Yearly Archives: 2017


A Lesson on the Great Lighthouse of Alexandria 1

Built by the Greek architect Sostratus in the third century BCE at the behest of Ptolemy I, the Great Lighthouse (also known as the Pharos, after the small island on which it was located) of Alexandria is one of the most enduring symbols of the ancient world. For centuries it was the tallest manmade structure on Earth, and was included as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was the first thing sailors approaching Alexandria Harbor would see, and undoubtedly was an awe-inspiring (and comforting) sight. Recognizing its strategic importance, it was the first structure Julius Caesar seized control of during his Egyptian expeditions. Never ones to pass up a good idea, the Romans imitated the design of the Pharos with the Tower of Hercules, built in around the second century CE in Galicia, Spain. Destroyed in a series of earthquakes in the Medieval Period, the Lighthouse remains an enduring symbol of the city of Alexandria to this day.
I love talking about the Lighthouse because it can serve as a jumping-off point for so many topics: Egypt, Alexander the Great, sailing, ancient technology, engineering, architecture, historical linguistics (the word for “lighthouse” in a huge number of European languages derives from “pharos”), ancient trade, cultural syncretism, and more.
Here I have linked a presentation which I give to my students about the Lighthouse. There are two options: one is in Latin (appropriate for first- or second-year high school students, or those who have made it to the Alexandria section of the CLC), the other English. The presentation briefly describes Alexandria’s history and the lighthouse’s physical description. I also include a video from the recent video game Assassin’s Creed: Origins, which takes place in Alexandria during Caesar’s time and in which the player can visit and climb the Lighthouse. Finally, as I often use this presentation to introduce architecture projects, I include a bibliography and image list to demonstrate appropriate sourcing.
Feel free to copy and adjust to your needs as much as you want!


Quid Agitur? (December 3)

  • If you are a PhD candidate or recent PhD (up to five years) in Late Antiquity, Byzantine Studies, post-Byzantine Studies, or Modern Greek Studies, consider applying for the The M. Alison Frantz Fellowship in Post-Classical Studies at the Gennadius Library of the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. Deadline for applications is January 15, 2018.
  • Consider applying for one of our CANE Discretionary Grants. These funds are available to classroom teachers for class projects, research, and classroom materials. The next deadline is February 1, 2018.
  • Upcoming Classics lectures in the Pioneer Valley are listed on this Classics Page of the Amherst College web site. Lectures taking place in the Boston area are listed on the Boston Area Classics Calendar.
  • The Western Massachusetts Conversational Hour meets every Thursday at the Esselon Cafe in Hadley, MA for Latin conversation. For details, please contact TJ Howell. If you are in the Boston area, check out the Active Latin Meetup page for events.
  • Central Connecticut State University is working to create a certification program for the teaching of Latin. Attached is find the program of studies. In order to make this idea come to fruition we are seeking support from Latin groups. We need at least 10 students to sign up for this cohort in order to run the program. As an incentive to enroll into the program, we are looking for funding to offer scholarships to help defray the cost of course work at the university level. If you are interesting in supporting this initiative in any way please contact Gina Gallo Reinhard at the below ginagallo@bristolk12.org.
  • The Paideia Institute has released its schedule for summer 2018 programs, including a new “Living Greek in Greece” for high school students.
  • Links to the New England states’ classical associations: NH, VT, ME, MA, RI, CT.

Quid Agitur? (November 27th)

Please note the following deadlines for several sources of funding due in the next several days and weeks:
For Middle and High School Students:
•The Thomas and Eleanor Means Fund.  The Means Fund is awarded for educational travel by middle or secondary students to classical sites as part of a program created by a classics teacher. Deadline: December 1.
CANE’s wonderful Writing Contest for middle and high school students. Submissions are due December 15.
For classroom teachers:
•CANE Discretionary Grants. These funds are available to classroom teachers for class projects, research, and classroom materials. Deadlines: October 1, December 1, February 1, May 1.
For college students:
The Alison Barker Travel Scholarship. The Barker Scholarship is awarded for travel to an undergraduate who is participating in a study program organized by a classics department or Classical studies program. Deadline: December 1.
For a complete listing of CANE-sponsored and endorsed awards, grants and scholarships, go here.
•Upcoming Classics lectures in the Pioneer Valley are listed on this Classics page of the Amherst College web site.
•Lectures taking place in the Boston area are listed on the Boston Area Classics Calendar.
•The Western Massachusetts Conversational Hour meets every Thursday at the Esselon Cafe in Hadley, MA for Latin conversation. For details, please contact TJ Howell.
•In the Boston area? Check out the Active Latin Meetup page for events.
•Central Connecticut State University is working to create a certification program for the teaching of Latin. Attached you will find the program of studies. In order to make this idea come to fruition we are seeking support from Latin groups. We need at least 10 students to sign up for this cohort in order to run the program. As an incentive to enroll into the program we are looking for funding to offer scholarships to help defray the cost of course work at the University level. If you are interesting in supporting this initiative in any way please contact me at the below email address. Gina Gallo Reinhard ginagallo@bristolk12.org
•The Paideia Institute has released its schedule for summer 2018 programs, including a new “Living Greek in Greece” for high school students.
•The CANE News page is a convenient resource listing events sponsored by CANE, conferences in New England, other calendars and events listings, recurrent spoken Latin Meetups and Conventicula, courses and degree programs, fellowships and scholarships, and a link to the jobs page.
•Links to the New England states’ classical associations: NH, VT, ME, MA, RI, CT.