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Classics Program Hosts Rouman Lecture April 1

By Lori Wright, Media Relations
March 25, 2009

The myth of Narcissus is often regarded as an early image of what was to become the hallmark of modernity — the discovery of the individual through an act of self-reflection. While the western history of (self-) mirroring is quite well-known, the post-classical Greek history of mirrors and narratives about mirroring has remained unstudied.

This spring the annual John C. Rouman Lecture sponsored by the UNH classics program will attempt to map the cultural history of mirrors in the medieval world of Byzantium, and its hesitant, though often surprisingly modern discovery of the self.

Stratis Papaioannou, William A. Dyer, Jr. assistant professor in the humanities, and Dumbarton Oaks assistant professor of Byzantine studies at Brown University, will deliver the annual John C. Rouman Lecture Wednesday, April 1. Papaioannou’s lecture, “The Unknown Narcissus: Mirrors in Byzantium," begins at 7:30 p.m. in Demeritt Hall, Room 240. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Papaioannou has studied Greek literature at the University of Athens, Greece, and Byzantine history at the University of Vienna. He works on post-classical Greek literary and cultural history. Currently, he is preparing a book-length study on medieval Greek autobiography.

The Rouman Lecture Series has for more than a decade brought lecturers to UNH to speak on topics related to the classical world and Hellenic

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