Citizenship in Roman Greece : ideology, culture and identity

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Spread of the Greek type urbanization in the Eastern Mediterranean. The prime example of that if the transformation of Egyptian metropoleis into Greek poleis, culminating into recognition of this new status by Septimius Severus Bowman , Bowman and Rathbone This project will attempt to study the process of this transformation, from its origins in the Ptolemaic age through the early Empire, trying to assess to what degree it was influenced by conscious policy of the Ptolemies and Roman authorities. Bickerman Cities, their temples and oracles. The economic position of Greek temples in Asia Minor and elsewhere has been studied profusely in recent years Ameling et al.

What needs to be analyzed is the role temples and oracles played in establishing and maintaining the role of their host-cities in the world of territorial power. Testing the words of E. And this aspect of the role of oracles will be tested on more than the Milesian example for the reminder of the Hellenistic age and for the early Empire, having in mind that some oracles, Didyma in particular retained its vitality down to the reign of the Emperor Julian.

An attempt will be made as well to assess the contribution of temples and oracles to the transformation of elites of Greek cities in the Hellenistic and Roman age. Language, culture and ethnicity. For the apparent domination of Greek in the Eastern Mediterranean, among the literate elite at least, most people in the East spoke other languages and the very survival and revival of native tongues and cultures in Hellenistic and Roman times has been of growing interest in recent years e.

Cotton An issue to be raised in research is the role of Latin in the cities of the Roman East and its significance for the Greek elite in its interaction with the Imperial elite and in their Imperial career. Even less known is the role of Semitic languages and culture in the self-definition of urban elite of the Roman East.

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Then, a topic to be handled in this project is the impact of the culture elite in defining ideologies of Greek cities of the Roman East and in promoting their agenda with Roman authorities. Polis ideology in general and the ways through which it was demonstrated e. Influence of Rome: this is one of the most important and most discussed issues in history of the Hellenistic and post-Hellenistic world.

Two views of the ancient world

Recent decades brought a plethora of books on the advent of Rome in the Hellenistic world e. Gruen ; Ferrary ; Ma ; Grainger , and on Greek reaction to it, in the first place in the cultural movement of the second sophistic e. Swain ; Goldhill It will in fact emerge in almost all other research questions outlined here. Certainly the ways of acquiring Roman patronage by Greek cities in the age of the Republic and early Empire will be investigated and so will be the transformation of the polis in the Roman age and under Roman influence.

But the question will be asked to what extent and why only to this extent post-Hellenistic polis assimilated Roman political and social patterns. What is associated with it is the question of how to detect and measure anti-Roman sentiments in the cities of the East. At this point It can be safely established that three major studies within the project will be conducted, while other co-investigators will be hired to pursue research of some of the research questions presented above which they or, in the case of doctoral students, they with their supervisors, will select and clear with the co-ordinator.

At this point, prior to recruiting all seven researchers it is not feasible to state what precisely they will study within the projects: this much depend on available talented people with their preferred interests and approaches. What is crucial to the success of this project is that all research questions are covered, but not necessarily all ten in each individual project.

The three studies which can identified now will concentrate around Miletus in the Hellenistic and Roman age, around Delphi and around Egyptian metropoleis. They represent three very different case studies of great significance which can be researched on the bases of a very large and diverse sources bases. We know ca. Miletus has been researched archaeologically for over a hundred years and results of excavations have been published in an exemplary way.

All of these makes Miletus one of the best documented cities in antiquity. From the point of view of a modern scholar, many Milesian inscriptions are very high quality: some four hundred of them are public documents, in that seventy decrees, many of substance, not honorific, and over a hundred abbreviated decrees. Most Milesian decrees and many other inscriptions can be dated to the year which of courses increases their value in historical studies.

Delphi, one of smaller Greek poleis, has produced ca.


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Although they usually carry less substance than inscriptions from Miletus or Athens, the sheer number of surviving inscriptions, certainly the highest in antiquity for a medium-size city, offers an unique research perspective. The case study of Egyptian metropoleis will bring more diverse source bases: inscriptions, Greek and demotic papyri and ostraka.

Because of that, it will be a control group in the research which should allow us to verify some hypothesis reached on the basis of mostly epigraphic evidence dominating in the study of polis in other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean. Literature references. While it is sometimes claimed that what essentially distinguished Christians from pagans was that Christians believed in one God, while pagans worshipped a multiple of gods. However, even a question as basic as this is much more complicated; both polytheism and monotheism in Antiquity had many forms and aspects.

