Sunday, April 19, 2009

"Communities and Networks in the Ancient Greek World," Department of Classics, Trinity College Dublin, July 6-9, 2009.

Communities are the cornerstone of any society, but Greek history is often focused on the communities of citizens. Studies of other groups are often defined by their opposition to this citizen community: citizen/foreigner, free/slave, male/female etc. Literary accounts, written predominantly by a wealthy male citizen elite, often emphasise these differences, but status distinctions are much less distinguishable outside of legalistic or ideological contexts. In visual culture it is difficult to discern these kinds of status differentials. In material culture it is almost impossible.This conference aims to move away from these polarities to examine the formation of communities and the networks of interaction between different groups in the classical and early hellenistic periods. Status could be a fluid concept: slaves, foreigners and citizens worked side-by-side; they lived together, dedicated to the gods together, and were receptive to similar cultural impulses. The conference therefore aims to examine the following questions: • What constituted a ‘community’ within the Greek world? • What networks did people create, belong to, and destroy? • How were different groups of people interconnected, and how did they negotiate the ‘boundaries’ between them? • How did communities change in response to social, political, economic impulses? • How can we use networks to access the lives and activities of people for whom little traditional evidence survives? Visit the conference homepage here:

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