Louis G. Forgione University Professor, Classics
Furman Hall 134D
- Current disciplinary research interests
Digital library infrastructure; collaborative scholarly editing of image-based editions; Athenian Democracy; historical botany; Alexander the Great; Greek epic poetry and ancient scholarship.
- Interest in connecting sustainability to research
I am very interested in the continuum of scientific thought from Aristotle and Theophrastus, through the 18th century re-thinking of taxonomy (which coincided with the earliest European exploration of the Carolinas), to present curatorial and data-management problems in the botanical world. I am particularly interested in how scientific thought was derailed from its nascent basis in systematics (Aristotle and Theophrastus) in favor of the utilitarian approaches of Pliny (agriculture and pleasure-gardens) and Diosourides (military medicine). I have suspicion that the history of information-technology, scientific funding, and intellectual property issues plays a large role in this, from the 4th century BCE until the present, and am interested in exploring this question: are we in an environmental pickle now because too much science was for too long in the hands of landscapers, librarians, and legionnaires?
- Sustainability courses taught
- Planning to propose FYS course in ancient science—focusing on Theophrastus and Aristotle—and on historical botanical specimens in the Sloane Herbarium and the modern-Latin texts that accompany them.
I team-teach a FYW with Shusuke Yagi, in which we dedicate several class sessions to environmental issues as present in both Greek and Japanese history and mythology.
- I would like to introduce a theme of "People and the natural world" to my Greek civilization courses, focusing on the intersection of food-production, land-use, economics, and politics, particularly as related to the history of democracy in Athens.