The Getty Villa

Date: Saturday, September 13, 2014
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Location: Getty Villa, Auditorium

Relief of Darius I
Performed in 470 B.C., only a decade after the battle it represents, Aeschylus's Persians likely struck its audience as a visual tour de force. Scholars have often imagined the play and its staging as a dramatic presentation to an Athenian audience of a strange and exotic people whom they considered a hated enemy and their political and cultural opposite. Yet recent research about Achaemenid Persia and its trade with the city of Athens suggests that the Persians were admired and well known by many Athenians and their luxury culture was imported and imitated on a large scale throughout the fifth century B.C.

Professor Rebecca Kennedy explores the ways in which Aeschylus built upon Athenians' familiarity with Persian culture—especially when the Great King Darius emerges from his tomb as a ghost to pronounce the fate of his son Xerxes and the Persian Empire. Aeschylus, well-known in antiquity for his use of lavish spectacles on the stage, presented this moment to his audience as a brilliant tableaux vivant, capturing and playing with the official state image crafted by the Great Kings and used on their coinage, tombs, and official monuments.

About Rebecca Kennedy
Rebecca Futo Kennedy is an ancient historian and assistant professor of Classics at Denison University in Granville, Ohio, where she has taught since 2009. She received her B.A. degree from the University of California, San Diego, and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from The Ohio State University. Her research interests focus on the social, cultural, and political history of Classical Athens and include Athenian tragedy in its historical context and concepts of ethnicity, gender, and civic identity. She is the author of Immigrant Women in Athens: Gender, Ethnicity, and Citizenship in the Classical City (2014) and Athena's Justice: Athena, Athens, and the Concept of Justice in Greek Tragedy (2009). She is also editor of the Brill Companion to the Reception of Aeschylus and co-editor of the Routledge Handbook on Identity and the Environment , both currently in progress. Other recent publications include articles on Aeschylus' Eumenides and Persians and a sourcebook, Race and Ethnicity in the Classical World (2013, co-translated with CS Roy and M. Goldman). While her research has broadened in recent years to encompass more of the ancient world beyond Athens, her first love remains Aeschylus and Athenian tragedy.

Planning your visit
The Getty Villa and its galleries are open to the general public from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. With your program ticket, you may arrive up to one hour prior to the start time of the program. For earlier arrival, a separate general admission ticket is recommended. The auditorium opens at 1:30 p.m. and seating is on a first-come, first served basis. The Cafe is open for lunch service from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. The Museum Store is open from 10:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.

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How to Get Here
The Getty Villa is located at 17985 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, California, approximately 25 miles west of downtown Los Angeles. See Hours, Directions, Parking for directions and parking information.

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