Classics Colloquium, November 2010
Ninth Classics Colloquium:
Death and the Afterlife
Jagiellonian University, Krakow
19-21 November 2010
The theme for the 2010 Classics Colloquium – the ninth in our series – will be Death and the Afterlife. This theme will include a broad range of subjects and areas of research: linguistics, literature, culture, religion, philosophy, archeology, art history and others. Classics graduate scholars at member universities of the Europaeum are invited to take part in this Colloquium, which aims to bring young European classics scholars together with leading academic experts, with the chance to present papers for discussion and critique by a fellow scholar.
Event specifics :
- ACCOMMODATION: Student accommodation will be provided at the Hotel Studencki Zacek, al. 3 Maja 5, Krakow. (http://zaczek.bratniak.krakow.pl/html/index.php?id=7&lang=en)
- ADDITIONAL NIGHTS: The Europaeum support covers the costs for the nights of Friday and Saturday - that is November 19th and 20th inclusive. If you wish to come in a day earlier, or to stay a day later, this may be possible, but please contact the office or the local coordinator at once. You will need to pay for this accommodation yourself.
- PAPERS: Those whose papers are deemed of satisfactory academic merit can qualify for a Europaeum Certificate, which is an academic certificate recognised by all partner universities.
- REPORT/ FEEDBACK : We ask you to write to us a brief report when you return about how you found the general experience and value of the event, as a feedback report. We will also ask two or three of you to prepare a fuller joint report on the event – 1500 words – to go up on our website.
Friday 19th November
ARRIVALS Participants should check-in by 16.00
- Professor dr. hab. Karol Musioł (Rector of the Jagiellonian University, Krakow)
- Professor dr. hab. Kazimierz Korus (Head of the Institute of Classical Philology)
- Dr Paul Flather (Secretary-General, The Europaeum)
- Dr Krzysztof Bielawski (Jagiellonian and Colloquium Coordinator)
[ NB All graduate papers c 20 minutes, with 10-15 minutes discussion per paper ]
17.30-19:30 Session I
Chair: Pro dr. hab. Kazimierz Korus (Head of the Institute of Classical Philology, Jagiellonian University)
- Professor Manfred Horstmanshoff (Professor of the History of Ancient Medicine): “This I suffered in the short space of my life”: The epitaph on Lucius Minicius Anthimianus
- Dr. Lech Trzcionkowski (Catholic University of Lublin): The Orphic tablets form Olbia
Discussant: Dr Krzysztof Bielawski
- Ilkka Kuivalainen (Helsinki): The Idea of Dionysiac Afterlife in Pompeii
Discussant: Dr. Agnieszka Fulińska (Krakow)
20.00 Dinner (Club Convivium, Collegium Novum, ul. Gołębia 24, ground floor)
Saturday 20th November
9.30-10.45 Session II
Chair: Dr. Anna Wasyl (Krakow)
- Sarah J. Harden (Oxford): Memory after Death in Pindar and Theognis
Discussant: Dr Joanna Janik (Krakow)
- Marion Ros (Leiden): The myth of lead poisoning
Discussant: Kamil Kopij, MA (Krakow)
10.45-11.15 Coffee break
11.15-12.30 Session III
Chair: Dr Joanna Janik (Krakow)
- Matěj Novotný (Prague): The presence of death in the public space in classical Athens (displays and suppressions)
Discussant: Dr hab. Sławomir Sprawski (Krakow)
- Daniele Pellacani (Bologna): The catasterism of Eridanus and the Death of Phaethon: a comparison among the Latin translations of Arat. 359 – 360
Discussant: Dr. Anna Wasyl (Krakow) (tbc)
12.30-14.00 Lunch (Club Convivium, Collegium Novum, ul. Gołębia 24, ground floor)
14.00-15.45 Session IV
Chair: Dr. hab. Antonii Bobrowski (Krakow)
- Stijn Berger (Leiden): Ancient medicine in Roman law? The health of slaves in digest 21.1
Discussant: Dr. Anna Wasyl (Krakow) (tbc)
- Estelle Cronnier (Paris): Eastern Christianity and the relics of the saints : from refusal to quest
Discussants: Krzysztof Hilman MA (Krakow)
- Kamil Kopij (Krakow): The Afterlife of Pompey the Great
Discussant: Marcin Kumięga (Krakow)
15.45-16.15 Coffee break
16.15-18.00 Session VI
Chair: Dr. hab. Sławomir Sprawski
- Georgia Kolovou (Paris): Lexicographical research of the words Death and Afterlife in the Parekbolai of Iliad of Eustathius Thessalonicensis
Discussant: Dr hab. Hubert Wolanin (Krakow) (tbc)
- Mateusz Kędzierski (Krakow): Reflections on the Plato’s Theology and Theory of the Soul
Discussant: Dr Steffen Huber (Krakow)
19.00 Dinner, Modlnica Manor House
Sunday 21st November
9.30-11.00 Session VI
Chair: Professor Joan Booth (Institute for Cultural Disciplines, University of Leiden) (tbc)
- Dr Ana Jimenez (Complutense, Madrid): Dionysiac inscriptions and Afterlife.
