2017, October 17
Natalia Tsoumpra (Glasgow University), "The curious case of female sexuality in classical Athens: religion, medicine and magic"     

This paper will discuss the complex image of female sexuality in classical Athens as it emerges from both literary and material sources. In a male-dominated society, marriage and motherhood were perceived as the fulfilment of the ‘female role’, and women were prepared from an early age for their future positions as wives and mothers through their participation in (coming-of-age) girls’ rituals. Paradoxically, while women’s closeness to the natural world and the basic biological processes of nature, such as motherhood and reproduction, were celebrated by the polis, since they were integral to the stability and continuation of the civic structure, at the same time they were perceived as a potential threat to it. Medical and magical traditions which developed side by side in mutual influence variously interpreted the womb as a mechanically defective body part, a sentient and passionate animal, and finally a demon with malicious intent, who bites and poisons the female body. The problems posed by female sexual and reproductive identity were ideally resolved by heterosexual, patriarchal marriage. Thus, women were constantly subjected to bodily practices over which they exercised limited physical or social control. And yet they were perhaps able to exercise relative agency, exchange information and create their own support networks through exclusively female rituals they attended as grown women.

2017, November 21
Prof John Huntley (Glasgow Caledonian University) "Admiral Bouboulina: a half-remembered hero?"

Laskarina Bouboulina (1771-1825) was a major figure in the Greek War of Independence (1821-1829) until her untimely murder. Greek popular culture in many ways honours her naval exploits as a Kapetanissa and as a major contributor to the cause of Greek independence (she was posthumously granted the honorary title of Admiral by Tsar Alexander III of Russia) . She led her men and her ships personally and successfully in battles on sea and land in the early stages of the Greek Revolution and her contributions were decisive. Her sacrifice for that cause was total.  

She is remarkable not only for acts of bravery and sacrifice, but also because, as a woman, particularly in that age, she overcame tremendous obstacles to achieve what she did. She was exceptional.  Yet despite her prominence in the Greek popular consciousness, and her remarkable achievements as a woman in an age and culture that mitigated against her, she is barely known internationally and either bypassed in historiography or, at best, referred to in the footnotes.  The result is a mismatch between the recording of her exploits in popular culture and their recording by historians. Reassessment of Bouboulina is needed to raise her to the prominence that she deserves.

2018, January 30
Scottish Evening - Liz Lochhead "Burns and women" at 8:30pm.  It should be noted that the event will be preceded by a Burns supper, also at the Bridie Room, starting at 7:30pm.  

2018, February 27  Vasilopitta evening at Elia Restaurant, George Square

2018, March 13 
Showing of film Phaedra, introduced by Dr Costas Panayotakis (Glasgow University). Joint meeting with the Classical Association of Scotland-Glasgow and West

THE KARKALAS LECTURE Renee Hirschon (Oxford University) "Women in the social life of Asia Minor refugees in Piraeus" has regrettably been cancelled, due to the speaker's inability to attend.

2018, April 10
Annual General Meeting at 19:00, followed at 19:30 by
a talk on the Piraeus refugee area of Kokkinia, by John Huntley.


Scottish Hellenic Symposium:  Greece ancient and modern

Scottish-Hellenic Societies of Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and St Andrews, The Friends of the British School at Athens, and

The British School at Athens




Saturday, May 19 at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow:  232-242 St Vincent Street, Glasgow G2 5RJ (see map below)



From 10.30   Coffee

11.00 – 11:10  Opening by Patrick Brady MP (Glasgow North)

11:10 – 11:20  Welcome by Scottish Hellenics Chairmen and Introductory remarks

11.20 – 12.05   Professor Alexander Stoddart:  Acropolis no.3 - a modest approach

12.10 – 12.55   Dr Effie Photos-Jones: Κομμωτικόν, κοσμητικόν και ιατρικόν:  on cosmetics and medicines in Greco-Roman antiquity

13.00 – 14.10  Lunch

14.10 – 14.55  Dr Emma Stafford:  Herakles and the ideal of heroism: the journey of a legend from archaic Greece to the 21st century

15.00 – 15.45  Professor Margaret Kenna: Political dissidents in exile in the 1930 and 1940s

15.45 – 16.15   Tea

16.15 – 17.00  Professor John Bennet:  The Work of the British School at Athens

17.00                  Closing remarks

During the day:  Bookstall (Hellenic Book Service), paintings exhibition (and sale) and stalls.


