6 February-27 March 2015: the University of London Postgraduate Working Seminar on Editing Byzantine Texts is preparing a new annotated edition and translation of the Letters of George of Cyprus (later Ecumenical Patriarch Gregory II, 1283-1289) at The Warburg Institute, University of London, Classroom 2, Ground Floor, Woburn Square, London WC1H 0AB (tel. 020 7862 8949) on Fridays, 3.45-5.45pm. Students and scholars interested to participate should contact Christopher Wright and Charalambos Dendrinos.
26 March 2015: at the invitation of Mr Giles Mandelbrote, Librarian and Archivist of Lambeth Palace Library (LPL), MA and research students of the University of London students will be visiting the Library to examine original Greek manuscripts. Mrs Clare Brown, LPL Archivist, will be introducong students to the history of LPL and its collections. Dr Christopher Wright will be presenting the Greek Manuscript collection and sub-collections, and together with Dr Charalambos Dendrinos he will be guiding students in examining representative manuscripts. This visit is part of a close collaboration between the Hellenic Institute and LPL over the cataloguing and study of the Greek Manuscript Collection.
8-9 June 2015: ICS Byzantine Colloquium "Arcadia: Real and Ideal" to be held in Room G22/26, South Block Senate House, University of London Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU. The Colloquium aims at exploring important elements that contributed to the creation, preservation and promotion of the Arcadian Ideal from Antiquity, through the Middle Ages (in East and West) and the Renaissance to the modern world. It discusses themes reflecting the Arcadian ideal and legacy in dialogue with the geographical, real Arcadia. Speakers include William Bainbridge, Evangelos Chrysos, Angelos Dendrinos, Stefano Cracolici, Pedro Olalla, James Roy and Alessandro Scafi. Programme to be announced. Co-organised and sponsored by Institute of Classical Studies, University of London; Hellenic Institute, History Department, Royal Holloway, University of London; and International Society for Arcadia. All welcome. To book a place please contact George Vassiadis and Nil Pektas.
16 October 2015: Seventh Annual Memorial Lecture for Julian Chrysostomides (1928-2008), “Rethinking Innovation in Byzantium” by Professor Apostolos Spanos (University of Agder, Norway), to be held at The Hellenic Centre, 16-18 Paddington Street, London W1U 5AS at 7pm. Donations towards the Julian Chrysostomides Bursaries Fund in support of students pursuing Hellenic and Byzantine Studies at RHUL can be made after the lecture. For further information please contact George Vassiadis and Charalambos Dendrinos.
17 March 2015: Fourteenth Annual Hellenic Lecture "From Greeks Abroad to the Greek Diaspora: Hellenism in a changing world" by Dr George Prevelakis, Professor of Geography (Sorbonne – Paris 1) and Permanent Representative of Greece to OECD. During the last three centuries the world is dominated by the Nation-State ethos and its territorial configuration. Diasporas lost importance and suffered severe persecutions. However, new trends, such as globalisation, multi-polar organisation, global problems, network economy and information society, have shrank state territoriality; as a result, Diasporas regain significance. The Lecture explored concepts and aspects of Greek Diasporas in wider geopolitical, socio-economic, cultural and ideological contexts in an attempt to respond to important questions concerning Hellenism and its place in the new emerging geopolitical conditions and challenges in Europe and the world. The Lecture was held in the Windsor Auditorium, Royal Holloway Collge Campus, Egham. For further information please contact George Vassiadis and Charalambos Dendrinos.
16 February 2015: Lecture on “The Hospitallers (Knights of St John) in the Dodecanese: 1306-1522” by Michael Heslop held at The Hellenic Centre, 16-18 Paddington Street, London W1U 5AS. The lecture was accompanied by an exhibition of photographs of Medieval Rhodes as seen in the photographs of Giuseppe Gerola. An informal reception followed. For further information please contact Michael Heslop.
26 January 2015: Round table discussion on Modern Greek Shipping on the occasion of the publication of the volume edited by Professor Gelina Harlaftis and Dr Katerina Papakonstantinou, Greek Shipping, 1700-1821-The Heyday before the Greek War of Independence (Kedros Publications: Athens, 2013). Keynote speakers include Dr Katerina Papakonstantinou (London), Dr Maria Fusaro (Exeter), Dr George Vassiadis (RHUL), and Ilias Bissias (Director, Naftika Chronika). The event was held at The Hellenic Centre, 16-18 Paddington Street, London W1U 5AS. For further information please contact George Vassiadis.
