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Classics Seminar Looks at Ancient, Modern War Traumas 1
james chung 15 staff writer
May 13, 2012

Students of the new spring elective, Classics Seminar, analyze ancient literature to understand the horrors of war, such as the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder and other forms of trauma in the lives of soldiers.

Samuel Savage, the teacher of the course, described it as “a way of connecting intellectual work that students have done at Deerfield to a real world issue.”

The course specifically prepares students for Saturday’s performance of Theater of War by the group Outside the Wire. The group conducts readings from classical war literature.

Actors aspire to find the link between the modern and the ancient soldier, a similar goal students of the Classics Seminar hope to achieve.

“The idea of this course is to give us a better understanding of what modern day veterans go through. By using ancient materials, we are able to make conjectures and explore concepts we would feel uncomfortable talking about in the real world,” said Thomas Earle ’12, one of the eight seniors in the course.

Students of the seminar recently visited a group of veterans at Greenfield Community College to describe their class and Theater of War.

“The class is specifically designed so that all students are able to have a culminating experience in the classroom,” Mr. Savage said.

“I feel like the discussions I’m having in this class will stay with me for the rest of my life,” said Earle.