Ancient Medicine: Exhibition in the Classics Library forming part of a larger exhibition/event on Andreas Vesalius in Winkler

Before Vesalius there were many ancient Greek physicians whose works influenced both those of Vesalius and other post-classical physicians; for example, Galen of Pergamum (129–c. 216 CE) whose works Vesalius translated and was greatly influenced by; Rufus of Ephesus (late 1st/early 2nd centuries CE) who wrote treatises on dietetics, pathology, anatomy, and gynaecology; Soranus of Ephesus (1st/2nd c. CE) author of a four-volume treatise on gynaecology; Pedanius Dioscurides (c. 40–90 CE), physician, pharmacologist, and botanist born in Cilicia, Asia Minor, and author of De Materia Medica, a 5-volume encyclopedia on herbal medicine which was widely read and used in medical schools and hospitals for more than 1,500 years. His work is included in the exhibition in the form of a rare and extraordinary facsimile of the original Byzantine manuscript referred to as the “Vienna Dioscurides” and another facsimile of a medieval manuscript referred to as the “Naples Dioscurides,” also featured in the exhibition; Asclepiades of Bithynia or of Prusa (c. 129/124–40 BCE) whose treatments included diet, exercise, and bathing; Herophilus of Alexandria (325-255 BCE), often called the “Father of Anatomy” who influenced Galen and was much quoted by him; Hippocrates of Kos (c. 460–c. 370 BCE), the “Father of (Modern) Medicine” and the author of the Hippocratic Oath, still in use today; Alcmaeon of Croton (510–430 BCE) who has also been called the “Father of Anatomy” although he, unlike Herophilus, did not dissect humans to examine human anatomy; Pythagoras of Samos (c. 570–c. 495 BCE) was a polymath, philosopher, mathematician, astronomer, physicist, music theorist and is said to have made important contributions to medicine as well, especially to what we today would call holistic medicine. Before the Greek medical texts there were The Edwin Smith Papyrus, an ancient Egyptian medical text and the oldest known surgical treatise on trauma from c. 1600 BCE, also featured in the exhibition, and the Babylonian medical text referred to as the Diagnostic Handbook, written by Esagil-kin-apli of Borsippa in the late 2nd millennium BCE. Continue reading

“Griffin Warrior”: Movie Night in the Classics Library, October 29!

World of the Griffin Warrior - Archaeology Magazine

Classics at the University of Cincinnati has again created a world sensation as seen on PBS, BBC, The Discovery Channel, and many more TV channels and numerous newspapers and magazines around the world, now also on the Smithsonian Channel!

For details, see flyer:

MOVIE NIGHT, GRIFFIN WARRIOR!!!

“FOLLOW ARCHAEOLOGISTS [JACK DAVIS AND SHARI STOCKER, UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI] AS THEY EXAMINE A TOMB THAT THEY HOPE WILL REVEAL THE MYSTERIOUS ORIGINS OF THE ANCIENT GREEKS.”
— The Smithsonian Cable Channel

“The Griffin Warrior Project has been excavating the area surrounding the Palace of Nestor since May of 2015

The project, which is sponsored by the University of Cincinnati and operates under the auspices of the American School of Classical Studies, follows in the footsteps of Dr. Carl W. Blegen, the Cincinnati-based archaeologist who explored much of the Bay of Navarino region in the mid-twentieth century. In 1939, Blegen, along with his team and Greek counterpart, Dr. Konstantinos Kourouniotis, first discovered the Palace of Nestor, the most completely preserved Bronze Age palace on the Greek mainland. For fifteen seasons, Blegen, archaeologist Marion Rawson, and their team excavated the site, which proved to be a remarkably intact Mycenaean palace. Now, half a century after Blegen’s last season, a University of Cincinnati team has returned to the site to continue excavating.

The ongoing project’s most significant discovery has been the grave of the Griffin Warrior. The unlooted shaft grave contained dozens of intricate seal stones, hundreds of gold and bronze artifacts, and the remains of a prominent Mycenaean nobleman from around 1500 B.C. Its discovery was heralded in the press around the world as one of Greece’s most significant archaeological finds in decades.”
griffinwarrior.org

New PBS-BBC series 'Civilizations' spotlights Griffin Warrior sealstone artifact in season premiere, University of Cincinnati

The Classics Library is Haunted — We Have Proof!

