The Parthenon in Athens. Photo by Steve Swayne via Wikimedia Commons
The Parthenon in Athens. Photo by Steve Swayne via Wikimedia Commons

UC San Diego is using a $1 million gift from an anonymous donor to create an academic Center for Hellenic Studies that will serve as a forum for seminars and conferences in Greek history.

The new program is anchored by endowed faculty chairs in ancient, Byzantine and modern Greek history. UC San Diego is one of the first campuses in the nation to possess teaching and research positions for distinguished scholars in all three major Greek eras.

“The UC San Diego Center for Hellenic Studies will offer a unique way to examine the history, culture and physical remains of over 3,000 years of Greek history,” said Edward Watts, co-director of the center and holder of the Alkiviadis Vassiliadis Chair in Byzantine History.

“The new center will enable scholars to uncover a much deeper understanding of how Greeks lived and how Greek culture has developed over the millennia. In so doing, the center will become one of the preeminent tools to study the development of Western civilization.”

Working collaboratively with the Hellenic Cultural Society of San Diego and other groups, the center will host seminars and conferences with local and international scholars as well as build upon the innovative work of faculty and students currently being done at UC San Diego.

The center will feature an expansive digital archive detailing Greek history, people and settlement dispersion. Once completed, scholars will have access to high-definition renderings of Greek inscriptions, historical manuscripts, oral histories, archaeological surveys and more. The collection will be digitized and made public, allowing all who are interested in learning about the Hellenic world the opportunity to explore by date and region.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.