The interdepartmental Classical Studies Program (CLST) at Columbia University (contact information here) brings together faculty from Art History and Archaeology, Classics, History, and Philosophy. Students in the program pursue a Ph.D. or an M.A. in Classical Studies, meeting requirements in three fields relevant to the study of Greek and Roman antiquity as well as the larger Ancient Mediterranean. Together with the Center for the Ancient Mediterranean, Classical Studies is the home of a vibrant community of scholars working in ancient studies at Columbia University. Learn more…

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Classical Philosophy Lecture: Agreement and Consensus in Plato’s Crito, by James Warren, University of Cambridge

Professor James Warren’s Classical Philosophy Lecture is co-sponsored by the Classical Studies Program and the Philosophy Department at Columbia University.

Time: April 13, 4:10-6pm
Location: Philosophy Hall 716

Please see Professor Warren’s abstract here: Crito thinks Socrates should agree to leave the prison and escape from Athens. Socrates is also determined that he and Crito should have a ‘common plan of action’ (koinē boulē: 49d3), but he wants Crito to share his preferred plan of remaining and submitting to the court’s sentence. Much of the drama of the Crito is generated by the interplay of these two old friends, both determined that they should come to an agreement, but differing radically in what they think the two of them should agree to do. I show how agreements of various kinds—including agreements about how to agree—play important roles in the dialogue. What is more, attention to that theme may help to explain one of the most pressing questions for any interpretation of the Crito. Why does Socrates choose, at the end of the dialogue, to present to Crito a speech in the voice of the personified laws of Athens?

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Classical Dialogues: Annetta Alexandridis on Human and Animal Bodies in Ancient Greece

As part of its Classical Dialogues series, the Classical Studies Graduate Program CLST at Columbia University is pleased to welcome Annetta Alexandridis from Cornell University. On Friday, March 24, 11am-1pm, Professor Alexandridis will discuss her ideas about Ζῷα: Images of the Body Between Man, Woman, and Animal in Ancient Greece. Location: Schermerhorn Hall 930, Columbia University. Please see Professor Alexandridis’s abstract here:

This book manuscript is an investigation into the ways in which ancient Greek society conceived of the animal in relation to the human. Based on the idea of the “extended mind,” as derived from phenomenology and cognitive studies, I propose that conceptions of species boundaries resulted not only from philosophical discourse and observation of nature, but also from interdependent notions of species and gender, and how these were experienced in various societal venues and practices.

The study traces the shifting barriers between human and animal in the body. Visual depictions of the transgression of species boundaries, namely in myths of metamorphosis (a human or anthropomorphic figure transformed into an animal) and zoophilia (sexual interaction between a human and an animal or theriomorphic figure), are put in conversation with the description of male and female bodies in the Hippocratic corpus and Aristotle’s biological writings.

The chapters I want to discuss investigate the iconographies of myths of metamorphosis in the 5th and 4th centuries BCE. I argue that what could be described as an increased blurring of species boundaries in these depictions, appears to be related to changing ways of seeing, performing and representing male, female and animal bodies in the context of symposium and theater.

In its Classical Dialogues series, the interdepartmental Classical Studies Graduate Progam CLST at Columbia University invites authors of recent work in ancient studies that is exemplary for the kind of study that CLST aims to foster. All faculty and students at Columbia and beyond are cordially invited. CLST students are required to read carefully at least one chapter or article in advance and prepare questions and comments for discussion.

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Columbia University at Hadrian’s Villa: The 2016 Archaeological Campaign

Thursday, March 23, 6 pm, Italian Academy, reception to follow

On March 23, Professors Francesco de Angelis (Columbia) and Marco Maiuro (Rome La Sapienza, and Columbia), directors of the Advanced Program of Ancient History and Art (APAHA) will present the main results of the excavation at Hadrian’s Villa, discuss the historical significance of the findings, and announce some exciting developments of the project for 2017.

With over 80 participants—35 of whom enrolled in the Classical Studies Summer Class and several others returning as “veterans” from previous iterations of it—the 2016 fieldwork season has been the most intensive and the most productive one since the inception of the program. The excavation of the “Lararium” courtyard revealed a pre-Hadrianic channel running under the precinct’s floor and provided further data on the Medieval phases of the complex. The continuation of the exploration of the building in the area of the so-called Macchiozzo brought to light new rooms with their mosaics and their painted walls and ceilings. Furthermore, the expansion of the excavation in the surroundings of the Macchiozzo building began to uncover architectural remains that were last seen (and only partially documented) by Piranesi in the 18th century.

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