It’s Halloween month, but this is real. The photo below of the Classics Library’s book stacks was taken by Mike Braunlin a few years ago. However, only after looking at the photo recently, did he discover that in addition to the books, he had captured a real “live” ghost. The upper torso of the ghost can be seen flush with one of the book cases in the back while one of its arms can be seen closer to the camera and its legs on the floor. The ghost is clearly browsing the stacks. The profile of its head, chin, nose, eyes is just below the row of lights and its left shoulder and left arm are raised towards the stacks. Light is illuminating its torso. It may be carrying a book bag. It wears dark trousers, its right leg is straight and its right foot lies flat on the floor. Its left leg is bent backwards and it touches the floor with the toes of its left foot. Its sex and age cannot be definitively determined although it is tempting to think that it is John Miller Burnam himself, forever laboring to complete his monumental Palæographia iberica.

It was not Mike’s only encounter. One early morning, still dark outside, he was in a stairway in the Library when he heard a raucous laughter engulfing him. Mike was alone in the Library and he could hear the laughter coming from all directions in the stairway. Scared out of his wits, he ran to the apartment of a grad student on McMillan telling her about his harrowing experience and asking if he could relax there for a while. That grad student was his future wife, Susan, so the ghosts may in fact have been responsible for bringing them together.  And ghosts who live among books must be benevolent, so instead of being fearful, the Classics Library’s staff have decided to embrace their resident bibliophile ghosts.

A real ghost?

A fake ghost?

The Classics Library aims to be a welcoming and inclusive place for all!
Mike insists that our new security gate is either a portal to Another Dimension or a gate whose ultraviolet rays might very well prevent Covid, at least in cats.

We are looking forward to a graduate student organized “A Very Blegen Halloween” with Desk Decorating and Costume Contests, and Party on October 29, followed by a library organized Movie Night!!!

Happy Halloween UC Classicists!

Happy Halloween Free Stock Photo - Public Domain Pictures

 

Classics Library: Student Assistant Positions Available — Apply Now!

The John Miller Burnam Classics Library is looking to hire energetic, hard-working, and responsible student assistants.

The UC Classics Library is the premier classics library in the country thanks to its world-class collections and it is a destination library for national and international students and scholars.

We are seeking highly motivated student workers for immediate openings. We offer employment of c. 10-15 hours a week. Unlike most jobs, we work around your class and exam schedules when planning the work schedule for each semester. Thanks to the variety of responsibilities and the excellence of the collections, working in the Classics Library can improve your research and library skills which are important for academic success as well as add to your CV and list of references.

In addition to being a valued member of an international and vibrant scholarly community and a distinguished library, you will be trained in varied and detail-oriented tasks ranging from staffing the circulation desk to shelving books, searching book lists against the library’s catalog, scanning documents, checking for broken web links, dusting shelves, and anything and everything a large and modern academic research library requires. We guarantee that you will not be bored, but because of our library’s important responsibilities and your limited work hours, you will be required to focus on the many tasks of the job rather than on personal social media or homework.

Because of the highly specialized nature of the Classics Library, we prioritize students with a background in Classical Studies and the Humanities in addition to students with western foreign language training besides in English, especially in German, French, Italian, Spanish in addition to in ancient Greek and Latin. Also, because of a limited budget, we prioritize students on a federal Work/Study grant although we do hire non-work/study students as well.

If this sounds like a good fit for you, please contact us to learn more and to set up an interview at your earliest convenience. Please submit your CV and application form to:

Shannan Stewart, library specialist, shannan.stewart@uc.edu and Rebecka Lindau, head, rebecka.lindau@uc.edu

The library is located on the 1st floor of the Blegen Library building.

 

Continue reading

The Classics Library Commemorates the 200-Year Anniversary of Greek Independence

The universities of Cincinnati and Michigan and all partner institutions in the “Greek Digital Journal Archive” (GDJA) program commemorate the 200-year anniversary of an independent Greek state.

