Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business

Lyceum Students engage with ancient Greek philosophy at American College of Greece


Students and faculty standing in front of the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion.
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In May, 12 Lyceum Scholars traveled to Athens, Greece, along with three Lyceum faculty to study ancient political philosophy and culture in the birthplace of democracy at The American College of Greece (ACG) as part of the Lyceum Abroad Program.

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.

At ACG, Lyceum Scholars participated in morning seminars centered on the theme of self-knowledge in 5th-century Athens, which included readings of Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War, Plutarch’s Life of Alcibiades, Aeschylus’ The Persians and Euripides’ The Bacchae. Students also heard lectures from ACG’s Hellenic Studies faculty, which ranged in topics from self-knowledge in Homer’s Iliad to the success and identity 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 visited many museums and archaeological sites in Athens. Notable sites in Athens included the Acropolis, the Benaki Museum, the Cycladic Museum, the National Archaeological Museum, the Ancient Agora and the Lyceum of Aristotle, which inspired the Lyceum Program’s name.

Reflecting on the trip, Ashley Burgess ‘26 said, “The Lyceum Abroad Program is one of the most edifying experiences of my life. The immersion within the birthplace of democracy, the democracy which I study, cannot be replicated at home. Being abroad has provided me with a deep appreciation of Western thought and philosophy that can only be acquired through pondering how human nature has persisted since prehistory. The trip was especially illuminating because of the peers that accompanied me. I learned just as much from absorbing the rich conversations of my peers as I did from the coursework. There was beauty on all fronts: from the environment, to the minds of the people, to the sophistication of the ancient readings.”

After two weeks spent in Athens and the Peloponnese, the group concluded the trip by traveling to the nearby island of Hydra, where students and faculty had the opportunity to explore the island’s landscape and culture.

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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