CHARIOTS OF FIRE: ATHENS IN THE FIFTH CENTURY BCE
Hilary Hope Guise, artist and lecturer
The first lecture discusses the formation of the Olympic Games, which had a spiritual and religious foundation. Chariot racing was the heart-stopping highlight of the Games and the Pankration the most brutal and bloody. The second lecture describes the everyday life of Athenians: men, women, youths, girls, slaves and children, enjoying their festivals and rituals, theatres and home life, funerals and weddings, and their drinking parties. The final lecture presents the greatest achievement of the ancient Athenians, the Parthenon temple. This icon created by philosophers, mathematicians, architects and sculptors, expresses the belief in the divinity of the cosmos, which was a cardinal principle of Plato and his academy. The battered and stained remains of 125 galloping stallions and their beautiful young boy-riders, have become the most iconic, most copied and the most revered antiquities in the world.
1. Chariots of Fire: the ancient Olympic Games
2. Everyday life in the Agora: Athens in the 5th century BCE
3. Temple with no name: the Parthenon