Had it not been for the Covid-19 pandemic, the John Miller Burnam Classics Library would have celebrated this important occasion with talks, book exhibitions, Greek music, and Greek foods inside the physical library. As it is, this blog post will serve as a “poor” substitute. However, you will get to hear a conversation recorded for this blog with Associate Professor Alexander Christoforidis, Division of Experienced-based Learning and Career Education at the School of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning at the University of Cincinnati and the Director of the Greek School at the Holy Trinity-St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Cincinnati, along with links to information about the War, to songs detailing the fight for independence, as well as a book exhibition of scanned Classics Library journal and book pages, and photos of Greece, Greeks, Greek-Americans, Philhellenes, Greek foods, and Greek music. Try to picture the day when we can celebrate with each other in person! Until then, Happy Bicentennial Greeks, Hellenists, and Philhellenes!

 

Watch Greek TV live of a special Independence Day Parade on March 25 in front of Syntagma Square in Athens and listen to the historic narrative!

 

 

The Greek War of Independence, also known as the Greek Revolution, was waged against the Ottoman Empire between 1821 and 1829. The Revolution is celebrated by Greeks around the world on March 25 as Greek Independence Day. On that day this year, 2021, Greeks commemorate the 200-year anniversary of the official beginning of the Revolution leading to a new independent Greece after almost 400 years of Turkish rule. Continue reading

Happy Valentine, Greeks and Romans!

February is a rainy but also lovable month, so curling up with poetry is perfect. Many ancient poems expressed love in its many forms. For example,

Love of nature as longingly expressed by the great Roman poet Vergil in his Eclogue 1:

https://www.loebclassics.com/view/virgil-eclogues/1916/pb_LCL063.29.xml?mainRsKey=z6gF20&result=2&rskey=9aEESD

“…fortunate senex, hic inter flumina notaet fontis sacros frigus captabis opacum. hinc tibi, quae semper, vicino ab limite saepes Hyblaeis apibus florem depasta salicti saepe levi somnum suadebit inire susurro; hinc alta sub rupe canet frondator ad auras: nec tamen interea raucae, tua cura, palumbes, nec gemere aëria cessabit turtur ab ulmo” (Ecl. 1.51-58).

“…happy old man! Here, amid familiar streams and sacred springs, you shall enjoy the cooling shade. On this side, as of old, on your neighbor’s border, the hedge whose willow blossoms are sipped by Hybla’s bees shall often with its gentle hum soothe you to slumber; on that, under the towering rock, the woodman’s song shall fill the air; while still the cooing wood pigeons, your pets, and the turtle dove shall cease not their moaning from the elm tops.”

Or the touching love of a dog in Homer’s Odyssey (hey Mike!):

https://www.loebclassics.com/view/homer-odyssey/1919/pb_LCL105.175.xml?mainRsKey=TOKAcJ&result=1&rskey=vLoZ2S

“…ἂν δὲ κύων κεφαλήν τε καὶ οὔατα κείμενος ἔσχεν, Ἄργος, Ὀδυσσῆος ταλασίφρονος…  ἔνθα κύων κεῖτ᾿ Ἄργος, ἐνίπλειος κυνοραιστέων. δὴ τότε γ᾿, ὡς ἐνόησεν Ὀδυσσέα ἐγγὺς ἐόντα οὐρῇ μέν ῥ᾿ ὅ γ᾿ ἔσηνε καὶ οὔατα κάββαλεν ἄμφω, ἆσσον δ᾿ οὐκέτ᾿ ἔπειτα δυνήσατο οἷο ἄνακτοςἐλθέμεν…” (17. 290-291; 302-304).

“…and a dog that lay there raised his head and pricked up his ears, Argus, steadfast Odysseus’ dog… There lay the dog Argus, full of dog ticks. But now, when he became aware that Odysseus was near, he wagged his tail and dropped both ears, but nearer to his master he had no longer strength to move…”

Or the love of a cow for her newborn calf when he is brutally taken away to be sacrificed (or raised for veal) in Lucretius:

https://www.loebclassics.com/view/lucretius-de_rerum_natura/1924/pb_LCL181.123.xml?rskey=phideb&result=1

“…nam saepe ante deum vitulus delubra decora turicremas propter mactatus concidit aras, sanguinis expirans calidum de pectore flumen; at mater viridis saltus orbata peragrans quaerit humi pedibus vestigia pressa bisulcis, omnia convisens oculis loca si queat usquam conspicere amissum fetum, completque querellis frondiferum nemus adsistens et crebra revisit ad stabulum desiderio perfixa iuvenci; nec tenerae salices atque herbae rore vigentes fluminaque illa queunt summis labentia ripis oblectare animum subitamque avertere curam, nec vitulorum aliae species per pabula laeta derivare queunt animum curaque levare: usque adeo quiddam proprium notumque requirit…” (2.352-366).

