2020-21 Programme

Thursday 15th October 2020

Remembering the Battle of Thermopylae

Professor Polly Low explored how the myth of Thermopylae – the heroic and doomed stand of the ‘300 Spartans’ against the Persian forces – was created, by focusing on the ways in which the battle, and those who died in it, were commemorated in antiquity and how their lives and deaths have been (mis)remembered in popular culture. Freyja H-W recaps this brilliant start to our season here: ‘Memory, Monuments and Mourning’.


Thursday 12th November 2020

Hercules: World Traveller

In a wide-ranging and fascinating talk, Professor Llewelyn Morgan investigated how the image and the myths of Hercules or Herakles (or Verethragna or Vajrapani, as he also came to be called) carried him to Italy, Spain, Morocco, Iran, Pakistan and China, among other places; and how Herakles himself was paradoxically both an embodiment of violence and a catalyst for peaceful cooperation. Liv S summarises here: Hercules: World Traveller.


Thursday 7th January 2021

All’s equal in Democratic Athens – NOT!

Our LSA CA President Professor Michael Scott, returning for his seventh annual Presidential Lecture, lay bare the inner workings of Athenian democracy and explored some of the many ways in which, despite the lip service to political equality, Athenian citizens often did not think themselves that equal with one another. You can read all about his excellent talk here: How Democratic was Athenian Democracy?


Thursday 11th February 2021

Clash of Empires

Author, speaker, cyclist, tour guide, former vet and dagger-wielder Ben Kane returned to the LSA CA after a very memorable trip in 2016. Famous for his The Forgotten Legion trilogy, The Eagles of Rome series and Spartacus stories, this talk covered his brilliant latest series – Clash of Empires – which explores and contextualises the Roman invasion of Greece in 200BC, as Imogen H describes here: Clash of Empires.


Thursday 18th March 2021

Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Know about Ancient Greek and Roman Medicine

Helen King, Professor Emerita of Classical Studies at the Open University, certainly did tell us everything we’ve always wanted to know about ancient medicine! Answering an array of intriguing questions with characteristic enthusiasm and expertise, you can find out the answers here in Abigail F’s blog: Beetles, Rats, Humors and a Doctor in Disguise- Ancient Approaches to Medicine!


Thursday 27th May 2021

Ancient Athenian Inscriptions in the UK: Stories and Mysteries about them and their Journeys to Britain 

Dr Peter Liddel, co-editor of the Attic Inscriptions Online project, revealed the secrets behind the many Greek inscriptions, preserved on stone, which found their way into British homes, gardens, museums and public spaces. Our summary blog From pot-planters to fireplaces: the many lives of ancient inscriptions highlights some of these captivating stories which closed out our 2020-21 season.