For discussion, see Athanassiadi and Frede, Despite this, we cannot simply read this as a transformation of pre-Christian cults into Christian ones. As Melotti demonstrates, the transformation was much more complicated, taking place in a very long time-span with various phenomena affecting the process. Thus, the article for its own part demonstrates the co-existence of continuity and change but also their complexity in Graeco-Roman culture through the centuries, from pre-Christian to Christian era; indeed, the article even reveals a surprising connection to Scandinavia and modern Sweden, emphasising precisely the complexity of ideas and beliefs carried out through the centuries.

Ancient Greece, the Middle East and an ancient cultural internet | Education | The Guardian

As the Roman Empire grew, Imperial identity was naturally a question which emperors needed to tackle. Empire-wise, one of the most prominent issues considering cultural identity was the question of Greek culture as a part of the Roman world. Moreover, writers such as Philostratus dealt with many distinctly Greek traditions, and some Greek historians, such as Herodian, apparently took an active part in the debate among the Greek elite on the cultural position of Greece, to mention just a few examples.

Even early Christian writers such as Clement of Alexandria or Hippolytus took place in the debate about Greek culture and its relationship with philosophy, while Jewish intellectuals, in the footsteps of Josephus, tried to define their identity in relationship with the Greek culture that was dominant in the eastern part of the Mediterranean. In her article, Arja Karivieri deals with the multifaceted identities promoted by Hadrian. She explains how this process reflects the identities of the leading figures of the Empire, including Hadrian himself, his wife Vibia Sabina, and his lover Antinoos, but also how the promotion of multiple identities affected local society in Roman Greece.

The article thus demonstrates the significance of Imperial policy, particularly the example provided by public figures of Imperial family members, in the cultural change throughout the Empire. Mythic heroes of the Graeco-Roman past were compared 38 Whitmarsh, , pp. See also Sidebottom, , pp. Rantala, Theory-wise, the paper deals with four contexts in which memories are constructed: representations, places, rituals, and texts, demonstrating how the using of these four was a continuous process, from Early to Late Roman Empire.

As a final observation, it would perhaps be pertinent to emphasize that often persons or groups who are labelled to certain categories according to their characteristics are usually not asked if they actually do agree to possess these characteristics; identities are often defined from the outside, by others. This practice was not unfamiliar in ancient societies.

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In other words, while identity often is about defining who you are and to which group you identify yourself, one aspect of identity is also identifying other people or groups to certain categories. As was the case with women in ancient agriculture, tracing gender issues is particularly difficult, as women were among the most silent groups of ancient societies, and indeed the mentally impaired women surely were the most silent ones among all the silent.

The accounts thus continued the somewhat moralizing tradition of historical and other accounts, used to carry deeds of great men in public memory. It shows the variety of possible points of view, providing examples for using many types of sources — both written and material evidence — to further approach the question.


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Of course, all the key concepts provide a rich, separate research tradition of their own. Questions of memory have been an important part of identity studies; as mentioned, identities are built on foundations provided by the understanding of the past. However, the interaction of these three is mostly dealt with in only a few separate articles over the years, with a systematic approach more or less lacking. Here, the contributors have explored what they consider important aspects regarding the subject. Moreover, the articles of the volume present a wide range of theoretical and methodical possibilities to study gender, memory, and identity, and their interaction in Roman world.

Using both material and textual evidence, the papers deal with social historical, even microhistorical, problems, as well as questions related to literary analysis, comparative approach, and so on. All in all, this collection will hopefully encourage a much-needed further study of inter-linkages between the three crucial concepts that considerably shaped the Roman Empire and its culture through the centuries. Huskinson, ; Whittaker ed. Obviously, there is a large number of research combining two of the three concepts dealt with here; see the works cited in individual articles of this volume.

Polymnia Athanassiadi and Michael Frede, ed. Ruth Barnes and Joanne Eicher, ed. John Bodel, ed. Ancient History from Inscriptions London: Routledge, Gillian Clark, Women in Late Antiquity. Harriet Flower, The Art of Forgetting. Karl Galinsky, Augustan Culture. Karl Galinsky, ed. Paul Getty Museum, East and West, , ed. Kenneth Holum, Theodosian Empresses. Culture, Identity and Power in the Roman Empire, ed. Mathew Kuefler, The Manly Eunuch. Richard Miles, ed. Mann Verlag, Interpretations of Augustus and his Principate, ed.

Diana Spencer, The Roman Alexander. History of Women in the West, vol. Wouter Vanacker and Arjan Zuiderhoek, ed. Related Papers. Conflict and Community. By Jussi Rantala. Varius, multiplex, multiformis — Greek, Roman, Panhellenic.

The Art of Citizenship: Roman Cultural Identity in Cicero’s Pro Archia Poeta

Multiple Identities of the Hadrianic Era and Beyond. By Arja Karivieri. Dress, Identity, Cultural Memory. Copa and Ancilla Cauponae in Context. By Ria Berg. Some Reconsiderations, in J.