19 October 2014: Sixth Memorial Service for Julian Chrysostomides (21.IV.1928-18.X.2008) held in the Holy Monastery of Panagia Trooditisa in Cyprus. Organised by The Friends of the Hellenic Institute led by . For further information please contact Eleni Rossidou-Koutsou and Charalambos Dendrinos.
1 September 2014: Appointment of Lecturer in Modern Greek History. Dr George Vassiadis is an historian of Modern Greece, with particular interests in the social and cultural history of the Greek Diaspora from the 18th century to the present day. He was born in Montreal and attended McGill University, where he received a BA in Classical and Hellenic Studies. He subsequently completed an MA in Late Antique and Byzantine Studies and a PhD in Modern Greek History at King’s College London. In 2007 his doctoral thesis was published by the Centre for Asia Minor Studies as The Syllogos Movement of Constantinople and Ottoman Greek Education, 1861-1923. Dr Vassiadis has taught at Brown University and King’s College, and has undertaken research into Greek schools and educational societies in the Ottoman Empire, and Greek families, communities, and entrepreneurial networks in Europe, the Middle East and North America. He is currently working on two projects focussing on the important Rizos Rangavis family of Constantinople and Athens, the last descendants of which were established in the UK, and actively researching the architectural, urban and social history of Constantinople, Smyrna, Cairo and Alexandria, with an emphasis on the enduring Greek presence in the cosmopolitan cities of the Levant. His other interests include British Philhellenism and Anglo-Greek relations, the mechanisms and aftermath of the 1923 exchange of Greek and Turkish populations, the history of Modern Greek Studies in Canada, and the portrayal of Greeks in 20th century literature. Dr Vassiadis officially assumes his post on 1 September 2014 and will be offering undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Modern Greek History and co-supervising MPhil/PhD research in related subjects. He will also lead the development of an interdisciplinary centre for the diachronic study of the Greek Diaspora. Dr Vassiadis' post is sponsored by the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports and the A.G.Leventis Foundation.
7 May 2014 : Paper “Affect and Ideation in Political Speech: Rhythmics, Poetics, and their Publics” by Dr Tom Clark, Victoria University, Melbourne in McCrea Building, Room 201 at 1pm. Co-organised by Classics Dwpartment and the Centre for Oratory and Rhetoric. For further information please contact Dr Liz Gloyn.
25-27 April 2014: The 47th Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies "The Emperor in the Byzantine World"held in Cardiff University. In Byzantine Studies it is a strange fact that there exists no equivalent to Fergus Millar’s The Emperor in the Roman World, despite the centrality of the ruler in the Byzantine world. This oddity is compounded by the recent publication of a plethora of books devoted to Byzantine empresses. This Symposium (the first Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies held in Wales) addresse this oddity, placing the Byzantine emperor centre stage as both ruler and man. The Symposium consisted of five main sessions, of three papers each, addressing the following themes: Dynasty; Imperial Literature; The Imperial Court; Imperial Duties; and The Material Emperor. In addition there were a series of communications, as well as a public lecture on Byzantium and Wales. For further information please contact the Symposiarch Dr Shaun Tougher.
8 February-28 March 2014: the University of London Postgraduate Working Seminar on Editing Byzantine Texts was re-convened by Dr Christopher Wright and Dr Charalambos Dendrinos and continued preparing an annotated edition and translation of the Letters of George of Cyprus at The Warburg Institute, University of London. For further information please contact Christopher Wright and Charalambos Dendrinos.
25 March 2014: at the invitation of the Librarian and Archivist of Lambeth Palace Library (LPL), Dr Giles Mandelbrote, Universiy of London MA and research students visited the Library to examine original Greek manuscripts. Mrs Clare Brown, LPL Archivist, introduced the students to the history of LPL and its collections. Dr Christopher Wright presented the Greek Manuscript collection and sub-collections, and together with Dr Charalambos Dendrinos they guided the students in examining representative manuscripts. This visit is part of a close collaboration between the Hellenic Institute and LPL over the cataloguing and study of the Greek Manuscript Collection.
