Hellenic Studies Announcements, November 2003
- Medieval Studies Lecture - Wednesday, November 19, 4:30 p.m. Johannes Niehoff: "After Empire: Niketas' Choniates rewriting of the Fourth Crusade"
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West Room (Rare Books)
Sponsored by the German National Research Foundation and the Program in Hellenic Studies
- Workshop - Tuesday, November 25, 6:00 p.m. Christos G. Doumas: "Akrotiri: A Bronze Age Cosmopolitan Harbour Town in the Aegean"
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Christos G. Doumas (University of Athens; Visiting Fellow, Program in Hellenic Studies)
58 Prospect Avenue, Room 107
Excavations conducted over the last 35 years at Akrotiri on the Cycladic island of Thera have produced an enormous amount of material ranging from architecture to wall paintings, to pottery, stone vessels, bronze artifacts, as well as considerable quantities of organic remains. Thanks to the good standard of preservation of the finds and the special techniques applied for their recovery, we can retrieve considerable information, which sheds light on many facets of life in the Aegean Bronze Age in general. Domestic and productive activities, dietary habits, art and architecture, and contacts with the other cultures in Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean are well documented, providing a more vivid picture of the material culture of Aegean society than that drawn from archaeological evidence to date, and even insights into the immaterial culture - ideology, customs and religious practices
Christos Doumas is Emeritus Professor of Archaeology at the University of Athens, where he taught Aegean Archaeology from 1980 to 2000. From 1960 to 1980, he had a distinguished career in the Greek Archaeological service, as curator of antiquities in Attica, on the Akropolis, in the Cyclades, in the Dodecanese, and in the North Aegean islands, regions where he conducted excavations and organized museum exhibitions. He has also served as curator of the Prehistoric Collections of the National Archaeological Museum, Athens, and was Director of Antiquities and Director of Conservation at the Hellenic Ministry of Culture. Since 1975, he has been Director of the Excavations at Akrotiri, Thera (Santorini). Christos Doumas has published several books and scholarly articles on Aegean archaeology, particularly on the Aegean island cultures. [Last Updated 2003]
- Workshop - Friday, November 21, 2:30 p.m. Ariadni Moutafidou: "Italian Philhellenes and Greek State Policy after 1897: Official Irredentism and Volunteer Groups"
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Ariadni Moutafidou (University of Vienna; Visiting Fellow, Program in Hellenic Studies)
Respondent (Minna Rozen, University of Haifa; Munir S. Ertegun Foundation Visiting Professor, Department of Near Eastern Studies)
58 Prospect Avenue, Room 107
The Cretan crisis and the outbreak of the Greek-Ottoman war of 1897 meant a revival of philhellenism all over Europe. Italian philhellenic groups were the most numerous of all philhellenes going to Greece to fight for the Greek cause. It was all the more astonishing for the Greek public that after the defeat of the Greek army, newspapers reported that all Italian philhellenic groups had been disarmed, arrested and forced to embark for home. In these contemporary reports one finds certain patterns which allow us to comprehend the events and actions relating both to the volunteer groups and to the Greek state. Documents in various European state archives help us understand what really happened and why. Unpublished archival materials give valuable information which contributes to the reconstruction of developments as yet unknown and enables the analysis of decision-making processes at the time. Newly discovered archives shed light on the activities and the characteristics of each philhellenic group, as well as the main factors influencing their reception in Athens and the reactions of the Greek public and of the Greek government. These materials also reveal the fears of the Italian, Greek and Austro-Hungarian governments regarding the uncontrolled actions of unofficial groups as factors of agitation and instability both in the domestic and in the international political scene.
