CONF: Ancient Greek Myth and Modern Conflict in World Fiction

Seen on the Classicists list:

Ancient Greek Myth and Modern Conflict in World Fiction since 1989

This conference kindly funded by and hosted at the British Academy, July 5th
and 6th 2012, is co-organised by Edith Hall (soon to be in the Classics
Department, King’s College London) and Katie Billotte (the Centre for the
Reception of Greece and Rome at Royal Holloway). This unprecedented
conference will bring together a global team of writers and scholars to
discuss the importance of ancient Greek myths in the recent fictional
narration of war. Novels from every continent will be discussed, including
works by Maori, Chinese, African, Brazilian and Japanese authors. The
conference will ask whether it is the very difficulties involved in
addressing large-scale trauma that have elicited this new ‘mythical turn’ in
the medium; it will also explore the tensions involved in the use of
canonical ancient Greek texts central to the western ‘colonial’ curriculum
in self-consciously anticolonial and postcolonial writing. Speakers will
include Aleksandar Gatalica, Yan Lianke,Anna Ljunggren, Tom Holland, Fiona
Macintosh, Patrice Rankine, Efie Spentzou, Adam Ganz, Girgio Amitrano,
Justine McConnell and Ferial Ghazoul. Further information about registration
will be available soon; meanwhile, please put it in your diaries if you are
interested and address any enquiries to edith.hall4 AT

CFP: Bodies of Evidence: Re-defining Approaches to the Anatomical Votive

Bodies of evidence: re-defining approaches to the anatomical votive

A conference at the British School at Rome

5th June 2012

Organisers: Dr Jane Draycott (BSR and University of Nottingham), Dr Emma-Jayne Graham (University of Leicester)

From Pharaonic Egypt to Roman Italy and from Classical Greece to the Byzantine world, anatomical votives have performed a continuous, if poorly understood, role in ritual and votive practice. Modern scholarship has categorised as ‘anatomical’ a range of ex-votos, made largely but not exclusively from terracotta, which depict parts of the body. These arms, legs, eyes, fingers, hands, feet, uteri, genitals, internal organs and other recognisable parts of the internal and external body have attracted much attention from scholars exploring both past religion and health alike. Nevertheless, the category of ‘anatomical offering’ remains noticeably ill-defined and remains to be integrated fully into the study of ritual, artefacts and the body. This conference will ask how we should define and interpret the ‘anatomical’ votive. Is a veiled portrait plaque an anatomical votive? Is a foot or a hand a distinct anatomical votive if it was constructed in such a way as to allow it to be connected to another part of the body? Indeed, to what extent can we consider a model of the whole body an anatomical votive if it was used to request general healing of a non-specific illness? Whilst feet and ears appear to fall easily into this class should we perhaps also consider other offerings, such as statuettes of the entire body and swaddled babies from a similar perspective? This workshop will bring together scholars working upon the anatomical offering in its broadest sense from across prehistoric, ancient and medieval contexts in order to explore and refine our understanding of this phenomenon. What were anatomical votives for, what did they represent to those who dedicated, encountered or made them, and what factors influenced the selection of a particular item? In particular we will be concerned with what these offerings reveal, not only about past religious and medical contexts and practices, but also about identity, society, politics and concepts or constructions of the human body.

We invite papers which address these issues from the standpoint of archaeology, ancient history, classics and history of medicine, and welcome contributions focused upon Italic, Greek, Near Eastern, Egyptian and other European or Mediterranean contexts. Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • What is an anatomical votive? Are whole bodies anatomical or only fragments? Can they also be a work of art, an ornament, a keepsake or a substitute for something else? How might the anatomical be conceived as an item with multiple levels of meaning?

  • The fragmentation, reconstitution or realignment of the body: the anatomical offering as a proxy for the body or its constituent parts; miniaturisation; the intact body as an anatomical votive; (re)creating a body from individual pieces; the relationship between concepts of the body as expressed by anatomical offerings and the treatment of the component parts of the cult statue, other representations of the human or divine form, or the living body.

