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Dr. Michael Cosmopoulos

michaelProfessor of Greek History and Archaeology
The Hellenic Government-Karakas Foundation Chair of Greek Studies
Fellow, Academy of Science, St. Louis

Phone: 314-516-6241

Professor Cosmopoulos specializes in Greek Culture, with particular emphasis on archaeology and history.  He has studied Greek Archaeology, Ancient History, and Classical Languages at the University of Athens (B.A., summa cum laude, 1981), the University of Sorbonne-Paris IV (D.E.U.G., 1983), and Washington University in St. Louis (M.A. 1986, Ph.D. 1989). He also holds a Diploma in Underwater Archaeology from the Council of Europe (1984).

His  research interests are the social, political, and cultural history of ancient Greece, about which he has published fifteen books and more than one hundred articles and scholarly papers in international journals. He has excavated at several ancient sites in Greece and Ukraine, including Mycenae, Pylos, Epidauros, Ancient Corinth, Ithaca, Oropos, and Olbia.

Currently, he directs two major excavations in Greece.  At the Sanctuary of Demeter at Eleusis he is researching the famous Eleusinian Mysteries.  At the Mycenaean palace of Iklaina, near Pylos, he is investigating the origins of states and social complexity in Greece.   Both projects have had a significant impact on the field.  More recently, the discovery at Iklaina of the earliest bureaucratic record in Europe was  included in the top ten archaeological discoveries in Greece and was covered extensively by the national and international press.  Cosmopoulos is a featured Explorer of the National Geographic Society and for his research has been awarded the Canada Rh Award for Outstanding Contributions to Scholarship and Research in the Humanities.

At UMSL Professor Cosmopoulos teaches courses on Greek history, culture, religion, technology, archaeology, art, language, and mythology.   His teaching extends beyond the classroom and into the field, where he has trained several hundred undergraduate and tens of graduate students. In recognition of his teaching, the University of Manitoba has awarded him a Merit Award for Teaching (1991) and the prestigious Olive Beatrice Stanton Award for Excellence in Teaching (1999). In 2001 he was nominated for the national “Canadian Professor of the Year Award” and in 2003 he was awarded the Archaeological Institute of America Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Dr. Cosmopoulos serves or has served as an Academic Trustee of the Archaeological Institute of America; Chairman of the Gennadeion Library Committee and member of the Managing Committee of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens; and a life member of the Archaeological Society of Athens. At the University of Manitoba he served as Vice-Provost of University College and founding Director of the Centre for Hellenic Civilization. Also he has served as President of the Winnipeg Society of the Archaeological Institute of America and of the Classical Association of Manitoba, and Vice-President of the Archaeological Institute of Canada.

Dr. Cosmopoulos has worked intensely for the promotion of Greek Studies in North America. In 1993, in close cooperation with the Consulate General of Greece in Toronto and the Pan-Macedonian Association of Ontario he founded the Pan-Macedonian Association of Manitoba, of which he served as first president. In 1995 he founded the Centre for Hellenic Civilization of the University of Manitoba, the only university center in Canada, dedicated to the study of ancient, medieval, and modern Greece. In 1998, he established the Canadian Committee for the Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles.  At the UM-St. Louis he established the “Matsakis Greek Culture Center”, the Certificate in Greek Studies, two Study-in-Greece programs, an Oral History Project, and a variety of other activities aiming at preserving and promoting Hellenic Studies and the local Greek Community.  He has been nominated by the Greek Embassy in Ottawa to receive the Order of Phoenix Decoration by the President of Greece.