“…for often in front of the noble shrines of the gods a calf falls slain beside the incense-burning altars, breathing up a hot stream of blood from his chest; but the mother, bereaved, wanders through the green glens, and knows the prints marked on the ground by the cloven hooves, as she surveys all the regions if she may espy somewhere her lost offspring, and coming to a stand fills the leafy woods with her moaning, and often revisits the stall pierced with yearning for her young calf; nor can tender willow-growths, and grass growing rich in the dew, and those rivers flowing level with their banks, give delight to her mind and rebuff that care which has entered there, nor can the sight of other calves in the happy pastures divert her mind and lighten her load of care: so persistently she seeks for something of her own that she knows well…”

Or the love of a woman as expressed by the greatest of the Ancient Greek lyric poets, Sappho:

https://www.loebclassics.com/view/sappho-fragments/1982/pb_LCL142.79.xml?mainRsKey=v1YYtJ&result=2&rskey=i9iJXE

“…ὠς γὰρ ἔς σ᾿ ἴδω βρόχε᾿, ὤς με φώναισ᾿ οὐδ᾿ ἒν ἔτ᾿ εἴκει, ἀλλὰ κὰμ μὲν γλῶσσᾴ <μ᾿> ἔαγε, λέπτονδ᾿ αὔτικα χρῷ πῦρ ὐπαδεδρόμηκεν, ὀππάτεσσι δ᾿ οὐδ᾿ ἒν ὄρημμ᾿, ἐπιρρόμβεισι δ᾿ ἄκουαι, κὰδ δέ μ᾿ ἴδρως κακχέεται, τρόμος δὲπαῖσαν ἄγρει, χλωροτέρα δὲ ποίας ἔμμι…” (frag. 31.7-14).

“…for when I look at you for a moment, then it is no longer possible for me to speak; my tongue has snapped, at once a subtle fire has stolen beneath my flesh, I see nothing with my eyes, my ears hum, sweat pours from me, a trembling seizes me all over, I am greener than grass…”

Or the love of a man as passionately expressed by Roman poet Catullus (and to the delight of all school children studying Latin)

https://www.loebclassics.com/view/catullus-poems/1913/pb_LCL006.7.xml?result=1&rskey=Fz5uL7

“…da mi basia mille, deinde centum, dein mille altera, dein secunda centum, deinde usque altera mille, deinde centum dein, cum milia multa fecerimus, conturbabimus illa, ne sciamus, aut nequis malus invidere possit, cum tantum sciat esse basiorum…” (5)

“…give me a thousand kisses, then a hundred, then another thousand, then a second hundred, then yet another thousand, then a hundred. Then, when we have made up many thousands, we will confuse our counting, that we may not know the reckoning, nor any malicious person blight them with evil eye, when he knows that our kisses are so many…”

Or one of the many rather twisted and often sad love stories in Ovid’s Metamorphoses — Pyramus and Thisbe, Apollo and Daphne, Orpheus and Eurydice and countless others

https://www.loebclassics.com/view/ovid-metamorphoses/1916/pb_LCL042.3.xml?rskey=XVZ0kK&result=3 

Pyramus et Thisbe, iuvenum pulcherrimus alter, altera, quas Oriens habuit, praelata puellis, contiguas tenuere domos, ubi dicitur altam coctilibus muris cinxisse Semiramis urbem. notitiam primosque gradus vicinia fecit, tempore crevit amor; taedae quoque iure coissent, sed vetuere patres: quod non potuere vetare, ex aequo captis ardebant mentibus ambo. conscius omnis abest; nutu signisque loquuntur, quoque magis tegitur, tectus magis aestuat ignis…” (Met. 4.55-64).

