Tuesday, January 23, 2007


I came home today, made myself a nice bowl of soup, and caught the end of some documentary on Roman engineering when lo and behold I see Peter Weller.

When I see Peter Weller I can only think of RoboCop, and to Peter I apologize for that. It's just that I was an impressionable kid when he made that movie. I had no idea that Peter teaches at Syracuse and is pursuing a PhD:

Weller, 58, who holds a master's degree in Roman and Renaissance art and is working toward a Ph.D., has become one of Syracuse University's most popular professors.

"My fascination with ancient Rome started as a kid back in Texas when my father turned me on to Robert Graves, who wrote 'I, Claudius,'" says Weller, speaking from the South African set of the adventure movie "Prey." "I was always reading about the great emperors of Rome and then I started collecting first-century coins."

And he even has a good sense of humor:
Last year, Weller taught a course called "Hollywood and the Roman Empire."

"It's a classics course posing as a film course," he says. "Eighty kids signed up thinking they'd get an easy A from RoboCop. When they saw the reader was 450 pages, including Homer and Suetonius, a quarter of the class dropped out."
That was written in September of 2005. Does anyone have an update on Master Weller?

UPDATE (27 Jan 2007): David Meadows (courtesy of Laura Gibbs) reports that Wired has a brief article on the subject.

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