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Appearances & Lectures

Fromm Institute at the University of San Francisco

Minoan & Mycenean Architecture and Art

The Minoans and Mycenaeans were the great and rich ancient cultures of Bronze Age Greece and the Aegean Sea; two overlapping civilizations that are beautifully represented in art and archaeology. From around the Middle Bronze Age (Middle Minoan), 2000-1450 BCE, the Minoans ruled from Crete and the Aegean Islands. Theirs was a marine culture that loved nature and the sea around them. In their island paradise they built great palaces and cities that seemed to have no walls protecting them. The Minoans, named after King Minos of Knossos, are said to have ruled the seas (thalassocracy) and may have had strong egalitarian gender tendencies given the emphasis on women in their art. The more warlike Mycenaeans ruled from fortresses on the Greek mainland in the Late Bronze Age, 1500-1100 BCE. The Mycenaeans are named from the city of Mycenae and theirs is the age of epic heroes such as Agamemnon, Nestor and Menelaus and great wars like the Trojan War. The Mycenaeans’ walled cities and megaron palaces, including Mycenae, Tiryns, Pylos, Thebes and Troy, all collapsed at the end of the Late Bronze Age, but modern archaeology has found considerable broad evidence for both of these ancient cultures.

Spring Session, April 13-June 1, 2017

Mythology, Archaeology and Art

We use so many myth metaphors in common speeck, like being between a rock and a hard place, the Oedipus Complex, Herculean Labors, or the Fall of Icarus. Great themes like the myths of the Trojan War have been explored in art for almost three millennia. Do we know if there really was a Trojan Horse as the myths tell us visually and literarily, or if even only a metaphor, what might it have been it in reality? The myth stories of Apollo and places like Delphi have a venerable history in the arts - is there a connection to our modern Poet Laureates? The long visual association of Demeter and her daughter Persephone with cereal grains, poppies and pomegranates has a basis not just in myth but also in archaeology. Many such myth themes are explored in this course through the arts and archaeology across many centuries and cultures.

Winter Session, January 9 - March 2, 2017

Vikings Lecture

Dr. Hunt is a featured speaker on "Viking Legacies"
February 24th 2017,

Humanities West, Marines Memorial Theatre,
San Francisco

His lecture is on Viking seafaring, longships and Danelaw.

Penn Museum

Great Battles Lecture:
Hannibal's Secret Weapon in the Second Punic War

presented by Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

published on YouTube June 7, 2013



Lecture series available on podcast
at Stanford iTunes


Hannibal is a name that evoked fear among the ancient Romans for decades. His courage, cunning and intrepid march across the dangerous Alps in 218 BCE with his army and war elephants make for some of the most exciting passages found in ancient historical texts written by Polybius, Livy, and Appian. And they continue to inspire historians and archaeologists today. The mystery of his exact route is still a topic of debate, one that has consumed Patrick Hunt (Director of Stanford's Alpine Archaeology Project) for more than a decade.

This course examines Hannibal's childhood and his young soldierly exploits in Spain. Then it follows him over the Pyrenees and into Gaul, the Alps, Italy, and beyond, examining his victories over the Romans, his brilliance as a military strategist, and his legacy after the Punic Wars. Along the way, students will learn about archaeologists' efforts to retrace Hannibal's journey through the Alps and the cutting-edge methods that they are using. Hunt has been on foot over every major Alpine pass and has now determined the most probable sites where archaeological evidence can be found to help solve the mystery. Presented by the Stanford Continuing Studies Program.