"Persian Origin of Light/ Darkness Theme in John's Gospel and the Dead Sea Scrolls" Does it ring a bell? Did you remember to tape it? Because unless you were here at Stockton on the third Sunday of January 1975 (and not watching the NFL playoffs at home), chances are you have no idea what I am talking about.
After looking at a list of guest lecturers for the Classical Humanities Society, someone invariably says something to the effect of, "Wow, he spoke here?" "That's an intriguing title!" "I wonder what she had to say." Indeed, when the list of past speakers was compiled and prepared for this website, it seemed those questions would never be answered. We had dates, lecturers' names and thought-provoking titles to lectures, the substance of which we could only venture guesses about. It was like being a museum curator with a series of statue bases which had nothing more than a toe and an inscription (You see a lot of that in the basements of museums). You would look at the toe and someone would say, 'It may be difficult to imagine it but this once supported a mighty statue of Hector of Troy.'
Then, in June of 2009, Fred Mench, one of the founders of the CHSSJ returned to Stockton, and the prospect of forever wondering what those lectures were about was, at least partially, shelved. He passed on several dozen old Apple computer 3- and 5-inch floppy discs (with no guarantee that they would work) which contained summaries of past lectures written by him and later guests. The news hit me like a headbutt from Hercules. I was excited by the prospect of somehow reuniting the CHSSJ, the scant information found in cleaned out filing cabinets, the names and work of those very real and very passionate lecturers and their part in our series. The website seemed a new Acropolis museum which would bring together again pieces not intended for separation. The problem, of course, was in the retrievablility of the information on the discs. Surely an old and fully functional Macintosh existed somehwere!
It is not in any way an exaggeration to say that the generosity of the speakers we have had over the years has been matched in every way by that of the local, state and general Macintosh users communities. On the floor and tables of my den at home are cables and consoles representing twenty five years of Apple Computer hardware lent / given me to assist in data retrieval. Some of the files have been brought back by simply being viewed and re-typed onto a laptop. The process continues and will be documented at a later time but I am extremely excited to announce that some files have been recovered and will be posted here for your enjoyment and enrichment as they become available (and thus, in no particular order). Please return to this site for news on the latest find. On the list of past speakers page, entries in red will link to a summary.
We now have at least have Praxiteles' Hermes and the infant Dionysus. Let this be good enough for now, as we are unlikely to ever see the grapes! As of October 20th, forty summaries are posted. Click here to see them.