Ancient World Seminar 2006

Temple of Trajan
Temple of Trajan,
Pergamon (Photograph: Andrew Stephenson)

Papers for 2006

9 March
Brent Davis
, University of Melbourne
Linear A: What language did the Minoans speak?

16 March
Philip van der Eijk
, University of Newcastle (U.K.)
Is there such a thing as Hippocratic medicine?

21 March
Richard Seaford
, University of Exeter (U.K.)
Sacred Sex and Tragic Space

30 March
Erica Bexley
, University of Melbourne
Convention, Commentary, and Conflict over Lucan’s Bellum ciuile

6 April
Alan Greaves
, University of Liverpool (U.K.)
Excavations and Survey at Oylum Hoyuk, Turkey

13 April
Benjamin Lazarus
, University of Melbourne
Swearing in Aristophanes

27 April
Matthew Martin
, Melbourne College of Divinity
Walking through the Heavens: Interpreting Zodiac Mosaics in Late Antique Synagogues

4 May
Sevket Donmez
, Istanbul University (Turkey)
The Central Black Sea Region during the Iron Age: A General View

11 May
Sonya Wurster
, University of Melbourne
Meeting and Cheating Audiences' Expectations in Strabo's Book 11

16 May
Louise Hitchcock
, University of Melbourne
Transgendering the Minoan Genius

18 May
Dr. Emel Emine Donmez
, Department of Turkish and Islamic Art, Istanbul University
Ottoman Miniature Art

25 May
Rowena Stewart
, University of Melbourne
Anatolia after the Hittites: An Evaluation of the “Centuries of Darkness”

27 July
Eva Anagnostou-Laoutides, Monash University
Daphnis and Aphrodite in the First Idyll of Theocritus

3 August
Tim Duff, University of Reading
Plutarch on the Childhood of Alcibiades

9 August (Wednesday 1:00-2:00 pm, Room 242, Alice Hoy)
John Collis, University of Sheffield
The Professional Training of Archaeologists

10 August
Grant Parker, Duke University
The Universalism (Ancient and Modern) of T. J. Haarhoff, South African

15 August (Tuesday 1.30-2.10, Cussonia Court 1)
Dora Constantinidis, University of Melbourne

17 August
Trudie Fraser, University of Melbourne
Hadrian in Syria, Arabia, and Judaea

24 August
Sergei Kovalenko, Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow
Sites and Finds: The Graeco-Scythian Settlement of Chaika in the North-Western Crimea

31 August
Jacques Perreault, Université de Montréal
Old & New Interpretations on the Greeks in the East

7 September
Alexander Podossinov, Moscow and Russian University of the Humanities
Barbarians and Greeks in the Northern Black Sea Region in Roman Times

The Black sea region is one of the most interesting parts of the ancient world in which to observe the interaction of Greeks with 'barbarians'. For many centuries the processes of the Hellenisation of the local populations and the 'barbarisation' of Greeks were in progress simultaneously. Epigraphic and literary evidence provides the main source of our knowledge of these developments. The most important source for the situation in the Northern Black Sea region is the so-called "Oratio Borysthenitica" of the famous Greek rhetorician and philosopher Dio Chrysostom, where he describes his visit to the Greek city Olbia in the late 1st century AD. Vastly different conclusions have been reached in the scholarly literature about the weight to put on his description. Analysis of the "Oratio Borysthenitica" in conjunction and comparison with the epigraphic and archaeological evidence casts light upon the problem of the barbarization of Greeks in Roman times, and lets me draw conclusions which sometimes contradict those reached by my predecessors.

12 September (Tuesday 12:00-1:30 pm, Old Arts B)
Alexander Podossinov, Moscow and Russian University of the Humanities
From the History of Ancient and Medieval Cartography: A Newly Found Byzantine World Map

Thanks to the discovery of a hitherto unknown late Byzantine world map preserved in the Manuscripts Department of the State Historical Museum, Moscow, we have the opportunity to say more about Byzantine, mediaeval and ancient cartography. The map is drawn on a page of a Greek manuscript from the late 15th century that contains several astrological and astronomical treatises.

