CYA Public Lecture 15 May, 2019

We are pleased to invite you to the lecture “When Kings Read Literature: How Literature Shaped the Ancient World” by Martin Puchner, Byron and Anita Wien Professor of Drama and of English and Comparative Literature & Chair of Theater, Dance & Media Harvard University. This public lecture will take place on Wednesday 15 May at 7.00 p.m. (Daphne & Hatsopoulos Hall, 5 Plateia Stadiou, Kallimarmaro). A reception will follow.

Stories are much more than entertainment— they shape our world. They’ve inspired the rise and fall of empires and nations, sparked our understandings of basic political and philosophical concepts, and have given rise to religious beliefs. In this lecture, Puncher will focus on kings, from the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal to Alexander the Great, whose literary habits influenced their actions. These regal readers also laid down the infrastructure, from libraries to trade, that allowed literature to flourish. The lecture will conclude with the comparison of the literary system of the ancient world with today’s internet and the continuing influence of ancient literature on the present.