In partnership with the Mycenaean Foundation, the Institute of World Politics launched in July 2022 the HERMES Global Studies in Ancient and Modern Diplomacy, a new, distinctive summer study abroad program in Greece.
During this four-week graduate program, IWP students resided in the coastal town of Nafplio (the first capital of Greece and, according to the CNN, one of the most beautiful towns in Europe) and attended classes at the Melathron Center in the campus of the Mycenaean Foundation at legendary Mycenae.
Dr. Christofilis Maggidis, a new IWP Professor and President of the Mycenaean Foundation, taught two graduate seminars: “Ancient and Modern Democracy: Ideology, Morphology, and Pathology” (IWP 697) involves an interdisciplinary investigation of ancient democracy (with special emphasis on the ancient Athenian democracy), its origins, history, and evolution, rise and fall, and its diachronic legacy; “Diplomacy and War in the Ancient World” (IWP 696) ventures a historical review of diplomacy, foreign relations, and war in the ancient world, focusing on an interdisciplinary, comparative analysis of select case studies from various chronological periods, ancient cultures, and states in the region of the Mediterranean and the Near East. Students studied in the Malcolm Wiener library and spent a good part of their weekdays on the campus of the Melathron Center.
While in the capital, the students met with senior Greek government officials: they were formally welcomed by the Mayor of Athens, Dr. Kostas Bakoyannis, in the City Hall and by the Deputy Minister of Defense, Mr. Nikos Hardalias in the Ministry of Defence. During the program, the students toured some of the great cultural and archaeological sites in Athens (Athenian Acropolis and the Parthenon, Acropolis Museum, Athenian Agora, National Archaeological Museum, Constitution Plaza and National Gardens, Plaka and Monastiraki) and were guided at the museums, archaeological sites, and historical landmarks at Mycenae, Tiryns, Epidaurus, Nafplion, Argos, Corinth, Kalavryta, Sparta, Mystras, Pylos, and Olympia.
In their spare time, apart from studying, students immersed in Greek life and enjoyed Greece, hiked (around Akronafplia and in the Vouraikos gorge), swam in majestic beaches (Voidokoilia, Karathona, Tolo), in waterfalls and lakes (Polylimnio, Vouliagmeni), cruised to the nearby islands of Spetses and Hydra, sailed in the Aegean Sea, attended Aeschylus’ tragedy "The Persians" at the ancient theater of Epidaurus, visited cultural heritage sites, museums and art galleries, barbequed at the Melathron and wine-tasted at Nemea, and explored the historic Venetian-Ottoman-Greek town of Nafplio.
The students engaged this cultural immersion and study abroad opportunity in Greece with enthusiasm and enjoyed the experience to the fullest. By general consensus, the first season of the Hermes summer study abroad program was crowned with tremendous success.
Be sure to watch the student video posted on the IWP instagram!