Classics Events

May 18

Clara Shaw Hardy at Content with ATHENS 415: THE CITY IN CRISIS

This should prove to be a thoughtful discussion with an engaging narrative that draws readers into Athens' crisis.

Monday, May 18th, 2020
7:00 – 8:30 pm / Content Bookstore, 314 Division Street, Northfield
Book Cover image for "Athens 415 The City in Crisis"

Clara Shaw Hardy shares her newest work Athens 415: The City in Crisis. A detailed look at one of the most significant events in Athens’ history, with translations by poet Robert B. Hardy, this should prove to be a thoughtful discussion with an engaging narrative that draws readers into Athens' crisis.

On a summer night in 415 BCE, unknown persons systematically mutilated most of the domestic "herms"--guardian statues of the god Hermes--in Athens. The reaction was immediate and extreme: the Athenians feared a terrifying conspiracy was underway against the city and its large fleet--and possibly against democracy itself. The city established a board of investigators, which led to informants, accusations, and flight by many of the accused. Ultimately, dozens were exiled or executed, their property confiscated.

This dramatic period offers the opportunity to observe the city in crisis. Sequential events allow us to see the workings of the major institutions of the city (assembly, council, law courts, and theater, as well as public and private religion). Remarkably, the primary sources for these tumultuous months name conspirators and informants from a very wide range of status-groups: citizens, women, slaves, and free residents. Thus the incident provides a particularly effective entry-point into a full multifaceted view of the way Athens worked in the late fifth century.

Clara Shaw Hardy is Professor of Classics at Carleton College.
Robert B. Hardy is Research Associate of Classics at Carleton College. 

Sponsored by Content Bookstore. Contact: Clara Hardy