AIA - New Haven Society of the
Archaeological Institute of America
The End of Ancient Athens: The Archaeology and History of the Athenian Twilight

Michael H. Laughy, Jr.
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 4:30 P.M.
Yale University, Phelps Hall, Room 407
Solow Lecture

For over one thousand years, Athens ranked among the most vibrant intellectual, social, and economic centers of the ancient Mediterranean world. Beginning in the third century A.D., however, Athens was rocked by a series of barbarian sacks, marking a centuries-long period in which the fortunes—and the size—of the city ebbed and flowed. Athens began a period of slow recovery and expansion in the tenth century A.D., but by 1200 A.D., the city had fallen upon hard times once more. According to the then Archbishop of Athens, Michael Akominatos, “the glory of Athens has utterly perished; one can see nothing, not even a faint symbol, by which to recognize the ancient city.” In this lecture, we will reveal some of the spectacular discoveries uncovered during recent excavations of Late Antique and Byzantine Athens, and discuss how these excavations enrich our understanding of the ancient accounts of the Athenian twilight.


Michael Laughy is with the Department of Classics at Washington and Lee University, and holds degrees from the University of California, Berkeley (Ph.D.), Washington University in St. Louis, and the University of New Hampshire. His areas of specialization are the history and archaeology of ancient Athens, the ancient Greek and Roman historians, ancient Greek religion and epigraphy, and world archaeology.


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Please see the website for the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Athenian Agora Excavations at

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