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Forum Antiquum Fall 2020 Lecture Migrant Literature in the Early Roman Empire: Greek Responses to Rome

Thursday 15 October 2020
Online via Kaltura, read below

The Early Roman Empire (27 BC - AD 68) was an age of migration. The city of Rome attracted huge numbers of migrants from across the Mediterranean. Among them were many writers from Hellenized provinces like Egypt, Syria and Asia, who wrote in Greek. Leaving their native regions and travelling to Rome, they moved between cultures, responding in Greek to the new world order. How does Greek literature of this period present, reflect and construct the complex interaction between Greek, Roman and local identities? This short paper will present a new research project that aims to analyze the highly diverse body of Greek literature from the reign of the emperor Augustus to the emperor Nero. While cultural mobility was not new in this period, the foundation of a globalized empire gave a decisive impulse to migration, with an unprecedented impact on literature. Early imperial Greek writers include Strabo of Amasia and Dionysius of Halicarnassus (present-day Turkey), Nicolaus of Damascus (Syria), Crinagoras of Mytilene (Lesbos), and Philo of Alexandria (Egypt): a geographer, a rhetorician, a historian, a poet, and a Jewish philosopher. What connects these authors of different genres and origins is migrancy. The modern concept of migrant literature is therefore particularly useful for analysing this polymorphic corpus. The hypothesis is that the literature written in Greek between 27 BC and AD 68 is neither Greek nor Roman literature, but migrant literature, characterized by in-betweenness, ambivalence and polyphony. 

Physical meetings are still very restricted for anything that is not part of the regular education programme. Therefore, we will meet in the following Kaltura Live Room.
The link to the liveroom can be requested via mail


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