Systems that trained young freeborn males to become good citizens are among the most widespread institutions in the ancient Greek world. However, until relatively recently, they have been neglected by scholars.
Join us on Thursday, November 4, at 7 p.m. EET (Greece)/1 p.m. EDT (U.S.) for Leading the Spirits of Youth to Excellence: Greek Citizen Training in Context. Professor Nigel Kennell will sketch the spread and development of citizen training systems from their origin in 4th-century BCE Athens to their disappearance in the 4th century CE. Professor Kennell hopes to show how a citizen training system served the community by supplying citizen-soldiers, inculcating an ethos of physical and intellectual excellence, and embodying the collective memory of the polis over the centuries.
Nigel Kennell is a Whitehead Distinguished Scholar at the American School of Classical at Athens and an Honorary Research Member of the Department of Classical, Near Eastern, and Religious Studies at the University of British Columbia. His interests include Spartan history and Greek civic institutions, especially the training of citizens in the Hellenistic and Roman periods. Kennell was a Regular Member at the School in 1978–1979, an Associate Member in 1981–1982, and a Senior Associate Member from 2003 to 2012. In 2019, he led a Summer Seminar on “Finding the Spartans.” He has also been a member of the School's Managing Committee since 2019. In addition, Kennell has taught undergraduate and graduate students in Canada and Greece at College Year in Athens, where he was an instructor during his residence in Athens.