The annual Marston Lecture at Seattle Pacific University is presented by the faculty member appointed to the C. May Marston professorship, named in honor of C. May Marston, whose influence extends back to the earliest years of Seattle Pacific. During a remarkable 45 years as a faculty member, Dr. Marston instilled a love for language through her classes in Latin, Greek, French, German and English. The quintessential scholar, Dr. Marston was a methodical drillmaster whose sharp sense of humor, deep concern for students and simplicity of faith won over many a reluctant intellect.
The 2014 C. May Marston Lecture
“Latin Verse by Women”
Owen Ewald, C. May Marston Assistant Professor of Classics
Tuesday, February 4, 2014, 2 p.m. Upper Gwinn
Owen Ewald, Ph.D., grew up in Washington, D.C., a city with abundant Greco-Roman-inspired architecture. After reading historian J. David Bolter’s work Turing’s Man, he studied Latin for 17 years, Greek for 13 years, and some Sanskrit. He received a doctorate in classics from the University of Washington in 1999, and his dissertation explored Roman historiography. His articles on ancient funerary practices, ancient roads, and Vergil’s rhyme schemes have appeared in Athenaeum, Bryn Mawr Classical Review, and Harvard Studies in Classical Philology. Dr. Ewald has taught Latin, Greek, classical literature, ancient history, and art history at Seattle Pacific University since 2001 and was named to the C. May Marston Professorship in 2005.
In the 2014 C. May Marston Lecture, Dr. Ewald will explore Latin verse by women. While literacy among women was rare for many centuries, some women not only read but also composed poetry in Latin. Many of their surviving poems blend pagan mythology, especially nymphs, with Christian theology in creative ways or adapt an ancient language to a medieval or modern context. This lecture will explore some examples of how women writing in Latin created innovative works for new purposes, despite having few predecessors or contemporaries on the same path.