The map has an oval form and a northern orientation. Three traditional continents (Europa, Asia and Libya), and probably the fourth continent India, are surrounded by the ocean that has four gulfs - the Mediterranean, Caspian, Arabian and Erythrean Seas. A waterway from the Mediterranean Sea leads to the Northern Ocean passing through the Euxeinos (the Black Sea) and Maiotis (the Sea of Azov). Around the outer circle of the ocean, the names of the twelve winds are written (Zephyros, Iapyx, Thraskias, Boreas, Aparktias, Kaikias, Apeliotes, Euros, Euronotos, Notos, Libonotos, Libs). The names of the four principal winds (Boreas, Apeliotes, Notos and Zephyros) are placed within special semicircles between the outer boundary of the ocean and the earth; the names of the other eight winds are written outside the oval.

The legend to the map is scanty. On the map there is only one island (Sikelia), one river (Neilos), one mountain (Kaukasos) and one country (India, which might be a continent). Three cities are indicated: Gadeira to mark the Straits of Gibraltar, Abydos to mark the Hellespont, and Constantinople - practically in the centre of the oecumene.

In spite of its late date, the map looks very old-fashioned, reproducing really old cartographical traditions. Its representation of the world belongs to the kind of maps called mappaemundi which used to be very popular in Western Europe. The map displays unique evidence of the existence of similar mappaemundi in Byzantium. Moreover, it makes us believe that Byzantium used to have its own cartographical tradition.

14 September
Kristal Flemming, University of Melbourne
The Xenophobic Debate: The Relationship Between Greeks and Egyptians During the Saite Dynasty

During the 7th to 6th centuries BCE, Egypt was a shining beacon to those who wished to leave their homelands in Asia Minor due to war and poverty. However, any foreign settlement in Egypt ultimately depended on the pharaoh's self-interests. Egypt's rich resources and far reaching trade networks not only attracted Greek, Jewish, Syrian, and Arabian refugees, to name a few, but also potential conquerors. The pharaoh Psamtik, well known to the Greeks as Psammetichus, protected himself against these by hiring Greek mercenaries. Their value in military and political matters resulted in riches, land grants, and even the establishment of a trading colony. However, keeping his Egyptian subjects as well as his very valuable mercenaries happy involved a diplomatic balancing act.

How does this relate to the xenophobic debate?

The idea that Egyptians of the Saite era were xenophobic is a popular one. One author (Kienitz) even stated that, for the Egyptians, the Greeks were 'the best hated people in Egypt'. Similar assumptions are made of the attitude of the Greeks towards any ‘barbarians' they encountered. It is then an interesting topic to pursue in terms of examining what happens when two supposedly 'xenophobic' cultures encounter each other. The main sources of reference are the writings of Greek historians, mainly Herodotus, and the work of archaeologists. There is a lot of archaeological evidence which disputes these long held notions and indeed confirms that certain communities of Greeks were accepted into Egyptian society on such intimate levels that Egyptian religious beliefs and cultural practices were adopted. Particular emphasis will be laid on the site of Naukratis and how the behaviour of Greeks and Egyptians, as reflected in archaeological and written sources, contrast strongly with the finds at Memphis and Saqqara.

(Tuesday) 10 October
Rhiannon Evans, University of Melbourne
Name and Shame: Luxury, Marble and Decadence at Rome

12 October
David Collard, University of Melbourne
Purification, Libation and Migration: 'Bathtubs' in Late Bronze Age Cyprus

19 October
Claudia Strobel, University of Oxford
Behind the Scenes: Safeguarding Atticism in the Second Sophistic

24 October (1:00-2:00 pm, Cussonia Court 1)
Louise Hitchcock, University of Melbourne
From Minos to Menelaos: Exploring Complexity in Bronze Age Lakonia and Crete

26 October
Leanne McNamara, University of Melbourne
The Hippocratic Writers and the 'Profession' of Medicine