Initiatives & Events

Classical Dialogues

Classical Greek Oligarchy

Classical Greek Oligarchy
Matthew Simonton
Arizona State University

As part of its Classical Dialogues series, the Classical Studies Graduate Program CLST at Columbia University is pleased to welcome Matthew Simonton, Professor in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Cultural Studies at Arizona State University. On November 9, 11am-1pm, Matthew Simonton will discuss his book Classical Greek Oligarchy: A Political History (Princeton University Press, 2017). Commentators Jesse James (Columbia University) and Shenda Kuang (Columbia University). Location: Schermerhorn Hall 934, Columbia University. Please see below for an abstract from Matthew Simonton. 

Contemporary theories in the humanities and social sciences offer conceptual frameworks for organizing and understanding the evidence of ancient history. In his book Classical Greek Oligarchy: A Political History, Matt Simonton has argued that New Institutional studies of contemporary authoritarian regimes suggest a way forward for analyzing ancient Greek oligarchy, or government by the elite few. As always, however, there are dangers inherent in such an approach: modern theories might be anachronistic, or they might overlook important historical factors such as ideology and culture in their quest to explain complex phenomena using parsimonious models. Dr. Simonton will present his thoughts on using social science theory for Greek history and will engage with comments from respondents.

In its Classical Dialogues series, the interdepartmental Classical Studies Graduate Program CLST at Columbia University invites authors of recent work in ancient studies that is exemplary for the kind of study that CLST aims to foster. All faculty and students at  Columbia and beyond are cordially invited. CLST students are required to read carefully at least one chapter or article in advance and prepare questions and comments for discussion.