Door to ancient knowledge

The American School of Classical Studies, a successful and prominent establishment which has organized a broad range of interesting events over the years, has released its schedule of lectures for the 2001-2002 season. The main focus of this lecture series is Exploring the Frontiers of the Greek World, featuring selected talks by professors Wolf Niemeier, Askold Ivantchik, Mary Voigt, Javier Teixidor and Crawford Greenewalt. The purpose of the series – which includes lectures on such esoteric subjects such as The Archaic Tombs of Akraiphia and the Attic Grave Stele of Mnasitheios, Hittites and Western Anatolia Prior to the Ionian Migration, Cimmerians and Scythians: Herodotus and Archaeology and Gordion and the Phrygians – is to look at the new archaeological and textural evidence on relationships between Greece and its eastern neighbors, especially in light of the theories proposed by historian Jonathan Hall in his recent book Ethnic Identity in Greek Antiquity (Cambridge University Press, 1997). According to the director of the school, James D. Muhly, Hall proposes that, following the Persian Wars, the determination of Greek identity shifted from establishing descent from Hellen – the mythical ancestor of all Hellenes – to a dichotomy between Greeks and non-Greeks, or as they were then known, Barbarians. Thus, while the school’s lectures delve into a plethora of themes, this year’s focus attempts to unravel questions of historical identity as seen and explained by leading academics. Virtuosos