11 March 2014: Thirteenth Annual Hellenic Lecture 'The Substance and the Shadows: reflections on British-Greek relations over two centuries' by Sir Michael Llewellyn-Smith, KCVO, CMG, historian and former British Ambassador to Greece held in the Windsor Auditorium. The lecture offered reflections on the British-Greek relationship since the time of independence, with its highs and lows, its particular charged quality, and its changes over time; with comments on the idea of Greece for the British governing class, the relevance of the classical tradition, the role of the Greek crown, and on some of the key personalities from Byron onwards, through Gladstone to Lloyd George, Venizelos, and Churchill. For further information please contact Charalambos Dendrinos.
18 October 2013: Memorial Concert for Julian Chrysostomides (21.IV.1928-18.X.2008) be held in the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of St Sophia, Moscow Road, Bayswater, London W2 4LQ at 7.30pm. Arcadia Mundi Symphonic Orchestra performed Vaughan Williams, Lark Ascending conducted by Anastasios Strikos with George Hlawiczka in Solo violin, followed by the premiere of Philippos Tsalahouris’ Julian Suite, Opus 85, conducted by the composer and commissioned by the Hellenic Institute on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the honorand’s passing away. For further information please contact Charalambos Dendrinos.
27-28 June 2013: International Conference "Emotion and Persuasion in Classical Antiquity" held in London. Speakers included Chris Carey (UCL) "Bashing the establishment: Corruption, degeneration and emotion"; Brenda Griffith-Williams (UCL) "Rational and emotional persuasion in Athenian inheritance cases"; Ed Sanders (RHUL) "Persuasion through emotions in Athenian deliberative oratory"; Maria Fragoulaki (Birkbeck) "Emotion, persuasion and kinship in Thucydides: The Plataian debate (3.52-68) and the Melian dialogue (5.85-113)"; Harry Lesser (Manchester) "Can a decent person be an orator? Plato and the teachers of rhetoric"; Lucy Jackson (Oxford) "The role of kinaesthetic empathy and the chorus in Plato’s Laws"; Daniel King (Exeter): "Emotion and the representation of animal suffering in Plutarch and Galen"; Jenny Winter (RHUL) "Instruction and example: Emotions in Xenophon’s Cavalry Commander and Anabasis"; Melina Tamiolaki (Crete) "Leadership and the art of persuasion: Emotional strategies in Xenophon’s Cyropaedia"; Jayne Knight (UBC) "Anger as a mechanism for social control in imperial Rome"; Eleanor Dickey (Exeter) "Emotional language and formulae of persuasion in papyrus letters"; Guy Westwood (Oxford) "Nostalgia, politics and persuasion in Demosthenes’ Letters"; Gabriel Evangelou (Edinburgh) "Words and deeds: The question of Cicero’s sincerity in his letters from exile"; Angelos Chaniotis (IAS) "Creating emotional community through texts"; Irene Salvo (Pisa) "Persuading mortals and immortals: Love in Greek curses"; Federica Iurescia (Siena) "Strategies of persuasion in provoked quarrels in Plautus: A pragmatic perspective"; Kate Hammond (Kingston) "‘It ain’t necessarily so’: Reinterpreting some poems of Catullus from a discursive psychological point of view 14:50 Matthew Johncock (RHUL): ‘He was moved, but... ’: Failed appeals to emotions in Ovid’s Metamorphoses"; Catherine Steel (Glasgow) "Emotional persuasion and rational emotion in late Republican oratory"; Alexandra Eckert (Halle-Wittenberg) "Emotions, persuasion and cultural trauma"; and Judith Hagen (Bayreuth) "Emotions in Roman historiography". For further information please contact the organisers, Ed Sanders and Matthew Johncock
14 June 2013: International Conference “Speaking in Tongues: Language, Communication and Power in the Middle Ages” held at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU. Communication in the Middle Ages could take place within a wide spectrum of languages, dialects, and tongues. This conference, planned for the 14th of June 2013, will explore how the use and manipulation of language can contribute to our understanding of ‘real-world’ medieval cultural interaction, and investigate how complex ideas and societal mores were communicated and translated between languages. How did people overcome the governmental and administrative challenges in multilingual environments, such as diplomatic missions to the Mongols, knightly organisations, courts, and trading entrepôts? How were concepts and theories transmitted through cultures, across borders, or within the peripheries of Christendom, even within large institutions such as the Church or multi-ethnic polities, such as the Holy Roman or Byzantine empires? What kind of problems presented themselves in the realms of East-West relations, synods, and church councils, where complex doctrine and beliefs were discussed, debated and translated? This interdisciplinary conference, bringing together the linguistic, cultural, and historical, was held at the IHR in central London. It comprised four broad thematic strands, interspersed with refreshments, a catered lunch, and a keynote lecture, delivered by Dr Alan V. Murray (Leeds). 