Pyramus and Thisbe—he, the most beautiful youth, and she, loveliest maid of all the East—dwelt in houses side by side, in the city which Semiramis is said to have surrounded with walls of brick. Their nearness made the first steps of their acquaintance. In time love grew, and they would have been joined in marriage, too, but their parents forbade. Still, what no parents could forbid, sore smitten in heart they burned with mutual love. They had no go-between, but communicated by nods and signs; and the more they covered up the fire, the more it burned.”

Or that of Cupid (Amor) himself and Psyche in Apuleius:

https://www.loebclassics.com/view/apuleius-metamorphoses/1989/pb_LCL044.259.xml?result=2&rskey=4iNfhs

“…centies moriar quam tuo isto dulcissimo conubio caream. Amo enim et efflictim te, quicumque es, diligo aeque ut meum spiritum, nec ipsi Cupidini comparo…” (Met. 5.6)

“…I would rather die a hundred times than be robbed of your sweet caresses. For I love and adore you passionately, whoever you are, as much as my own life’s breath, and I would not even compare Cupid himself with you…” [what Psyche does not know is that it is Cupid himself who caresses her]

Happy Reading!

 

Honoring Professor Jack L. Davis: Exhibition in the Classics Library

Classics Library Exhibition Flyer 

The John Miller Burnam Classics Library celebrates Professor Jack L. Davis who has been awarded the 2020 Gold Medal for Distinguished Archaeological Achievement, the highest award the Archaeological Institute of America bestows. The exhibition in the main Reading Room of the Library, in the Blegen Library building, highlights Professor Davis’s illustrious academic career and extensive publications.

UC Classics has a long history of excellence in Classical Archaeology. Jack L. Davis joins the distinguished company of four previous AIA Gold Medal recipients from the UC Department of Classics: Carl W. Blegen (1965), John L. Caskey (1980), Emmett Bennett (2001), and C. Brian Rose (2015).

Professor Davis received his Ph.D. in Classics from the University of Cincinnati. The title of his 1977 dissertation was Fortifications at Ayia Irini, Keos: Evidence for history and relative chronology (CLASS Stacks C.U. 151.77.D28). Already as a student, Professor Davis had worked with another famous UC archaeologist, Gerald Cadogan, at Knossos and with Caskey at Ayia Irini on the Cycladic island of Keos.

He has since directed regional archaeological projects in the Nemea Valley, and on the island of Keos, and in Messenia around the Palace of Nestor. In addition, he has led regional studies and excavations in  Albania of the ancient Greek colonies of Dyrrachium/Epidamnos and Apollonia.

UC Professor Carl Blegen uncovered the “Palace of Nestor” and led systematic excavations at Pylos, 1952-1966, after his initial campaign in 1939. Already in his first year, he discovered a cache of a large number of clay tablets with a syllabic script referred to as Linear B, which was later understood to be the earliest example of Greek. Professor Davis resumed and directed excavations around the Palace of Nestor, together with his wife, archaeologist Sharon R. Stocker, many years later. In 2015, the couple created a world-sensation with the discovery of an intact Bronze Age shaft tomb containing more than 3,000 artifacts including weapons, jewelry, armor and silver and gold objects such as a very unusual Minoan seal stone depicting warriors in combat with detailed representations of the bodies of the men, leading some admirers to refer to the unknown artist as a Minoan “Michelangelo,” and four signet gold rings with detailed images of goddesses and bull leapers. The tomb has been dated to c. 1500 BCE, so most likely before the Mycenaean hegemony and the Palaces and the Trojan War, described in Homer’s Iliad.

Before Professor Davis came to UC as faculty in 1994, he had taught at the University of Illinois at Chicago, 1977-1993. He later served as Director of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 2007-2012. He has moreover held visiting professorships and positions at UC Berkeley, Stanford, Cambridge, and Northwestern among other institutions.

A reception for Professor Davis was organized by the Classics Department with a thank you speech in which Davis most memorably thanked his mother, his wife (archaeologist Shari Stocker), and his mother-in-law. 

Professor Davis cuts a gold cake served in honor of his AIA Gold Medal award at the reception in the Classics Department.

Exhibition in the Classics Library honoring Jack L. Davis’s achievements, including his pioneering archaeological studies and excavations and extensive publishing output. 

