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Ancient Studies Week

Life, Love, and Law in Classical Athens

Monday, October 9, 2017
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Library and Gallery, Albin O. Kuhn : Library Gallery
Victoria Wohl, Professor of Athenian Literature and Culture, University of Toronto

Pericles’ Citizenship Law defined an Athenian citizen as the child of an Athenian father and mother, but real life in classical Athens was much messier than this clear-cut definition suggests. Court cases from Classical Athens are full of mistresses and prostitutes, bastard children, and secret love-affairs. Focusing on Demosthenes’ speech against Neaira and Euripides’ Medea, this lecture shows how Athenians negotiated the law in everyday life and the tragedy that ensued when they transgressed it.


Bio: Victoria Wohl is a scholar of the literature and culture of ancient Greece, with a focus on the social relations, political thought, and psychic life of democratic Athens. She is author of Intimate Commerce: Exchange, Gender, and Subjectivity in Greek Tragedy (Texas, 1998), Love Among the Ruins: The Erotics of Democracy in Classical Athens (2002), Law’s Cosmos: Juridical Discourse in Athenian Forensic Oratory (2010), and Euripides and the Politics of Form (2015).

Sponsored by the Ancient Studies Department, the Dresher Center for the Humanities, and the Gender + Women’s Studies Department.
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