1. “Cultural and political interaction in central and eastern Europe”: the imposition of German settlement and law in Slavic lands, how legal problems and grievances were resolved in multi-lingual communities and the difficulties which French and German European noble houses, such as the Angevins or the Luxemburgs, had in ruling their polyglot Eastern domains. 2. “Ecclesiastical administration and theory”: the practicalities of synods and councils, managing conflict within ecclesiastical communities, translation of documents involved in papal government, and the problems the papacy and the ecclesiastical hierarchy faced in transmitting its ideas and organisation on a ‘global’ scale. 3. “Byzantium and the gateway to Europe”: the transfer of scientific principles into and out of Christian Europe; the Byzantine state’s government of a wide array of different ethnic, and hence linguistic, groups, and the role of language in trading networks in the Aegean and beyond. 4. “The Latin East, crusader states, and knightly orders”: the role of language in the administration and diplomacy of multi-lingual and multi-cultural states in the Holy Land, whether Christian or Muslim; the challenges knightly orders faced when dealing with a ‘worldwide’ membership; and how ideas on religious warfare permeated across cultures. The Conference was sponsored by RHUL, the Society for the Study of the Crusades and the Latin East, the Hellenic Institute, the Society for the Promotion of Byantine Studies and the German History Society. For further information please contact the co-organisers, Simon Parsons and Mark Whelan.
5 June 2013: Paper on “Wailing, Lamentations and Tears: Byzantium and the Turks in the Fifteenth Century” by Christopher Hobbs, at the History Department Postgraduate Seminar, RHUL premises at 11 Bedford Square, Room G3, London.
25-26 April 2013: International Colloquium “From Antiphon to Autocue: Speechwriting Ancient and Modern” held at The Hellenic Centre, 16-18 Paddington Street, London W1U 5AS. The first day comprised papers on Greek Speechwriting under two Panels: (1) “Speechwriting and the Athenian Law Courts” to be presented by Professor Michael Gagarin (Texas), “Logography and the Development of Athenian Forensic Argument”, Professor Chris Carey (UCL), “Ethics in the Second Oldest Profession: Thoughts on Lysias’ logography”, Professor Mike Edwards (Trinity St David, Lampeter), “Logographer and client in the speeches of Isaeus” and Dr Eleni Volonaki (Peloponnese), “Lykourgos”; and Panel (2) with papers on “Speechwriting for the Assembly?” by Professor Niall Livingstone (Birmingham), “Alcidamas on Improvisation: Theorising Political Authority in a Democracy”, Dr Christos Kremmydas (RHUL), “Political Speechwriting in Classical Athens?”, Professor Lene Rubinstein (RHUL), “Stage-managing symbouleutic speeches”, and Dr Alessandro Vatri (Oxford), “Speeches for hearers, speeches for readers: Attic oratory and the linguistics of performance”. The second day was devoted to Roman Speechwriting with papers by Professor Catherine Steel (Glasgow), “Orators, speechwriters and other editorial aids in the late Republic”, Dr Gesine Manuwald (UCL), “Cicero as a writer of speeches”, and Dr Jacqueline Klooster (Ghent), “The Speeches of the Roman emperors in Suetonius’ Lives of the twelve Caesars”, followed by Byzantine Speechwriting with papers by Dr Ida Toth (Oxford), title to be announced, Dr Tassos Tyflopoulos (KCL), “Take My Word for It: Speechwriting, Authenticity and the Emperor Constantine I”, and finally Modern Speechwriting with papers by Richard Toye, “Churchill and his Speechwriters”, Tom Clarke, “The speech, the speaker, his script, and its writer: Paul Keating, Don Watson, and the ‘Redfern Park Speech’”, Professor Andrew Tolson (De Montfort), “Audience Address in the 2010 Election”, and Simon Lancaster, title to be announced. The event was organised by RHUL Centre for Oratory and Rhetoric.
