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Scholar cracks code in Robert J. Murray lecture series

Donald Lateiner decodes body language, signs and symbols on ancient Greek pots

03/07/05

Donald Lateiner examines Greek pots—what’s going on with their gestures, postures and other ancient Athenian signs and signals without voice and words. On Saturday, March 19, at 4:00 p.m. in the Conaton Board Room, Lateiner is decoding social and artistic conventions found on these ancient pots.

His presentation, “Instant Messaging: Body Language on Athenian Pots,” is the topic of the 2005 Robert J. Murray lecture series—open to the public—and is followed by a reception.

Lateiner joined Ohio Wesleyan's faculty in 1979 and is the John R. Wright Professor of Humanities-Classics. He earned his B.A. from the University of Chicago, his M.A. from Cornell and his Ph.D. in Classics from Stanford. Study for a year in Athens led to publications on Athenian law and politics, and on Greek historians, especially Herodotus and Thucydides. Lateiner teaches Greek and Latin language and literature courses. He also teaches courses on folklore, archaeology, and love and sexuality. He has written two books: The Historical Method of Herodotus and Sardonic Smile: Nonverbal Behavior in Homeric Epic.

The Robert J. Murray Lecture Series is named in honor of Robert J. Murray, a professor of classics from 1960-1997, for his many contributions to Xavier University and the Honors Bachelor of Arts program.


The program was established in 1948 by William Hetherington, S.J., in an effort to preserve the classical Jesuit liberal arts tradition. Honors A.B. students pursue the study of Latin, Greek and philosophy—in addition to the core curriculum—over four years.

This lecture series carries on the spirit of humanities education presented by these programs. For more information please contact Ed Cueva at 513 745-1931.