The Classical Association of Scotland
Annual Conference 2013
The Hellenistic and Early Imperial Reception of
Classical Athenian Democracy and Political Thought
School of History, Classics and Archaeology, University of Edinburgh
Friday 21st – Saturday 22nd June 2013
About the conference
In the Hellenistic period and the early Roman Empire, teachers, philosophers, orators and politicians found an essential point of reference in the democracy of Classical Athens, and the political thought which it produced. This conference will bring together historians, philosophers and literary scholars to consider varied responses to, and adaptations of, the Classical Athenian political legacy in those periods. Through what types of formal and informal education was knowledge of Classical Athenian history, institutions and ideas sustained? How were Athenian democratic ideals of equality, freedom, and civic virtue emphasised, challenged, blunted or adapted? What was the reception, in the changed political circumstances, of Classical Athenian non- and anti-democratic political thought? And to what extent were the two brought into contact with each other, such that Classical Athenian debates about the value or shortcomings of democracy continued to echo through new political debates? Or did the Classical Athens which was held up as a symbol of cultural and intellectual excellence tend to become divorced from the Classical Athens of democracy and vigorous political debate? Addressing these questions will help to track changes in attitudes to culture, rhetoric, history, ethics and philosophy, and their relationships with politics, in the Hellenistic and early Imperial periods.
Confirmed speakers include Luca Asmonti, Mirko Canevaro, Raphaëla Dubreuil, Andrew Erskine, Benjamin Gray, John Holton, Alex Long, Paraskevi Martzavou, Cas Valachova and Nicholas Wiater.