Lecture to examine ‘images and ritual’ in ancient Greece

Published 04 August 2008


A French authority on the relationship of art and society in the ancient Greek world will give a public lecture titled “Images and ritual in ancient Greece” at the University of New England this week.

Professor François Lissarrague will be visiting UNE as the 2008 Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens Visiting Professor.

His talk, in the Earle Page College Gallery at 5.30 pm on Thursday 7 August, will be part of UNE’s “Aspects of Antiquity” lecture series. It will address the question: “How do rituals use images, and what do images reveal of a given ritual?”

François Lissarrague studied at the Sorbonne, and has held various posts in the French National Research Centre (CNRS). In 2002 he became Director of the Centre Louis Gernet, which focuses on the comparative study of ancient societies. He has held Visiting Fellowships at universities in Europe, the UK and the United States, as well as at the Getty Museum in California. He has published five books, several of which have been translated into English.

On the morning of Friday 8 August at 9.15, Professor Lissarrague will give a research seminar for UNE’s School of Humanities. This seminar, titled “Figuring the gods in ancient Greece: the relations of anthropomorphism and ‘aniconism'”, will be in Lecture Theatre A3 of the UNE Arts Building. Professor Lissarrague will address the assumption that the human form is the rule in representing the Greek gods, with any other form being considered as “aniconic” and relegated to primitive superstition.

Everyone is welcome to these two talks. For more information, contact Professor Greg Horsley on (02) 6773 2390.

The image displayed here, of a mourning woman carrying a basket on her head, is from an Athenian vase of the mid-fifth century BC.