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Professor to lead nation's top society for classics scholars

John Marincola, the Leon Golden Professor of Classics at Florida State University, has been named president of the 3,000-member Society for Classical Studies (SCS) — the principal society for classical studies in North America.

Classics, according to Marincola, is a term used in the academic community to describe the study of the ancient civilizations of Greece and Rome, primarily starting with the Roman Bronze Age in about the 13th century BCE (Before the Common Era) and continuing to the advent of Christianity and the death of the first Christian emperor, Constantine, in 337 CE (the Common Era). During that span of about 15 centuries, the societies of Greece and Rome became great innovators in literature, art, architecture, philosophy, science and critical thinking that greatly informed the later Enlightenment —and our modern society as well.

"These are important societies for the ways we look at the world," Marincola said. "As an example, see Plato's treatise on the place of the individual in society. There were also questions of war that might apply today: Does might make right? When is war acceptable? These are the sorts of questions that we're still asking."

Marincola, who has taught at Florida State's College of Arts and Sciences for 11 years, says there is always more to be learned about the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations that still hold lessons today.