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Seth Benardete memorial recording

Identifier: NA-0005-02


This collection consists of an video recording of the memorial service for New School and New York University professor of philosophy Seth Benardete. The service took place at the New York University Silver Center on February 1, 2002.


  • 2002 February 1



0.951 Gigabytes (1 file)

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Scope and Contents

This collection consists of a video recording of the memorial service for New School professor of philosophy Seth Benardete. The service took place at the New York University Silver Center on February 1, 2002. The service consists of nine speakers, all professors of classics or philosophy, paying tribute to Benardete, with a specific focus on his scholarly contributions. The speakers, in speaking order, are Matthew S. Santirocco, Michèle Lowrie, Richard J. Bernstein, Harvey Mansfield, Ronna Burger, José Benardete, Holly Haynes, Michael Davis and Victor Gourevitch.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use. The video recording is available for access online.

Conditions Governing Use

To publish images of material from this collection, permission must be obtained in writing from the New School Archives and Special Collections. Please contact:

Historical note

Seth Benardete was born in Brooklyn on April 4, 1930. His intellectually formative years were spent at the University of Chicago (1948–52, 1954–55), where he studied with Leo Strauss. From Chicago, Benardete pursued his studies abroad, spending one year at the American School in Athens (1952–53), and the following year on a Ford Foundation fellowship in Florence (1953–54), where he wrote his dissertation on the Iliad. His first teaching position was as a tutor in the Great Books program at St. John’s College in Annapolis (1955–57). During this period he contributed translations of Aeschylus’ The Suppliant Maidens and The Persians to the Chicago University Press’s series of The Complete Greek Tragedies, edited by David Grene and Richmond Lattimore. Invited to join the Society of Junior Fellows, Benardete went on to Harvard (1957-60), where he wrote his first book, Herodotean Inquiries, as well as his influential essay on Sophocles’ Oedipus. After several years of teaching at Brandeis University, Benardete returned to New York City in 1965, when he joined the classics department at New York University (NYU) and began a series of philosophy courses at the New School Graduate Faculty that continued for the duration of his career.

At NYU, Benardete taught the complete range of Greek and Latin poetry, history and philosophy. At the New School, his lectures included the pre-Socratic thinkers and Aristotle, while covering almost the entire corpus of Platonic dialogues.

Benardete’s later publications include: The Bow and the Lyre: A Platonic Reading of the Odyssey, The Rhetoric of Morality and Philosophy: Plato’s Gorgias and Phaedrus, and Socrates’ Second Sailing: On Plato’s Republic; and translations, with commentary, of Plato’s Theaetetus, Sophist, Statesman, Philebus and Symposium, and of Aristotle’s On Poetics, with Michael Davis. His essays have been collected in The Argument of the Action and the forthcoming volume, The Archaeology of the Soul.

Benardete’s research was supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Earhart Foundation and the Carl Friedrich von Siemens Stiftung in Munich. He received an honorary degree from Adelphi University.

Seth Benardete died in New York City on November 14, 2001.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred to the New School Archives by Allen Jones, New School Digital Libraries Technical Services Department in 2011.

Related Materials

The New School Archives holds the Seth Benardete papers (NA.0005.01), which document Benardete's teaching at The New School, New York University, and City University of New York and his scholarship, totalling around 15,000 manuscript pages; as well as the Seth Benardete lecture audio recordings (NA.0015.01) of Benardete's lectures delivered in classes at The New School and New York University.

The Benardete Archive has made transcriptions of the speeches at his memorial service. They will be found online at

Guide to the Seth Benardete Memorial recording
New School Archives and Special Collections staff
October 30, 2023
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