The Gennadius Library of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens invites you to the inaugural Thalia Potamianos Annual Lecture Series on the Impact of Greek Culture. World-renowned historian and award-winning author Dr. Peter Frankopan will present the first of his three-part series of lectures, "Global Greece: A History," on Thursday, October 7, 2021, at Cotsen Hall on the American School's campus in Athens, Greece. Subsequent lectures will be given in the United States in 2022.

All lectures will be broadcast online and simulcast in Greek. Please note that the videos will not be archived or rebroadcast, so be sure to watch the lectures live on location or online at

Thalia Potamianos Annual Lecture Series

The story of Greece and the Greeks has been told for thousands of years by some of the most important and elegant voices in human history: poets, philosophers, and scholars who thought deeply about how and why a culture in the Aegean became so vibrant and successful. These voices all had one thing in common: they looked at their own world from the inside out. Some, like Herodotus, took a great interest in other parts of the world; for many others, the non-Hellenic world was one of threats, dangers, and rivalry.

In his three lectures, Dr. Frankopan will tell a different story of Hellenic civilization. He will discuss the connections that tie Greece and Greek culture to a wider context, including Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Dr. Frankopan will explore how Greek ideas and thought were formed by influences, borrowings, and competition from other cultures—and equally, how others borrowed from Greece, sometimes intentionally and sometimes not. The talks will paint the history of Greece and its peoples on a canvas covering thousands of years, from the Neolithic to the present. In doing so, it will consider the importance of the role of warfare, inequality and gender, climate change, pandemic disease, and, of course, arts and culture.

The first lecture, "Greece: Beginnings," will be held in Athens in October 2021 and cover the period from circa 7000 BC through the end of the classical world. The second lecture, "Greece: Legacies," will be held in Washington, D.C., in March 2022 and cover the period from circa 630 through 1600. The third and final lecture, "Greece: Futures," will be held in New York City in May 2022 and cover the period from 1600 to the present day.

Dr. Frankopan will publish these lectures as a book in 2022.


Lecture One: "Greece: Beginnings"
Thursday, October 7, 2021
7:00 p.m. EEST (Greece) / 12:00 p.m. EDT (U.S.)
Cotsen Hall, Athens

Lecture Two: "Greece: Legacies"
Wednesday, March 16, 2022
6:00 p.m. EDT (U.S.)
Lohrfink Auditorium, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

Lecture Three: "Greece: Futures"
Tuesday, May 10, 2022
6:00 p.m. EDT (U.S.)
St. Bartholomew's Church, New York City

Peter Frankopan

Dr. Peter Frankopan (photo by Johnny Ring)


Dr. Peter Frankopan is Professor of Global History at Oxford University, where he is Stavros Niarchos Foundation Director of the Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research. He is the award-winning author of The Silk Roads, a New York Times #1 Best Seller. Dr. Frankopan's lectures will examine the role that Greece and Greek culture, literature, and language have played over the course of more than two and a half millennia. Rather than exploring the familiar and limited Mediterranean context, he will discuss it from a global perspective, allowing for a better understanding of not only world history but Greece itself.

Please click here to learn more about Dr. Frankopan.


Established in June 2020, the Thalia Potamianos Annual Lecture Series seeks to create a stimulating environment to draw both the academic community and the general public to the Gennadius Library of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. Every year, a highly distinguished, internationally renowned scholar is selected to conduct research and develop programs on a topic relevant to the Gennadius Library. The research will culminate in a minimum of three annual public lectures, which will be delivered in Athens and the United States.

The Thalia Potamianos lectures are being made possible by a generous grant from Phokion Potamianos, an Overseer of the Gennadius Library. Mr. Potamianos named the series in memory of his grandmother, a distinguished Greek physician, academic, and philanthropist.

Please click here to learn more about this lecture series.