Discussant: Dr Lech Trzcionkowski
- Barbara Fero (Bologna): The Funerals of Patroklos – some observations on Il. 23
Discussants: Dorota Trzcinka, MA (Krakow)
- Alba de Frutos (Madrid) Practicalities of funerary custom in Graeco-Roman Egypt
Discussant: Dr Wojciech Machowski (Krakow)
11.00-11.30 Coffee break
11.30-13.15 Session VII
Chair: Professor dr. H.F.J. Manfred Horstmanshoff (Leiden)
- Caterina Franchi (Oxford/Bologna): "You cannot deny that you are my son this time, Alexander; you would not have died if you had been Ammon's."Alexander's death in Antiquity
Discussant: Dr. Aleksandra Klęczar
- Agnieszka Fulińska (Krakow): The God Alexander and His Emulators. Alexander the Great's 'afterlife' in Hellenistic art and propaganda.
Discussant: Dr Sławomir Sprawski
- Bettina Reitz (Leiden): Death, Burial and the Impossibility of Closure in Statius’ Thebaid
Discussant: Professor dr. hab. Stanisław Snieżewski (Krakow)
12.30 General Conclusions and plans for 2011 colloquium
- Dr Krzysztof Bielawsk
- Damian Kalitan MA, Graduate Representative
- Dr Paul Flather
13.00 Informal Buffet Lunch (Club Convivium, Collegium Novum, ul. Gołębia 24, ground floor)
Institute of Classical Philology
al. Mickiewicza 9/11
Tel: +48 607 985 276
Stijn Berger, Leiden University: Ancient medicine in Roman law? The health of slaves in digest 21.1
What we know of morbidity and mortality in the ancient world paint a very sinister picture of Roman society. Since they occupied the bottom steps of the social ladder, slaves may be expected to be even worse off than average. In spite of this, Roman legislation displays a very down-to-earth attitude towards disease in slaves. In the event of the untimely death or sickness of a sold slave, it was stipulated that the buyer was entitled to financial compensation. To distinguish the sick from the healthy, legal commentators formulated a definition of disease and provided examples of conditions that should be considered as sick. In doing so, they appear to have consulted ancient medical men and their work. Tracing this relationship between Roman law and ancient medicine uncovers the fact that ancient medicine in certain respects may even be influenced by legal discussion concerning the health of slaves. This paper not only uncovers these unexpected ties between different branches of Roman civilization, but also sheds light on the morbidity and mortality of slaves in the ancient world. The very existence of the regulation on the health of slaves implies that a lot of effort was made to promote the health of slaves (at least before they were sold). Perhaps, then, as far as health was concerned, the condition of slaves was not as miserable as is often suggested.
- Estelle Cronnier,
Paris 1 - Sorbonne University: Eastern Christianity and the relics of the saints : from refusal to quest
At the 4th century, the Roman Empire became officially Christian. At this time, began the first ‘inventions’ or discoveries of relics, in the broad meaning of the word, corporal or not, of the great ancient and new testamentary figures, martyrs and saints, or even the Christ and the Holy Virgin. It seems that Christianity first had some difficulty to admit the cult of relics. Why then, suddenly, those discoveries or re-discoveries, at regular intervals, that would never stop ? In order to obtain some answers, it is necessary to examine the origins of the cult of relics in the Christian World, the Christian conception of the Afterlife, and consider the question of the legacies (Jewish or Pagan).
