By RACHEL KLINE, Staff Writer
Photos by CLAIRE BLOOD-CHENEY
Arma virumque cano, Virgil’s immortal words that begin The Aeneid, conjure images of Troy engulfed by flames for classics majors and mythology enthusiasts alike. From Sept. 25th to Oct. 30th, Haverford College’s classics department will exhibit “Tales of Troy” at the Magill Library Alcove.
“Tales of Troy” brings to life the epic Trojan War through an exhibition of Greek pottery and modern-day prints depicting scenes from The Iliad, which draw upon Trojan hero Aeneas’s flight from Troy.
The exhibition features artifacts as old as a Mycenaean stirrup jar from the 14th Century BCE. Most of the Greek pottery is painted in the iconic black-figure style but varies in shape, size, and pattern. One hydria vase portrays the scene of Helen’s rescue from Troy by Spartan King Menelaus.
In addition to ancient artifacts, “Tales of Troy” includes contemporary interpretations of the Trojan War through a surprisingly relevant and relatable theme. The exhibit portrays Aeneas as both a hero and refugee.
The exhibit’s modern prints, which explore this notion of Aeneas as refugee, were created to raise funds for the International Rescue Committee, a humanitarian NGO focused on aiding refugees around the world.
Part of a print series entitled “Flight,” is a modern representation of the journey out of Troy. The prints vary greatly in their approaches to the subject. Geometric squares and lines swirl down the white background of one particular print in a minimalist depiction of Greek and Trojan shields and spears. Another shows a burning orange sphere above a sea of black ink, illustrating the burning of the city of Troy.
In connecting a mythic hero’s flight from his home with the modern-day refugee crises, “Tales of Troy” delivers a powerful message about the significance of understanding the past in order to interpret and approach the future.