Happening Soon

 Keep your eye on this web page and our facebook page ("Classics at Vwc") for more events soon.

Discere est Humanum…. Docere, Divinum!

The Virginia Department of Education has officially lent its approval for a Teaching Endorsement in Latin for VWU. This means that students who major in Latin and complete the requisite coursework in Education will now be able to leave VWU prepared to teach high school Latin.

The past few years have been busy for VWU Classics!

Ben Haller served as Area Chair for Classical Representations in Popular Culture, chaired three panels at The Southwest Popular/American Culture Association Conference, in Albuquerque, New Mexico on February 10-13, 2016.

Ben Haller presented his paper entitled "Nick Tosches, Monty Python, and the Genre of Self-Deconstructing Christian Pseudepigrapha" at The Southwest Popular/American Culture Association Conference, in Albuquerque, New Mexico on February 10-13,2016.

Ben Haller chaired a panel entitled "Classical Representations: 21st Century Literature and Thought" on Saturday, March 19, 2016 at the 112th meeting of the Classical Association of the Middle West and South in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Ben Haller published a book review: "HOMER TRANSLATIONS. B.B. Powell (trans.) Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, and B.B. Powell (trans.) Homer: the Odyssey." The Classical Review March 2016, pp. 1 - 3.

Ben Haller delivered an invited lecture at Hamilton College entitled "Classical Themes in Chris Nolan's Inception" on Thursday, February 5, 2015.

He also delivered four conference papers at International and Regional conferences:


He also…

  • Co-edited the inaugural volume of the peer-reviewed journal Dialogue with Kirsten Day of Augustana College; had an article appear in this volume (;
  • Had one other peer-reviewed journal article appear in print;
  • Served as Area Chair for the Classical Representations in Popular Culture area at the SWPACA conference in Albuquerque;
  • Accompanied Terry Lindvall’s C.S. Lewis/J.R.R. Tolkien class to Oxford, where he gave a talk for VWU students on Tolkien's life and his novel The Hobbit;
  • Led a community class session on "Dr. King's 'I Have a Dream' Speech and the Architectural Setting of the National Mall";
  • Helped out with local events for high schools (a summer class on "Teaching Caesar for the A.P." and a session on Medieval Manuscripts for the local TCS Latin Day).

We've also hosted speakers of international eminence (Carl Rubino of Hamilton College, Corey Brennan of Rutgers University, Alex Mann of the Chrysler Museum and Yale University).
We are looking forward to a new year of more mythology, more ancient history, and more ancient languages and literature, with a few extra treats!

  • Prospective events for the coming year include talks by U.S. military veterans on the lessons of ancient Roman and Greek warfare for modern soldiers and strategists, and more!



To learn more about what is involved in a Classical Studies or Latin major or minor, contact Department Coordinator Ben Haller at, friend us on Facebook (, or visit our webpage (/classics/).

Past Events

ΗΣΦVWU now has a chapter of Eta Sigma Phi, the national honorary society for the study of Greek and Latin!!  Congratulations to our first student initiates!!


Alex Mann of the Chrysler Museum gave a brilliant and informative lecture entitled “The Sensuality of American Neoclassical Sculpture” to a full house in VWU’s second-larges classroom for the 2013 Fall VWU Classics Lecture Series. His talk shed new light on some of the sculptures at Norfolk’s own Chrysler Museum. Maximas gratias go to Alex for an amazing talk!!

Ben Haller presented an Ovatio for a lifetime of distinguished teaching in Classics to his dissertation advisor Andrew M. Miller at the 2013 meeting of the Classical Association of the Atlantic States in Philadelphia, PA.

Rutgers Associate Professor of Classics and former head of the American Academy at Rome T. Corey Brennan (Ph.D., Harvard), addressed an audience of local Latin teachers at Virginia Wesleyan on June 21, 2013 in association with a class on Teaching Caesar for the A.P. taught by Ben Haller:  we were fortunate to have such an erudite and distinguished scholar visit our campus, and owe him a great debt of thanks.

Ben Haller was a respondent to a lecture by Ed Floyd entitled “"Textual variants in the Odyssey as background for understanding the composition of the Iliad” at the University of Pittsburgh Humanities Center Presentation on March 26, 2013, and delivered a paper titled "Myth, Architecture, and Memory:  Chris Nolan's Inception and the myths of Ariadne and Iphigeneia” at the International Popular Culture Association in Warsaw, Poland on July 24, 2013.

VWU Winter Session in Rome, January 2012:  Because of recent disturbances in Greece, the Classics Department's Winter Session class has opted to change destinations:  we will now spend two weeks pacing the storied streets of Urbs Aeterna, Rome, oohing at rusticated Renaissance palazzos and aahing at ruins of the Ara Pacis, the Domus Aurea, and much, much more.   Students who participate will still receive four credits and an "H" for General Studies!!  Best of all, since Winter Session classes can be folded into your annual tuition, you pay only a nominal tuition fee (ca. $125 per credit) to VWU for this class.  For more information, email Ben Haller  at

NEW in the Classics Department: Virginia Wesleyan University now officially offers a minor in Latin.  Demanding significant coursework at the upper levels while offering a chance to take a range of classes in language and civilization, the Latin Minor should prove a useful arrow in the quiver of any job-seeker.

Ben Haller appeared on a CNU Interdisciplinary Panel, speaking on the Odyssey, on November 9 at 1 p.m. in the Blechman Room at CNU.

