After more research on Olga Holtz, the beautiful math professor, I've come to an unfortunate conclusion. While she is clearly beautiful and brilliant, perhaps she is not a great teacher or lecturer. This is what I gather from her reviews on ratemyprofessor.com -- and also from the clip below. What do you think?
But there is good news too. Over at the University of Massachusetts we have Professor Carlin Barton. I first learned of her when I read her book entitled The Sorrows of the Ancient Romans; The Gladiator and the Monster. I was fascinated by this book, and becamse fascinated also by the author when I met someone who had been her student at Berkeley. He described her passionate lectures about gladiators, Stoicism, and related topics. I've also read portions of Prof. Barton's subsequent book, Roman Honor, which is great too.
In contrast to Prof. Holtz, Carlin Barton gets rave reviews on ratemyprofessor. And I myself have found her to be quite wonderful. When the HBO miniseries "Rome" was showing, I wrote to Prof. Barton asking whether she'd seen any of it. I also inquired whether she'd seen any old movies like Demetrius and the Gladiators, The Robe, or maybe Land of the Pharaohs (written by William Faulkner.),
I got an email reply from Carlin Barton that gave no hint of her standing as a world class authority on ancient Rome. She said that unfortunately she had not seen Demetriius and the Gladiators or the HBO series. She also remarked that it was possible that her work had nothing to do with what the anicent world was really like. Maybe it was all just something she'd made up, she said. There's no way to tell. But in my opinion she's a great writer on this topic. Again, read her for yourself and see what you think.
Here's Carlin Barton with a rabbi or at least a man in a kepah after they gave a lecture on martyrdom in the ancient world.
That is, the topic of the lecture was martyrdom. They were not actually in the ancient world when they gave the lecture.