Biggs Lecture in Classics features acclaimed Athenian archaeologist John Camp

World-renowned archaeologist John M. Camp, PhD, will give this year’s John and Penelope Biggs Lecture in the Classics for the Assembly Series. His lecture, “Greece Between Antiquity and Modernity: View of Two Early 19th Century Travelers” will be at 4 p.m. Thursday, March 27, in Steinberg Hall Auditorium on Washington University in St. Louis’ Danforth Campus. It is free and open to the public.

Arguably one of the leading authorities in Athenian and classical archaeology, Camp has worked on the longest-running excavation in Greece, the Athenian Agora, for more than four decades. In 1966, he joined the team as an excavator, then became assistant director, and he has been its director since 1994. He has published two volumes, “The Archaeology of Athens” and “The Athenian Agora.”

As stated on the American School of Classical Studies at Athens website, the Agora was the center of public life in ancient Athens, a large, open square geographically located at its center that served a wide variety of social, cultural, political, commercial and religious purposes. There, one would shop for pottery and jewelry or watch performances, processions and competitions.

The square was also the seat of the Athenian government, and there were shrines and temples for worship. Its walkways provided a gathering place to discuss business or philosophy, and its statues held inscriptions regarding past triumphs. It was where great statesmen, writers and philosophers such as Euripides, Aristophanes, Thucydides, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle held sway. It is where the concept of democracy took root.

Camp is the Niarchos Professor of Classics at Randolph-Macon College and also teaches at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. Among his areas of specialization are Greek epigraphy (the study of inscriptions) and water supply in ancient Athens.

He received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and both his master’s and doctoral degrees in classical archaeology from Princeton University.

For information regarding future Assembly Series programs, visit here or call 314-935-4620.