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Thursday, 27 May 2021, 1:00PM - 2:00PM
Online Lecture

Cynics, Stoics, Epicureans

Professor Edith Hall

Several different schools of philosophy emerged at the same time and shortly after the famous traditions of Platonism and Aristotelianism in ancient Greece. The most significant, which have had a lasting impact on philosophy since antiquity, were Cynicism, Stoicism and Epicureanism, each of which offered a moral programme advocating the best way to live and a more abstract physical, scientific model of the workings of the universe. 

This lecture traces the main intellectual strands in each, focussing on the differences between them. The great thinkers whose works will be considered in detail are the fragments of Diogenes and of Zeno, the founders of Cynicism and Stoicism respectively, and Lucretius, the author of the great Epicurean poem of the 1st century BCE, On the Nature of Things.

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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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