Ben Haller led a discussion entitled "An Angler in the Lake of Darkness:  the Emperor Nero's Misspent Youth and Reign" November 17, 1-3 p.m., at the Institute for Learning in Retirement

On Thursday March 8, in an afternoon meeting with Ben Haller’s Roman History students and in a subsequent evening lecture and reading, Stanley Lombardo, a professor of Classics at the University of Kansas whose translations of Homer, Vergil, and Dante are read the world over, offered the Virginia Wesleyan community reflections on his experiences translating the Iliad and Odyssey.

Lombardo likened the difficulties and rewards besetting the translator who embarks on the quest to know the mind of Homer to the Zen practice of solving insoluble riddles or koans, wherein the student attempts to divine the mind of his master not just in the ordinary quotidian sense, but rather must strive to capture an awareness of “the mind before words and speech appear.” Approaching Homer with this aim, Lombardo became aware of a characteristic light suffusing the world created in Homer’s poetry – “a sense of seeing things as if for the first time, and seeing their essential wholeness.”

Lombardo illustrated this unique quality of Homer’s Weltanschauung with readings of selections from his translation, enabling the VWU community to recapture for a brief moment an echo of how Homer’s original audiences must have once experienced the tale of Troy: not as a series of images of flashy, scantily-clad Hollywood actors cavorting across a movie screen, but as a living song accompanied by music, and recited by a skilled craftsman with drama and feeling.

Kurt Raaflaub, Brown University, spoke to a standing room only audience on Thursday March 3, 6:00 p.m., Clarke 118, Virginia Wesleyan University.  His talk, "Leaders in War and Bravery:  The Ideology of War in Late Fifth-Century Athens", challenged us to consider the nature of propaganda and political dissent in the world's first Democracy.  The Classics Department would like to express its deepest gratitude to Dr. Raaflaub for an excellent and very well-received lecture.

We would also like to acknowledge gratefully the generous contributions made by Dean O'Rourke and Dean Buckingham, and Paul Rasor of the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom for helping to get the word out!!

Dr. Haller delivered a presentation entitled "Francis Daniel Pastorius' Delicae Hortenses and the Pastoral Ideal" at the October 2011 meeting of the Classical Association of the Atlantic States.   The presentation examined how Pastorius, the polyglot Pietist founder of Germantown, Pennsylvania, uses the Roman poet Vergil to articulate his vision of agrarian life in Penn's new colony, and how John Greenleaf Whittier revisited Pastorius' Vergilian literary identity to refashion this gardening schoolteacher into an unlikely Aeneas of a new nation.

The Classics Club and Mythology classes have seen Verdi's Aida, had movie nights to see Pandora's Box and Star Wars, and visited the Chrysler Museum thus far in Fall 2011.  Interested in learning more?  Contact Ben Haller at

CNU and the Tidewater Classical Symposium hosted Dr. Robert Cape for an extremely informative overview of the new Caesar/Vergil A.P. exam.  Dr. Cape explained the format of the exam, and gave myriad helpful pointers on how to teach Caesar effectively.

Wednesday, April 20, 6:30 p.m., 2011: Ben Haller delivered a paper entitled, "Myth, Architecture, and Memory: Chris Nolan's Inception, Ariadne, and Iphigeneia." At the panel, Classical Representations in Popular Culture PCA/ACA and the Southwest Texas Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Joint Meeting, San Antonio, Texas

The Ajax Project:  A Version of Sophocles' AjaxPerformances are at 8:00 p.m., Wed., Feb. 16 - Sat., Feb. 19, and at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 20 at the Ferguson Center for the Arts, Blackbox Theater.  At 7 each evening before the performance there will be informational talks by the translator, director, and CNU faculty on various aspects of the play.  Translated by Dr. Jana Adamitis and Produced and Directed by Mary-Kay Gamel.

Phi Alpha Theta (the History Honor Society) saw "The Eagle" after an intro talk by Ben Haller, Saturday February 18.

The "Love Liberally" series:  VWU faculty will open their classrooms to fellow faculty and students for Valentine's Day themed talks.  Classical offerings include Lee Jordan-Anders' "Love Songs throughout the Ages" (9:00 Monday), Michael Hall's "Anaktoria's Ankle" (10:30 Monday), and Ben Haller's "Catastrophic Love Affairs and Misunderstood Femmes Fatales" (1:30 Monday).

The Classics Club saw the new sword-and-sandals extravaganza "The Eagle" on Saturday, February 12 and elected Arthur Hidell president and Samuel Ajibola vice president.

Saturday, February 5, 2011: Latin Day; For Area High School Students. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Christopher Newport University Newport News, VA.  Ben Haller did "Greek 102" at 1:30 p.m.

November 13, 2010: Steve Walsh Addressed the Tidewater Classical Symposium on Carl Orff's Carmina Burana, Fine Arts 9, Virginia Wesleyan College.

Friday October 8, 2010: Dr. Haller delivered a paper entitled, "More than a mere Suasoria: Lucian's Phalaris" at the 2010 Meeting of the Classical Association of the Atlantic States in Newark New Jersey.

Tuesday March 9, 2010: Dr. Haller delivered a talk entitled, "Ideal Landscapes in Greco-Roman Epic: Environmental Ethics in the Ancient World" as part of the "Reflections in Research: Double Feature" Series at Virginia Wesleyan College (11:00, Clarke 118).

January 17, 2009: Latin Day For Area High School Students Christopher Newport University, Newport News, VA.