We live in a world where the lessons of the past are constantly ignored or dismissed. Yet the past continues to fascinate us. The classical world especially has never been more popular. In movies, novels, video games and TV documentaries, Greece and Rome are constantly in the public eye. So what does the classical world have to offer us in the 21st century? In this session, a panel of classical scholars with a special interest in contemporary popular culture will debate this issue, with questions and contributions from members of the audience.
“Classical Debt ‘after’ the Crisis: Greek Antiquity in the Era of Grecovery”
George B. Walsh Lecture Series
Conference convened by David Pritchard at the University of Strasbourg Institute for Advanced Study.
Ever since 2010, the country of Greece has been notorious for its monetary debt. But for two centuries, the phrase “Greek debt” has also meant something quite different: the symbolic debt that Western civilization owes to Greece for furnishing its principles of democracy, philosophy, mathematics, and fine art. This lecture will depart from the premise that there are two sides to Greek debt: the premise that is the foundation of Johanna Hanink’s 2017 book The Classical Debt: Greek Antiquity in an Era of Austerity (Harvard University Press). Hanink will also respond to various critiques of the book, and consider just what has changed—and what, sadly, has not—about the accounting (and accounts) of that debt since the book manuscript was put to bed, just weeks after the “Brexit” referendum in June of 2016.