  • Standard forms and individuality: evidence for individualism or artistic embellishment and its consequences; the process of commissioning an ex-voto and the potential for customisation; the anatomical votive as a work of art as well as a religious/medical object; the role of the manufacturer.

  • Change through time and space: developing attitudes, practices and medical concerns; can we treat objects recovered from diverse cultural and historical contexts as a standard an expression of the same phenomenon?

  • Medicine, pathology and retrospective diagnosis: distinguishing between concerns for general health and specific complaints; when did scholars begin to use these items to facilitate diagnosis and how has that influenced academic discourse on the subject and the definition of this category of object?

  • The anatomical offering and the divine: connections with specific deities; defining the sanctuary through its votives; when is a healing sanctuary a healing sanctuary and not simply a shrine? How do more nuanced interpretations of ‘anatomical’ affect these issues?

  • The interpretation of discrete collections of material: deposits that contain restricted forms of anatomical offering; the juxtaposition of terracotta and metal ex-votos in discrete contexts.

  • Reception of the anatomical votive: the impact of modern academic discourse on their classification and interpretation; have scholars been too focused on the detail of the traditional anatomical offering at the expense of the broader picture? Links with the development of other areas of study such as magic, gender, women, medicine; discovery, publication and exhibition

Diverse methodologies are encouraged, although proposals should be written to appeal to a wide range of disciplines.

Confirmed Speakers:

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Ralph Jackson (British Museum)

Prof. Olivier de Cazanove (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)

Dr. Jessica Hughes (Open University)

Papers should be of 20 minutes’ length, and should not have been previously published or delivered at a major conference. Abstracts of approximately 250 words should be submitted by 13th February 2012. Successful contributions may be considered for publication in a peer-reviewed conference volume.

Jane Draycott (j.draycott AT

Emma-Jayne Graham (eg153 AT

CFP: Ancient Literary and Visual Representations of the Roman Civil Wars of the 40s and 30s BCE

Seen on the Classicists list:

Call for papers: Ancient Literary and Visual Representations of the Roman Civil Wars of the 40s and 30s BCE

Margherita di Savoia, 21-23 September 2012

Over recent years there has been a gradual renewal of interest in the events that led to the fall of the Roman Republic and the establishment of the Principate. This interest has involved not only the traditional study of the course of events, but also the literary representations of this political and socio-economic revolution. There has been a fundamental re-evaluation of the literary production of Virgil and his contemporaries, the rediscovery of Caesar as both author and statesman, and a new appreciation of the evidence offered by Appian.

An international workshop will take place in Margherita di Savoia on 21-23 September 2012. Situated upon the Adriatic coastline of Puglia, the venue offers the chance to consider and discuss the events that happened 2,000 years ago as they were reflected by the ancients themselves. At this very spot large armies continuously crossed, or attempted to cross, from the Italian peninsula to Greece or vice versa. Three days of round-table discussions will be accompanied by public gatherings in the evening and excursions to nearby archaeological sites. The workshop aims to appeal to relatively young, emerging scholars, specialising in Classics and Ancient History, and be internationally representative.

Key-note speakers will include Ida Östenberg (Gothenburg), Anton Powell (Swansea), Jonathan Price (Tel Aviv), Christopher Smith (Rome) and Kathryn Welch (Sydney).

Topics on any ancient literary or visual representation of the Roman civil wars of the 40s and 30s BCE are welcome.

Some suggestions of topics to consider are the following:

1) The Civil Wars in Latin poetry, as a theme and in implicit allusions.

2) Representation of battle-scenes across genres and media.

3) Employment of special images and unique vocabulary in descriptions of the Civil Wars.

4) The Civil Wars in the world of Greek Imperial authors.

5) Analogies between the transitional period from Republic to Principate and other periods in Greek and Roman history.

Colleagues are invited to submit an abstract of 300-400 words and a one-page CV by 31 March 2012.
Please send your abstracts to the organizers, Eran Almagor (almagore AT and Richard Westall (westall AT