Reassertion of the humanism of the ancient world, centering on Hellenic civilization in its widest sense
The CHS is dedicated to the reassertion of the humanism of the ancient world, centering on Hellenic civilization in its widest sense.
Today, it stands as a premier research facility, cultivating a repository of materials that attracts scholars, researchers, and students from all over the world.
Located in Washington, DC, Harvard University's Center for Hellenic Studies was founded by means of an endowment made "exclusively for the establishment of an educational center in the field of Hellenic Studies designed to rediscover the humanism of the Hellenic Greeks." This humanistic vision remains the driving force of the Center for Hellenic Studies.
A fitting metaphor for the mission of the Center (and the basis of our logo) is the lighthouse of Alexandria, the Pharos, as envisioned in the dream of Alexander the Great. The story of this vision, as retold in Plutarch's Life of Alexander, was meant to become a permanent "charter myth" that captured the ideal of Alexandria-in-Egypt as the ultimate Greek city and—more basically—the ideal of Hellenic Civilization as a universalized concept of humanism, transcending distinctions between Europe and non-Europe.