Professor David Pritchard to deliver online lecture on Athenian Funeral Oration


Associate Professor of Greek History at the University of Queensland, David M. Pritchard, is set to deliver an online lecture titled “The Athenian Funeral Oration: After Nicole Loraux” on Thursday 18 April 2024, at 7 pm. This lecture is part of the Greek History and Culture Seminars offered by the Greek Community of Melbourne.

The funeral oration, a tradition observed almost annually for classical Athenians fallen in war, underwent a significant reinterpretation nearly four decades ago by Nicole Loraux. In her seminal work, The Invention of Athens, Loraux shed light on the crucial role of this genre in shaping Athenian identity. She demonstrated how each iteration of the speech contributed to maintaining a consistent self-identity for over a century. However, Loraux’s exploration had its limitations. By minimising the focus on authorship, she neglected crucial questions surrounding individual speeches.

Pritchard, explaining his involvement in a comprehensive project aimed at expanding on The Invention of Athens, stated, “Project members convened initially in Strasbourg in 2018, followed by a subsequent meeting in Lyon in 2020. Our efforts culminated in an edited volume comprising 19 chapters, soon to be published by Cambridge University Press.”

In his lecture, “The Athenian Funeral Oration: After Nicole Loraux,” Professor Pritchard aims to address the significant questions overlooked by Loraux and to provide the intertextual analysis lacking in The Invention of Athens. This examination reveals a deeper political impact of the funeral oration than previously acknowledged.

David M. Pritchard holds the position of Associate Professor of Greek History at the University of Queensland, Australia, where he has chaired the Department of Classics and Ancient History. With 15 research fellowships across Australia, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States, including a term as a research fellow at the Nantes Institute for Advanced Study (France) in 2022-3, Pritchard has established himself as a prolific scholar.

He is the author of several influential works, including Athenian Democracy at War (Cambridge University Press 2019), Sport, Democracy and War in Classical Athens (Cambridge University Press 2013), and Public Spending and Democracy in Classical Athens (University of Texas Press 2015). Additionally, he has edited The Athenian Funeral Oration: After Nicole Loraux (Cambridge University Press 2024) and War, Democracy and Culture in Classical Athens (Cambridge University Press 2010), among others.

Pritchard’s extensive publication record includes 65 journal articles and book chapters, with an h-index of 19 and over 1300 citations. Associate Professor Pritchard frequently contributes to public discourse through radio appearances and op-eds in international newspapers such as Die Süddeutsche Zeitung (Germany), Le Monde (France), Le Figaro (France), Kathimerini (Greece), The Age (Australia), The Australian, and Politike (Brazil). He earned his PhD in Ancient History from Macquarie University (Australia).

The Greek History and Culture Seminars are organised and hosted by The Greek Community of Melbourne and provide the opportunity for everyone to experience the long and fascinating history of Greece and Greek culture in its various forms, stages and aspects of which have formed the foundation of Western civilisation.

Event Details

  • Date: Thursday 18 April, 7 pm
  • Platform: The Greek Community of Melbourne’s Facebook, YouTube




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