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Classics Teacher Published in Leading Scholarly Journal of Cambridge University Press
Classics Teacher Published in Leading Scholarly Journal of Cambridge University Press
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Agnes Irwin's newest Middle and Upper School Classics teacher, Patrick Beasom, publishes an article on Ovid's poetry in The Classical Quarterly, a leading scholarly classics journal.

Patrick Beasom, Ph.D., Middle and Upper School Classics teacher, has published his first article in one of the leading academic journals for classical scholarship, The Classical Quarterly, published by Cambridge University Press. The article, “Forgetting The Ars Memoriae: Ovid, Remedia Amoris,” appears in the December issue of the journal.

Though Beasom, the newest member of the Classics Department, admits that being published in such a prestigious journal – known for publishing the highest quality classical scholarship for over 100 years – is indeed gratifying, the fact that the topic of the article was born from a student-teacher dialogue is even better, he said.

"It was in conversation with a student on a different subject altogether that I came across the passage that is the focus of the article. That I have had students who think critically about Latin literature and can spur my own thinking about topics of interest to me as a scholar is the most rewarding part of publishing this article."

Beasom’s article abstract:

This article focuses on Ovid's playful and paradoxical use of the ancient art of memory in his poem "Remedia Amoris, Cures for Love," wherein he instructs a lover how to fall out of love. The art of memory taught by Greek and Roman rhetoricians consists of two primary components, places, or loca, and images, or imagines. Images of the thing to be remembered are set in backgrounds to aid the speaker's recall. Backgrounds are to be kept uncluttered so that the images contained therein are more distinct. In lines 579-584 of the Remedia, Ovid instructs his reader to avoid deserted places and seek comfort in a crowd, to literally crowd his loca, as a way of forgetting the mistress from whom he has split.

In order to forget her, the lover must forget to remember by doing the opposite of the art of memory, a skill at which all elite Roman men would have been trained. In typically Ovidian fashion, however, the play on the physical and metaphorical meanings of loca and imagines contains a further layer of meaning, an allusion to the love poetry of contemporary poets. In order to truly free himself from love, a reader of love poetry must paradoxically forget the love poetry he has already read.

Read more about Beasom's article.