- Barbara Fero: The Funerals of Patroklos – some observations on Il. 23
The 23rd book of the Iliad, regarding Patroklos’ burial ceremony and funeral games, shows an unespected high percentage of dual forms. Starting from the evidence of the wide use of the dual, this research intends to analyse the linguistic and literary features of the book, trying to determine whether the duals here are meant to be an archaism, or if otherwise they represent a specific - maybe dialectal - pattern. On the other hand, it is an aim of this investigation to look for internal elements which could suggest specific relations of the book with other parts of the Iliad.
- Caterina Franchi, Exeter College, Oxford University: "You cannot deny that you are my son this time, Alexander; you would not have died if you had been Ammon's." Alexander's death in Antiquity
Alexander's death has always been one of the greatest inexplicable dramas of the Antiquity: a sudden event with no possibile prevision, occouring in a death bed and not in a battlefield, as everybody would have thought Alexander would die, a passing that ruined the dream of the first universal empire. This paper will show how the Conqueror's death has been differently treated by Alexander's historians - as an historical fact - and by the various versions of the Alexander Romance - as the murder firstly of a god-like king, then of a marthyr: mirrors of Alexander's different appropriations by his posterity.
- Alba de Frutos, CSIC, Madrid: Practicalities of funerary custom in Graeco-Roman Egypt
Much has been already written on funerary practices in Egypt. My focus is intended to understand the kinds of documents which provide information about the practical aspects of the “celebration” or “commemoration” of the dead. This question is part of my PhD research project on Practicalities of popular and private celebrations and festivals in Graeco Roman Egypt through the papyri. In the present paper I would like to analyse one specific kind of document, the “invitation”, and in this case, those invitations preserved on papyrus which contain references or are related to funerals.
- Agnieszka Fulińska, Jagiellonian University: Sister and Wife, Queen and Goddess - Posthumous life of Arsinoe Philadelphus and the dynastic propaganda of the Ptolemies
Arsinoe II Philadelphus, daughter of Ptolemy I Soter, was one of the most prominent figures within the Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt. Before returning to Alexandria around 278 BC she had been wife of Lysimachus of Thrace, who renamed Ephesus Arsinoeia in her honour, and later of her half-brother, Ptolemy Ceraunus. It was, however, her marriage to her full brother, Ptolemy II, that gave her real power and importance. This marriage was the first in a line of sibling marriages of the Ptolemies, and was praised by Theocritus as hieros gamos, but its sacred dimension was more comprehensible within the Egyptian frame of mind. After the queen’s death her husband-brother launched a broad programme of deification and cult: Arsinoe was worshipped as Aphrodite, Agathe Tyche and associated with the Egyptian deities such as Ammon and Isis. Her cult was one of the most important religious and political phenomena throughout the dynasty; her attributes can be found in statues as late as in the time of Cleopatra VII, and gold coins with her deified image (or possibly images of later queens in the guise of Arsinoe) were struck until the time of Ptolemy XII Auletes. In my paper I would like to focus on how Greek and Egyptian elements interlace in the cult and images of Arsinoe, making her not only a patron deity of the dynasty but also a syncretic symbol, whose various aspects could be interpreted within Greek and local traditions.
- Sarah J. Harden University College, Oxford University: Memory and Death in Pindar and Theognis
This paper will focus on several instances in Greek lyric where the poet reflects on the connection between future memory after death and song. The poets claim control over the memory of future generations through the power of their songs, which by enduring throughout all time, will immortalize not only their subjects but also their authors. Throughout his epinician poetry Pindar promises his laudandi that their glorious deeds will never fade from human memory, simultaneously claiming that his own excellence as a poet will be equally immortal: the reciprocal nature of this relationship will be discussed in this paper. As well as these claims to control future memory, Pindar often manipulates the poetic and mythic tradition to create a new ‘memory’ of the past within his poetry. That this connection between song and memory is more than merely functional will be argued with reference to some of the Pindaric fragments where the relationship of poetry to memory is also a theme. Theognis too reflects self-consciously on the power of song to immortalize his subject Cyrnus through its impact on human memory in a dramatic image of song defeating Hades and carrying its subject on wings across the world. Both Pindar and Theognis self-consciously present poetry as the only guarantee of future reknown, ignoring or (as in the case of Pindar N.5) specifically de-valuing other artistic methods of commemoration after death.
