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Edward V. George

Edward V. George of Texas Tech University
has spent a long career working in
the trenches of the Classics to support the
profession, and especially, to expand the
horizons of Classical pedagogy and scholarship
to include the lesser known voices
from the past, such as those from the New
World. He has sought to make the study of
the Classics more meaningful and attractive
to a wide range of populations in the
United States, particularly in the Hispanic
communities of West Texas.
A native of upstate New York, Dr.
George received a B. A. degree from
Niagara University and an M. A. and
Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin.
He spent several years teaching in the
Classics Department of the University of
Texas at Austin before moving in 1971 to
Texas Tech, where he has taught, pursued
scholarship, and been an advocate for the
Classics even since his retirement in 2006.
At Texas Tech Dr. George served his
turn as advisor of Delta Omicron Chapter
of Eta Sigma Phi, gave numerous guest
lectures to area high school Latin classes,
and was many times a competition judge
for the Texas State Junior Classical League.
He has been president of the Texas Classical
Association; state vice president for the
Classical Association of the Middle West
and South; president of the American
Association for Neo-Latin Studies; and
vice president of the American Classical
Dr. George has published numerous
books and articles and given many papers
at professional meetings on a variety of
topics, especially in the area of his specialty
and first scholarly love, Neo-Latin Literature.
We have time tonight to mention
only a few of these publications. Several
of them deal with the writing of Juan Luis
Vives, an early sixteenth century Spanish
humanist and educational theorist who
was a strong proponent of humanistic
learning over medieval scholasticism in
his day. Dr. George edited and translated
two of Vives’s works: a Commentary on the
Dream of Scipio and also the Declamationes
Sullanae, both published by Brill in 1989.
His interest in Vives and other Neo-Latin
authors, not only in Spain, but also in the
New World, led to a third significant publication
in 2005, Columbus’ First Voyage:
Latin Selections from Peter Martyr’s De Orbe
Novo, edited with Constance P. Iacona and
published by Bolchazy-Carducci. These
readings by an early sixteenth century,
Italian-born historian of Spain and its
discoveries during the Age of Exploration
offer in a series of letters and reports valuable
first accounts of European explorations
in Central and South America.
The members of Eta Sigma Phi would
certainly like to commend Dr. George for
his scholarship in publishing these books,
but we wish to recognize this work in a
much broader context, namely that of
his tireless efforts to connect the study
of Latin language and culture and the
study of Spanish language and culture.
He has encouraged the study of Latin in
Spanish-speaking communities not only
in west Texas, but throughout the United
States. His manifesto for bridging this gap
is perhaps in an article titled “Latin and
Spanish: Roman Culture and Hispanic
America,” published in 1997 in a book all
of you future Latin teachers should read:
Latin in the 21st Century, edited by Richard
A. LaFleur.
Dr. George has been an enthusiastic
promoter of the exciting idea of teaching
Latin and Spanish in the same classroom.
In 1999, with a grant from the Plum Foundation,
he ran a special course for current
and prospective Latin and Spanish teachers
to support “Latin and Spanish Together
in the Classroom.” He has worked with the
Lubbock Schools on a successful Spanish/
Latin curriculum. In 2005 he directed a
six-hour ACL Summer Institute workshop
titled “Latin and Spanish Together in the
Classroom.” With these activities, Dr.
George has shown how such collaborative
efforts are mutually valuable for Spanish
and Latin students. Latin students learn
more about the links between the language
of the ancient Romans and modern
Spanish-speakers and how they can use
Latin to learn Spanish. Students of Spanish,
especially those of Hispanic heritage,
learn to appreciate an important, but often
little-understood part of their heritage,
namely their cultural and linguistic links
with their Latin language past, not only in
the Neo-Latin world of the Renaissance,
but also in the ancient Roman world of
Spaniards like Martial, Lucan and Seneca.
If the study of Latin is to continue to be
an important part of American education
in the coming decades, students and their
parents from a wide variety of cultural
backgrounds need to recognize the value
of the language in their own lives and
future careers. Dr. George has shown us
one effective way to accomplish this. It is
up to the next generation of Latin teachers,
many of them members of Eta Sigma
Phi, to take up his challenge and continue
building the bridge between Latin and

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