Monthly Archives: November 2008

Project Runway, 29 BC: RU Classics unleashes ancient fashion show for 25 April 2009 Rutgers Day celebration

Rutgers Day is Saturday 25 April 2009. It’s billed as “a family, friendly, fun exhibition of all of the things we do at Rutgers–our teaching, our research, and our service to the state of New Jersey. We are inviting the citizens of New Jersey to come to New Brunswick, visit the campus, and see what we do.”

Learn all about Rutgers Day here.

What Rutgers Classics is doing on this special day is hosting a Greek and Roman fashion show, under a jumbo tent with a runway extending 60 Roman feet. Students and departmental friends will be making and/or modelling some of the most historically accurate classical garb that’s been seen on our planet since the days of Herodes Atticus. DJ Korenelius will spin and emcee at this hyperbolic event.

Do you want to make the clothes? Do you want to model them? Do you want to do both? Call 732.932.9493 or email here.

But first listen here to the radio spot for this off-the-hook feature (2 minute audiofile): rutgersdayclassicspromo.

Expected to become an annual event, the first-ever Rutgers Day action begins that Saturday 25 April at 10 AM and ends at 4 PM. “With free performances, tours, exhibits, hands-on activities, lectures, demonstrations, and more,” notes the official site, “Rutgers Day expands on the long-standing success of Ag Field Day and the New Jersey Folk Festival to encompass university activities and programs across New Brunswick and Piscataway.”

Similar open campus events at universities such as Maryland and UC Berkeley have drawn crowds of over 40,000 visitors.

More details to follow on the RU Classics Greek & Roman Fashion Show as Rutgers Day draws near!

Mirabile browsu: RU students rate Google Earth’s new ‘Ancient Rome 3D’

By now, you’ve probably at least heard about a new layer in Google Earth that takes you back to Rome in the day of emperor Constantine the Great. The day 21 June in the year AD 320, to be precise.

Google Earth’s 400 million estimated users are free to navigate the entire ancient city within the circuit of the 13-mile Aurelian Walls, peeking inside many buildings and monuments. More than half a million folks have viewed this YouTube video of what it does within a week of posting:

This collaboration between Google and the University of Virginia’s Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities (directed by classicist Professor Bernard Frischer) has instantly been heralded as “the biggest, most complete simulation of an historic city ever created.”

On first seeing it, Rutgers Classics visiting professor Matt Fox put down his well-worn text of Lucan and exclaimed ‘mirabile browsu‘! And RU Classics chair Corey Brennan has written about it in detail here.

But let’s turn to the real experts. A survey of Rutgers undergraduates studying Roman Civ this term suggests that they are overwhelmingly enthusiastic about Google’s latest killer app.

“I thought that Ancient Rome 3D was a fun and simple way to learn about Ancient Rome,” says Ciara Coffman ’09. “The website was so easy to navigate through that I found myself clicking away until I had visited each temple, amphitheater, bathhouse, and garden.”

Adds Mary Stevens ’12, “As someone who traveled to Rome earlier on in the year to see the Roman Forum and Colosseum, I am in awe of how perfectly Google Earth has managed to recreate all of the prominent buildings of early Rome. And with features that allow you to tour the inside of most buildings and acquire more information about them with a simple click of your mouse, there is no doubt that Google Earth for ancient Rome is opening up a whole new world for exploration … I’m amazed!”


Akshar Yagnik ’11 has also been to Rome, and says “I wish I had this tool before I went so I could familiarize myself with what I was about to see. And now several years later I am able to revisit and relearn some of the sights with real non-animated pictures of the actual buildings.”

“Google Earth’s reconstruction of Ancient Rome looks promising to those, like myself” says K. Mistry, a junior Art History and French double major, “who are particularly interested in studying the city’s urban design and architecture…Although the graphics are somewhat cartoon-like, they nevertheless offer the viewer the opportunity to experience Ancient Rome as it looked during the time of the Emperor Constantine.”


“Being able to virtually climb over the Pincian Hill”, observes Thomas Clickner ’11, “and experience the wonders of the Garden of the Acilii provides a wonderful insight to the world of Ancient Rome through this new program.”

