Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Classical Studies

Reader 1

Professor David Roselli

Reader 2

Professor Jody Valentine

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© 2018 Alice E Doyle


This thesis explores the relationship between the Classical Greek legacy and today’s world by examining the past two hundred years of controversy surrounding Lord Elgin’s removal of the Parthenon Marbles from Athens. Since the Marbles were purchased by the British Museum in 1816, they have become symbols of democratic values and Greek cultural identity. By considering how the Parthenon Marbles are talked about by different people over the years, from art connoisseurs and Romantic poets of the early 19th century to nationalist political activists of the late 20th century, this thesis demonstrates that the fight for the Marbles’ return to Greece is about more than just the sculptures themselves. It is about national heritage and cultural identity.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.