Coe Thursday Forum opens with a discussion of Greece and the Persian Wars

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Secretary of the College
(319) 399-8605 or

2017-08-24 09:05:00 - General

Angela Ziskowski

Angela Ziskowski
Assistant Professor of History

Greece and the Persian Wars: The Good, The Bad, and The "Other" will be spotlighted in the first Coe College Thursday Forum series of the academic year, Sept. 7, 14, 21 and 28. Assistant Professor of History Angela Ziskowski will present a historical, archaeological and art historical introduction to the Greco-Persian wars and their aftermath.

Thursday Forum lectures are held in Kesler Lecture Hall in Hickok Hall on the Coe campus. Each session begins with registration and refreshments from 8:45-9:15 a.m., followed by the class until 11:30 a.m. An optional luncheon is offered at the conclusion of each series.

Greece went to war with the Persian empire in 490 BCE and many believe this event fundamentally changed the course of western civilization. The small, divided city-states of Greece succeeded in holding back the forces of the massive Persian empire and by 479 BCE, the war was over and Greece was the victor. The aftermath of this event had far-reaching repercussions on the cultural identity of Greece.

On the positive side, the fifth century BCE is a period in which democracy blossomed and art and architecture reached new heights. However, there was a dark side to this cultural prosperity. The city-state of Athens turned into an oppressive imperial power over the rest of Greece while also demonizing the people and cultures from further east.

If you were not Greek, you were the "other." For better or worse, "Classical" Greek culture was defined in the period after the Persian Wars. Its lasting impact on western society remains profound, if muddled.

The Coe College Thursday Forum Series

Coe College Thursday Forum courses are open to all adults. Admission to the entire four-week course can be purchased for $35 on the first day or in advance. Admission to individual lectures is $12 per week. The closing luncheons cost an additional $8. Payment can be made in person on Thursday mornings by cash or personal check. Credit card payments can be processed online only. For more information about paying by credit card or directly from your checking account, or to order gift certificates, call (319) 399-8623.

For the remainder of the 2017-18 academic year, the Thursday Forum schedule includes:

  • "The Idea of Kingship" – Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26
  • "The Scientific Revolution and the Renaissance" – Nov. 2, 9, 16, 30
  • "Diversity in Dance: The Dieman-Bennett Dance Studio in Cedar Rapids" – Dec. 7
  • "Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre - Behind the Scenes with 'Turandot'" – Jan. 18
  • "A New Arsenal: American Art during World War I" – Feb. 1, 8, 15, 22
  • "Two Scenically Beautiful Hikes in the English Countryside" - March 1
  • "Songs of Protest and Resistance" - March 8, 15, 22, 29
  • "Saints, Sinners and Secularists: Religion and Politics on the World Stage" - April 5, 12, 19, 26