Northwestern Events Calendar


Glenn Most: From Athens to China and Back: A Western Student of Ancient Greece Looks at the Chinese Classical Tradition

Chinese Stoneware figurines transcribing and proofreading

When: Friday, April 29, 2022
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM Central

Where: Kresge Hall, 2380, 1880 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Elizabeth Upenieks   (847) 491-7597

Group: Department of Classics

Category: Academic, Lectures & Meetings


Until recently, modern Europe and the cultures that derive from it accorded an unquestioned privilege to the Classical traditions they knew best, those of ancient Greece and Rome. Comparative studies tended to be few and were often rejected as being superficial. Now a variety of economic, political, and ideological factors have made not only the West become much more open to considering the value of other cultures than its own, but also have made those other cultures much more interested than previously in exchanges of all sorts with the West. I myself am by profession a Western student of ancient Greece; but I have always believed that one can only understand one Classical tradition well if one sees it in comparison with other Classical traditions. Among the dozen or score of Classical traditions scattered throughout the world, the Greek and the Chinese are two of the ones that have flourished the most. It is worth studying them comparatively, because not only their similarities, but also their differences, and the relative independence and lack of contact between them for most of their history, can tell us much about what makes a Classical tradition. This can only be done seriously by groups of researchers with different competences but shared questions and mutual respect. But someone has to make a start; and this lecture is intended as one such start.

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