University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Classics

Faculty - Jacques A. Bailly, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies

Jacques Bailly

Jacques A. Bailly, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies

Area of expertise

Greek and Roman philosophy, especially Plato; Greek and Latin prose style; etymology

Contact Information


Phone: (802) 656-0993

Office: Room 300, 481 Main Street

Office Hours: Mondays and Wednesdays 10:40-11:15am and 1:00-2:00pm, and by appointment

I regularly teach Greek and Latin at all levels as well as courses on Plato, Aristotle, and etymology. My Cornell Ph.D. was about a pseudo-Platonic dialogue called the Theages, and my current research is on Plato's Theaetetus. Other projects include commentaries on Latin Letters, see link here translating the Greek and Latin passages in the works of John Cotta (a 17th century English physician), and revising the department's etymology textbooks.

For me, ancient philosophy offers a way to approach questions that matter. In spite of and also because of their being removed in time and place from our modern world, ancient philosophies offer fascinating prisms through which to approach questions about ethics, knowledge, logic, psychology, human nature, etc. The ancients were ignorant of so much, and yet asked the right questions and explored answers that foreshadow what we consider to be the right answers today. In some areas, ancient thought is still viable. When you ask where the sciences, philosophy, history, psychology, and other disciplines started, inevitably you arrive back at the Ancient Greeks. Of course, there are thinkers and thoughts in other cultures prior to and along side of them, but in a significant and real sense, these disciplines were started and shaped by the Greeks. That is the perennial appeal of Classics for me.

My primary scholarly interests lie in the philology of ancient philosophy: that means that I enjoy working on close readings of the original Greek and Latin of texts that deal with philosophical topics. I also have a strong interest in how Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and other ethical traditions absorbed, repurposed, and used ancient philosophy.

My interest in words lands me in the national media spotlight once a year as pronouncer at the Scripps National Spelling Bee. In the past, I also pronounced for the Canwest Canspell Canadian National Spelling Bee until its unfortunate demise and for the Korean National Spelling Bee.

Finally, I serve as the Graduate Coordinator for the Classics department and as a past President of the UVM chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. I am active in that esteemed honor society.

Department Faculty

Adjunct Faculty

Emeriti Faculty