Abstracts "Re-Thinking Globalisation"
Here you find the conference abstracts in alphabetical order:
(Sahapedia UNESCO, New Delhi, India)
Transculturality and Early Globalisation: Visual Culture in an Interconnected World
In this paper I will highlight how the contribution of social sciences can add to the understanding of ancient Globalisation and its impact on visual culture. Does the circulation of portable objects functions as catalyst for change and innovation? How did cultural systems interact in antiquity? The study of cultures has a long history, and a reflection on the necessary sociological and anthropological approach to ancient cultures is fundamental. Post-colonial studies on culture and on its definition can be applied to ancient Western Indian Ocean (WIO) in order to better contextualize cultural interactions.
In particular my attention is focused, indeed, on the concept of transculturality intended as those cultural conditions characterized by permeation and intermingling. Transculturality means that the idea of cultures as islands with insurmountable borders has been overcome, not only in reference to contemporary cultures, but as an historical concept. In this paper after debating the theoretical aspects, I will show their possible application to Indian Ocean archaeological contexts and the development of shared visual culture elements. I will discuss at least two examples; the first one is a class of terracotta figurines produced in the Deccan area in Central India during the Satavahana period. Hybridization of these Indian figurines is traceable through elements from a Romano-Egyptian iconography, but cultural inputs from Parthian Iran and the Arab-Persian Gulf must also be considered. This research shows how religion and superstitions may prove catalytic agents in transcultural interactions. Another example of circulation of culture I will discuss is represented by travelling items: portable figures from India indeed have reached the Mediterranean (e.g. the so-called Lakshmi from Pompeii) and also the Arabian Peninsula (e.g. the Shalabanjika from Khor Rori and a recently discovered bronze head from the same site).
From a historical point of view, WIO as a field of study has been strongly affected by a Euro-centric approach. Nowadays, thanks to both newly acquired knowledge and reinterpretation of already known sources, we can give to the related phenomena a proper interpretation. This challenging field of study requires a multidisciplinary approach, only building bridges between disciplines we can widen our understanding of ancient Globalisation and broaden horizons on early cultural history.
Juan Manuel Bermúdez Lorenzo
(Historia y Arqueología, Universidad de Barcelona, Spain)
The way to the provincials' heart is through their stomach: oil and other stuff which the conquerors brought. Roman epigraphy as an example of globalization.
Nowadays you can find some kinds of products anywhere in the world: products as Coke, Mcdonalds burgers or Nike shirts are seen as a marketing or economic way of saying ‘America is here’. Of course, this is just an economic way of globalization, which leads to social and cultural influence. But, is this kind of influence something new? Certainly not. Works as the one of Hingley or Pitts and Versluys stated the way of research we need to find out more about the kind of globalization the Romans carried out. More specifically, the study of the Roman trade can be useful to find out about one main field of this preliminary economic globalization. The epigraphy on amphorae was used in a private working sphere but also was part of the product used as a marketing dissemination object. The object of this work is to insert this kind of inscriptions in the framework of the Roman globalization, linking them to the places and institutions where they were useful. The relations of interdependence between provinces and the contacts with Rome and its interests are essential to understanding how important were the products contained in amphorae for the globalization carried out from the Urbs.
Valerio Bruni and Elena Scarsella
(‘La Sapienza’ University of Rome, Italy)
Parcere subiectis, debellare superbos. The ‘Romanization’ of Inner Abruzzo (Central Italy)
Globalization is a modern word for an old concept, but which forms did it take in ancient times, when communications and territorial control were challenging issues? Starting from this brief reflection, this paper focuses on the transformations occurred in Central Italy after the romanization of the area. As a case study, it will operate within the territory that the Latin literature attributed to the Vestini Cismontani people and that in modern era correspond to the nearby of L’Aquila, Abruzzo (Italy). The romanization of the area can be divided in two phases, as they correspond to two different kind of relationship between Rome and Vestini: the first one short after the second Samnite War, the second one after the direct control of Rome over the area.
The first period started by the end of the 4th century BC (after the foedus dated to 302 BC and following the conquest by Curius Dentatus), when, as a consequence of the Samnite wars, the area in exam lost part of its independence. To this phase, it is possible to date some modifications within the settlement pattern, operated by Rome with the purpose of a political control over the area. A second phase of the romanization of the Vestini territory, occurred two centuries later, around 90 BC after the Social war that led the populations of the Central Italy to obtain the roman citizenship. After those events, Roman interference within the territorial management of the area was much more invasive and make the territory completely “Romanized”, within the wider “globalized” system of Roman hegemony.
