Further details for each topic will be published on next update (website last updated 3 Feb 2020)

2019, October 15
Joint meeting with Classical Association. Welcome meeting with light refreshments.
The KARKALAS lecture
Lisa Hau (Glasgow University), "Athenian imperialism and Thucydides' creativity: the Mytilene debate"
In 427 BC the Athenians quashed the rebellion of Mytilene, the main city of Lesbos. They then held two debates in the People’s Assembly to decide what to do with the conquered city and its inhabitants. In the first debate, they decided to kill all the male Mytileneans and sell all the women and children into slavery. In the second debate, they changed their minds and decided to punish only the leaders of the revolt. Thucydides reports the second debate, between Cleon and Diodotus, in great detail. This debate showcases Cleon’s aggressive imperialist policy and offers, in Diodotus’ speech, our earliest argument against the efficacy of capital punishment. It also contains a heated exchange of views on direct democracy and the effect of demagogy. At the same time, in its ruthless foregrounding of self-interest over humanitarian considerations, it paints a bleak picture of (Athenian) foreign policy. These themes make the debate worth reading, but even more intriguing is perhaps the question whether Cleon and Diodotus spoke like this at all, or Thucydides fashioned the two speeches himself in order to fit the thematic concerns of his History. 

2019, November 12
Michael Boyd (University of Cambridge), "The sanctuary at Keros in the eraly bronze age"
Michael is Co-director with Professor Colin Renfrew of the Cambridge Keros Project
In the third millennium BCE Aegean, widely dispersed communities manifested connectivity through perennial gatherings at centres of congregation such as Keros or Knossos. New excavations at Keros in the central Cyclades offer unparalleled opportunities to investigate the material bases of such connections, and the networks of material, information, people and skills which were formed and reformed through developing processes of communication.  Keros, around 2750 BCE, became a focal point for such gatherings. Visitors brought with them choice materials, including the ‘Cycladic figurine’ and the ‘sauceboat’, for consumption in deposition rituals in two ‘special deposits’. Around a century later came an intense period of construction and monumentalisation on a prominent promontory immediately west of the special deposits. This construction project, involving unprecedented investment of labour and showing clear signs of planning, created a new type of settlement, unrelated to the farming villages of earlier periods. The settlement at Dhaskalio shows all the hallmarks of incipient urbanisation, the first such site in the central Aegean.  Amidst the flow of goods and people through the site, metal stands out: Dhaskalio was quickly established as the premier metalworking centre of the Cyclades. Metalworking was ubiquitous in the settlement, where besides copper and lead the earliest evidence for working of gold and silver is now attested. Metalworking may have been one of the first activities performed on Dhaskalio, even before the construction of the settlement; the gathering of the raw materials and skills needed was facilitated by the networks already in operation for the perennial ritual deposits. The objects made there, especially the dagger, expressed a new notion of identity through maritime networks centred on Keros.  The Keros excavations of 2016-2018 have shone a rare light on a world in transition, a time when the flow and rapidity of information exchange brought about a first information revolution. The evidence from Keros foreshadows the urbanisation about to occur in the region in the following centuries, a first sign of permanent change at all levels of society.

2020, January 14
Vasilopitta evening at Elia Rstaurant, George Square, Glasgow

2020, February 11
Bob Ewing, "The mystery of scotch"    
SHS member Bob Ewing will talk about “The Mystery of Whisky” Bob spent many years in the Whisky industry promoting Scotland’s national beverage. He will explain how the golden liquid is made, the difference between malt and grain, and the secret of “nosing” with participation from yourselves. Our annual Scottish evening promises to be an educational and enjoyable experience.

2020, March 24
Michail Mersinis (Glasgow School of Art) and Moira Dalgetty, "Silk and Soufli"

2020, April 14
Annual General Meeting (AGM)
Nondas Pitticas (University West of Scotland), "Aegina, first capital of modern Greece, through the aeons"
Aegina, is both a small island and a town at the heart of the Saronic Gulf, just 19 nautical miles from the port of Piraeus.  Acheans and Dorics passed from its ports, it became a historical predecessor to the hegemony of Athens and its people became rich by sea commerce.  It had its own fleet and many times surpassed the Samians and even the Athenians, with the most notable contribution of the Aeginian warriors to the battle of Salamina, whose 2,500 years anniversary will be celebrated next year.  In medieval times, Turks, Venetians and Turks again took their toll, until January 1828 when it became the first capital of modern Greece. Nondas has lived on this island for more than 60 years now and drawing from his own experiences, he will try to help us understand that this island combines great history together with natural beauty. He will take his audience ‘by hand’ to the ancient monuments of Aphaia and Kolona, the Byzantine ruins of Paliachora, the impressive church and monastery of Agios Nektarios and to the back streets of the town itself.