The Hellenic Museum's   third annual Summer School. Join us for a new series of short courses looking at the ancient Greek world over one week in January. Classes are informative, relaxed and entertaining, and anyone is welcome. No prior knowledge required!


6 - 10 January, 9:30 -10:30am daily

The buildings of the ancient Greeks are among their most spectacular achievements and have inspired architects for millennia. The influence of Greek architecture can now be seen across the world, including the streets of Melbourne. This course explores the wonders of Greek architecture and what made it so great. We’ll explore some of the best examples still standing, including the Parthenon, the theatre of Epidauros and ancient Olympia. We’ll look at how the buildings were designed and decorated, where Greek architecture came from, how people used the buildings and the impact Greek architecture had on the Romans, the Byzantines and the modern world.




6 - 10 January, 1:00 - 2:00pm daily

This course explores the workings of ancient Greek society by looking at how the philosopher Aristotle described it and how he tried to make sense of it. Aristotle was both a great investigator and an insightful thinker, making him an ideal guide to the ancient Greek world. We join Aristotle as he discusses the big issues of his day, including the different forms of government across Greece, the causes and nature of revolutions, the workings of the economy and the role of government. Aristotle’s writings provide us with a way to get a better understanding of Greek society from an ancient Greek perspective. As one of history’s greatest minds, Aristotle’s ideas on society also contain insights relevant to today.




6 -10 January, 11:00am -12:00pm daily

Athenian democracy was a radical and risky experiment, very different from what we call democracy today. Under Athenian democracy, every government decision was put to a vote of all citizens. Some people believe that this experiment enabled the greatness of ancient Athens, which included playwrights, philosophers and statesmen still known and respected today. Other people think that the experiment was a leading cause of Athens’ defeat by the Spartans. This course will look at Athenian democracy through the tumultuous 5th century BCE, examining how the system worked in practice and the role democracy played in shaping the history of Athens.




6 - 10 January, 2:30 - 4:00pm daily

Over a 300-year period, Greek thinkers like Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle developed powerful new ways of looking at the world. Their work would become the foundation of European philosophy and their writings continue to provide insights in contemporary society. This course traces the ideas of the first Greek philosophers, from their conflict with religion to their debates about morality and the development of radical new ways of thinking. The course provides an overview of what ancient Greek philosophy is all about, how it developed and what it has to say to us today.



About the Presenter

Dr Christopher Gribbin is a public historian, specialising in ancient Greece and Rome. He has a particular interest in understanding how people make sense of the world, whether through religion, philosophy, myth, art or architecture.

He has taught at Melbourne, Monash and La Trobe universities. He founded the University of Melbourne’s popular Classics Summer School in 2002 and ran it for 15 years.

Christopher is actively involved in bringing the ancient world to the community in a meaningful and entertaining way. He regularly talks to community groups, professional organisations and school groups. He has worked on special events with the Hellenic Museum and Humanities 21, and developed educational products with the ABC and the History Teachers’ Association of Victoria. He also records podcasts and leads cultural tours visiting ancient sites with Australians Studying Abroad

He is well regarded as a clear and enthusiastic teacher who loves to share his passion about the ancient world with the community. Find out more about Christopher.

For any queries, contact or call (03) 8615 9016. 



280 William Street, Melbourne 

Victoria, 3000


(03) 8615 9016

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