Stylianos Spyridakis

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Name: Stylianos Spyridakis
Profession: Professor
Email: <svspyridakis AT ucdavis DOT edu>

Professor Spyridakis teaches History at UCD. He was born in Crete and grew up in Greece. He got his PHD at UCLA in Ancient History. He is currently married and has two sons. There are many awesome things about this man but the best are his jokes, and he received the Academic Senate's Distinguished Teaching Award as well as the Excellence in Education Award and Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award. He has taught thousands of students since he came to UCD in 1967. Spyridakis loves the ancient world, the Agean and Crete. He has published many books which include:

The Voice of the People: Mantinades of Crete. Modern Greek Research Series, vol. 12, 2004.
Mantinades: Selected Love Distichs of Crete, Series, Hellenism - Ancient - Medieval - Modern, vol. 23, 1997.
Ancient Greece: Documentary Perspectives with B. Nystrom, Second Edition, Kendall-Hunt, 1997.
Ancient Rome: Documentary Perspectives (with B. Nystrom) Kendall-Hunt, Second Edition 1995.
Cretica: Studies on Ancient Crete. Series Hellenism - Ancient, Medieval, Modern vol. 10, 1992.

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2008-05-16 19:25:12   One of my favorite professors as an undergrad. His lectures on the history of the Roman Empire were amazing. —IDoNotExist


2008-05-17 08:25:28   I took both Greek and Roman history with Dr. Spyridakis. He is one of the best professors at UC Davis. I highly recommend taking at least one course with him—regardless of major. You'll be better for it. —CurlyGirl26


2008-05-17 11:22:30   He teaches 111A (Mesopotamia, ancient Egypt), 111B (ancient Greece), and 111C (ancient Rome) in fall, winter, and spring respectively. I highly recommend taking at least one, because he actually makes history interesting for non-history people. It's a fun class and you can always count on some funny tangents. I think my favorite quote from Winter 2008: "My friends, love does not last forever... but herpes does!" (2/6/08). —RyanCoates


2009-12-01 00:41:13   I was a political science and managerial economics double major back in 1995 through 2000. I happened into a class on the history of Rome one quarter as part of my political science history requirement. I had no defined or prior interest in ancient history up to this point, so I guess you could say, I was merely filing my schedule with a class that worked in well with my time requirements. I would say that looking back, this choice was one of the most intellectually rewarding ones of my collegiate carreer—and life. I say that with full conviction of the many years I have spent in school and nearly 10 years after my formal education ended.

Mr. Spyradakis' lectures absolutely captivated his students with his complete command for the material, his passion for engaging his students, and his very unique ability to relate the universal lessons of the human experience that transcend millenia. Ancient history instantly became one of my very favorite subjects, and I only wish I could have spent an additional few years in the department learning even more than I had the opportunity to beyond the HISTORY 111A, 111B, and 111C (Ancient Near East, Greece, and Rome).

My experience was not unique I have learned through several conversations I have had—post graduation—now in the workforce. I routinely meet other Aggie alums and once talking about our shared experience, often come to find out that they have also experience one of Mr. Spyridakis' classes (or have heard from others who have taken them). These people I meet often have been from majors or disciplines well outside the History department like excercise biology, other science backgrounds, math, english, and art. What is interesting, is that regardless of background, somehow all of these students found their way to a somewhat obscure history series (ancient history) that one would not generally expect them to attend. One other poster indicated their feelings that no matter your academic goals, that one should experience at least one of Mr. Spyridakis' courses in their time at UCD. I wholeheartedly agree and urge anyone interested in experiencing one of the very best lecturers at the University of California, to do themselves a favor and enroll in one of Mr. Spyridakis' classes.

In my experience, Mr. Spyridakis completely opened up my eyes to understanding human nature in ways I never anticipated. I was able to understand that time changes, but the belief that the human experience is always generationally unique was shattered. I gained an imense respect for both "the ancients" as much more than the subjects of dry historical figures, and of the study of ancient history as far more than simply the memorization of foreign names and sequential dates to remember. Through experiencing Mr. Spyridakis' lectures, I was able to understand the importance of truly learning our human history and the lessons that the ancients offer which are as relevant today as they were several thousand years ago.

Mr. Spyridakis was, and is, a living treasure at the University of California. I cannot say enough about the impact his teaching has had on my intellectual development during my time at UCD and after. I can easilly say that beyond any other professor and single class (or related classes in a series), Mr. Spyridakis and his History 111 series was the most influential professor and series of classes I had the pleasure of taking. I can only hope that sometime soon, UCD will make efforts to preserve his lectures for future generations of students that may not have the ability to experience them in person. With the ease of preserving lectures and ofering them online via podcast, UCD has the ability to expose the world to Mr. Spyridakis' passion and knowledge far beyond the several hundred students that can enroll in his classes each year.

Do yourself an immense service and fit Mr. Spyridakis into your academic schedule while you can. If need be, his lectures are very well worth attending even if you can't get credit for them. You will not be disappointed, as your time will most definitely be well spent, regardless of what your major is. —ryanchristie


2010-03-23 14:48:48   He really knows his stuff, and speaks in such a way that you can take really good notes. He knows what he's doing! But he doesn't take life too seriously like so many other pompous University professors do — he punctuates his lectures with HILARIOUS comments about society, "Justice Timberslake", Kim Kardashian, and... oh my... when he does his "Paris Hilton Booty Bump", it is amazing. ;) —mday24


2010-11-17 23:11:55   Simply one of the greatest professors on campus. Lectures are actually enjoyable (maybe because they're only 50 minutes each?). I've even had friends who've said their parents had Spyro when they were undergrads.

Anyway, take one of his classes if you ever get the chance. Any one of this 111 series are great. —RyanMeyerhoff


2012-03-30 10:31:43   Of all of the instructors I had in my years at UCD, Professor Spyridakis is the only one whose lectures I have re-attended after finishing all of his courses. It is worth it for his oration alone.

"Gaius. Julius. Caesar!" —bunchies

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