21 Sep 2015

October + November 2015

Monday 26 October 2015 at 7:30 pm
A journey through the ruins of Ancient Abdera: Man-eating horses, bombs, and cranial surgery
Maria Papaioannou,  Associate Professor in Classical Archaeology
Department of Classics and Ancient History
Director of the Centre for Hellenic Studies
University of New Brunswick

Ancient Abdera, a city little known to the western world, lies along the fertile coast of northern Greece.  According to some mythical accounts it was founded by the hero Herakles, however the city’s ‘claim to fame’ was not mythical but cultural as it was once the home of the famous philosopher and mathematician Democritus, often acknowledged as the father of modern science and the atom theory. Dr. Papaioannou, who has worked at the site of Abdera for more than a decade, will take us on a tour through the ancient site as she explores the remains of houses, ship sheds, harbours, and cemeteries, and presents some of the results of her research in an attempt to reconstruct the physical environment and provide a glimpse of everyday life in this ancient city


Monday 30 November 2015 at 7:30pm
A Globalized Greek World? Mainland Greece in the Hellenistic Period
Alexander McAuley
Department of Classical, Near Eastern & Religious Studies, UBC

The campaigns of Alexander the Great and ensuing wars among his successors, so the story goes, forever changed the Greek world by vastly broadening its horizons, and transplanting Greek culture into far-flung exotic locales. But what became of those who remained behind in the Greek Mainland? How did they respond to the diversity and plurality of this massive new Hellenistic World? This lecture explores the Hellenistic Mainland by examining the regions of Boeotia, the Argolid, and Euboea. Considering each on the level of local culture gives us some measure of insight into whether the Greeks discarded their ancestral traditions in favour of integration, or if they clung to their own ways ever more tightly. Throughout, we shall bear in mind the relevance of this Greek experience to our understanding of contemporary globalization. Their world, perhaps, was not so different from our own

5 Mar 2015

March + April 2015

Monday 30 March 2015
The Greeks in Calabria
Jennifer Knapp, Langara College

Nearly 3000 years ago, the poleis of Greece sent colonists to explore and settle southern Italy and Sicily. In the centuries following, these new cities grew rich and powerful, producing art and architecture rivaling that of mainland Greece. In Calabria, not only is there immense pride in their Greek origins, but a dialect preserving elements of Greek is still spoken in some villages. This talk will focus on the evidence for the ancient Greek cities of Calabria, especially during their period of growth and strength, and how they displayed and maintained their cultural identity. (Pictured are the Riace Warriors - two full-size Greek bronzes of naked bearded warriors, cast about 460–450 BC and found in the sea near Riace in Calabria  in 1972.) 

Monday 27 April 2015  at 7:30pm
Strings of the Balkans:  Lutes and Fiddles
Cathie Whitesides and Hank Bradley
Seattle musicians Cathie and Hank have spent much of the past forty years actively seeking and playing music from the fault zone between the cultural plates of Western Europe and Asia Minor.  Their lecture-performance will provide examples of various ways in which the musical collisions between Asian scales and Western harmonies have resolved into distinct local idioms which have survived cultural conflicts and language differences and have lasted for many generations.  They will explore similarities and differences between the string music of Greece, Romania and the former Yugoslavia with fiddles and an assortment of plucked and strummed instruments of the ‘lute’ family:  bouzouki, baglama, guitar, and tamburitsa.  Hank & Cathie have long performed in small groups devoted to social music within and for the cultures of these regions and we are happy to welcome them to Vancouver.

19 Jan 2015

January + February 2015

Monday 26 January 2015 @ 7:30 pm
Canadian Archaeology in Greece
Dr. David Rupp, Canadian Institute in Greece

Dr. David Rupp, President of the Canadian Institute in Greece and Professor Emeritus, Brock University, will speak on the history and work of the Canadian Institute in Greece (formerly the Canadian Archaeological Institute at Athens). While the work of the Institute principally involves archaeological excavations from Lesbos to Euboea and from Thrace to Boeotia it also supports surveys varying from Carpathos to Crete to the Argolid. It also has a cultural role in Athens sponsoring exhibitions, concerts, films and other activities and supports the work of Canadian scholars and students in any area concerning Greece.

Monday 23 February 2015 @ 7:30 pm
Ancient Judaism and Hellenism
Dr. Gregg E. Gardner
UBC Diamond Chair in Jewish Law and Ethics

Judaism and Hellenism have often been pitted against each other as irreconcilable opposites. No historical epoch epitomizes this more than the revolt of the Jewish Maccabees against Hellenistic rule in the Second Century B.C.E. – a series of events that has marked ever since by the holiday of Hannukah. But did the ancient Jews simply reject Hellenism or did they take a more nuanced and sophisticated approach to Greek culture? Professor Gardner will explore Judaism’s complex relationship with Hellenism by examining ancient texts (in English translation) and archaeological finds.