The Getty Villa
Date: Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: Auditorium
Past Event

In the year 431 B.C., Pericles convinced the Athenians to enter a war with the Spartans, the greatest military power in mainland Greece and Athens' former allies against Persia. He also convinced them to adopt a novel and potentially humiliating strategy—to abandon their homes and farms and move into the city of Athens, allowing the invading Spartans to ravage their ancestral lands. How did Pericles son of Xanthippos come to wield unprecedented power in mid fifth-century Athens? Was his success merely a matter of sagacity and good fortune, or had Pericles discovered an untapped source of political influence within the Athenian psyche? Historian Loren Samons of Boston University argues that Pericles, like many modern democratic leaders, exploited Athenian history and psychology to achieve his personal and public goals, and that he did so in ways that are both instructive and disturbing.

About Loren Samons
Loren J. Samons II is professor of classical studies and director of undergraduate studies at Boston University. He specializes in the history of Greece in the fifth and sixth centuries B.C., with particular interests in Athenian politics and imperialism and in the relationship between ancient and modern democracy. His most recent book, Pericles and the Conquest of History (Cambridge University Press, 2016), presents a darker view of the Athenian statesman than has been typical in modern scholarship and emphasizes the dangers of democratic government that Samons first explored in What's Wrong with Democracy? From Athenian Practice to American Worship (Univ. of California Press, 2004). Samons' current research focuses on Athenian foreign policy, the composition of Herodotus' and Thucydides' histories, and the Modern Greek poet Cavafy. Professor Samons hails from Arkansas, where he first learned how to cast a flyrod and pick a guitar. When he is not teaching, writing, or playing music, he spends most of his time harassing the trout population of North America.

Planning your visit
The main gate on Pacific Coast Highway opens to ticketed guests at 6:00 p.m. A selection of light "grab 'n go" dinner fare as well as beer and wine are available for purchase at the Café until 7:15 p.m. Seating in the Auditorium is open and on a first-come, first-served basis. Guests arriving late will be seated at the discretion of Getty staff. The Museum Store and galleries will be open before and after the program; complimentary refreshments will be served after the program. Please note that some galleries are currently closed as we reinstall the collection in a new presentation. Click here for details.

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.