Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business

Lyceum Scholars study ancient Greek philosophy at The American College of Greece


Group of students in Greece
Lyceum Scholars standing in front of the Ancient Stadium of Olympia, which opened in 776 BCE.
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In May, twelve Lyceum Scholars traveled to Athens, Greece, along with two Lyceum faculty to study ancient political philosophy and culture in the birthplace of democracy at The American College of Greece (ACG).

Founded in Smyrna, Asia Minor, in 1875 and relocated to Athens in 1923, The American College of Greece is Europe’s oldest and largest American-sponsored college. Its campus sits at the edge of the city of Athens, with easy access to all points of the city. Each summer, ACG hosts more than 3,500 students from more than 62 countries in their extensive study abroad program.

At ACG, Lyceum scholars participated in morning seminars on the theme of self-knowledge in 5th-century Athens, which included readings of Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War, Euripides’ The Bacchae, Aristophanes’ The Knights, and Plato’s Greater Hippias.  They also heard lectures from ACG’s Hellenic Studies faculty, which ranged in topics from ancient Greek theater to beauty in Homer to the success of ancient Athens. The seminars and lectures provided context for a series of ACG-planned excursions to Delphi, Sounion, Napflion, Olympia, Corinth, Mycenae, and Epidaurus.

In their free time, students and faculty could visit many museums and archaeological sites in Athens, along with the nearby islands of Hydra and Aegina. Notable sites in Athens included the Acropolis, the Benaki Museum, the National Archaeological Museum, the Ancient Agora, and the Lyceum of Aristotle, which inspired the Lyceum Program’s name. Scholars could also attend an opera performance of Giacomo Puccini’s Madame Butterfly in the ancient Odeon of Herodes Atticus at the foot of the Acropolis.

Reflecting on the trip, Katelyn Vergakis (Class of ‘26) said, “The opportunity to go on the Lyceum Abroad trip has been one of the best parts of my Clemson Experience, and I am so grateful for the opportunity. It was incredible to take part in Thomas’s seminars and then see the places that made a mark on history through their cultural, historical, and philosophical significance. The friendships formed and memories made with my classmates are ones that I know will last a lifetime.”

About the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism

The Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism (CISC) is America’s premier university-based teaching and research center dedicated to exploring the moral, political and economic foundations of capitalism. Founded in 2005 and housed within Clemson University’s Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business, the Institute is educating a new generation of students about the moral requirements of a free society through the Lyceum Program, a great books approach to studying the moral, political and economic foundations of a free society.

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