In a close reading of several key passages, I explore how their concept of memory, both of the (mythical) past events and that of future generations, is connected with their view of their own poetry. The different genres of the poems discussed will offer a useful framework for discussing the varying conceptions of memory in Greek poetry, as well as the diverse uses to which concepts of memory are put by poets.
- Manfred Horstmanshoff
: “This I suffered in the short space of my life”: The epitaph on Lucius Minicius Anthimianus
The famous, very emotional child-epitaph in Greek verse of Lucius Minicius Anthimianus from the 3rd century CE (CIG 3272; Peek GVI 1166) describes the short life span and death of a 4 year old boy. The paper aims at an 'exemplary' interpretation of this text in its socio-cultural context as it includes not only death (of a child), but also bereavement, consolation, religion, afterlife, Greek metre, Greek literature and linguistics, Greek and Latin epigraphy, social history and ancient medicine. The interpretation of the poem might initiate a discussion on interdisciplinarity in classical studies.
- Mateusz Kędzierski, Jagiellonian University / University of Economics in Krakow: The Life after Death – Reflections on Plato’s Theology and Theory of the Soul
The main part of my speech will be based on Plato’s ‘The Republic’ (Book X)and ‘Ion’. These two dialogues will lead us deep into Plato’s theory of the soul and the relations between the gods, man’s soul and the political and social dimension of human life. In my presentation I would rather, following Socrates and his philosophical method, pose some questions than give answers to all of them. Firstly, we suppose to begin at the fundamental question – did Plato have any theology and whether his theology was only a consequence of ethics or maybe ethics were a result of theological assumptions. Next, I will try to compare Plato’s god(s) versus Homeric gods and present how important this discrepancy is, for Plato’s theory of soul and all history of philosophy. This shift in Greek culture which started with Plato became a turning point for all Western civilization, however I will try to focus on that issue not only from Plato’s perspective but also from the perspective of traditional Greek Homeric culture and Roman stoic and state-concentrated outlook. Another possible way of description Plato’s theory of the soul is via the question how the vision of life after death is important for social life (theology and ethics as a substantial factors of social stability) and also for an ‘education’ of the good (wise) man (spoudaios) in Plato’s ethics. Last but not least, is the topic of a tension between Plato and Christianity – was Plato anticipating Christianity or he was a pure philosopher? Can man (even a philosopher) reach pure philosophy and the real knowledge (episteme)? My speech is based on the original Greek text and English translation, which will help me to juxtapose Greek notions with English equivalents and develop, I hope, a profound and interesting analysis of Plato’s thought.
- Georgia Kolovou, Paris: Lexicographical research of the words Death and Afterlife in the Parekbolai on Iliad of Eustathius Thessalonicensis
The object of our paper is to make a lexicographical research on the words Death and Afterlife in the known philological work of the byzantine scholiast Parekbolai on Iliad . The principal axe of our paper is to demonstrate the particularity of this byzantine commentary on Homer and the way in which Eustathius interprets the words Death and Afterlife in his analysis on the Homeric text. The first part of our paper makes a brief presentation of all the philological works of the archbishop of Thessalonica and demonstrates the use and the signification of the technical term Parekbolai in his work on Homer. The second part shows the way in which Eustathius treats the words Death and Afterlife in his Homeric commentary. The selection and compilation of the lexicographical, grammatical, etymological, syntactical, philosophical, and ethical scholia on the words Death and Afterlife (including also the derivative forms of these words) indicate firstly the attitude of a Christian scholiast concerning the use and the signification of these words which are attested in a pagan poem, and secondly the particular method of his work and mostly the pedagogical and educative aim for which Eustathius writes a huge grammatical work on Homer.
- Kamil Kopij, Krakow: The Afterlife of Pompey the Great
Roman views on the matter of the afterlife were a little bit shady. Maybe because of that Romans were obsessed with the cultivation of the memory of their ancestors and the desire to be remembered. It is beyond doubt that Pompey the Great did a good job to be remembered. The paper is an attempt to show: 1) how the memory of the general has been changing through ages, from the times straight after his death, through the Roman history and medieval “mirabilia” to the present day; 2) how his name was used by his sons and by his enemies; 3) how he was remembered not only because of his deeds but also because of the monuments he had erected.
