Free Public Classics Lecture Series by Professor Edith Hall at Gresham College

News of free public classics lecture series by Professor Edith Hall. The first lecture is on 29 November and all are live-streamed online as well as free to attend in person.


Thursday 29 November 2018, 1 pm at Barnard’s Inn Hall, London

The Theatre of Dionysus

Medea, Antigone, Oedipus and Lysistrata – these are just some of the characters from ancient Greek drama who still walk our contemporary stages and haunt our imagination. One of the classical Athenians’ most important inventions was the medium of theatre. From the mid-sixth century BCE they gathered to watch tragedies, and later comedies in their sanctuary of the wine-god Dionysus on the south slope of the Acropolis. This lecture outlines the origins of Greek drama in this historic setting, its architectural development and some of the greatest masterpieces.


Thursday 7 March 2019, 1 pm at Barnard’s Inn Hall, London

The Cemetery In The Age of Pericles

In 431 BCE the Athenian statesman Pericles delivered one of the most influential speeches of all time, his Epitaphios or Funeral Oration. The occasion was at the funeral of the first Athenian soldiers to lose their lives in the Peloponnesian War. This lecture examines the history of this beautiful site, the momentous occasion on which Pericles spoke, and the ways in which his speech, recorded by the historian Thucydides who was present at its delivery, has informed subsequent epoch-making orations from Lincoln at Gettysburg to Kennedy and Obama.


Thursday 30 May 2019, 1 pm at Barnard’s Inn Hall, London

Aristotle’s Lyceum

In the 330s BCE, the great philosopher and scientist, Aristotle of Stagira in northern Greece, returned to Athens and founded his Lyceum. The first institution in world history to encompass teaching, research and the collection of a vast library, the Lyceum immediately began to revive even Plato’s Academy in international reputation. This lecture looks at the archaeological site of the Lyceum, discovered accidentally in 1996, and asks how the remains can illuminate Aristotle’s life, work, and incomparable contribution across academic disciplines, from Political Theory and Aesthetics to Zoology, Physics and Astronomy.


About Gresham College

Gresham is an educational charity providing free lectures to the public.

About Edith Hall