“Visiting this place was nothing different than like a day trip to New York,” says Matt Forbes ’09, “I feel like I’ve ‘been there.’ The sophistication of ancient Rome itself is pretty remarkable. Why don’t we have a Septizodium in NYC!?”

And a junior majoring in Art History at Rutgers: “No longer will people use Google Earth only to view their house and their neighborhood from an aerial perspective. Now they can actually do something of importance!”


Old school lessons in Roman topography: Rutgers glass ‘lantern’ teaching slides from the 1930s

But wait…that’s just half the Google story! Continue reading

Considering RU graduate Classics? Here’s what you need to know

If you are considering graduate study in Classics at Rutgers, now is the time to put your application together. We asked RU Graduate Director Serena Connolly for answers to some Frequently Asked Questions…


Rutgers Admissions brochure from back in the day—1959, to be precise

Which program?

“Rutgers offers MAT, MA and PhD programs. Here’s some information which will help you choose the right program for you.

MAT: This program is suitable for teachers in middle or high school who are preparing for certification or who have received certification and now want to improve their knowledge of Classics and teaching skills. You’ll take seminars in Latin language and literature, as well other areas of Classics such as history or philosophy. You will also be encouraged to explore offerings in the theory and practice of pedagogy.

MA: This program is both for school teachers who want to expand their knowledge of the ancient world and also for those who are deciding whether to embark on the PhD or need to improve their languages before doing so. You will have the opportunity to take a wide range of courses in Classical philology, history and philosophy. The Graduate Director will work closely with you to choose courses that best suit your needs.

PhD: If you want to teach in a college or university, this is the program for you. Having chosen between our Classical Philology and Ancient History tracks, you’ll take 48 credits across our curriculum and comprehensive translation and oral exams. You will also have plenty of opportunities to teach language and civilization courses. The dissertation follows this, and you’ll receive strong guidance and support from your dissertation committee. The Classics Dept. at Rutgers is strongly committed to placing its PhD students in college or university teaching positions after graduation and will work with you throughout your degree to this end.”

How can I fund my degree?

“Only PhD students are eligible for funding. Applicants for the PhD will be considered for competitive fellowships which provide support through stipends, teaching support, tuition remission and health benefits.”

What do I need to get in?

“Successful candidates typically have:
• Three years of college-level Latin and two years of Greek (the latter is not required of MAT applicants)
• Strong GRE scores (650+ VB and 5.0+ WR)
• GPA of at least 3.3 overall, and significantly higher in the major”

Don’t stop now….there’s more! Continue reading

This day in RU history: team of mostly classicists beat Princeton in first-ever intercollegiate football game

On 6 November 1869—139 years ago to this date—Rutgers hosted Princeton in the first-ever football game between two collegiate institutions, making Rutgers the birthplace of college football.


The game took place on a Saturday afternoon (3 PM kickoff) in a field along College Avenue in New Brunswick, now occupied by the gym affectionately known as “The Barn”. There a fired-up crowd of about 100 saw Rutgers beat Princeton 6-4. The rules were primitive, there were 25 players to a side, and the only equipment was the ball. And oh yeah—the Rutgers students caused a stir by showing up wearing the same color, namely scarlet.


Rutgers’ new student paper, the Daily Targum, had the good sense to show up to report on the game, which they did in astonishing detail that has often been reprinted. See here for an excellent summary (with lots of great images) from the RU Athletics website.

Unlike Princeton, Rutgers also kept a good record of its student-athletes who showed up to play that November day—27 for RU in all.

Now, a glance at the academic rolls shows that all but five of those 27 players were taking the rigorous Rutgers Classics Curriculum. The best student among them was probably the team captain, William James Leggett, Class of 1872. Before graduating, he won prizes in Latin as well as mathematics and declamation. Amazingly, he was also Targum editor, director of the baseball team, and captain and stroke of the RU crew.

But three of the members of the team were flunking freshman algebra, and one of them—Classics student William McKee ’73—had a string of absences in the week leading up the game, which the faculty marked as “excused” after the Rutgers victory.


Detail of monument to The First Game and its Rutgers players at RU’s Hale Center

For the curious, there’s a list of the Rutgers players and their later careers after the jump…

Continue reading