Organisatie - 14 april 2016

Latin text decorates Amphitheatre

Roelof Kleis

A long piece of text decorates the outside of the Amphitheatre on the field in front of Zodiac. A text to reflect the scientific work. But who reads Latin?

Tijs Breukink, member of the board of directors, admits it in his talk. He also did not immediately know how to translate it. In artibus et scientis, tanquam in metalli fonidis, omnia novisoperibus et ulterioribus progressibus circumstrepere debent. The words are from an English philosopher and scholar Francis Bacon. Literally translated: art and science need to be like mines, where the sounds of new work and progress is heard everywhere.

It was Louise Fresco’s idea to place the proverb on the Amphitheatre, undoubtedly a classically trained scientist. In an attempt to maybe give the campus an added cachet. Anyhow, only few will understand the text when passing. For all the others the explanation of Breklink helps.


He points to the great importance of Bacon as pioneer for the enlightenment and belief that reason contributes to a better world. According to Breukink the Amphitheatre marks the heart of the campus, where science and art meet. ‘Reason and imagination meet here.’ And he points to the art route that passes the Amphitheatre.  

To add to the ceremony, the saxophonist section of De Ontzetting plays a couple of merry tunes. The first performance in the Amphitheatre. It leaves you wanting more. And especially: bigger. The Amphitheatre is larger than it seems from a distance. On the two rings around the floor there is space for 250 people.

The planning of the Amphitheatre lays in the hands of Nicolien Pieterse, who is also responsible for the Impulse next door. She sees the Amphitheatre as an extension of the activities in Impulse. ‘The activities of Impulse could also be held here, if the weather allows it. So lectures, debates and lunch concerts. Additionally, I am trying to connect with Junushoff and the public library.’

Additionally, I am trying to connect with Junushoff and the public library.
Nicolien Pieterse

For now it is a matter of pioneering. Pieterse invites students and staff to come with initiatives and ideas. Much is possible, provided that the area allows it. Facilities such as water and electricity are present and there is Wi-Fi. The theatre is thus also a nice place to work, to eat lunch or to just hang out. Or to stand still for Bacon.

Bacon is the father of the empiricism, or in other words the scientific method which puts experiments central in the search for knowledge. Moreover, he belongs to the select group of scientists who paid his life for his work. Bacon died in 1626 at the age of 65 from pneumonia. Which he caught while studying the effects of freezing meat and its shelf life.

The Latin proverbs and Wi-Fi connection were realized with financial contribution (4500 euro) of the WICC  foundation. Together with the proverb also a tree was planted.