This paper aims to define which transformations occurred during these two phases and which factors were beyond them. It has already been noted as the Vestini pre-Roman settlement pattern (organized in central places, minor settlement and fortified outposts) changed after the romanization, but it still has to be defined how and why this occurred. In this paper, we will consider political, economical and geographical factors in order to understand how Rome interfered within the area and why some settlements survived and prospered while others were abandoned. Once examined the factors that laid beyond these transformations, this paper will investigate the existence of a programmatic pattern in Roman agency, and whether this can be included in a wider political program of control over Central Italy. In order to do so, a comparation with other areas of Samnium and Sabina will be made.
(Research group on Late Antiquity, Gentilitas and Christianitas, History Department, Faculty of Philosophy and Literature, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina)
The pagani in the fourth century’s Historia Ecclesiastica by Rufinus of Concordia
The notion of paganism was conceived by early Christian authors both as a homogenizing term, and also as an element in the Christians/non-Christians discursive dichotomy. Most historians agree on the fact that the so-called pagani did not see themselves as such before the rise of Christianity.
If we think of globalisation as the rhetoric discourse of a uniform set of behaviours shared by communities that coexist in an extensive territory, we could say that paganism, as it was depicted by Christian literature, was a globalised concept. Christian authors saw paganism from a global perspective, yet the common features that held pagans together were mostly illusory or constructed, and might not be found in the multicultural communities of the Late Roman Empire.
Our research explores how Christian literature bound local identities into a single group, the pagani of the fourth century. To this end, and considering the impact of recent studies on the subject of pagans and paganism in Late Antiquity, we will examine how these local identities were represented in the Historia Ecclesiastica by Rufinus of Concordia. The focus will be on determining if Rufinus thought of the pagani as the others, those defined by the connotation of being non-Christians, and the relevance given to the persistence of traditional rites and cults in local communities.
Particularly, we will discuss the concept of a global Roman Empire as a valid approach to how Christian authors homogenized the diversity and dynamism of the so-called pagani in the various regions of the Roman Empire and its surrounding territories.
Gian Franco Chiai
(FU Berlin, Germany)
Shaping local identities in a ‘global world’.
Phrygia and the Phrygian within the Roman empire: ‘A world apart’?
Being part of the Roman empire, living according to the Roman laws and obeying to the Roman Emperor, worshipping his person, did not signify cancel and forget the local particularities and identities. With other words, becoming Roman did not signify renounce to the own local identity. On the contrary, the globalization that takes place within the edges of the Roman empire seems to have led to a revaluation of traditions and local cultures. This development is particularly evident in the field of the provincial religion. Indeed, in spite of the use of Greek and Latin as languages of the religious communication, it cannot be accidental that cults and practices attested in the territories of the Roman provinces present often strong local peculiarities, that testify the continuity of the indigenous traditions. We can remember, for instance, the ritual of the public confession, performed in the rural sanctuaries of Phrygia and Lydia: this is a practice already attested in the Hittite period, which however seems to have been written down only in Roman time, testifying the continuity of a local tradition. The emergence of these particularisms in the field not only religious is a phenomenon that generally characterizes the culture of the Roman provinces. The Roman authorities do not seem to have contrasted this phenomenon. Indeed, the local elites, though strong Hellenized and Romanized, seem to have been proud of these traditions, which attested the antiquity of their origins, as the epigraphic, numismatic and archaeological evidence shows.
Considering selected epigraphic and numismatic sources, this paper aims at showing how in virtue of the presence of these local traditions Phrygia and its culture can be viewed as a “world apart” in context of the globalisation of the Roman empire. Furthermore, my purpose is to investigate the role of these traditions in the creation of a new local identity in the region during the Roman time as well as the reasons why these traditions and religious practices were written down and generally made known (through inscriptions, coins and literary works etc.) in this period and not before.
Matthew Adam Cobb
(Faculty of Humanities and Performing Arts, Lampeter Campus, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, UK)
The Indian Ocean in Antiquity and the Concept of Globalisation
Abstract to be added
(Religious Studies Department, University of Missouri, Columbia, USA)
From cakravartin to bodhisattva: Buddhist models for globalization
The spread of Buddhism impacted many Asian countries from the 5th century BCE onwards. This paper investigates the negotiation and interchange between the expanding Buddhist culture and local cultures and religions. I will examine the idea of globalization in an Asian context through the lens of two central Buddhist concepts: the cakravartin and the bodhisattva. Buddhist texts define a cakravartin as a benevolent ruler who fuses spiritual and political power in his global reign. The term is first used during the Indian Maurya Empire (322-185 BCE), and is especially applied to the emperor Ashoka (3rd cent. BCE), who expanded the borders of the Mauryan Empire and was instrumental in spreading Buddhism. While Ashoka famously advocated tolerance towards all religions, this tolerance may have been political expediency rather than ideology. This paper argues that the cakravartin represents one particular model of Buddhist globalization, one where the spread of the religion coincides with the growing military dominion of an Indian Buddhist king.
