Two rival cities in the time of Alexander the Great, both centres of extraordinary culture and learning. This talk explores how they changed the intellectual and artistic landscape and examines their legacy.
By 323 BC Alexander the Great had conquered the Persian empire and launched a new era of Mediterranean history, known today as the Hellenistic Age. The world had changed, and soon two cities emerged as centres of extraordinary culture and learning. In Egypt, Alexander conceived a vision of a new city to take his name: Alexandria. It soon became the intellectual hub of the ancient world, which saw extraordinary discoveries in science and mathematics, philosophy, and medicine. Its library was the greatest of the ancient world; moreover, its lighthouse was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Meanwhile, in north-west Asia Minor, the Attalid kingdom developed a new capital city, Pergamon, as a cultural centre to rival Alexandria. It too had a remarkable library; today the archaeological site is on the UNESCO World Heritage List, while the famed Pergamon Altar has been reconstructed in the Pergamon Museum, Berlin. This talk explains how these two cities changed the intellectual and artistic landscape, and examines their legacy.
THE ARTS SOCIETY ACCREDITED LECTURER
Mr James Renshaw
Following a degree in Classics from Oxford University, I have taught Classics at secondary school level since 1998, and currently teach at Godolphin and Latymer in London; here I run the school’s Ancient World Breakfast Club, which has an ethos similar to that of The Arts Society.
Since 1998, I have published a number of textbooks related to the classical world, including In Search of the Greeks and In Search of the Romans. In addition to my school teaching, I have also lectured for the V&A Academy, most recently on their Classical World and its Afterlife and Classicism from the Ancients to the Renaissance courses. I am a keen traveller, and am lucky enough to have taken many photos of ancient sites, a number of which have been used in my books.