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Classical Debt One Year On: Antiquity, Greek Crises, and the View from 2018

  • Karpeles Manuscript Library 21 West Anapamu Street Santa Barbara, CA, 93101 United States (map)

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.