Beyond Greece at the Ashmolean Museum

Image © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford
Image © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford
Image © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford
Image © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

Many of the seeds of western civilisation are traced back to the ancient Greeks – drama, art and architecture as well as philosophy and politics. These ideas did not come from the Greek mainland alone, since long before the Classical Age traders and colonists had established outposts of Greek life all around the Mediterranean. The cities of Magna Graecia in southern Italy and Sicily to the west, and along the coast of Asia Minor (now Turkey) to the east produced new ideas in art, architecture, science and technology, where a new energy had resulted from contact with other cultures. The evidence lies in the glorious ruins still standing in these areas, as well as the surviving works of innovative writers and thinkers who were born there: Sappho, Homer, Herodotus, Empedocles, Thales and Archimides.

We will spend the day looking at the achievements and legacy of these Greek cities beyond Greece itself, which had such a huge influence not only on succeeding cultures such as the Romans, but also on late 18th and 19th century Europe. Objects and ideas brought back by early travellers from their Grand Tours filled our museums and inspired our architecture – such as the Ionic facades of both the British Museum and the current Ashmolean building. The day will include a handling session of objects from the Ashmolean collections, a visit to the Print Room to see classically inspired artwork and a guided gallery tour.

Itinerary 2019

Day 1

Morning: 10:00 am start

09.45 - We meet at the St.Giles entrance.
10.00 - Denise Allen gives us an introductory lecture.
11.15 - Lecture with Dr Marianne Bergeron Curator of Classical Greece in the Douce Room.


12.30 - Lunch at Pierre Victoire a 10 minute walk away
14.15 - Handling session with Dr Marianne Bergeron
15.45 - Talk in the Gallery with Paul Roberts
16.15 - Finish

What's Included

  1. Expert Guide Lecturer
  2. Lunch
  3. Fact Sheet - Including background information about your Guide Lecturer, historical context for the Day, detailed itinerary, a suggested reading list and directions to the venue

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What to expect 

  • An expert guide to accompany you throughout the Day
  • A mixture of lectures, practical demonstrations, handling sessions, guided tours and walks
  • Special access to museums, sites and galleries otherwise closed to the general public (where specified)
  • Small Groups 12-25 guests 
  • The company of like-minded people!
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