Since the advent of European universities in the 12th century, the study of Greek and Roman antiquity has been at the heart of higher education. Philosophy, literary criticism, art, architecture, music, history, linguistics, politics, and rhetoric, arose in ancient Greece and were developed at Rome. The sciences also trace their origins to Greek precedents in physics, mechanics, mathematics, and biology.
Even the academy and organized research have their roots in Greco-Roman culture. Since its founding in 1891 Stanford University, now one of the leading research institutions in the world has ensured that all its students have access to this fundamental and rich heritage. Although often associated with the latest advances in computer science and technology, given its ties to the immediate environs of Silicon Valley, Stanford also is internationally known for excellence in teaching and scholarship concerning the humanities. The Department of Classics has from the beginning offered instruction in the languages and cultures of Greece and Rome. In addition, Modern Greek is offered in conjunction with the University language program. With a scope unique among American universities, the Department also brings together experts in many other fields related to the ancient world, including history, politics, archaeology, mathematics and science, philosophy, aesthetics, dance, linguistics, dramatic performance, art, and literature. The Athens Dialogues represent a wonderful opportunity for Stanford to bring its scholars into intellectual conversation with experts from other leading institutions, both in Greece and around the world. We look forward to close collaboration as we articulate for a new generation the enduring values of Hellenic culture in their relation to every aspect of modern civilization.