Oct 12, 2016

October + November 2016




Monday October 31, 2016 @ 7:30

Graham Butler, UBC

Scythian Archers: Athens’ Technicolour Police Force 

Classical Athens had a peculiar ‘police force’. They imported a troop of enslaved Scythians, brightly costumed warrior nomads from north of the Black Sea, and tasked them with maintaining order in assemblies and arresting criminals. These slaves could even lay hands on freeborn citizens. This lecture examines who these Scythians were, when and where the Greeks encountered them, why Athens allowed to slaves the authority of ‘policemen’, and why Athens tapped the distant Scythia for this labour.





Monday November 28, 2016 @ 7:30
Hector Williams, UBC

Cleopatra:  the Queen and the Legend 

Cleopatra VII, last queen of Ptolemaic Egypt, and one of the most famous women in history, continues to fascinate.  This illustrated talk of her life and times will also look at the legends of a femme fatale which have grown up around her over the centuries.

Mar 12, 2016

March + May 2016

Monday 28 March, 2016 at 7:30 pm
Eudaimonia: The Greek
Philosophy of Happiness
Michael Griffin
UBC Classics, Near East and Religious Studies


Modern developments in positive psychology and related disciplines are indebted to the ancient Greek account of "happiness" and the well-lived life.  This talk will explore Greek philosophical ideas about happiness, and how they can still be relevant to our lives today.




Monday 2 May, 2016 at 7:30pm

Folklore of the Island of Chios
Sophia Karasouli-Milobar with Dimitrios Kontogiannis and the Zefyros Hellenic Dancers


This talk will trace the folklore-year of the island of Chios, a journey through the months and seasons with stops along the way to learn about local customs, traditions, legends and pastimes. Dimitrios Kontogiannis and the Zefyros Hellenic Dancers will perform representative dances from Chios and the region.

The Pharos programme for 2015/16 concludes with our traditional gala evening featuring music, folklore, and dance. Pharos member Sophia, the author of "Remembering Old Times: the folklore of the village of Vasileoniko [Chios]"; will introduce us to customs and traditions of this beautiful island, and share with us some of her collection of old photographs.  Dimitrios and his dancers are old friends, and it will be wonderful to have them back with us.

*Please note that this presentation will take place one week later than usual in order to avoid a conflict with Orthodox Easter Celebrations.





Jan 19, 2016

January + February 2016



Monday January 25, 2016, 7:30 pm
Upper Hall, Hellenic Community Centre
Journey to the End of the World: The Mani Peninsula in Antiquity
Chelsea Gardner, UBC Classics, Near East and Religious Studies


Piracy, Feuds, and Patrick Leigh Fermor - all of these are commonly associated with Mani, the southernmost projection off of the Greek Peloponnesos. A beautiful, barren peninsula with a tumultuous history, Mani is famous for its wild inhabitants and rugged landscape, but little is known about this region in antiquity. This talk showcases the peninsula in a new light, presenting recent research into the people who lived there throughout antiquity, and some of the most spectacular archaeological finds the peninsula has to offer.

(Note on the picture:  This Byzantine Church in the Mani charmingly incorporates grave markers from antiquity in its  construction.  Sadly, since this photo was taken in 1989, the carvings have been stolen)




Monday February 29, 2016, 7:30 pm
Upper Hall, Hellenic Community Centre
The Cyprus that was:  photography as witness.  John Lindros and the Swedish Cyprus Expedition, 1927-1931
Dr. Birgitta Lindros Wohl, California State Northridge


Dr. Wohl will present images taken by her father, architect to the Expedition, which are parallel to the archaeological and scientific work but of a different spirit.  They represent a personal, youthful enjoyment of an environment sometimes felt as exotic, a world observed both with wonder, precision and ethnographic interst.  The landscapes, villages, homes and people of Cyprus of the early part of the last century bring back a world today both distant and close.