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Seth Benardete lecture audio recordings

Identifier: NA-0015-01


This collection consists of audio files of lectures given by classics scholar and philosopher Seth Benardete in his classes at The New School and New York University. The lectures represent Benardete's courses on subjects such as the works of Plato and Aristotle, among others. Each course consists of a series of recordings covering the semester-long span of that course. The recordings were made by Benardete's students on cassette recorder.


  • 1981 - 2001



29.8 Gigabytes (1016 files)

Language of Materials


Scope and Content of Collection

The Seth Benardete lecture audio recordings collection consists of audio files of lectures given by the classics scholar and philosopher in his classes at the New School and New York University. There are no recordings from Benardete's City University of New York lectures present in this collection.

The lectures represent Benardete's courses on classical philosophy on subjects such as the works of Plato and Aristotle, among others.

Each entry in the finding aid represents a series of cassette tape recordings covering the semester-long duration of that course. Unless otherwise indicated, the entry titles reflect the official course names and numbers as listed in the New School Graduate Faculty Bulletin.

The recordings were made by Benardete's students, David Blankensip, Bernard Jacobs, Richard Hartzman, and Kamyar Faroohar on cassette recorder.

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research use. Researchers must use digital access copies.

Use Restrictions

To publish audio samples from this collection, permission must be obtained in writing from The New School Archives and Special Collections. Please contact:

Biographical Note

Seth Benardete was born in Brooklyn on April 4, 1930. His intellectually formative years were spent at the University of Chicago (1948–55), 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, Maryland (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, where he joined the Classics department at New York University and began a series of philosophy courses at the New School Graduate Faculty for Political and Social Science 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.

From 1978-1988, Benardete taught beginning Greek and advanced (graduate-level) Greek and Latin at the Latin/Greek Institute of the City University of New York Graduate Center and Brooklyn College.

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.


Source: Seth Benardete papers collection guide, prepared by Susan Johnson and the Benardete Archive, Inc.

Organization and Arrangement

Arranged chronologically in a single series according to course year.

Custodial History

The recordings were originally made on audio cassette by J. David Blankenship, Bernard Jacob, Kamyar Foroohar, and Richard Hartzman. They were donated to Benardete Archive, Inc., where they were assembled and digitized by Michael Davis.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The digital audio recordings were transferred to the New School Archives and Special Collections by the Seth Benardete Archive, Inc.

Related Materials

Researchers interested in Seth Benardete's work may consult the Seth Benadete papers (NA.0005.01) and the Seth Benardete memorial recording (NA.0005.02), both held by The New School Archives. The papers include Benardete's lecture notes, some of which may be associated with the lectures on the recordings.

Processing Information

These audio recordings were digitized from audio cassette by the Seth Benardete Archive, Inc. A spreadsheet prepared by the Trust was provided to the archives along with the digitized files. The spreadsheet supplied a shortened course title, semester and year for the course, as well as the date of lecture for each digitized file. The spreadsheet does not include all of the recordings included in this collection, nor do the file names on the spreadsheet align with the current file names. During processing in The New School Archives, staff used the New School Graduate Faculty course catalogs to identify the course number, full title, and semester associated with each course--these are indicated in the inventory, as well as part of the information provided with the recordings on the Digital Collections site. The formal course titles for a few of the lectures recorded at New York University have not been identified.

Guide to the Seth Benardete lecture audio recordings
New School Archives and Special Collections Staff
December 5, 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • July 10, 2020: New School Archives staff added formal course titles and semesters for all New School classes.