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Wednesday, 10 November 2021, 1:00PM - 2:00PM
Barnard's Inn Hall

Ancient Greek and Roman Libraries

Professor Edith Hall

Although Mesopotamian civilisations had assembled texts, the ancient Greeks brought the idea of the universal book collection to its near-legendary consummation in the Library of Alexandria, which edited and housed thousands of papyrus rolls on every subject and attracted brilliant scholars from all over the ancient world. But there were many other libraries, serving also as scientific laboratories, public record offices, restaurants, mausoleums and even baths. This illustrated lecture investigates their history and the continuing influence on our modern world.


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Professor Hall is Visiting Gresham Professor in Classics. She is a British scholar of classics, specialising in Ancient Greek Literature and cultural history. She is also Professor in the Department of Classics and Centre for Hellenic Studies at Kings College London.

From 2017-2018, she is also an Arts and Humanities Research Council Leadership Fellow on her project to widen access to classical subjects in state schools - it can be found here: http://aceclassics.org.uk/.

She has published twenty-five books on ancient Greek and Roman culture and its influence on modernity, including Inventing the Barbarian (1989), The Return of Ulysses (2008), Greek Tragedy: Suffering under the Sun (2010) and Introducing the Ancient Greeks (2014). She co-founded and remains Consultant Director of the Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama at Oxford and is Chairman of the Gilbert Murray Trust.

Professor Hall's lecture series are as follows:

2020/21 Great Thinkers

2019/20 Science in Ancient Greece

2018/19 Scenes from Classical Athenian Life

2017/18 Ancient Greece in Film, Opera and the Arts

All lectures by the Visiting Gresham Professor of Classics can be accessed here.

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