On July 7-10, 2008, the University of Melbourne in Australia will host a major international conference: “Private and Public Lies: the discourse of despotism and deceit in the ancient world.” Central themes are the deep fascination which ancient writers and societies had for how private actions by powerful individuals could step over boundaries and affect public responsibilities, and how these individuals used deceit to disguise the real facts of private and public reality.
The conference will consist of a series of lectures and discussions during the day, and free public lectures in the evening given by keynote speakers. The major topics to be treated have been chosen deliberately to apply to any period, and will cover both the literature and historiography of Greek and Roman society, as well as its social, cultural and political history.
This unique event has already attracted a number of prominent figures from Australasia, Europe, and North America. They include Jonathan Rich (University of Nottingham), an authority on Augustus, Frédéric Hurlet (Université de Nantes), who specializes in the history of the Roman republic, and Enrica Sciarrino (Canterbury, NZ), an expert of the Latin literature of the early Roman empire, as well as prominent local academics. Professor Jonathan Hall of the University of Chicago will deliver a keynote address on “Autochthonous Autocrats: The Tyranny of the Athenian Democracy.” The conference will be a highly stimulating and exciting event where participants will gain important insights into these aspects of the Ancient World.
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