Seated woman speaking at an FRN event while other attendees listen attentively

Revenge, Retribution, and Reconciliation

Revenge has a bad reputation these days. It is regarded as a primitive instinct, incompatible with the rule of law and civilized behavior. Revenge is motivated by passion, whereas retribution seeks justice. But is revenge necessarily bad? Might its aim be a restoration of dignity rather than mere compensation or requital? Does revenge exclude reconciliation? And might retribution also lead to an excessive desire to punish the offender? In this seminar, we will discuss various aspects of revenge and retribution in ancient Greece and Rome and in modern treatments and practices, along with forgiveness and other means of reconciliation. The seminar should be of interest to anyone engaged with questions of vengeance and conflict resolution, abuse and trauma, comparative anthropology, justice and the law, and the influence of ancient Greek and Roman values today. Readings will be distributed in advance of the meetings.

Seminar Schedule. Seminars run Monday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with a midday communal lunch. Seminar conveners may adjust the class schedule in response to participant needs. Special events may also be held during the week. Participants are required to attend the full week of seminar meetings and maintain 90% attendance overall.

Seminar Materials. Eligible participants are provided with all required seminar materials (books, articles, laboratory equipment, and entrance fees).

Accommodations & Meals. Limited housing accommodations are provided to participants who live more than 50 miles from the program site. All admitted participants are provided with some meals during the program period.

Application Procedure. Applicants should submit the completed application along with all of the following:

  • A statement of intent that indicates how the seminar participant will apply what is learned at the home institution
  • A current CV
  • A letter of support from either the division dean or department head, who is well-acquainted with the applicant’s area of research
  • Their institutional liaison officer’s approval