Call for Papers: Colonial Geopolitics in the Hellenistic (and Roman) East

This call for papers at the Celtic Conference may also interest those working on Hellenistic religion, particularly under the optic of cross-cultural contacts:

Call for papers /Appel à contributions: Celtic Conference in Classics (Edinburgh, June 25-28th, 2014)

Panel 

“Colonial geopolitics and local cultures in the Hellenistic and Roman East (IIIrd century  B.C. – IIIrd century A.D.) ”

H. Bru (Université de Franche-Comté/ISTA) & A. Dumitru (Metropolitan Library of Bucarest/Cincinnati University)

It seems clear that, in the Greek-speaking regions of the Roman Empire, Hellenistic models (civic, military or institutional) exercised considerable influence over “Italic” colonial projects. Within this field, relations between military colonists and indigenous peoples demand special attention, considering the degree of social, cultural, economic, political and geopolitical transformation brought about by the installation of certain groups upon those lands as a result of the will of the great power(s) that ruled over them.

Some questions, however, are rarely asked: e.g. how did classical colonization influence the homonymous phenomenon from the Hellenistic Age (and, further on, how many aspects of the Hellenistic colonization were kept alive by the Roman founders of cities? Also, since we know now that many “native” cities became poleis by the IInd century B.C. How did this happen exactly? What was the metamorphosis of the native city when turning into a polis ? Was it simply a façade ? How deep – and peaceful – were the required changes?

As for the Roman colonization, modern scholars have often described Roman colonies as vectors of Romanization inserted in alien lands, writing that these communities must have functioned as images of a “small Rome.” While the existence of Latin-speaking colonists ruled by a favorable juridical system such as the Ius Italicum cannot be denied, such a reductionist model can no longer be accepted without qualification, especially in the context of the Greek-speaking provinces of the Roman East. The regions of the Eastern Mediterranean world saw the coming of a number of groups of Roman colonists and thus their cultural climate, their agrarian structures and their geopolitical environment changed. The aim of this panel is to explore new research paths based on broader studies over time and space.

From this perspective, the papers proposed for this panel may address the following issues:

  • the colonial geopolitics promoted by the States;
  • the cultural and social origins of the groups being displaced by the State and established elsewhere as colonists;
  • the social, economic, cultural and military consequences of the colonization over the local populations (e.g. – the loss of agricultural land, the displacement towards desert or mountainous areas, revolts, brigandage, piracy, the way of joining the armies of the States, the way of becoming mercenaries, the strengthening of the indigenous cultural identities);
  • evidences of peaceful coexistence, voluntary or not, as seen through economic, cultural or social aspects (e.g. – where did the colonists get their wives? Did the colonists learn the language of the indigenous people or vice-versa)?
  • (dis)continuities in the colonial practices of the Hellenistic and Roman Ages;
  • documentary methodologies allowing the deepening of knowledge on the indigenous cultures in the colonial context and the phenomena of acculturation;
  • the historical sociology of the colonial territories.

For a full abstract of the panel in both English and French, please see Call for papers.

Contact :

Hadrien Bru (Université de Franche-Comté / Institut des Sciences et Techniques de l’Antiquité) hadrien.bru@univ-fcomte.fr Adrian Dumitru (Metropolitan Library of Bucarest) seleukosnikator@yahoo.com


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