7 April 2013: Concert dedicated to ‘Arcadia’ performed by the Symphonic Orchestra Arcadia Mundi, under the auspices of the International Society for Arcadia (ISA), in St John, Smith’s Square, London. The repertoire included Beethoven, Prometheus Overture, Britten, The Young Apollo, Bernstein, Serenade after Plato’s Symposium, Debussy, Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune and Syrinx, Mouquet, Pan et les Oiseaux, Nielsen, Pan and Syrinx, Sibelius, Pan and Echo, Nikos Skalkottas, Arkadikos, Mikis Theodorakis, Greek Dances and Manos Hadjidakis, Marsyas (first performance). Conducted by Anastasios Strikos with Angelos Antonopoulos acting as narrator.
26 March 2013: at the invitation of the Librarian and Archivist of Lambeth Palace Library (LPL), Dr Giles Mandelbrote, RHUL MA students visited the Library to examine original Greek manuscripts. Mrs Clare Brown, LPL Archivist, introduced the students to the history of LPL and its collections. Dr Christopher Wright presented the Greek Manuscript collection and sub-collections, and Dr Charalambos Dendrinos guided the students in examining representative manuscripts. This visit is part of a close collaboration between the Hellenic Institute and LPL over the cataloguing and study of the Greek Manuscript Collection.
21 March 2012: the College received H. E. The Ambassador of Greece to the United Kingdom Mr Konstantinos Bikas, who gave a lecture on “Geography development and cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean” at the Main Lecture Theatre. In his lecture Mr Bikas expounded on the indisputable geopolitical importance of the area as a crossroad of peoples and civilisations through the centuries, and presented his views on current developments within the complex socio-economic, political, religious and cultural issues in the wider context of the international state of affairs dominated by the financial crisis. The lecture was followed by a discussion. Co-organised under the auspices of the RHUL Diplomatic Society and Geopolitics and Security Society, with the collaboration of Professor David Gilbert, Dr Peter Adey and Mr Petros Kapsaskis. The lecture was attended by Dr Evdokia Fournatzopoulou, Expert Counsellor at the Embassy of Greece, students and staff from the Departments of Geography, Economics, Politics & International Relations, History and Classics.
14 March 2013: the Twelfth Annual Hellenic Lecture on “Xeniteia: the Greek diaspora in modern times” was delivered by Professor Richard Clogg, Emeritus Fellow at St Antony’s College, Oxford and Visiting Pro-fessor in Modern Greek History at RHUL Hellenic Institute. In his lecture Professor Clogg explored the evolution of the diaspora and its relation with the Greek State and ἡ καθ’ ἡμᾶς Ἀνατολή, the Greek East. The Greeks are an archetypal diaspora people. Xeniteia, sojourning in foreign lands, has been central to the experience of the Greek people from time immemorial to the modern world. From the eighteenth century onwards emigration from the Greek lands has accelerated, reaching significant peaks between the mid-1890s and the outbreak of the First World War, and in the late 1950s and 1960s. This has led to a significant Greek presence in the United States, Australia, Canada, Western Europe and elsewhere. Towards the end of the twentieth century Greece, with growing prosperity, became a country of immigration rather than emigration. Moreover, the present economic crisis has resulted in some Greeks once again taking the path of xeniteia. In his closing remarks Professor Clogg drew attention to the fact the material recording various aspects of the diaspora of the Greek people all over the world is immense and largely unexplored, and therefore systematic research on this im-portant area for the history of Hellenism remains an urgent desideratum. In his Vote of Thanks, Professor Francis Robinson, highlighted the contribution of the Greek diaspora in this country. The lecture, hosted by Professor Paul Hogg, Vice-Principal for Research and Enterpise, and Chairman of the Hellenic Institute’s Steering Group, was held in the Windsor Building Auditorium, followed by a reception in the Foyer and Dinner in honour of the Speaker in the Picture Gallery. The event, organised jointly by the Hellenic Institute and the College Events Manager Mrs Marta Baker and Mrs Sue Heath, was attended by over eighty students, members of staff, and friends and supporters.
