Adaptation & Reclamation

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STUDENTS AND FACULTY left the college in mid-March and resumed classes after preparation for remote instruction. The abrupt silence on campus magnified springtime sounds, and nature quickly reclaimed a bit of ground in spots like the outdoor classroom by E.H. Little Library.

We asked Professor of Classics Keyne Cheshire (pictured here), what does antiquity have to offer us when it comes to pandemic? His answer: “In his History of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides masterfully pairs Pericles’ famous funeral oration, a celebration of Athens’ character, governance and piety, with a devastating account of the plague that soon afflicts the powerful city-state. Read together as intended, the two brief pieces highlight a disease’s ruthless ability to shred the religious, moral, and social fabric of a mighty power—a lesson to us, perhaps, in the value of protecting the integrity of those institutions that both foster our community and cultivate the best in us as individuals, especially during those times that challenge us most.”

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