9 Oct 2014

October + November 2014

Monday 27 October 2014 at 7:30 pm
Settling the West:  Comparing Ancient Greek and New World Frontiers
Professor Franco De Angelis, UBC

Europe’s exploration and settlement of (to them) the New World in the 16th to 20th centuries of our era resulted in a significant expansion of human experiences with which Europeans could understand their past and imagine their futures.  Ancient Greece and Rome served as a major source of inspiration in these respects because of their importance to European education and identity.  Thus a two-way dialogue emerged, one in which Europeans regularly made parallels between their exploration and settlement of the New World with understanding ancient Greek and Roman history and, vice versa, the role ancient Greece and Rome played in providing parallels with imagining how life in the New World might one day become.  This illustrated talk will investigate both these kinds of parallels and the motivations for them, especially those derived from ancient Greece, as well as assessing the distortions and possibilities raised by such parallels.

Monday 24 November 2014
The Maidens of the Erechtheion
Dr. Alexandra Lesk
This lecture will focus on the Porch of the Maidens - the most famous feature of the Temple of Athena Polias - the Erechtheion. Each maiden’s unique story will be told against the backdrop of the changes experienced by the Erechtheion as a whole from the fifth century BC to the present. Each maiden has a different story to tell, from the one Lord Elgin’s agents removed to London and replaced with a brick pillar to the maiden who was smashed to smithereens by Venetian cannon fire. These ladies took on different symbolic meanings throughout the ages: submission under the Romans, purity under the Byzantines, ill-gotten booty under the Ottomans, and soulful sisters featuring in ghost stories of the Grand Tourists of the 19th C. Thanks to their constant visibility on the Acropolis, and being featured in the copy-books of neoclassical architects, the maidens of the Erechtheion have been a part of the psyche of the West for two and a half millennia and continue to inspire artists and architects today

13 Mar 2014

March + April 2014

Monday 31 March 2014 at 7:30 pm
Samothrace and the Winged Victory:
the Vancouver Connection
Professor Hector Williams
UBC Classics, Near East and Religious Studies

This illustrated talk will examine the new stylized version of the Winged Victory of Samothrace recently set up on Thurlow St. in the West End and its relation to the most famous monument of the Sanctuary of the Great Gods of Samothrace. Hector Williams spent a summer excavating in the sanctuary some years ago and will show its importance in many ways--religious, artistic and architectural. In December he visited the modern home of the Winged Victory, the Louvre in Paris, where the statue is now undergoing much needed conservation.

Monday 28 April 2014  at 7:30pm
Οι Ρεμπέτισσες Τραγουδούν:
Songs of  Legendary Female Rembetika Singers of the Mid-Twentietn Century
Revma:  Evi Katavatis, vocals, baglama, percussion, Dan Dittrick, guitar, vocals, and George Yioldassis, bouzouki, oud  

Rembetika, the music of refugees from Asia Minor and of the disadvantaged on the fringes of Greek society, gave expression to the perennial themes of love, death, life, existential angst and betrayal.. Women singers - rembetisses – were free spirits who defied the conventions of the time. In the world of the lyrics and dialogues of Rembetika and in the late-night scenes of the tekes and tavernas, rembetisses lived lives very different from those of women in either the Ottoman-Muslim world or early 20th century Greece. They were, arguably, the first Greek feminists of the last century!  In this lecture-concert, Evi Katavatis and the band Revma will discuss the lives of and present some of the songs made famous by four renowned female rembetika singers: Marika Ninou, Sotiria Bellou, Roza Eskanazi and Sevas Hanoum.

7 Jan 2014

January + February 2014

 Monday 27 January 2014 at 7:30
Children and Youth in the Spartan Mirage
Nigel Kennell
UBC Classics, Near East and Religious Studies

From Plutarch to the movie 300, the way Spartans brought up their children has both fascinated and appalled. In this lecture the Spartan historian Nigel Kennell will unlock the mysteries of Spartan training to show how boys and girls were actually educated to be members of society in one of the most powerful Greek city states.  Nigel Kennell’s research interests include The History of Sparta, Greek Epigraphy, and Greek Civic Culture in the Hellenistic and Roman Periods.

Monday 24 February 2014 at 7:30
Energy, Prime Movers, and Machines in the Ancient Greek
John P. Oleson
Department of Greek and Roman Studies
University of Victoria

In modern popular culture the ancient Greek world is often represented as a slow-moving and tradition-bound, more interested in theory and dialectic than in practical accomplishments. The ancient Romans often serve as a foil to this construct, shown as vigorous and forward-looking, and fitted out with equipment and machinery that fostered their conquest of the Mediterranean world. In fact, the Greeks were very interested in sources of energy that could be harnessed for human benefit, including inanimate prime movers, and machines of varying degrees of complexity were important to the Greek way of life. Many of the machines used by the Romans evolved from Greek innovations or inventions. In this illustrated lecture Professor Oleson reviews the literary and archaeological evidence for this neglected aspect of ancient Greek culture.