb of Jesus and his family).

Andrew Bernhard

Andrew Bernhard '98


Andrew Bernhard, who graduated from Willamette in 1998 with a B.A. in Religious Studies, is on the forefront of the current scholarly discussion about the authenticity of the so-called Gospel of Jesus’ Wife (Gos. Jes. Wife). This small papyrus fragment, apparently written in Sahidic Coptic around the 4th century C.E., contains tantalizing remains of an early, apocryphal gospel, including the beginning of a sentence that means, in English translation, “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife …’” (Gos. Jes. Wife 4). Recently acquired by an anonymous collector, the text has been edited by Harvard professor Karen King (who gave the 2011 McGaughy lecture on the Willamette campus) and is available in a draft version online. Her manuscript’s actual publication in the Harvard Theological Review, however, has been delayed for several months until chemical tests can be completed to determine the fragment’s authenticity.

A few days ago, Bernhard posted the draft of an article on gospel.net, a popular site that he created after his graduation to disseminate the insights from his senior thesis on several early, non-canonical Christian gospels. Entitled “How the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife Might Have Been Forged: A Tentative Proposal,” the article improves upon earlier observations by Francis Watson (Durham University) that the Gos. Jes. Wife seems to be a “patchwork” of words and small phrases “culled from the Coptic Gospel of Thomas“.

Bernhard has discovered that at least one of the grammatical oddities of the new gospel’s Coptic text may be copied straight from an online source, the early pdf-verson of Michael Grondin’s bilingual Coptic-English edition of the Gospel of Thomas. Gos. Jes. Wife 1, which juxtaposes words found in close proximity to each other in Gos. Thom. 101, leaves out a single-letter Coptic object marker (M with a supralinear stroke). That same error, which Grondin later corrected, occurs in the pdf-version of his interlinear translation, which has been available online since 2002.

While at Willamette, Andrew Bernhard studied classical and New Testament Greek with George H. Atkinson Professor emeritus of Religious and Ethical Studies Lane McGaughy. In the summer before his Junior Year, he was awarded a Carson Undergraduate Grant to write a paper on “The Acceptance of the Gospel of John into Normative Christianity.” During his research, he became fascinated with early, non-canonical Gospels and eventually wrote his 1998 senior thesis on “Seven Early Christian Gospels.” Inducted into Willamette’s Phi Beta Kappa chapter, he graduated magna cum laude.

Andrew Bernhard’s subsequent career path, which led him first to a second B.A. in molecular biology, then to a Masters of Studies in Greek and Roman History from Oxford University, and finally to his current position in biotechnology sales, is outlined in an interview published in Willamette’s alumni magazine, Scene 39 (2008). On the side, Andrew Bernhard continues to run his gospels.net site and, as his article so splendidly demonstrates, to shape the scholarly discussion in Classical Studies.

By the way, while Coptic (unlike Latin, ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew, and six other languages) is not taught at Willamette University, Professor Stephen Patterson, the current holder of the George H. Atkinson Chair in Religious Studies, happens to be an authority on the subject and has published several books and articles on the Gospel of Thomas.

Oct
12
Filed Under (Latin) by sunderda on 12-10-2012

If you think Latin died 2000 years ago, get ready to learn. Neo-Latin, the form of latin between Medieval and Contemporary, was used up to the early 1700’s conversationally and in written works. One common use was in international treaties because, like English today, it was the only internationally learned language in Europe. It was quite a bit different from the classical Latin that we learn here at Willamette but if you were there you would still be able to understand, basically, what was going on, at least in writing. Some of the great Enlightenment and Renaissance intellectuals even wrote works in Latin so that they could reach a wider audience. For example Newton and Galileo each wrote books in Latin as well as their native languages. While Neo-Latin may have died out because of the French influence, Contemporary Latin, or Living-Latin, is still alive today. So if anyone tells you that Latin died out with the Romans, you can tell them otherwise!

Valete!

Oct
11
Filed Under (Classics, Greek, Latin) by oknorr on 11-10-2012

Dickinson College has just launched a very helpful new resource for intermediate Latin students.

The Dickinson College Commentaries, a new series edited by Christopher Francese (Dickinson College) and available for free online, aims to make ancient Greek and Latin texts accessible to a wider audience. Each commentary is prepared by a scholarly expert and offers not just the usual notes on grammar and material culture, but also illustrations, animated maps, videos, and even audio clips that allow you not only to read, but to hear the Latin text. In addition, the site offers vocabulary lists of the most common Greek and Latin words, arranged alphabetically, by parts of speech, by frequency, and by semantic groups (http://dcc.dickinson.edu/resources).

Three commentaries have appeared so far: Selections from Caesar’s De bello Gallico, Ovid’s Amores I, and a late antique text, the Life of Saint Martin of Tours by Sulpicius Severus (ca. 363 – ca. 400 CE). More texts, including Greek texts, will hopefully follow soon.