Leventis Foundation endows Cambridge University

The A. G. Leventis Foundation has endowed a professorship in Greek Culture in the Classics Department at Cambridge University’s Clare College, Helbi learned during a recent visit to London. Paul Cartledge, Greek history professor and director of studies in classics at Clare College, will be the chair’s first professor. The A. G. Leventis Professorship of Greek Culture is due to be established on October 1. According to the university, «the culture of the ancient Greeks is the fountainhead of western civilization. Their political thought, philosophy, scientific inquiry, historiography and visual art have inspired Rome, Renaissance Humanism, the European enlightenment and the Classical revival in art and architecture, as well as opera, ballet, poetry, and theater from Shakespeare and Monteverdi, through Handel and Stravinsky to Harrison Birtwistle, Tony Harrison, and Balanchine. Advanced study of the cultural achievements of the Greeks in the period c 1000 BC – c AD 300, and of their rich cultural heritage, is therefore a core discipline in the field of Classics. Promotion of a wider awareness of the results of such research is a central objective.» It notes that «the Leventis Foundation has generously agreed to donate to the University the sum of 2.361 million pounds toward the costs of endowing this Professorship. The Foundation, which supports educational, cultural, artistic and philanthropic causes in Cyprus, Greece and elsewhere, wishes to make a contribution to the development of the study of ancient Greek culture in its widest sense.» Cartledge has been honored by the Greek state for his «Illustrated History of Ancient Greece» and many other books. His interests include «the history of Greek political thought and practice… the societies and economies of Classical Greece… and the post-antique reception of ancient Greece and the Greeks, including their representation in film and other popular cultural media,» Cambridge University reported. The late Dinos Leventis, a great benefactor of the arts and letters, was a Clare College graduate. His widow, Edme, has undertaken much cultural work and is Cyprus’s permanent representative to UNESCO.