Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Peloponnesian Association’s next talk on: “Thieves’ Academy? How and why children were taught to become thieves and cheaters in ancient Sparta”

The Peloponnesian Association of Great Britain requests the pleasure of your company at a lecture to be given by Dr Chrysanthi Gallou, who will speak on “Thieves’ Academy? How and why children were taught to become thieves and cheats in ancient Sparta.” The talk will be given at the Hellenic Centre (16-18 Paddington Street, London, W1U 5AS) on Friday 1st May 2015, 19.30.


One of the most famous stories we have inherited from ancient Sparta is the tale of a Spartan boy who was eaten alive by a fox-club while he was hiding it under its cloak and refused to reveal the theft. The anecdote alludes to one of, if not, the strangest and most difficult to explain, educational practices in ancient Greece: the fact that during their education Spartan boys were compelled to cheat and steal. This lecture aims to reassess the earlier research on cheating and theft in ancient Spartan education and to suggest that the meaning of the practice should be examined in the context of the political/social rather than the military training of the Spartan paides. The lecture will be given in English.
Dr Chrysanthi Gallou is Assistant Professor in Archaeology and Co-Director of the Centre for Spartan and Peloponnesian Studies at the University of Nottingham. She has written widely on Aegean Archaeology, the archaeology of childhood, and the archaeology of Laconia and the Peloponnese including the submerged prehistoric town at Pavlopetri. She recently completed her research project on the Mycenaean tombs at Epidaurus Limera, southern Laconia and the results are currently being published in her book Rethinking Mycenaean Chamber Tombs: A View from Laconia. She aims to make Greek archaeology more accessible for children in Greece and abroad, and has set up educational projects on the prehistoric town at Pavlopetri and on the symbolism of Tyrian Purple colour from prehistory to nowadays.   


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