Reflections of a Rome Program participant and fellow classics devotee…
Although I had encountered Dr. Linda Piper at various Classics Department functions, I really got to know her via her role as co-faculty director for the 1985 Classics Study Abroad Rome Program. At the time, I taught Latin at a metro Atlanta high school and was interested in embedding more historical connections and art history into Latin language instruction. Of course, the depth and breadth of the on-site visits in Rome, Naples, Paestum, Athens, Crete, Olympia, and Delphi was enticing but equally so was the opportunity to learn from two outstanding master teachers, Dr. Timothy Gantz, Classics professor, and Dr. Linda J. Piper, History professor.
On most days, the mornings were spent in museums or on archaeological sites with well articulated commentary, humorous historical incidents, and thought-provoking insights. Many afternoons presented time to explore on our own, and Linda and I often took the Blue Guide to Rome and Environs to investigate locations not on the scheduled sites. These explorations were made all the more engaging through her commentary on the historical context. Once when the group was touring southern Italy, near Paestum, I along with Linda Piper, Tim Gantz, David Thompson, and Elena Bianchelli persuaded the hotel owner to lend us his car to view the ancient site of Velia. The sight of five adults packed into a tiny Italian car must have been quite comical, but we all enjoyed exploring this out-of-the-way ancient town. On another occasion while in Athens, a friend of Linda’s visiting family in Peiraieus, took us along the shore line drive where we were able to see long stretches of wall fortifications. Fellow program participants also enjoyed conversations with Linda, who always found time to discuss what interested them.
This program remains one of the jewels of the UGA Classics Department greatly enriching and inspiring its participants. Lynne McClendon