- Ilkka Kuivalainen, Helsinki University: The Idea of Dionysiac Afterlife in Pompeii
Dionysos was not only the god of fertility, wild growing nature, wine and joyful life but also a link between living people and the Underworld. He often became popular during wars and misery to give comfort or to disturb people with the idea of a new better life. In some iconographical variations Dionysos was considered victorious over death. Dionysos is the most important theme of interior decoration in some Pompeian private houses which are discussed in this paper. The material consists of garden sculpture and wall paintings. The most important case study is domus IX 3, 5 & 24, Casa di Marco Lucrezio, where Dionysos is shown in several forms and with a large entourage.
- Matěj Novotný,
Charles University, Prague: The presence of death in the public space in classical Athens (displays and suppressions)
Since dying and death are almost completely suppressed in contemporary western civilization, and absent from our everyday experience, it is not usualy recognized how different was the experience of premodern times. The aim of the following paper is to outline on what occasions and in what forms did the Athenians encounter dying and death (apart from wars) and what was the regulative role of the state. First, it focuses on two different ways, in which death of an animal was publicly presented: sacrifices and cockfights. In connection with death of a human and its polluting effect it subsequenty deals with burials, tomb cult, death penalties and public executions.
- Daniele Pellacani, Bologna University: The catasterism of Eridanus and the Death of Phaethon: a comparison among the Latin translations of Arat. 359 – 360
In Arat. 359-360 (Οἶον γὰρ κἀκεῖνο θεῶν ὑπὸ ποσσὶ φορεῖται λείψανον Ἠριδανοῖο πολυκλαύτου ποταμοῖο) the constellation of the River is identified for the first time with the mythical Eridanus. Since the words λείψανον and πολυκλαύτου represent cryptic allusions to the myth of Phaethon and Heliades, I would analyse how the Latin translators (Cicero, Germanicus, Avienus and the later Aratus Latinus) ‘reacted’ to these allusive spurs. In relation both to their cultural milieu and to other Latin accounts of this myth, they all develop the aratean passage emphasizing the mythical element: on this way the figures of Phaethon and Eridanus mingle one another reinforcing the relation between the death of the semi-god and the catasterism of the river.
- Bettina Reitz,
Leiden University: Death, Burial and the Impossibility of Closure in Statius’ Thebaid
In ancient epic, death and burial are among the most important closural motifs. At the end of Statius’ Thebaid, both of these motifs appear. However, instead of signifying closure, they are manipulated in such a way as to signify not closure but, rather, its very impossibility. A profusion of narratives of ‘almost-death’ (of men for whom the moment of death is delayed, who have died, but are unable to enter the underworld, or who only pretend to be dead, but are still alive) becomes an image of the prolonged almost-finished status of the narrativ and at the same time the delay of its ‘death’, or ultimate closure. Similarly, the theme of failed funerary rites in the final stages of the Thebaid reflects on the poet’s struggles to impose closure on the epic.
- Marion Ros, Leiden University: The myth of lead poisoning
Death came in a myriad of shapes and guises in the Roman World, with causes ranging from epidemics to war and malnutrition. Even beneficial aspects of Roman life, such as obsession with clean water, fondness of wine and use of cosmetics and Greek medicine, were seen as suspect, as these things supposedly contained lead. Careful unraveling of fact from fiction, however, reveals lead poisoning as a cause of mass mortality in the Roman to be a myth. In the second half of the seventh century, a new and deadly epidemic struck the Byzantine Empire. From Paul of Aegina’s descriptions of it, we now know that the ‘epidemic’ was nothing more or less than the first recorded outbreak of colica Pictonum, more commonly known as lead poisoning. If lead poisoning was a relatively rare thing, something must have happened to change this. The question is what. After eliminating the impossible, only one plausible source of lead poisoning remains. Comparative analysis with later outbreaks of colica Pictonum and the use of tree-ring data enables us to understand how, in the late seventh century, a relatively harmless habit suddenly became lethal.