The Pritchett Lecture


The Pritchett Lecture, generously funded by an anonymous donor in honor of W. Kendrick Pritchett, the founding father of AHMA, is an annual event that brings to campus a distinguished scholar for an evening lecture and an afternoon seminar. 


The Pritchett Lecture 2017

Jonathan M. Hall (University of Chicago)

Lecture: "Chasing the Shadows of the Past in Late Ottoman Argos"

If there is one sentiment that is common to nearly all the accounts written by European travelers to the Peloponnesian town of Argos during the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries, it is one of profound disappointment and shock at the lack of visible remains of a city whose fame had been so lauded in antiquity. Inevitably, perhaps, imagination filled the void that autopsy was unable to satisfy. That imagination was fueled by a familiarity with the ancient authors – and, in particular, a rather uncritical reading of Pausanias’ Hellados Periēgēsis, which served to animate a representation of Argos that was simultaneously heterotopic and heterochronic. But the preconceptions of western travelers were also intertwined with an indigenous discourse about the past that was informed more by local “memories” and the material landscape than by displays of scholastic literacy. This lecture will explore the confrontation between the ideal and the material through three specific examples: the temple of Apollo Lykeios, the prison of Danae, and the heroic exploits of the warrior-poetess Telesilla.

Monday, November 6th, 2017

8:00 pm

Alumni House, UC Berkeley


Seminar: "Writing the History of Archaic Greece: Pheidon and Telesilla"

Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

4:00-6:00 pm

7205 Dwinelle Hall


About the speaker:

Jonathan Hall's earlier research was focused on the cultural and social history of ancient Greece, with a particular emphasis on the construction, meaning, and functions of ethnic identity among Greek communities. His first book, Ethnic Identity in Greek Antiquity (Cambridge, 1997), tackled the question of Greek ethnicity from an explicitly interdisciplinary point of view and received the 1999 Charles J. Goodwin Award for Merit from the American Philological Association. A second book, Hellenicity: Between Ethnicity and Culture (Chicago, 2002), explored the emergence and transformation of Greek self-consciousness in antiquity, and was the recipient of the 2004 Gordon J. Laing Award from the University of Chicago Press. His History of the Archaic Greek World, ca. 1200–479 BCE (Malden MA, 2007), has been translated into Polish and Greek and has just appeared in a second revised edition (Chichester, 2014). His most recent book, Artifact and Artifice: Classical Archaeology and the Ancient Historian (Chicago, 2014), examines a series of case studies from the Greek and Roman worlds as part of a reflection on the relationship between documentary evidence and material culture. He is also the author of a series of articles and chapters concerning the early polis, Greek colonization, and cultural identities. Currently he is interested in nineteenth-century Greece and especially issues of cultural heritage in the newly independent kingdom. In 2009 he was awarded the Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching at the University of Chicago.


Past Pritchett Lectures

2016-17: Betsy Bryan (Johns Hopkins University): "Invoking the Deity through Altered Consciousness: Egyptian Communal Temple Rituals before the primary Mystery Religions"  

2015-16: Michael Dietler (University of Chicago)"Scale and the Archaeology of Colonial Encounters: Reflections from the Western Mediterranean"

2014-2015: Pierre Briant (Collège de France): "Provisioning the Macedonian Army: Alexander the Great and Achaemenid Imperial Logistics"

2013-2014: Brent Shaw (Princeton): "Lambs of God: An End of Human Sacrifice"

2012-2013: Joseph Maran (Institut für Ur- und Frühgeschichte und Vorderasiatische Archäologie, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg): "Architectural Space and Social Communication on the Upper Citadel of Tiryns: The Transformation from the Palatial Period to the Early 'Dark Ages'"

2011-2012: Susan Rotroff (Washington University, St. Louis): "The Agora Baby Well: Neonatal Mortality and the Disposal of the Dead in Hellenistic Athens"

2010-2011: R. R. R. Smith (University of Oxford): "Defacing the Gods at Aphrodisias: The Sebasteion in Late Antiquity"

2009-2010: Amélie Kuhrt (University College, London): "Issues of Hellenization: The Case of Babylon"

2008-2009: Patricia Cox Miller (Syracuse University): "Holy Bodies: Imagining Matter in Late Ancient Christianity"

2007-2008: Paul Cartledge (University of Cambridge): "The Truth-Telling School of Herodotus: A Personal Odyssey"

2006-2007: Lawrence E. Stager (Harvard University): "The Houses of Ancient Israel: Domestic, Royal, Divine"

2005-2006: Margaret C. Miller (University of Sydney): "Greek Hate: Athenian War Propaganda and the Persians"

2004-2005: Jan Assmann (University of Heidelberg): "The Rise of Monotheism and Its Anthropological Consequences"

2003-2004: John North (University College, London): "Changes, Chances, and Choices in the Religious History of Romans"

2002-2003: Shaye J. D. Cohen (Harvard University): "Alexander the Great and the Far-Away King: Folklore, Ethics, and Law"

2001-2002: Paul Zanker (German Archaeological Institute in Rome): "Domitian's Palace on the Palatine and the Imperial Image"

1998-1999: Wayne A. Meeks (Yale University): "Inventing the Christ: Multicultural Process and Poetry among the First Christians"

1997-1998: Janet Johnson (University of Chicago): "Women's Rights in Ancient Egypt"

1996-1997: John McKesson Camp II (Athens Agora Excavations): "Walls and the Polis"

1995-1996: J. J. Pollitt (Yale University): "The Plan of the Athenian Acropolis"

1994-1995: Emily Vermeule (Harvard University): "Trojan Troubles"

1993-1994: Peter Brown (Princeton University): "The Problem of Christianization"

1992-1993: Irene Winter (Harvard University): "Idols of the King: The Ritual Context of Sumerian Statuary"

1991-1992: Fergus Millar (University of Oxford): "Caravan Cities: The Roman Near East and Long Distance Trade"

1990-1991: W. Robert Connor (National Humanities Center): "Athenian Civic Identity: Context, Theory, and Practice"

1989-1990: Machteld Mellink (Bryn Mawr College): "Phrygians and Phrygian Culture: Anatolian and Greek Perspectives"

1988-1989: Sir John Boardman (University of Oxford): "Greek Arts in Persia and Beyond"


About W. Kendrick Pritchett

W. Kendrick Pritchett (1909-2007) was Professor Emeritus of Greek at U.C. Berkeley and the founder of the Graduate Group in Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology. He taught in the Classics Department from 1948 to 1976 and served four years as its chair. Distinctions and honors marked his academic path from its onset. He was twice named a Guggenheim Fellow; for six years was a member of the Institute for the Advanced Study at Princeton; and twice was Professor at the American School for Classical Studies at Athens. Upon his retirement, he received the Berkeley Citation, the campus’ highest award. In addition, he was a Fulbright Research Fellow, a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, and an Honorary Member of the Royal Irish Academy. His contributions to the fields of Greek topography, military history, epigraphy, and historiography put him in a class by himself among international scholars. His Studies in Ancient Greek Topography reached eight volumes. His Greek State at War comprises five volumes, one of which won the American Philological Association’s coveted Goodwin Award of Merit. To visit an ancient battlefield or site with Kendrick was to be accompanied by a walking library, for inevitably he had mastered in advance all relevant ancient texts, the accounts of the early modern travelers, and all relevant contemporary scholarship. Also a noted wine connoisseur, he amassed an impressive cellar in his Berkeley home and was often invited for special tasting by wine merchants in Berkeley and San Francisco.