Latest Marathon Reading of the Aeneid

The incipit of a somewhat lengthy piece at Michigan Live:

Thirteen straight hours of poetry reading might sound like many college students’ worst nightmare.

But six Western Michigan University world language students have volunteered for just that, signing on for what is being billed as the university’s first marathon poetry reading this Friday.

Latin 5570, The Teaching of Latin, is holding a read-aloud of Vergil’s epic, “The Aeneid,” on March 15. The enterprise, “To Hell and Back on the Ides of March,” will kick off at 11 a.m. in Knauss Hall and go until all 9,896 lines of the 2,000-year-old poem have been read.

Those of us not versed in lingua Latina – not to worry. The reading will be in English, after a brief opening in which volunteers have offered to read Vergil’s first 11 lines (“I sing of arms and the man”) in about a dozen languages, including Swahili, French, Spanish, Scots and, of course, Latin.

“Our insanity has to have some limits,” said senior Ian Hollenbaugh.

Senior Sean Rogers conducted a trial run by reading the first of the poem’s 12 books aloud. It took 50 minutes and change, he said.

If all goes well, the enterprise should take 12 to 13 hours, with graduate student Sara Miller Schulte joking that Friday’s enterprise is more of a “half-marathon.”

It is the first time WMU has hosted a classics marathon, organizers said. “Homerathons” have cropped up at colleges and universities around the United States in recent years – with readings of “The Odyssey” at Skidmore College in New York, Bucknell University in Ohio, Illinois Wesleyan University and the University of Arizona. [...]

What’s unique about this one is that they’ll be livestreaming it … so sometime on the ides you might want to check out their progress at: a marathon reading of virgil’s ‘aeneid

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