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05 Jun Drama at Athens: Some Evidence from Inscriptions with Stephen Tracy ’63



This illustrated talk is designed for the non-specialist. It will begin with some general comments on the importance of inscribed stones as a source of evidence. Several examples will be given of inscriptions that provide information vital for our understanding of Athenian history and politics. The speaker, who is well-known for his work identifying the hands of ancient inscribers, will then show how the study of hands has enabled a better understanding of the fragmentary inscriptions that record performances of drama at Athens. He will argue that they were created not only to preserve an accurate history of the performances, but also to gain cultural capital as the Athenians sought to maintain their autonomy in the face of foreign powers.

Stephen Tracy took his BA (summa cum laude) from Brown in 1963 and his MA and PhD from Harvard in 1965 and 68. He taught at Wellesley and then for many years at Ohio State. Toward the end of his teaching career he served as Professor and Director of the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. After he returned from Athens in 2007, he took up residence in New Jersey where he continues his scholarly work as a long time visitor in the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He has written numerous books and articles on Greek epigraphy for specialists; his most recent book, published in 2016 by Walter de Gruyter in Berlin, is entitled Athenian Lettering of the Fifth Century B.C. He has also published two well-received books for general audiences – The Story of the Odyssey (Princeton 1990) and Pericles: A Sourcebook and Reader (Berkeley 2009).

Tuesday, February 5, 2019
Brown University

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