Richard Hunter, regius professor of Greek at the University of Cambridge in England, spoke to UNH students and guests on the Measure of Homer this past Wednesday, Oct. 5 in Huddleston Hall. The event, which was co-sponsored by the Epsilon Upsilon Chapter of Eta Sigma Phi and the College of Liberal Arts, was a segment of the John C. Rouman Lecture Series.
Established in 1997, the main goal of the lecture series is to promote and enhance the awareness of the classics in New England. The series is named after one of UNH’s most distinguished faculty members and is a warm reminder of the extraordinary devotion Rouman exhibited toward the university and the Classics field. In the past, Rouman has been awarded with both UNH’s Distinguished Teaching Award, and the prestigious National Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Classics from the American Philological Association.
The event started with introductory remarks from the Chair of the Classics, Humanities and Italian Studies department Stephen M. Trzaskoma, who then introduced Hunter. Hunter has been noted as being a prodigious scholar that helped to reshape the way Greek literature is studied.
To his credit, Hunter has 19 published books and numerous articles, all of which have helped to reclaim the importance of the vibrant period of Greek literature during the Hellenistic and Roman Imperial Periods. Other than his work on Hellenistic poetry and poets such as Callimachus and Apollonius of Rhodes, he has also written extensively on the ancient novelists Longus and Heliodorus.
At the lecture, which lasted approximately an hour and a half, Hunter discussed different poems by both Homer and Longinus and went in depth on the sublimity that he believed was behind many of these works.
In attendance to the event was member of Eta Sigma Phi and UNH sophomore Jacob Compagna. “I was pleasantly surprised with how Professor Hunter got into the sublimity of Homer’s works,” he said. “I have enjoyed Greek literature since a very young age but I hadn’t known a lot about the philosophers who compare themselves to Homer. I thought Professor Hunter articulated his ideas very well in how he showed his insight on why he thinks certain characters do what they do,” Compagna said.
Not all students who attended the event came with an established sense of interest in the subject.
“To be honest, I’m only here for an extra credit assignment but I found the lecture to be way more interesting than expected and I was surprised by how important the speaker was and astonished by all of his accomplishments,” junior math major Olivia Myers said.
Following the lecture, Hunter took a few minutes to answer questions from the crowd, and drinks and snacks were provided to those who wished to socialize.