Holy Cross Classics Students Receive National Attention for Project on Homer

Group presents findings at national conference in Washington, D.C.

December 5th, 2012 by 

Stephanie Lindeborg ’13 presents her research at the summer research symposium earlier this semester.

College of the Holy Cross students Matt Angiolillo ’13, Tom Arralde ’13, Stephanie Lindeborg ’13, Nick Churik ’15, and recent alumna, Melissa Browne ’12, have received national attention for their work on the Homer Multitext project, a project in which these students attempt to understand the Homeric epics such as the “Iliad” by researching some of the earliest written remains of such poetry in both manuscript and papyrus sources.

The students worked with the classics department’s Neel Smith, associate professor, and Mary Ebbott, associate professor and chair, to explore, study, and compile the nuances of Homer’s work.  The project was part of the Andrew W. Mellon Summer Research Program at the College, which funds student-faculty research projects in the humanities and social sciences.

“As the work of this group of students shows,” says Smith, “the direct and indirect effects of the summer research program are opening new doors to our students.”

The Homer Multitext project is the first of its kind in Homeric studies, as it embraces technology by digitally presenting both the text and historical framework of the “Iliad” and “Odyssey,” offering a free library of texts, images, and tools that allow readers to uniquely engage with Homer’s seminal works.

“In exploring these works, the project adds to humanity’s understanding of its cultural origins,” Angiolillo, a classics major from Drexel Hill, Penn. “We are able to glimpse the period of time when there were many texts of Homer, not just the one we have today.”

Lindeborg, a classics major from Shrewsbury, Mass., says working on this project is validation that there are still important things to be done in classics. “It’s amazing knowing that I and a handful of my peers probably know these manuscripts better than anyone else on the planet.”

On Nov. 30 – Dec. 1, the Homer Multitext student cohort traveled to Washington, D.C., to present their findings at the Sunoikisis Undergraduate Research Symposium at Harvard University’s Center for Hellenic Studies, a nationally renowned hub of classics research.

For additional information, please contact Cristal Steuer at 508-793-2419.

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