Friday, June 28, 2013

‘Maths, Politics and Concrete. The Legacy of the Classical World’

Special Collections, University of Otago, is pleased to announce the beginning of ‘Maths, Politics and Concrete. The Legacy of the Classical World’, an exhibition that aims to highlight some of the influences that the ancient Greeks and Romans have had on western civilisation. The exhibition starts on 28 June and runs through to 20 September 2013.

Classicist Richard Hingley once wrote: ‘The Classical past retains a highly significant relationship to the present’. It is certainly true that no cultural tradition develops in a vacuum, and that we are all influenced by those who have gone before us. From Homer’s Odyssey and the nascent secular intellectualism of the early Greek philosophers, to the recipe for concrete and the perfection of archway construction, the Classical World has left a legacy which we now take for granted. Indeed, the cultural legacy from Greece and Roman is all-encompassing in areas such as mathematics, medicine, law, and politics, to literature, philosophy, architecture and engineering.

This exhibition feature works by Ovid, Apollonius, Archimedes, Xenophon and Marcus Aurelius, names not necessarily familiar to all but ones which have definitely shaped the past. Notable items on display include a 1618 edition of Palladio’s Antiquitates Almae Urbis Romae; a leaf from the great Polyglot Bible of 1514-17; Isaac Oliver Byrne’s The First Six Books of the Elements of Euclid (1847); Isaac Asimov’s poem ‘The Foundation of Science Fiction Success’; and a facsimile of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

Please pass this message on to colleagues, friends and all interested parties.  

Exhibition dates: 28 June to 20 September 2013
Venue: de Beer Gallery, Special Collections, University of Otago Library
Time: 8.30 to 5.00 Monday to Friday

For further details please contact: Romilly Smith, Special Collections Assistant, and curator of this exhibition,
or Dr. Donald Kerr, Special Collections Librarian (; phone: (03) 479-8330.

Illustration above - Buckland Wright image of Hector

No comments: