U.S. Embassy and Hellenic National Defense College hold symposium on lessons of the Greek Stoics honoring U.S. Navy VADM James Stockdale

Athens – On Wednesday, September 23, 2015, the U.S. Embassy Athens, in collaboration with the Hellenic National Defense College, organized a Symposium at the Maritime Museum of Greece entitled: “Entering the World of Epictetus.”  The symposium commemorated 50 years since the captivity of U.S. Navy Vice Admiral James Stockdale in Vietnam’s infamous “Hanoi Hilton” prison.  Admiral Stockdate relied on the teachings writings of Stoic philosophers such as Epictetus to help him endure and survive over seven years as a prisoner of war, including torture and four years in solitary confinement.

The Symposium gathered military leaders, academics and students to remember the lessons of VADM Stockdale’s captivity and the importance of philosophers like Epictetus who can still offer the modern military professional a structure to encounter the complex difficulties of today’s world. Professors who spoke at the symposium included Dr. Martin L. Cook, the Vice Admiral James Stockdale Professor of Professional Military Ethics at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, Dr. Michael Pavkovic, Chair of the Strategy and Policy Department at the U.S. Naval War College, Dr. Constantinos Niarchos, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Athens, and Dr. Theodosios Tassios, Peer Professor at the National Technical University of Athens.

U.S. Ambassador David D. Pearce and Commandant of the Hellenic National Defense College LtGen D. Thomaidis opened the Symposium, which was attended by Rhode Island State Senator Leonidas Raptakis, representatives of the Chiefs of the General Staffs, the director of the diplomatic Academy of Greece, officers of the three branches of the Armed Forces of Greece, diplomatic personnel of the U.S. Embassy, students of the International Course of the HNDC and other distinguished guests.

For more information on the program please visit: http://goo.gl/IoCHZZ