Tuesday, Apr. 16, 2013 12:00 am

John H. Oakley, the Chancellor Professor and Forest D. Murden Jr. Professor in the Department of Classical Studies at the College of William and Mary, will deliver the eighth annual McKibben Lecture in Classical Studies at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 25, in Room 101 of the Joe Rosenfield '25 Center at Grinnell College. His topic is "Athenian White Lekythoi: Masterpieces of Greek Funerary Art."
Considered some of the most beautiful of Greek vases, Athenian white lekythoi are oil containers that were placed in and on tombs as grave gifts, and so are important evidence for understanding ancient Greek funerary rites. This lecture will examine the scenes found on these vases and will discuss what these scenes tell us about classical Athenian perceptions of and reactions to death.
Oakley holds B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Rutgers University. He has taught at the College of William and Mary since 1980, with visiting appointments at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, Princeton University, the University of Freiburg in Germany and the University of Brussels. An expert on ancient Greek vases, he has published a dozen books, including Picturing Death in Classical Athens (Cambridge University Press), a work on white lekythoi. He also has published more than 75 articles and chapters, and he has lectured widely. He is a longtime contributor of service to both the American School of Classical Studies at Athens and the Archaeological Institute of America.
The McKibben Lecture in Classical Studies is sponsored by the Department of Classics and honors Bill and Betty McKibben, whose combined service to Grinnell College and to the greater Grinnell community totaled more than a century. The lecture is free and open to the public, and a reception will follow.