Ertegun Staff and Scholar Profiles

Rebekah Rust

MSt Greek and/or Latin Languages and Literature | 2014 Graduate

I hail from the American South, where I attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, America's oldest public university, and graduated in 2013 with a BA (Highest Honors) in Classics and a minor in Medieval and Early Modern Studies. During my time there, I received the classics department's Herrington scholarship (2011), was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa society (2012), and won second place in UNC's Dialectic and Philanthropic Society's Greenberg Oratory competition (2012) on the topic of what constitutes a liberal education. In my senior honors thesis, "The Ethics of Nobility in Three Tragedies of Sophocles," I examined the sophrosyne of their characters, that is, a sort of empathy that when actuated is ethical nobility, man living according to an excellence of nature rather than his actual one. Therein I found that sophrosyne stems from and in turn is shaped by two equally important types of rational judgements: emotions, which are rational in relation to short-term consequences, and reason, which is rational in relation to long-term consequences.

 After my first taste of studying abroad in Europe through a summer program in Renaissance literature and art in Rome, I spent my junior year studying Greek and Latin at Oxford and am very excited to be back! It is inexpressible, the depths of my gratitude to the Ertegun scholarship program for making this year possible.

 At Oxford I shall continue my studies in Greek tragedy, with a particular interest in the role of emotions in tragedy and ethics, under the tutelage and supervision of Christopher Pelling. In addition, I shall delve into the exciting area of classical reception. Many an hour will be spent in Oxford's Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama.

In the future, I hope to teach and inspire others to teach Great Books courses. When not studying ancient Greek literature, I enjoy various hobbies: piano playing, ballet dancing, gluten-free baking, sewing, and sight-seeing.