After the decline of the Mauryan empire, the ideal of the cakravartin begins to fade from Buddhist texts. When the term is used in post-Mauryan Buddhism, it is usually in a metaphorical sense, applied to the spiritual figure of the bodhisattva. A bodhisattva is an enlightened being who has chosen to be reborn out of compassion for a suffering world. Each bodhisattva rules over a “Buddha field”, or spiritual realm. Each Buddha field has its own laws and may have a different culture, language, or even separate forms of time and space. A bodhisattva can travel freely between different Buddha fields, but will not try to change their local features; the bodhisattva’s only task is to purify the Buddha field by eliminating suffering and bringing all beings in it to spiritual liberation. I argue that even though Buddha fields, as purely religious abstractions, have no direct impact on politics, they do indirectly provide a conceptual paradigm for a new form of globalization: Local cultures may (like Buddha fields) be radically different from Indian Buddhist culture, but as long as Buddhist compassion reigns there, nothing needs to change. The bodhisattva provides a new model for understanding cultural diversity after the decline of a unified political empire: No longer an empire, the world is a network of interdependent cultures where ideas are shared across national (and sometimes cosmic) boundaries.
Sonsoles Costero Quiroga
(Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain)
A Global Philosophical World:
Academic Schools in Late Antiquity through the cases of Proclus and Olympiodorus
One of the notorious ways of globalisation in the Ancient World can be seen through the contact that the different schools maintained around all the Mediterranean, particularly in the Late Antiquity with the Neoplatonists. The process of acquiring paideia constituted one of the basic steps for the elite in the late Roman world to educate themselves in the virtues. From the grammarian and latin teachers to the schools of the philosophers, the education was consolidated by an uniform way of teaching (Marrou, 1956).
This unique phenomenon is shown in two aspects: (1.) A common platonic syllabus in the different Philosophy Schools, and (2.) the constant quotation of Neoplatonic philosophers among them, which makes them become ‘references’ or ‘philosophical canons’ in a short period of time.
In the first place, the Neoplatonist used a clear curricula of the various opera of Plato and Aristotle, in order to acquire aretê, through the different prolegomena written by the teacher, as an introduction of each philosopher’s system in the primary texts (Westerink, 1990) (Mansfeld, 1994). This curricula is a common denominator in the school of Athen and Alexandria, in the III- VI CE.
A depth-study of the Proclus’ work Tria Opuscula —concretely On Providence §27–32— and Olympiodorus’ On Plato First Alcibiades 204, 15–205,7; 209, 15–210, 11; will analyse the different modes of knowledge and the scala virtutum as programmes of acquiring virtue in the Antiquity, using the works of Plato as the same educational method.
In the second place, a common ground of sharing knowledge in the Late Antiquity was based in the student exchange and the letters with commentaries between the schools. The elite used educational centers for learning morality and civil behaviour (Brown, 1992) and also for social network (Watts, 2008) and enclave.
Also the commentaries between philosophers developed a constant quotation of each others, sometimes missing the name in purpose, elevating the author as the same level as Plato or Homer. This movement created unique situations as the canonisation of philosophers who are less than a century apart. This is the case with Proclus and Olympiodorus.
The analysis of this two entwined ideas made in a inconsistent world gives the opportunity of talking about the Globalisation in Antiquity as a valid approach if we analyse the specific context of this two Neoplatonists.
(Université de Strasbourg, France)
Thinking Cultural Contacts in Cosmopolitan Places:
The case of Delos in the 2nd and 1st century BC
À une époque marquée par les interventions et les conquêtes romaines dans la partie orientale de la Méditerranée, ainsi que par la décision du Sénat romain, en 167, de placer cette île sous le contrôle d’Athènes et d’en faire un port exempté de taxes douanières, des individus originaires d’une grande partie du bassin méditerranéen furent de plus en plus nombreux à s’installer ou à séjourner à Délos.
C’est sur les contacts culturels au sein de cette société cosmopolite et sur la manière d’en rendre compte que portera ma communication. Je montrerai que Délos est caractérisée par des phénomènes d’intégration culturelle multiples, indissociables de leurs contextes politiques et économiques. Par exemple, les Italiens y sont intégrés sous des formes et à des degrés divers, à la fois dans la communauté des Italici et dans divers groupes constitués (de manière circonstancielle ou durable) suivant d’autres critères que l’origine géographique (e. g. la communauté du gymnase, des thérapeutes et des associations professionnelles), tandis que de non-Italiens faisaient partie des mêmes ensembles cosmopolites et pouvaient, pour certains d’entre eux, développer des relations particulières avec les Italici.
