Free ‘festival’ lectures rethink the past
Intriguing events from history are being reassessed in a series of public talks at the University of Edinburgh.
Scholars will challenge popular historical beliefs, about the place of revolutionary violence during the Spanish Civil War and reconsider the experience of Italians living in Scotland during the Second World War.
Academics will also delve into the sexual politics of ancient Persia and murderous intrigue in Stalinist Russia.
Harem: The politics of sex in Ancient Persia (559-331 BCE)
The ‘Red Terror’: Revolutionary violence in Madrid during the Spanish Civil War
Ice cream history? Rethinking the Italian presence in Scotland
Death in the Kremlin: Did Stalin kill Felix Dzerzhinsky?
Question and re-inform
The series of events, organised by the University’s School of History, Classic and Archaeology, aim to question and re-inform accepted historical accounts.
Dr Lloyd Llewellyn Jones will discuss the royal harem at the Persian Court and ask if its role in the political life of the court, and the Empire, has been underestimated.
Dr Julius Ruiz, will revisit the Spanish Civil War, of the 1930s. He will assess whether the mass killings of 6,000 people in Madrid was not the the work of criminals or anarchists as widely supposed, but instead organised terror carried out with the complicity of the police.
Dr Wendy Ugolini will take a look at the experience of Italians in wartime Scotland in her lecture ‘Ice Cream history? Rethinking the Italian Presence in Scotland.
Dr Iain Lauchlan explains how new information from Russian archives may shed new light on the death of ‘Iron Felix’ Dzerzhinsky - the infamous creator of the Soviet secret police the Cheka. After the death of Lenin he was the man who represented the last powerful obstruction to Stalin’s seizure of power.
Dr David Kaufman of the University’s School of History, Classics and Archaeology, said: “The events will offer new ideas about some interesting milestones in history, and in an entertaining way assess how convincing accepted historical accounts are.”
The free lectures are taking place throughout August. They will be held in the Meadows Lecture Theatre, School of History, Classics and Archaeology, in the Old Medical School Teviot Place.