To view our 2020-21 Lecture Programme in PDF form please click here.
Thursday 15th October 2020
Remembering the Battle of Thermopylae
Professor Polly Low
Professor Low is a historian of ancient Greece at Durham University with research interests in political history, epigraphy, the ideology of interstate relations and the commemoration of the war dead. In this lecture for the LSA CA, she will explore how the myth of Thermopylae – the heroic and doomed stand of the ‘300 Spartans’ against the Persian forces – was created, by focussing on the ways in which the battle, and those who died in it, were commemorated in antiquity. She will bring the story into the modern day, too, by looking at some of the ways in which the battle continues to be remembered (and, perhaps, mis-remembered) in popular culture.
Thursday 12th November 2020
Hercules: World Traveller
Professor Llewelyn Morgan
Tutorial Fellow in Classics and Vice-President of Brasenose College, Oxford, Professor Morgan is an expert on Roman literature and has published widely on Virgil, Horace and Ovid (most recently, with his forthcoming Ovid: A Very Short Introduction). He regularly writes for the TLS, for his own blog Lugubelinus and is well-known to students for his engaging and accessible Massolit lectures. In his November webinar, he will investigate 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.
Thursday 7th January 2021
All’s equal in Democratic Athens – NOT!
Professor Michael Scott
Returning for his seventh annual Presidential Lecture, Michael will open the lid on the inner workings of Athenian democracy and explore 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. Michael is Professor in Classics at the University of Warwick, a National Teaching Fellow, an Honorary Citizen of Delphi, a first-class speaker, presenter, author and broadcaster, and a fantastic ambassador for Classics.
Thursday 11th February 2021
Clash of Empires
Author, speaker, cyclist, tour guide, former vet, dagger-wielder – Ben’s talents and passions are as diverse as they are brilliant and we are delighted that he will return 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 will cover his latest series – Clash of Empires – which explores and contextualises the Roman invasion of Greece in 200BC.
Thursday 18th March 2021
Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Know about Ancient Greek and Roman Medicine
Professor Helen King
Professor Emerita of Classical Studies at the Open University, Helen King is an expert in Greek medicine, the history of the body and Hippocratic gynaecology. She has also published widely on the reception of ancient medicine, held research fellowships in Cambridge and Newcastle alongside teaching at a variety of institutions, and written the Health and Wellbeing in the Ancient World course which you can study for free on FutureLearn.
She will ask: “What was medicine like in the Greek and Roman worlds? How was the body thought to work? What happened when you were ill, and what were the theories behind the treatments on offer?” In this lecture, you are invited to come with your questions and we’ll attempt to answer them from medical and other writing, and from archaeology – or, to explain why they can’t yet be answered.
Thursday 22nd April 2021
Pattern and Chaos in The Labyrinth
In April, we will finally be able to welcome writer and journalist Charlotte Higgins to the LSA CA after her 2020 lecture was postponed. Chief Culture writer at the Guardian, Higgins’ 2013 book Under Another Sky was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize and her most recent publication Red Thread: On Mazes and Labyrinths is the inspiration for her talk as she traces the confounding, disorienting trail of the labyrinth from its origin as the mythical prison of the Minotaur to its many modern literary identities, via Titian, Velázquez and Borges. Lose yourself and find your way through Daedalus’s ingenious invention.