We congratulate the winners of our annual Herington Prize in Latin and Greek poetry performance for the fall 2012. Undergraduates Heather Swanson and Caitlin Hines respectively impressed the departmental judges with their Latin and Greek readings, and Zack Rider bested his fellow graduate students with a Greek passage of his own choosing.

The Herington Prize was established in 1999 by Maynard and Florence Mack in honor of John Herington. Two undergraduates who perform the best reading of preselected Latin and Greek poems are awarded $200 each. The graduate winner receives a rare book donated by Sara Mack, professor emerita.


We are pleased to announce that Rachel Mazzara has won the Epps Prize in Greek Studies and Nicky Curtis the Herington Scholarship this spring 2013 semester.

“I feel very honored to have been chosen for the Epps Prize, and I’m grateful to all of the professors and classmates who have taught and encouraged me while I’ve been at UNC,” Mazzara said in an emailed reaction to her award.

The faculty award Epps Prize to one junior or senior undergraduate or graduate student of Greek who shows “the greatest interest and promise in coming to understand the Greek language, literature, history, and outlook.” It is named for Preston Epps, who taught in the department for many years.

Faculty grant the Hernington Scholarship of $450 to one first-year, sophomore, or junior Classics major or minor to further his or her studies at UNC or abroad. Preference is given to promising Greek students.


Junior Phillip Alexander (Alex) Caprara was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa this term. The philosophy and Classics double-major is currently organizing the undergraduate conference for Eta Sigma Phi, the Classics undergraduate honors society.

Also, senior Steve Burges will share the results of his thesis, “The Birth of Roman Forum: Three-Dimensional Mapping and Rome’s Most Important Valley,” 1-3:45 p.m. Mon., April 15 at the Frank Porter Graham Student Union as part of the Fourteenth Annual Celebration of Undergraduate Research. There, he will discuss his revisionist digital terrain models of early Rome, created using geographical information systems (GIS) technology and under the supervision of Richard Talbert.

We congratulate Alex and Steve for their great accomplishments!


“It’s best for this not to happen the same as it does in the comedies, when everyone finds out everything.”



Seeking to understand the meaning behind young husband Pamphilus’s single line from Terence’s Hecyra, Alex Karsten‘s produced “The Noble Lie in Terence’s Hecyra,” a paper he will present during the Eta Sigma Phi panel discussion at the next American Philological Association and Archaeological Institute of America joint annual meeting.The purpose of his research, under the direction of Sharon L. James, was to discover why the three women at the end of the work “choose to hide a very brutal truth in order to help restore a societal and familial order that seems detrimental to their own interests.” In the end, Karsten “found that this concept of the noble lie was not only found throughout the western philosophical tradition, but it was also a very useful key to understanding the befuddling end of this play,” he said.

In addition to participating in the panel discussion, Karsten also was inducted into the Order of the Golden Fleece.

We congratulate Alex for his academic successes!


Henry Ross, a senior Classics major with a minor in biology and a Morehead-Cain Scholar, has been awarded a competitive fellowship from the Henry Luce Foundation to live and learn in Asia for a year after he graduates this spring.

Henry Ross


The Luce Scholars Program selects 15-18 college seniors from a national pool of nominated candidates based on the students’ leadership and academic achievements. Fellows live and work in Asia for a year with the intent to gain exposure to the content as a benefit to their future careers. Ross plans to enter law school.

“I don’t yet know the specifics of my position or location in Asia, but I hope to gain valuable insight into foreign arrest, adjudication, and incarceration policies,” Ross explained.

Ross is completing his senior thesis on the depiction of the bee society in the Fourth Book of Vergil’s Georgics, one of the most challenging poems in Latin, under the direction of James J. O’Hara.

“Despite his busy schedule, he works hard, writes well, and responds well to all my comments on his drafts,” commented Prof. O’Hara.

“Henry is one of our star students–he is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and he has worked on the Student Honor Court for years,” added Sharon L. James. “We are delighted to see him win this very competitive, prestigious scholarship.”

Additionally, Ross has completed graduate-level coursework in Latin and won the 2012 Preston H. and Miriam Epps Prize in Greek Studies. Beyond Carolina, he has taught in Zimbabwe and researched in Cape Town, South Africa.

“Study in the Classics Department has been my most valuable academic experience at Carolina, and vital in my preparation and selection for the Luce,” Ross reflected. “Like the department, the Luce Foundation embraces a holistic study of language, history, literature, and culture. In Asia, and in my legal career, I will rely on my background in Classics to make connections and express my ideas. The professors here who have deepened my interest in the ancient world have also exemplified rigor, integrity, collegiality, humility, attention to detail, and commitment to learning. I hope to follow their example and put to use the skills I have learned as I pursue work and study in criminal law.”

Aside from his academic work, Ross has interned for the Public Defender Service in Washington, D.C., and now works as the student body’s deputy student attorney general and solicitor general.

We congratulate him for this significant achievement!