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May 23 was a special day for the Classics Department as we gathered for the presentation of a Senior Honors Thesis by Grace Caldwell ’19 and to recognize our 2019 recipients for awards and prizes in Classics, Latin, and Greek.
Grace’s thesis is entitled "Gorgias' Encomium of Helen and the Logos - a Jeu de l'Amour et du Hasard." In her presentation, she told us about the unusual work of literature on which her work is based. Gorgias, an orator and teacher of ancient Greece, wrote his Encomium of Helen as a display of oratorical brilliance: by arguing paradoxically that Helen was not guilty of any wrongdoing, he highlighted the power of public speaking to persuade and the quasi-physical workings of the human mind.
The Firestone Prize is a monetary award in memory of Justin Firestone ’92, who was a graduate of our department, to recognize “excellence in interpreting the Classical World through digital or multiple media.” This year, the prize went to Neca Chinchilla '20 and April Johnson '20 who designed a video game for teaching characteres and concepts from Classical Mythology. In the game, a heroine named “Petrina” goes on a quest, meeting and interacting with various gods and monsters. All the game’s characters were drawn by April, who took inspiration from the classical iconography we studied in class, while Neca designed and programmed the game. The game is available as a free download on the Classics website, here.
The Class of 1846 Latin Prize was awarded to Kevin Donohue ’21 as the member of the sophomore class with the best achievement in advanced Latin classes. A further prize is also awarded to a member of the first-year class with the best achievement in Introductory Latin; this year, that prize was awarded to Ethan Moon ’22. A first-year award was also made for the Atherton 1883 Greek Prize, to Nora (Gus) Guszkowski ’22. All of these are also monetary prizes.
Congratulations to all of these fine students for your wonderful achievements!