La question des relations entre hellénisme et romanité s’y pose de manière particulière. Alors qu’avoir recours à des pratiques grecques pouvait servir à manifester son intégration dans ce milieu hellénique, recourir à des usages romains permettait à des individus – romains ou non – d’exprimer leur lien – réel ou souhaité – avec la puissance dominante du moment. Néanmoins, au sein de cette société cosmopolite, il est parfois difficile de distinguer ce qui, dans certaines pratiques culturelles, est d’origine grecque de ce qui est proprement romain.
Par exemple, l’analyse des ludi Compitalicii, dont la célébration à Délos est attestée par des peintures, montre que les épreuves en question, leur déroulement, la tenue des athlètes ainsi que les prix octroyés aux vainqueurs revêtaient notamment des caractères d’origine grecque et étrusque. Le principal problème inhérent à l’état de la documentation reste de savoir si ces derniers étaient déjà constitutifs des ludi tels qu’ils étaient pratiqués à Rome au IIe siècle. Ces caractéristiques grecques faisaient-elles partie intégrante d’un hellénisme romain ou correspondent-elles à une influence délienne de cette époque ? Les interactions culturelles multiples au sein des sociétés romaine et délienne rendent ces analyses complexes. En tout cas, il est probable que ces formes d’hybridité culturelle aient facilité la participation à ces fêtes d’individus d’origine grecque, esclaves ou affranchis, mais aussi ingénus.
Miguel Esteban Payno
(Universitat de les Illes Balears (Palma, Spain), Occidens Research Group)
Τὸ κοινὸν ἔθος πάντων ἀνθρώπων.
Diplomacy: between global customs and local peculiarities
Livy, Appian and other authors told mostly about negotiations that had failed (Brennant, 2009). Nevertheless, there were lots of them –many of which are recognised only from some indirect notices–, that would achieve their aims. Even some of those present on the historians’ texts were not unsuccessful. Therefore it means diplomacy was after all an operative procedure.
Despite all this, it is hard to deny the existence of some kind of local particularities. Although they do not always avoid or thwart the possibility of communication between each part, they might have caused more than one odd misunderstanding (Torregaray, 2009, 2011). Diplomats had to overcome these hindering cultural barriers. Differences are seen especially in the Western Ancient world. In Hispania, Gallia and Britannia took place quite a few of those failures of communication.
The aim on this proposal is to focus on some examples of diplomacy in the Antiquity, particularly in Hispania, in order to display how the political communication was a practice where both global generalized costumes and local particularities took place together in the pan-Mediterranean background (García Riaza, 2014).
Were the differences within the diplomatic praxis as striking as Greek and Latin authors sometimes state? Or could they have been the object of a deliberate exaggeration owing to ideological factors? Despite cultural blockages, was it possible to talk about a supranational consuetudo? Were those words of Diodorus saying τὸ κοινὸν ἔθος πάντων ἀνθρώπων more than a rhetorical speech?
Taking into account the weight of the ideological aspects, the historical texts can give us the chance to learn more about the inner working of the indigenous societies, but also these primarily sources provide some clues about the common diplomatic practice spread all over Mediterranean basin (Linderski, 1995). Even before the complete strengthening of the Roman Empire had reached every shore, a cultural koiné concerning diplomacy had already been scattered across the sea. Rules like not bearing down on defeated enemy if surrendered or observing diplomatic immunity were generally accepted by most of the peoples.
Riza Haluk Soner (Namik Kemal University, Turkey) and Davide Polimeno (external assistant to the Soprintendenza for Apulia and Calabria, Italy)
Indigenous Civilisations in a Greek Sea:
Contacts and Change Models in Southern Iapygia
The present contribution analyses complex connectivities and networks in southern Iapygia between the 9th century BC and the Roman conquest in 267-266 BC, that is roughly the period of independence and sovereignty of Messapians. This ethnos was actually surrounded by Greeks, since the Corinthian colony of Kerkyra and their later mixed foundations of Epidamnos and Apollonia were just on the other side of the Otranto Channel, while at the westernmost corner of southern Iapygia there was the Spartan apoikia of Taranto. Furthermore, two Greek emporia were in Otranto and Brentesion at least from the 7th century BC.
