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.
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 the San Francisco Bay Area.