University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

What is a city? How do religion, politics, and environments effect the growth and development of cities? Throughout history some cities have thrived while others have perished. Join the Penn Museum on the first Wednesday evening of each month, October through June, for our popular "Great Lecture Series: Great Rise of the City". Explore what makes a city a city in diverse regions of the world, from Greece to Mexico to China to the Middle East and even your own backyard.


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Rise of the City: The Greek Polis: Imagining the Ideal City

Dr. Peter Struck, Associate Professor of Classical Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. For 2017-2018, the Penn Museum’s popular monthly Great Lectures Series, first Wednesday evenings October through June, focuses on the Rise of the City. Peter Struck, Associate Professor of Classical Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, kicks off the new series with a Classical focus. Aristotle famously called humans “political animals.” But by that he meant that humans are pack animals, they by nature live in clumps, and their natural clump size, he claimed, is the city, or the Greek polis. This talk examines Greek ideas about the polis, from philosophers, poets, and historians, from the archaic and classical periods. Dr. Struck examines the idea that we are by nature city creatures, and that no other mode of living fits humans so naturally as urban life.

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