“Thucydides, the Athenian” International Conference, a great success!

CYA successfully organized an international conference on Thucydides from 26th to 29th June, in Athens. Over the course of four days, more than 100 participants joined the conference and its supporting program.

The conference 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 addressed many aspects of Thucydides; known as “the artful reporter” and a great storyteller, he offers a macroscopic view of history revealing the human nature and the human condition. This is why all of the speakers agreed that his work remains very current and that there are a lot of lessons to be learned from his stories today.

The conference organizing committee included the following members:

  • 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 main presentations and discussions of the conference as well as the very engaging activities organized on the sidelines of the event:

Tuesday 26th June, Pre-conference Lecture and Reception
In the evening before the conference, Thanos Veremis, Professor Emeritus at the University of Athens, gave 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 hosted at the CYA building, overlooking the Acropolis and the Panathenaic stadium.

Wednesday 27th June, Conference Session I
The conference opened with a welcoming speech by College Year in Athens President, Mr. Alexis Phylactopoulos. In his opening remarks he thanked the international group of scholars for their participation to the conference, the organizing committee for their hard work and all of the attendants for their presence.
Next, Matthew Dickie (University of Edinburgh) declared the opening of the works of the conference, as the Chairman of the first session relating to: “From the Periclean Age to Sicily: Historical and Biographical Perspectives”. The international group of speakers participating at this session included: Angelos P. Matthaiou (Greek Epigraphical Society), Sebastian Anderson (ASCSA), Lisa Kallet (University of Oxford) and Tasos Tanoulas (CYA).

Thurday 28th June – Visit to the Epigraphic Museum, Conference Sessions II & III
In 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. The visit was truly stimulating as it was was guided by Epigraphy expert, Professor Angelos P. Matthaiou, who took the time to present in detail the inscriptions exposed at the museum and answer all of the questions of the group of visitors.
In the afternoon, the second session of the conference chaired by Olga Palagia (University of Athens), focused on the topic of “Post-Periclean Age: Pylos, Amphipolis and Sicily”. The panel of speakers was comprised of: Anastasios G. Nikolaidis (University of Crete), Nanno Marinatos (University of Illinois at Chicago) and Dimitris J. Kyrtatas (University of Thessaly).
The third and last session of the conference centered around the topic of “Literary Metaphors and Ideas”, with presentations from Robert Pitt (College Year in Athens), Ben Earley (Freie Universität, Berlin), Thomas Scanlon (UC Riverside), Tim Rood (University of Oxford) and Michael Konaris (University of Thessaly).
Each presentation was followed by numerous interesting and engaging questions.

Friday 29th June – Excursion to Brauron
Following the productive sessions of the conference, speakers and attendees alike had the opportunity to visit the ancient town of Brauron, enjoy the wonderful summer weather and relax over some ouzo and traditional Greek meze. The tour at the Sanctuary of Artemis Brauronia was lead by Konstantinos Kalogeropoulos, Researcher at the Academy of Athens. It included amazing insights in Greek history and presentation of still unpublished archaeological findings dating back to the 7th century B.C. This unique educative experience continued at the Archaeological Museum of Brauron where Olga Palagia expertly presented the ancient Greek art finds, related to the cult of Artemis.