Letter from the Editor
“Dux femina facti,” a woman was the leader of the endeavor, wrote the Roman poet Virgil in his Aeneid. It is with great pleasure that I present to you the second issue of Liber, Phillips Exeter Academy’s one and only student-run classics magazine. The theme of this issue is women. In our first issue on friendship, all the articles were unintentionally about ancient men and their friendships with other men—none were about ancient women. It was a painful but eye-opening realization for all of us on the Liber board that we contributed in keeping the women of ancient times invisible, silent, and unacknowledged. This second issue, therefore, is dedicated solely to women in classical antiquity.
This issue emcompasses various historical female figures in ancient Greece and Rome ranging from Socrates’s teacher Aspasia, exemplary mothers such as Cornelia Africana and Aurelia Cotta, the orator Hortensia, empresses Livia and Agrippina, to Christian martyrs such as Saints Perpetua and Felicity. We examine the ancient Greek poet Sappho and her poems, as well as female figures in various classical poems including Demeter in the Homeric Hymns, Dido in Virgil’s Aeneid, and Lesbia in Catullus’s poems. We also explore Aristophanes’s comedy Lysistrata and Amazonomachy on Attic vases. As in the first issue, I hope you enjoy listening to our recordings of Aesop’s fables in Ancient Greek and Latin, Shijing in Chinese and Latin, and Bob Dylan’s lyrics in Latin.
I am very grateful to all of the students who submitted their articles to this issue of Liber. I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to our guest contributor, Dr. Donna Zuckerberg, Editor-in-Chief of Eidolon, and Dr. Johanna Hanink of Brown University, our Visiting Scholar this past fall, for their generous mentoring and encouragement, especially as female classicists. I am also indebted to our adviser, Mr. Langford, for his continued support even on weekends and breaks. Last but not least, I would like to thank our board members for their seamless teamwork and ceaseless hard work to create this issue.
Finally, I, along with the rest of the Liber board, would like to dedicate this issue on women to our wonderful senior board members, all young women, graduating this spring—Anya, Ji Yoon, and Michaela. As they embark on their journeys beyond Exeter, we hope that the world treats them with love and respect as they pursue their goals and dreams.
Vale and Χαῖρε,