Ariadni Moutafidou was trained in History at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, she earned her Ph.D. in Modern Greek Studies and European History, in the School of Humanities, University of Vienna. Her dissertation on The Policy of Austria-Hungary Towards the Greek-Ottoman War of 1897 was based on research in several archives in Europe. Since 1995 she has been Lecturer in Modern Greek History and Literature at the Institute for Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, University of Vienna, and Research Associate (1998-2003) at the Austrian Academy of Sciences (Committee of Balkan Studies). During 1998-2003 she served as a member of the Board of the Austrian Society of Modern Greek Studies in Vienna. She has written a monograph entitled Ein Beitrag zur Konflikt- und Allianzforschung vor den Ersten Weltkrieg: Die Politik Vsterreich-Ungarns gegen|ber dem osmanisch-griechischen Krieg von 1897. Hamburg (Verlag Dr. Kovah, 2003) , as well as numerous articles in German, Austrian and Greek academic journals. [Last Updated 2003]
- Workshop - Tuesday, November 11, 6:00 p.m. Youval Rotman: "The Roman Eunuch and The Hellenistic Heritage"
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Youval Rotman (Post-Doctoral Fellow, Program in Hellenic Studies)
Respondent: Denis Feissel (Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Visiting Fellow, Program in Hellenic Studies)
58 Prospect Avenue, Room 107
Although eunuchs were a known phenomenon of the Classical world since the time of Herodotus, they acquired high political positions in the Roman Empire only in the 4th and 5th centuries. Modern research in this field has neglected one type of historical source - inscriptions. This presentation will focus on the epigraphic evidence. There are 23 inscriptions mentioning eunuchs dating from the 1st century AD to the 6th century. A regional analysis of these inscriptions will show that the social position of eunuchs in the Late Roman Empire had roots in the oriental regions the Roman annexed to their Empire, in particular in Asia Minor. And what appears to be a new social phenomenon, may well have been the adoption of local Hellenistic customs.
Youval Rotman was trained at the University of Tel Aviv, earning a B.A. in History and Computer Science in 1991 and an M.A. in History with a thesis on "eunuchism" in the Later Roman Empire. In 1997 he began his doctoral studies at the University of Paris. His research was on slavery in Byzantium (sixth to eleventh centuries), challenging the idea of decline of ancient slavery, while focusing on the characteristics of medieval slavery. This work was recently revised and prepared for publication. After defending his Ph.D. dissertation on Slaves and Slavery in the Byzantine World, 6th - 11th Centuries, he was awarded a post-doctoral Fellowship from Yad Hanadiv, Jerusalem. [Last Updated 2003]
- Lecture - Thursday, November 6, 6:00 p.m. Ted Couloumbis: "Bridging the Euro-Atlantic Divide: Options for Greek Foreign Policy"
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Ted Couloumbis (University of Athens)
58 Prospect Avenue, Room 107
Professor Ted Couloumbis is Emeritus Professor of International Relations at the University of Athens. Author of over 15 books on Greek politics and foreign policy, he is President of ELIAMEP (http://www.eliamep.gr), the leading research center in Greece for European foreign and security policies in the wider Southeast European, Black Sea and Mediterranean regions. [Last Updated 2003]
- Workshop - Friday, November 14, 2:30 p.m. Panagiotis Seranis: "Soft As Some Song Divine, Your Story Flows: Re-Telling the Iliad in the Classroom"
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Panagiotis Seranis (University of Cambridge; Visiting Fellow, Program in Hellenic Studies)
58 Prospect Avenue, Room 107
Both the Iliad and the Odyssey are oral poems: they were composed rather than written, with the expectation that they would be heard not read. These stories have educated and entertained people for almost three thousand years and have become landmarks of literature for Western civilization. However, most children today experience these stories through the medium of reading, not orally. Storytelling can be a powerful tool in the classroom. It should have a central place in the Classics classroom in particular, as it could promote both students' and teachers' understanding and enjoyment of Classical stories. In this workshop the audience will have the opportunity to listen to (snippets of) a digital re-telling of the Iliad, as told by two professional storytellers. The workshop will then focus on the importance of storytelling in the Classical classroom, addressing what benefits students can derive from listening to stories and learning to tell stories themselves.
