Carl W. Conrad Personal Background
Born in Washington, D.C. in 1934, I lived in suburban Maryland until moving to New Orleans at the age of 7 and grew up there, attending the public schools and eventually doing undergraduate work and a year of graduate study at Tulane University (B.A. in History, 1955, M.A. in Classics in 1956. After a year on a Fulbright scholarship at the University of Munich, I taught German, French, and History for one year at Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, North Carolina, after which I continued my graduate work in Classics at Harvard (Ph.D. in Classical Philology, 1964).
From 1961 I taught Greek and Latin languages and literature and Biblical Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. My major interests in the Classics were Greek tragedy, Latin poetry, and the history of ideas in the Greco-Roman-Hellenistic tradition. In later years I grew increasingly focused on the Hellenistic world and the emergence of the New Testament documents, especially the Synoptic gospels and Mark in particular.
During the academic year I used to be at home at Washington University, which is at the western end of Forest Park in St. Louis. It is perched on a hilltop; most of its buildings are Tudor Gothic in style and built of red Missouri limestone. Brookings Hall, a fortress which originally housed the headquarters of the great World's Fair of 1904, is at the eastern end of the campus and its main façade faces eastward; from the archway at the top of the long stairway one can see several miles to the east and view the Gateway Arch on the St. Louis Mississippi riverfront:
The great entryway of Brookings Hall opens onto the old quadrangle of the School of Arts and Sciences, the most imposing structure of which is Ridgley Hall:
Ridgley once housed the University Library but it has been converted into a center for the study of languages and literature; several of our courses in Classics are held there. Our own department is housed in January Hall, which can be entered by continuing down the arcade to the north and entering the immediately adjacent hallway.
sed haec prius fuere: nunc recondita
senet quiete seque studiis dedicat
sapientium serenis atque levibus.
I retired from active teaching in 2001 and my wife and I now spend most months of the year in the Blue Ridge mountains of northwestern North Carolina, right in the shadow of Mt. Mitchell (highest peak in the eastern U.S.) in Yancey County, just a few miles from the Eastern continental divide and the Blue Ridge Parkway. We expect to be spending most of the year there henceforth, although we expect to spend some months of each year back in St. Louis. Our home overlooks one of the most beautiful of the clear, cold mountain trout streams, the South Toe:
In the fall of the year when we look to the southeast horizon, this is the view we have of the Black Mountain range, of which Mount Mitchell is a part:
In the warmer months we spend much of the day on our 13-acresof wooded hilltop and river banks, trying to keep up with the rapid growth of vegetation and tending our daylilies and roses. We enjoy the companionship of Velma's extended family and good friends close by. We find that telephone, television and internet connection enable us to enjoy country living without being out of touch with the world. My own academic concerns are focused now on preparing a supplementary reference work for beginning Greek courses and in particular to a fresh perspective upon ancient Greek grammatical voice. I contribute frequently to and am a co-chair of the "B-Greek" internet discussion list, which is concerned with the Greek language and Greek text of the Bible, and I am also preparing a volume of some of my contributions to that list over the past several years. I am an avid reader of mystery novels (a couple favorites: Elizabeth George, Reginald Hill) and find that I enjoy re-reading the old classics of English literature. Although my avid baseball watching (tubewise, that is) now includes a lot of games played by the Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs, I remain, even in "exile" a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals and the St. Louis Rams.
My wife, Velma, was born in the house on Grindstaff Road where we now spend most of the year since we have retired; her father, Fred, was one of the original Grindstaffs for whom the road is named (at one time the Grindstaffs owned considerable land along both sides of the South Toe. I met Velma during the academic year 1957-58 while teaching at Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, about eight miles east of Asheville, NC. Velma was a student at there; we were married on the campus chapel in late summer of 1959. Velma spent her last several years operating the Science Laboratory at Jackson Park Elementary School in University City, a suburb of St. Louis very close to the home that we still visit on occasion and which we have retained as our official place of residence. We have two children, a son, Fred, born in 1960 in Boston and a daughter, Kathryn, born in 1965 in St. Louis. Fred earned a Ph.D. in Renaissance English History at Johns Hopkins and now works as a paralegal in the metropolitan St. Louis area; Kathryn is an editor and director of publicity at the University of Arizona Press in Tucson, Arizona. And now Kathryn has given us granchildren: if you want to see them, go take a look!