This talk will focus on the episode traditionally known as “the rape of the Sabine women,” in which the first Romans staved off the extinction of their new community and established Rome’s version of marriage, but did so by obtaining their wives through a mass bride abduction. Unlike most of the women who fall victim to violence in Rome’s founding myths, the Sabine women not only survive their assault; by the end of their story, as told by the Roman historian Livy, they’ve won universal respect and recognition for saving both new and old communities, which they risk their own lives to defend.
The Point/Counterpoint conversation series features an Amherst College professor and guests engaging in thoughtful discussion and attempting to bridge the growing ideological divide in our nation.
Join Amherst College President Biddy Martin for a discussion on "The Arc of U.S. History" with Harvard University professor Jill Lepore and New York Times columnist Ross Douthat. A Q&A will follow, with books available for purchase through Amherst Books.
Jill Lepore is the David Woods Kemper ’41 Professor of American History at Harvard University. She is also a staff writer at The New Yorker. A prize-winning professor, she teaches classes in evidence, historical methods, humanistic inquiry and American history. Much of her scholarship explores absences and asymmetries in the historical record, with a particular emphasis on the history and technology of evidence. As a wide-ranging and prolific essayist, Lepore writes about American history, law, literature and politics. She is the author of many award-winning books, including the bestselling These Truths: A History of the United States (2018). Her latest book is This America: The Case for the Nation (2019).
Ross Douthat joined The New York Times as an op-ed columnist in April 2009. His column appears every Wednesday and Sunday. Previously, he was a senior editor at The Atlantic and a blogger for theatlantic.com.
He is the author of Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics, published in 2012, and Privilege: Harvard and the Education of the Ruling Class (2005), and a co-author, with Reihan Salam, of Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream (2008). He is the film critic for National Review.
The Point/Counterpoint series is based on a course of the same name. The course and associated event series received special funding through a generous gift from 36 members of the 50th Reunion Class of 1970.