Who Invented the Modern Greeks, and Why?

Tue 3/12/2024 • 5PM - 6:30PM PDT

247 Dodd Hall

Lecture by Anthony Kaldellis, Professor, University of Chicago

RSVPs not required - Event is free and open to the public

In the case of no other people is the distinction between “ancient” and “modern” more symbolically potent and seemingly clear-cut than with the Greeks. Their antiquity is an internationally recognized prestige culture, and their modernity was born full of promise for the future, as one of the first nations to emancipate itself from imperial domination. But, this lecture will show, the distinction arose long before the nineteenth century, in a context that is now forgotten. Who first began to speak of the “modern” Greeks, and why? The answer will take us to the Middle Ages and to the polemics that divided Christendom and set the stage for modern Europe.

Anthony Kaldellis is a Professor of Classics at the University of Chicago who specializes in the history, culture, and literature of the eastern Roman Empire, also known as Byzantium. He has published translations of many Byzantine works as well as monographs on aspects of its culture and politics, and recently wrote a 1,000-page history of Byzantium entitled The New Roman Empire (Oxford University Press, 2023).

The event is part of the Reception of Hellenic Culture Lecture Series, co-organized by the UCLA Stavros Niarchos Foundation Center for the Study of Hellenic Culture and the UCLA Department of Classics.

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