Dr. Antony Augoustakis, an assistant professor in the classics department, was recently elected to spend the fall semester as a visiting scholar at Oxford University.
"This is just a tremendous honor for him. It's not everybody that gets invited to be a visiting scholar at Oxford. This is an important thing for him and an important thing for the university as well," said Dr. John Thorburn, an associate professor and interim chair of the classics department.
From September to December, Augoustakis will work on his research at Corpus Christi College, a part of Oxford university.
His research is centered on book eight of the twelve books of Statius' Thebaid.
The translation of this section hasn't been done since 1604, Augoustakis said.
The project that Augoustakis is undertaking will last about five years and result in a commentary on the book.
He will finish around 2012, he said, and hopes to have the book published by Oxford University Press.
"For me, as someone who has already written a commentary on a book of Latin poetry and is starting another one now, it will be especially beneficial to have him with us as we can discuss our work and approaches as he seeks to do the same," said Dr. Stephen Harrison, a fellow and tutor in classics at Oxford.
Harrison was the professor who originally nominated Augoustakis for the position at Oxford.
"He's working on similar poems in Latin literature, so it will be nice to be close to him," Augoustakis said of Harrison.
Augoustakis will also have access to the Senior Common Room, a place in which the university professors meet to eat dinner and discuss their research, he said.
Another benefit of doing this research at Oxford is the proximity to the Sackler Library and the Bodleian Library.
These two libraries house many of the manuscripts he will need to work with, Augoustakis said.
These resources will help Augoustakis because he's one of a few professors across the world working in the area of Silver Latin poetry, Thorburn said.
This is Latin poetry from the first and second century A.D.
Having this relationship with Oxford will help with Baylor's goal of becoming a top tier university, Thorburn said.
"It brings prestige to the university itself," Thorburn said. It brings greater visibility to everybody who's involved.
He said one of the goals of Vision 2012 is to increase the research visibility of the university, and said that Augoustakis' invitation helps with making Baylor more visible.
This experience will also enhance what Augoustakis does in the classroom, Thorburn said.
"Primarily Antony teaches Latin poetry for us, and so this is going to further deepen his familiarity with what he does in the classroom," Thorburn said.