Tytus Fellow Kenneth Sheedy, Research Associate Shari R. Stocker, Professors Jack L. Davis, and Peter van Minnen. 

 

Some of Professor Davis’s books include:

Papers in Cycladic Prehistory (Los Angeles 1979).
Keos V. Ayia Irini: Period V (Mainz 1986).
Landscape Archaeology as Long-Term History: Northern Keos in the Cycladic Islands (Los Angeles 1991).
Sandy Pylos: An Archaeological History from Nestor to Navarino (University of Texas Press 1998).
A Guide to the Palace of Nestor, Mycenaean Sites in Its Environs, and the Hora Museum (American School of Classical Studies at Athens 2001).
An Historical and Economic Geography of Ottoman Greece: The Southwestern Morea in the Early 18th Century (American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 2005).
Between Venice and Istanbul: Colonial Landscapes in Early Modern Greece (American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 2007).
Philhellenism, Philanthropy, or Political Convenience (American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 2013), coedited with Natalia Vogeikoff-Brogan.
Carl W. Blegen: Personal and Archaeological Narratives (American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 2015) with Natalia Vogeikoff-Brogan and Vivian Florou.
Mycenaean Wall-Painting in Context (Paris and Athens, 2015), edited with Hariclia Brecoulaki and Sharon Stocker.
The Pylos Regional Archaeological Project (American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 2017), edited with John Bennet.

His articles, book chapters, book reviews, conference proceedings are too numerous to list here. A fuller account is included in the exhibition.

 

The Classics Library’s Winter Break Hours, Happy Holidays!

Macrobius, Saturnalia Book 1.16.

“Saturnalibus apud Vettium Praetextatum Romanae nobilitatis proceres doctique alii congregantur et tempus sollemniter feriatum deputant colloquio liberali, convivia quoque sibi mutua comitate praebentes nec discedentes a se nisi ad nocturnam quietem.

nam per omne spatium feriarum meliorem diei partem seriis disputationibus occupantes cenae tempore sermones conviviales agitant, ita ut nullum diei tempus docte aliquid vel lepide proferendi vacuum relinquatur, sed erit in mensa sermo iucundior, ut habeat voluptatis amplius, severitatis minus.”

“It is the Saturnalia: the leading members of the Roman nobility and other learned men are gathered at the home of Vettius Praetextatus, where they are devoting the time of the customary religious observance to cultured conversation, sharing meals with good fellowship all around, nor leaving each other’s company save to take their night’s rest.

During the length of the holiday they spend the better part of the day discussing serious topics and hold festive conversations at dinner-time, so that no time of day is left empty of learned or beguiling contributions. But the conversation at table is of a lighter sort, more pleasurable and less austere.”

UC Classics Library
Winter Break Schedule

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
 

15 December

 

CLOSED

 

16 December

 

8:00am – 5:00pm

 

17 December

 

8:00am – 5:00pm

 

18 December

 

8:00am – 5:00pm

 

19 December

 

8:00am – 5:00pm

 

20 December

 

8:00am – 5:00pm

 

21 December

 

CLOSED

 

22 December

 

CLOSED

 

23 December

 

CLOSED

 

24 December

 

CLOSED

 

25 December

 

CLOSED

 

26 December

 

CLOSED

 

27 December

 

CLOSED

 

28 December

 

CLOSED

 

29 December

 

CLOSED

 

30 December

 

CLOSED

 

31 December

 

CLOSED

 

1 January

 

CLOSED

 

2 January

 

8:00am – 5:00pm

 

3 January

 

8:00am – 5:00pm

 

4 January

 

CLOSED

 

5 January

 

CLOSED

 

6 January

 

8:00am – 5:00pm

 

7 January

 

8:00am – 5:00pm

 

8 January

 

8:00am – 5:00pm

 

9 January

 

8:00am – 5:00pm

 

10 January

 

8:00am – 5:00pm

 

11 January

 

CLOSED

 

12 January

 

CLOSED

 

13 January

 

8:00am – 10:00pm

 

14 January

 

8:00am – 10:00pm

 

15 January

 

8:00am – 10:00pm

 

16 January

 

8:00am – 10:00pm

 

17 January

 

8:00am – 5:00pm

 

18 January

 

10:00am – 5:00pm

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HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL UC CLASSICISTS!