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Franco De Angelis on Settling the West: Comparing Frontier Development between the New World and Ancient Greece
Franco De Angelis (U of British Columbia) argues that Europe’s exploration and settlement of the New World in the 16th to 20th centuries of our era resulted in a significant expansion of human experiences with which Europeans could understand their past and imagine their futures. Ancient Greece and Rome served as major sources of inspiration in these respects because of their importance to European education and identity. Thus a two-way dialogue emerged. Some Europeans regularly referenced Greece and Rome in their own exploration and settlement of the New World, to help them imagine how life there might one day become. At the same time, Europeans also projected their New World experiences onto their interpretations of Greek and Roman history. This talk will investigate these comparisons and the motivations for them, especially those derived from ancient Greece, as well as assessing the distortions and possibilities raised by them.
Professor De Angelis is Associate Professor of Greek History and Distinguished University Scholar in the Department of Classical, Near Eastern, and Religious Studies at the University of British Columbia. His affiliation with the Classics Department at NYU and the Center for Ancient Studies is generously funded by the Onassis Foundation.
This event is co-sponsored by the Classics Department at NYU, the Center for Ancient Studies, and the Humanities Initiative.