July 11th, 2018

Join us in celebrating the great success of the International Conference "Thucydides, the Athenian"

“Thucydides, the Athenian” International Conference, organized by College Year in Athens, took place in Athens on 26-29 June. With 12 speakers, more than 100 active participants, and special sideline activities, the conference was a success.

“Thucydides, the Athenian” sought to situate Thucydides in his native city, exploring the man within his political and social circles, and delving deeper into the realities of Periclean policy and ideology.

An International group of scholars presented papers that investigated the many aspects of the great historian. The presentations were enriched by the audience’s comments and questions, and the conference concluded with a consensus that, with lessons still remaining to be learned from Thucydides’ Histories, his work remains very current today.

The conference organizing committee consisted of:
Nanno Marinatos
, Professor and Head, Department of Classics and Mediterranean Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago
Alexis Phylactopoulos, President, College Year in Athens
Robert Pitt, Classics professor, College Year in Athens 
Theoni Scourta, Vice President for Academic Affairs, College Year in Athens

Here’s a day-by-day recap of the conference and supporting activities.

Tuesday 26 June, Pre-conference Lecture & Reception

On the evening before the conference, Thanos Veremis, Professor Emeritus at the University of Athensgave a lecture on Eleftherios Venizelos and Thucydides –the politician and historian– and Venizelos' translation work of Thucydides. 

The lecture was followed by a welcoming reception at the CYA Academic Center, overlooking the Acropolis and the Panathenaic Stadium.  

Wednesday 27 June, Conference Session I

The conference opened with welcoming remarks by CYA President, Mr. Alexis Phylactopoulos. The President thanked the international group of scholars for their participation in the conference, the organizing committee for their hard work and all of the attendants for their presence.

Matthew Dickie (University of Edinburgh), chairman of the first session, opened the conference with a presentation on his paper “From the Periclean Age to Sicily: Historical and Biographical Perspectives”.

Angelos P. Matthaiou (Greek Epigraphical Society) presented a paper about Pericles, the fifth-century direct and indirect epigraphical evidence and its relationship to Thucydides.

Sebastian Anderson (American School of Classical Studies in Athens) based his presentation on the recent discovery of the Periclean cup and gave a very interesting speech on “Athens in a cup: the Individual, the Party and the Periclean City”.

Lisa Kallet (University of Oxford) presented a new view on the literary and historical understanding of Thucydides’ account of Pericles on the controversial topic “Pericles: A Dangerous Democratic Tyrant?”

Tasos Tanoulas (College Year in Athens) concluded the first day of the conference examining new evidence about building on the Acropolis in the light of Thucydides’ Histories.  

Thursday 28 June – Visit to the Epigraphic Museum of Athens

On the morning of the second day of the conference, speakers and attendees had the opportunity to visit the Epigraphic Museum of Athens, unique of its kind in Greece and one of the largest in the world, guided by epigraphy expert, Professor Angelos P. Matthaiou, who presented in detail the inscriptions exposed at the museum and answered the group's questions. 

Thursday 28 June – Conference Sessions II & III

The afternoon session of the conference, chaired by Olga Palagia (University of Athens), discussed “Post-Periclean Age: Pylos, Amphipolis and Sicily”.

Opening the session, Anastasios G. Nikolaidis (University of Crete), revisited the Pylos Episode and its aftermath, focusing on observations on Thucydides’ attitude towards Nikias, Kleon and Alkibiades.

Nanno Marinatos (University of Illinois at Chicago) examined Thucydides’ apology about Amphipolis.

Session II ended with Dimitris J. Kyrtatas' (University of Thessaly) speech entitled: “The Eclipse of the Moon in Sicily”.

The third and last session of the conference centered around the topic of “Literary Metaphors and Ideas”

Opening the session, College Year in Athens professor, Robert Pitt, offered a presentation on the "Protagonists and silent actors" of the Sicilian Expedition.

Ben Earley (Freie Universität, Berlin) also based his presentation on the Sicilian Expedition, as an example of Thucydides take on movement and change in Athenian politics.

Thomas Scanlon (UC Riverside) presented his innovative views on Thucydides’ "Body Language".

Tim Rood (University of Oxford) presented the connection between Thucydides, Periclean Athens and Homeric Scholarship.

Final speaker of the conference, Michael Konaris (University of Thessaly) presented his paper: “Thucydides and the Causes of the Peloponesian War in 19th-century Historiography: The Case of Konstantinos Paparrigopoulos versus George Grote and Ernst Curtius”.

Each presentation was followed by numerous questions and engaging conversation.

Friday 29 June – Excursion to Brauron

Following the productive sessions of the conference, 
speakers and attendees alike had the opportunity to visit the ancient sanctuary of Brauron, guided by two expert archaeologists: Professor Olga Palagia (Professor Emerita Univ. of Athens) and Dr. Konstantinos Kalogeropoulos (Researcher at the Academy of Athens). 

The conference participants discussed reliefs and buildings that were constructed during the Peloponnesian war and the history of the cult of Artemis.

The visit concluded pleasantly with Greek seafood and Ouzo at a local Taverna 

 More CYA News

In this epost we go back to 2014, when CYA alumna Alexis Fineman created captivating drawings of her favourite corners of Athens:
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