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Collège de France’s Lecture Series
in Athens, 2012/2013

Despina Chatzivasiliou
p. 75

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1The Collège de France actively fosters international exchange as part of its mission to disseminate knowledge. In recent years it has developed mutually beneficial partnerships that have seen “Collège de France lecture series” organized in various countries, in collaboration with local academic institutions, and often relayed by the media.

  • 1 For further details, see “The Collège de France International Relations, Collège de France Newslett (...)
  • 2 Lectures were held at Megaron, with simultaneous translation into Greek, and were recorded by the c (...)

2The first cycle was launched in 2007, on the initiative of Prof. John Scheid, Chair of Religion, Institutions and Society in Ancient Rome, with the Institut français de Tunisie. Other countries presently concerned are (in chronological order): the United-Kingdom, Spain, South Korea, Hungary, Morocco, Romania, the Netherlands, and Indonesia1. In 2013, a new cycle was organized in Greece by the Institut français d’Athènes and the French Embassy, in partnership with Megaron (a concert hall). From January to May, five professors were invited to deliver lectures related to their teaching at the Collège de France2:

315 January: Karol Beffa, “Why still Compose Music?” (with guest speaker Giorgos Kouroupos, composer and pianist):

4There is little interest in contemporary music among the general public, even among music lovers. Is this the public’s fault or that of contemporary music? Does all kinds of music have the same value? With a few musical examples, Karol Beffa launched the discussion on these questions.

514 February: Antoine Compagnon, “Literature a User’s Manual” (Nikos Bakounakis, Associate Professor of Journalism, Panteion University of Athens):

6What is the purpose of literature? At a time when reading is being revolutionized by digital media, Antoine Compagnon examined this question drawing on Baudelaire and Proust.

726 February: Henry Laurens, “A Survey of the Arab Spring” (Giannis Mazis, Professor of Economic Geography and Geopolitics of the Middle East and Turkey, University of Athens):

8The Arab Spring took the entire world by surprise. Henry Laurens discussed the subject of revolution in the Arab world, the underpinnings of authoritarianism, and the evolution of the situation since the beginning of 2011.

913 May: Denis Knoepfler, “Athens and Rome on the Eve of the Roman Conquest of Greece” (Athanasios Rizakis, Director of Research, National Hellenic Research Foundation):

10Drawing on epigraphic sources, Denis Knoepfler examined the history, institutions and religion of Athenian society, in relation to Rome, in the turmoil of the bellum civile and the siege and capturing of the city. He thus described the end of an era.

1128 May: Roger Chartier, “From Past to Present. Listening to the Dead with our Eyes (History, Literature and Memory)” (Antonis Liakos, Professor of History and Historiography, University of Athens):

12Roger Chartier argued that historians do not have a monopoly on the representation of the past. The singular strength of works of fiction and of collective and individual memory lend a presence to the past which is often stronger than that found in history books.

13The Collège de France Lecture series will be continued in 2014 in Greece, with the participation of Serge Haroche, Alain Prochiantz, Pierre Briant, Pierre-Michel Menger and Jean-Pierre Changeux. The series is expected to strengthen existing collaboration between various Greek institutions, to foster intellectual debate, and to make scientific knowledge available to an increasingly wider audience.

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1 For further details, see “The Collège de France International Relations, Collège de France Newsletter , no. 7, 2011/2012, p. 100-102.

2 Lectures were held at Megaron, with simultaneous translation into Greek, and were recorded by the company  (

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Despina Chatzivasiliou, « Collège de France’s Lecture Series
in Athens, 2012/2013
 », La lettre du Collège de France [En ligne], 8 | mars 2014, mis en ligne le 12 août 2015, consulté le 23 janvier 2018. URL :

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Despina Chatzivasiliou

Religion, Institutions and Society in Ancient Rome

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