6 March 2013: the RHUL Classical Society organised the “Classics Day” with various events taking place around the College Egham Campus between 11am-9pm. These included “Tales From Ovid” preview perfor-mance, talks on “Fun with Ovid in the Metamorphoses” by Dr Llewelyn Morgan (Oxford), “Homeric Epic and Rap Culture” by Professor Ahuvia Kahane (RHUL), “Plato on Poetry” by Professor Anne Sheppard (RHUL), “Greek for the Innocents” by Professor Jonathan Powell (RHUL), “Latin and Greek Poetry Recital” by David Raeburn (Oxford), “Judgement of Paris” by the Film Festival Society, as well as “Absolute Harmony performance, Charity Gladiator Battles by the Philosophy Society, informal debates” by the Debating Society, University Challenge, Comedy Society Stand-up and last but not least Karaoke!
25 February 2013: the 2013 Annual Dabis Lecture, entitled “Visual Ontologies: Style, Archaism and the Construction of the Sacred in the Western Tradition”, was given by Dr Jas Elsner, Humfrey Payne Senior Research Fellow in Classical Archaeology and Art at the University of Oxford, and Professor of the History of Art at the University of Chicago. In his lecture, at RHUL Picture Gallery, Dr Elsner showed ways in which sacred images have been framed by other images, often in different styles, within the Western tradition in order to establish their aura. The lecture moved from ancient Greece and Rome via the middle ages in Byzantium and the West to the Counter Reformation.
16 February 2013: one-day Colloquium entitled “Greece/Precarious/ Europe: Culture and Crisis”, held at The Hellenic Centre in London, brought together academics, artists and writers, who discussed how contem-porary Greek culture is transformed in the current economic and socio-political crisis, questioning established orthodoxies and hierarchies, looking for new ways of creating a Greek national/transnational imaginary and reassessing the relationship between the present and ‘the archive’, which determines the historical and cultural inheritance of Greece. Panel 1: Crisis and the Past, dicsussed by Dr Dimitris Plantzos (Athens), Dr Dimitris Papanikolaou (Oxford), and Professor Richard Alston (RHUL). Panel 2: Representations (1) chaired by Professor Roderick Beaton (King’s College London); Dr Theodoros Chiotis (Oxford) discussed Crisis and poetry, Dr Eleftheria Ioannidou (Birmingham) discussed Crisis and theatre, Dr Maria Margaronis (London correspondent for the Nation and freelance correspondent for the Guardian) discussed Crisis and Media. Panel 3: Representations (2), Dr Angela Dimitrikaki (Edinburgh), Dr Sozita Goudouna (Curator and Artistic Director of Out of the Box Intermedia) and Dr Georgios Papadopoulos (Erasmus University Rotterdam) discussed Visual Art and Crisis. The final session, by Dr Kostas Douzinas (Birkbeck College, University of London), was fol-lowed by a Round Table discussion chaired by Dr Efi Spentzou (RHUL). The event was organised jointly by The Hellenic Centre, the Subfaculty of Modern Greek, Oxford University, and RHUL Centre for the Reception of Greece and Rome with the support of RHUL Humanities and Arts Research Centre. The Conference, convened by Dr Dimitris Papanikolaou, Dr Efi Spentzou and Professor Richard Alston, was attended by over a hundred delegates.
1 February-22 March 2013: the University of London Postgraduate Working Seminar on Editing Byzantine Texts was re-convened by Dr Christopher Wright and Dr Charalambos Dendrinos, to continue preparing an annotated edition and translation of the Letters of George of Cyprus at The Warburg Institute, University of London.
24 January 2013: Inaugural Lecture on “Philosophy, Politics and Education: the significance of Plato’s Gorgias” by Professor Anne Sheppard, held in the Windsor Building Auditorium. In her lecture Professor Sheppard explained that she had first been interested in Plato’s Gorgias as a work of literature and a discussion of rhetoric. Over time, however, she had increasingly come to appreciate the political implications of this dialogue. She focused on the way in which philosophy and politics are contrasted in the Gorgias as well as Socrates’ harsh criticisms of the politics and politicians of classical Athens. She went on to consider the commentary on the Gorgias by Olympiodorus, an Alexandrian Neoplatonist writing in the sixth century AD. Olympiodorus defended Plato against the criticisms of the second-century sophist Aelius Aristides, accepting Plato’s criticisms of democracy and the political theory of the Republic in a way which reflects his historical circumstances. In the closing section of her lecture Professor Sheppard stressed the importance of studying philosophy, as valuable now as in the fourth century BC or the sixth century AD.