News and Announcements

Join the Libraries for a reading of “The Complete Works of Claudian” with Professor Neil Bernstein

Ohio University Libraries will host a reading of “The Complete Works of Claudian” on Wednesday, April 10, at 4 p.m. in Alden Library’s fifth floor Mahn Center for Archives & Special Collections’ reading room. The event will be with Neil Bernstein, professor in the department of Classics and Religious Studies, as he reads his translations of Latin poet, Claudian. The reading is free and open to everyone.

Bernstein’s translated volume gives a modern, accurate and accessible translation of Claudian’s work and is accompanied by detailed notes and a comprehensive glossary. The introduction offers an overview of Claudian’s career, the wider historical and political context of the period and the poetic traditions in which Claudian wrote.

Bernstein wrote in an email that his goals for the translation were readability, fluency and fidelity, and that he worked on the book so more people could have access to Claudian’s work. Claudian was a great poet and an important historical and cultural source for late antiquity.

“’The Complete Works of Claudian’ is a vital resource for students and scholars working on late antique literature, particularly Claudian’s work, as well as those studying the history and culture of the western Roman Empire in this period,” Bernstein said. “This accessible volume is also suitable for the general reader interested in the works of Claudian and this period more broadly.”

Bernstein also mentioned that he was inspired by Claudian’s unique work and wanted to share it with others.

“I was fascinated by this great poet's varied and complex poems, and I wanted to provide a good, modern, accessible translation as there had not been one since 1922.”

The event is an opportunity for those who do not know Latin to learn more about Claudian and about the translation process. It is also the chance to showcase the important work of an OHIO faculty member who is also a strong advocate for University Libraries.

“Hosting the reading is important in realizing the history of ancient text and its significance in everyday life,” Miriam Intrator, interim head of Mahn Center and Digital Initiatives and special collections librarian, said. “This reading will provide a glimpse into how much knowledge and expertise is required to translate these texts, and what continues to make them relevant to us today.”

Intrator also noted that we rely on scholars, such as Bernstein, to bring Latin texts, thinkers, ideas and innovations into our current moment, to translate not only the language and context, but also the meaning.

“This is done so seamlessly that most of us do not think about how it actually happens,” she added. “This is an opportunity for us all to learn about the research and translation processes, and at the same time, get an introduction to who Claudian was and what he wrote.”

For more information about the event, or for accessibility accommodations, contact Miriam Intrator at

March 25, 2024
Mimi Calhoun