Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Back to the Books: The Platypus Reads Part CXXXV

There's something about turning 30 that seems to send people back to the books.  It's as if the 4+ year trauma of college wounds the intellect so deeply that it takes years to fully recover.  By about 30, though, it seems to be back in working order and ready to go.  I take as evidence of this the large number of friends that I have that are auditing courses, taking classes, considering going back for a masters, learning a new language, or just taking on a challenging course of study.  The bug hit me last summer and I spent a good portion of my bonus on amassing a small library of books on Ancient Greece.  Though I don't teach them, the Ancient Greeks are my first academic love and I thought it was high time I returned to them.  So...  Here's what I'm working on:

Alexander by Robin Lane Fox
Traveling Heroes in the Epic Age of Homer by Robin Lane Fox
Early Greece by Oswyn Murry
The Spartacus War by Barry Strauss
The War that Killed Achilles by Caroline Alexander
Early Cyprus by Vassos Karageorghis
Games and Sanctuaries In Ancient Greece by Panos Valavanis
Greek Tragedy and Political Theory ed. J. Peter Euben
Economic and Social History of Ancient Greece by Pierre Vidal-Naquet et al. 

and with Christmas here, more titles may be forthcoming.


Gabe said...

Now that you mention it, I took up Koine Greek almost exactly when I turned 30...

James said...

There you go. I wonder if 30 is some threshold of adulthood? Doesn't a hobbit reach his majority on his thirtieth birthday and come fully out of his irresponsible tweens? I don't know. Maybe it just takes six to eight years after college for life to stabilize enough to make further study practicable.

Magistra Jones said...

Have you read anything by Victor Davis Hansen? If you're not familiar with him, his list of books on Amazon (with descriptions, etc.) may interest you.

James said...

Magistra Jones, I love Victor Davis Hanson. It's always good to find another fan. His "Who Killed Homer" had a big impact on how I think about teaching classical literature. I admire (though I don't always agree with his positions) his willingness to weigh in on contemporary cultural and political issues as well. One of my students is writing a paper this year based on "Carnage and Culture" and it's been fun to watch his wrestle with the man from Selma.