Anthony Kaldellis, Ohio State University, "New Chapters in the History of the Parthenon: Recent Controversies and Byzantine Perspective"
Fri, November 20, 2009 • 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM • ART 1.120
On the surface, the Parthenon is presented to us as an ancient monument. Yet never in its history has it symbolized so much as it does now: reason, democracy, moderation and other universal values, but also the particular identity of the Greek nation; western imperial power but also resistance to colonialism; and various brands of beer, sweets, and cars. Rarely do these invocations explain how exactly the Parthenon supports their claims, and many appear to contradict its original function. Greek neopagans have demanded it as a sacred site for the performance of their rituals, to which an archbishop of Athens, standing on its steps, responded by citing its history as a Christian church. A few months ago, a controversy erupted over a video to be played in the new Akropolis Museum showing (reconstructed) early Christian monks hacking away at the sculptures. From a newly recovered Byzantine vantage-point, this talk will offer heretical perspectives on the recent controversies surrounding the Parthenon's many meanings (ancient and modern) as well as on the canonical historical paradigms that are based on them.