19.15 for 19.30 Evening party, at Yiamas Taverna, 16-20 Bath Street, Glasgow G2 1HB (near Buchanan Galleries – see map)


Sunday May 20

Tour 1 - From Acropolis to Necropolis - led by Professor Alexander Stoddart to the Glasgow necropolis

Tour 2 led by Dr Michael Given to neo-Classical buildings especially those of ‘Greek Thomson’


These tours (c. 2 hours duration) will start at c. 10.30am at Elia Restaurant (George Square) & Tinderbox (189 Byres Road) respectively.




Name(s) of all people in your party:


(Please indicate if you are (a) a member of one of the Scottish Hellenic Societies or the Friends of the BSA or (b) a fulltime student) 



Address (email preferred):  

Number of people for main event including lunch @ £30 per head (£12.50 full-time students): 


Number of people for evening party at Yiamas on Saturday @ £10 per head:


Number of people for Sunday Tour 1  ………….. or Tour 2 …………            (no charge for either)





1.      For any queries, please contact Richard Jones (Richard.jones@glasgow.ac.uk)

2.      If possible, please book by May 1.  After that date please contact Richard Jones before sending money

3.      If it is necessary to restrict numbers for the main event, evening meal or Sunday walk, bookings will be honoured in order of receipt

4.      Please return the FORM by email (preferred) or post to Chris Lebessis (clebessis@aol.com; 115 Drymen Road, Bearsden G61 3RR)

5.      Please send PAYMENT either by cheque (payable to Scottish Hellenic Society) to Chris Lebessis (address as above) or electronically, as below.


For BACS payments:

Bank: The Bank of Scotland

Name: The Scottish Hellenic Society

Account no. 00875537

Sort Code: 80 07 24

Ref: Symposium




Please copy the programme and booking form to anyone you know who may be interested (to download in a printer-friendly format, click here)


The Saturday venue is in central Glasgow – see map  below. 


For car parking with discount see the attached list.  Buses arrive at Buchanan Bus station.


Trains from Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Leuchars and Stirling arrive at Queens Street Station, those from south of the border (especially the West Coast line) arrive at Central Station.


From Glasgow Airport: Glasgow Airport Express service 500 into the centre.


Are you travelling to Glasgow by car?  There are discounts available for parking in nearby facilities when attending the event at The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow.  Click here for details and direction maps to/from the participating car parks.


Scottish Hellenic Symposium, supported by the British Archaeological School of Athens
Sat 19 May: The Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons, 232-242 St. Vincent St, Glasgow G2 5RJ
Sun 20 May: Tour of Glasgow Necropolis
<....Watch this space for further details over the next couple of weeks...>
We are happy to announce this event, that follows from its successful forerunners in Edinburgh (in 2014) and Aberdeen (in 2016).  This event aims to bring together members of the several Hellenic Societies in Scotland, the Friends of the British School of Athens and Greeks and philhellenes living in Britain.

On Saturday 19th May, there will be lectures on topics ranging from Herakles (by Emma Stafford), the modern history of political exiles on the island of Anafi (by Margaret Kenna), to sculpture (Professor Alexander Stoddart, Queen's Sculptor in Ordinary in Scotland).  We expect to have a bookstall, stalls for Greek products and an exhibition of paintings on Greek themes by local artists.  A sample of these can be seen below, they will be offered to delegates by silent auction.

On Sunday 20th May, tours are planned to the Glasgow necropolis and neo-classical buildings in the city and to the Hunterian Museum to view Greek vases.  There will also be excellent opportunities to socialise and for those new to Glasgow to see something of the city.

Looking down from Mystras    Volissos, Chios