Panos Seranis received his B.A in Classics from the University of Athens where he also completed a Master's degree in Classical Pedagogy. After winning a national scholarship he went on to study at the University of Cambridge, where he was awarded a Ph.D. in 2000 with a dissertation entitled The Place of Reader Response in the Teaching of Ancient Greek Literature in Translation. He now works as Research Associate at the Cambridge School Classics Project, University of Cambridge. He is primarily involved in the Cambridge Online Latin Project, a government-funded initiative, which examines the effectiveness of electronic resources in enriching the school curriculum through improved access to Latin. A contributor to the Iliad Project, an oral retelling of the Iliad, intended for primary school students, Panos Seranis is also member of a team which has been recently commissioned to produce a new series of textbooks and teacher guides on Classical Greek for Lower Secondary school students in Greece. [Last Updated 2003]
- Workshop - Friday, November 7, 2:30 p.m. John Brady Kiesling: "Alien Wisdom: Lessons from the Failure of U.S. Public Diplomacy in Greece"
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John Brady Kiesling (Visiting Fellow, Program in Hellenic Studies)
58 Prospect Avenue, Room 101
World reactions to September 11, 2001 played out in vivid microcosm in Greece: horror, sympathy, and a pervasive sense of "kala na pathoun" ("It serves them right"). Twenty-two years after E.U. accession, the Greek ideological pendulum has swung toward a mildly optimistic law-based European humanism. Nevertheless, Greek peer-group rhetorical competition still employs traditional epideictic narratives of conspiracy and victimization, with the U.S. in a key role. The futility of U.S. public diplomacy in coping with such narratives in Greece underscores the difficulty of legitimizing even the most benevolent exercise of American power abroad. Imputations of American omnipotence and arrogance sustain social and political pathologies around the globe. No mere communications strategy can succeed, in Greece or elsewhere, only a political shift that softens and sets visible limits on American power within U.S.-E.U. partnership, shared assessment of threats, and genuine multilateral diplomacy.
Brady Kiesling was the Political Counselor at the United States Embassy in Athens, Greece when he resigned in February 2003 to oppose the war with Iraq and an increasingly unrealistic and dangerous U.S. foreign policy. He is finishing a book on America's role in the world. He graduated from Swarthmore College in Ancient Greek, spent a year at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, and has an M.A. in Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology from University of California, Berkeley. He excavated at Nemea and Aphrodisias. He joined the State Department in 1983, serving in Tel Aviv, Casablanca, Athens, Washington (the Romania Desk and India Desk), Yerevan, Washington (the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process), and Athens again. He is the author of a guidebook to Armenia and various policy articles. In the spring term 2004 he will teach a Hellenic Studies/Woodrow Wilson School course on "United States - European Relations and the Cases of Greece, Turkey and Cyprus." [Last Updated 2003]
- Workshop - Tuesday, November 4, 6:00 p.m. Julian Baker: "Monetary Affairs Between Byzantium and The West: A Previously Unknown Coinage of Mystras (post-1347)"
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Julian Baker (Post-Doctoral Fellow, Program in Hellenic Studies)
Respondent: Brooks Levy (Firestone Library)
58 Prospect Avenue, Room 107
The purpose of this workshop is twofold: to demonstrate how the application of the full range of investigative techniques available to the numismatic discipline can lead one to an appreciation of this coinage in all its aspects. Second, to show how these new numismatic data can then be woven into the existing political and economic histories for the period and area under investigation. This enquiry was prompted by my recent discovery, amongst the coins unearthed by the British School at Athens during the excavations at Sparta in the early part of the 20th century, of relatively large quantities of a late Byzantine type which has to date been barely mentioned in the existing literature, and has never been the subject of an in-depth investigation. It will be argued here that we are indeed dealing with a coinage of the despots at Mystras, the existence of which had always been doubted, most recently in Dumbarton Oaks Catalogue, 5. Further, that the range of monetary denominations produced by the empire at Constantinople in the second half of the 14th century, according to Philip Grierson in the cited volume, needs to be re-assessed. The Byzantine Peloponnese is seen to be a step ahead of Constantinople in the adaptation of western values and denominations, and the fiscal integration of the Byzantine heartland with the territory administered by the despots is found to be tighter than might have been assumed. Finally, the evidence for the failure of the despots' monetary venture will be charted.
Julian R. Baker received his doctorate from the Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies, Birmingham University, in July of 2002. His dissertation dealt with the monetary life of Greece during the one-and-a-half centuries following 1204. He has an undergraduate degree from Edinburgh University in History, with emphasis on the western medieval and Byzantine periods, and a post-graduate degree in Greek Archaeology from Birmingham, as much as being trained in numismatics (notably at the Barber Institute, Birmingham, and the American Numismatic Society). For the purposes of research, Julian Baker was resident in Greece over a number of years, where he studied coin hoards and excavation finds in a range of locations. More recently, while based in Italy, he has expanded his interests to the related Kingdom of Naples in Angevin times, and is leading separate projects on later medieval coinages in Constantinople, and the excavation finds at Sparta, funded by the British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara and the British Academy respectively. [Last Updated 2003]
- Symposium - November 22, 9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. "Monsters and Mischwesen: The Human Animal in Early Greek Art"
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