University of Melbourne Magazine

Gold to airy thinness beat, no need for a valediction for classics

  • Nash54(online)

    Pheidias, the greatest sculptor of classical antiquity, constructed the Athena Parthenos on a wooden framework with carved ivory for skin and a gold wardrobe. Dedicated in 438 BC, the outline of the base of the Athena sculpture is still visible on the floor of the Parthenon on the Acropolis.

    Pictured, however, is the Athena statue constructed from 1982 to 1990 that currently stands in the Nashville Parthenon. It stood as a plain, white statue for 12 years until 2002, when details were painted on Athena’s face, wardrobe and shield and the statue was fully gilded.

    Melbourne alumnus Michael Bartlett came face to face with the Nashville Athena, and is pictured presenting his paper The Parthenon: From Athens to Nashville at Classics in the City.

    Michael Bartlett

    Educated at Melbourne Grammar and Melbourne and Cambridge Universities, Bartlett claims to have achieved first-class honours in absolutely everything … except his academic studies. But his education clearly instilled in him a great love of the classical world, which continues to this day. Michael currently champions all things classical on the Melbourne Humanities Foundation Board, and chairs a group that is raising funds to support the teaching of Classics and Ancient World Studies at Melbourne.

    For Michael, “there is a great integrity about the study of Latin and Greek, and it provides access to some of the best literature, history, philosophy, art and architecture ever created”. His goal is to see the Chair of Classics – one of the first chairs established by the University in 1854 – fully funded in perpetuity to ensure that the legacy of the ancient world endures for future generations.

     For information on how to support the Classics Trust Fund at Melbourne, visit: i-give#classics

    Faculty and Writers Festival form an opening night partnership

    The Faculty of Arts is proudly sponsoring the opening night of the Melbourne Writers Festival this year. The Faculty’s broad partnership with the MWF includes opportunities for students from the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences to complete internships at the Festival, and for the Faculty to play a key role in developing this annual, two-week celebration for writers, readers and thinkers.

    The Faculty shares the MWF’s commitment to innovation, diversity and connection and its ambition to promote Melbourne as a literary city of international stature. Michael Webster, Chair of the Festival, has said that he is ‘‘delighted to continue our ongoing relationship with the Faculty of Arts, which provides important support to the Festival and brings a shared passion for the Festival’s aims”.

    The Opening Night is on August 22 at the Melbourne Town Hall.

    Arts works to promote language in partnership with trust fund

    Since 2006, the Faculty of Arts has been proud to host an international visiting fellow, supported by the Walter Mangold Trust Fund. The fund was established in accordance with the will of Walter Mangold’s only child, Anne Marie Herzenberg, who wished to honour his experience of ‘‘the devastations and hardships which the First World War, the Depression and the subsequent Second World War wrought on mankind’’.

    In her will she noted that ‘‘[d]uring the second half of his life he devoted his energies to the teaching of languages [and] came to the conclusion that better understanding between peoples, and consequently lessening of conflict, could be achieved by improving communication between them’’. The Faculty has been delighted to be a partner in this venture to bring language experts to Australia.

    In 2014, Professor Allan Grieco, of the Harvard University Centre for Italian Renaissance Studies, will deliver a series of lectures and talks based on his lifelong commitment to promoting the connection between language, history and food in Italy and Europe. Professor Grieco will visit Australia in August.