Keynote Speech, Ure Museum Tour, and Fear Exhibition

Keynote Speech

This year’s Keynote Speech ‘Fear of Revenge in Euripidean Tragedy’ will be delivered by Professor Fiona McHardy (University of Roehampton) on 18th June at 5pm. This lecture provides a thorough exploration of this year’s AMPAL theme (‘Fear in Ancient Culture’) in relation to children in Euripidean tragedy. Please find the abstract below.

Fear of Revenge in Euripidean Tragedy (abstract)

Young children in Greek literature are frequently shown as fearful, cowering in the arms of their mothers or nurses. Yet tiny infants such as these can strike fear into the hearts of even the most battle-weary and experienced warriors, and as yet unborn babies can make even mighty kings fearful. Within both political conflicts and wartime disputes, young children are perceived to pose a threat as the heirs of their fathers’ and grandfathers’ enmities. Though small and weak, young boys are the cause of such fear in grown men because of the expectation they will grow up to exact lethal revenge on the enemies of their families in the future. This expectation leaves the children vulnerable to murderous attacks in tragic plotlines. Consideration of extant and fragmentary plays reveals that this unsettling theme was one that Euripides returned to often suggesting that this concept of fear resonated with the fifth-century audience. Through exploration of contemporary ideas about young children and babies as avengers, underpinned by comparative anthropology and psychology, this lecture unravels the dynamics of fear associated with children within the plays of Euripides set within their literary and social context.

Ure Museum Virtual Tour

AMPAL 2020-2021 hosts a virtual tour of the Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology founded by Percy and Annie Ure. The Ure Museum is a vital part of the Department of Classics at the University of Reading. In this tour, the Curator of the Ure Museum, Professor Amy Smith, will introduce us to the history of the Museum and guide us around its main exhibits.

‘Fear Beyond Words’ Exhibition

In addition to the Ure Museum’s permanent display, we are proud to host an online presentation of an inaugural student exhibit, ‘Fear Beyond Words’ highlighting items from the Ure Museum. The exhibit explores how ancient material evidence attests fear as a driving force in life. It is inspired by the theme of AMPAL 2020-2021 and provides an archaeological perspective on the conference’s literary approaches to the theme. You can visit the exhibition virtually here: https://collections.reading.ac.uk/ure-museum/explore/online-exhibitions/fear. Please note that the presentation of the exhibition will take place during AMPAL 2020-2021, and registered attendees will be provided with the relevant Microsoft Teams joining link.

All welcome! Please find more about how to register under the ‘registration’ tab. We look forward to welcoming you to AMPAL 2020-2021!