Actually trades and contacts between these Iapygian tribes and Greek sailors would have begun in the 9th century BC. This research focuses on the sharing of religious practices in the earliest phase of the Messapian civilization, with the important case of study of the cult of Zeus at Leuca, where the Olympian deity was worshipped by both Greeks and Iapygians at least from the 8th century BC.
Later evidence of Greek cults comes from Ugento (the Messapian Ozan) well known for the discovery of the bronze statue of Zeus, probably manufactured in Taranto. Also Artemis had her own place in the Messapian pantheon, in the light of the goddess’ sanctuary in the harbor of the ancient Ugento. Also this deity seems to be worshipped here by Messapians and Greeks. The cult of Artemis is attested also elsewhere on the western coast of Salento north of Ugento and south of Taranto; at least some of these worship places were shared by Greeks and indigenous. Beside the sharing of religious practices the authors deal with the sharing of social practices between these two groups.
The religious sphere is probably the best documented field of the “globalization” in the relationships between Greeks and Iapygians in the Archaic period (late 8th - early 5th centuries). It implies further levels of globalization such as the mythological and that of visual arts. In this frame there is the issue of acceptance of beliefs, legends, myths. This research tries to investigate why certain beliefs and behaviours were accepted. Furthermore the study deals with the concepts of acceptance/rejection of Greek models and what is matched by archaeological –and sometimes literary- evidence in the periods of Greek expansionism into Messapian territories from Taranto’s chora.
(Lampeter, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, UK)
How do people shape their own identities in Rome’s western provinces? On the usefulness of glocalisation, creolisation and bricolage
Abstract to be added
Tomas Larsen Høisæter
(University of Bergen, Norway)
The Role of Diasporas in the late antique Silk Road Exchange Network:
The Cases of Krorania and Dunhuang
In the processes of long-distance exchange and globalization the formation of diasporas appears as a reoccurring phenomenon throughout history. Be it the Venetians in Byzantium or the Dutch “Komojin” of Nagasaki diasporas appear to play a central role in many historical trade and exchange networks. One would therefore expect a similar situation on the Silk Road, the vast network of routes, rivers and passes crossing and connecting much of Central Eurasia. And indeed, in the case of the medieval, or late, Silk Road this phenomenon is widely attested. In particular the role of the Sogdians, who were active in nearly every city between Sogdiana and Central China before and during the reign of the Tang dynasty, has attracted much scholarly attention and has been widely covered.
The situation of the early or antique Silk Road however is far more opaque, partly due to a dearth of sources. This paper will however discuss two cases which are fairly well covered, the Kingdom of Krorania in the southern Tarim Basin and the city of Dunhuang on the western border of China. Mentioned as an important site on the routes leading westwards by Chinese chroniclers the Kingdom of Krorania has yielded a wealth of documents. Mainly of an administrative nature, several of these documents describe foreigners residing in the kingdom. These are mostly people from neighbouring states but also individuals from further afield such as China or possibly India. Dunhuang meanwhile was a city built by the Han empire in the western end of the Gansu corridor and long served as an important gateway and checkpoint. Both Chinese administrative documents and a cache of Sogdian letters from near Dunhuang describe foreigners residing in and travelling to the city.
Based on these two cases the paper will discuss the role of diasporas in facilitating and maintaining networks of exchange and interaction across Central Eurasia in the first four centuries CE. It will first attempt to say something about the extent to which one can speak of diasporas in Central Asia in this early period, as this is far from clear in all the sources. Secondly, the role of these diasporas in trade and exchange networks will be discussed. Finally the paper will discuss to what extend the “Silk Road” networks were reliant upon these diaspora communities.
(Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena)
New Developments in the Science of Globalisation
The paper will examine the origins of long distant maritime trade between China and West, in the light of the latest archaeological discoveries. These include excavations in Sri Lanka, and along the East African coast, conducted by the Sealinks Project, as well as new work on the spread of ancient crops and animals, from aDNA, isotopes and phytolith and pollen analysis.
(University of Washington, USA)
The Emergence of Iron Metallurgy in Taiwan: a Trade Diaspora Model
Movement of ideas, materials, and people which is one of the main catalysts for social change. As for the reflection, the cross-cultural contacts such as migration, trade and exchange are the crucial factors for shaping and re-shaping our society. This proposed research takes a new approach to investigating the emergence of prehistoric iron metallurgy in Taiwan by using a trade diaspora model, which privileges the role of trade diasporic “foreigner” communities and their interactions with local communities. This alternate perspective will explore the movement of people, material and knowledge in South China Sea region beginning over 2000 years ago, and breaks from the current dominant migrationist models. Ceramic, burial and the appearance of iron-making technology are three main proxies to test the proposed model. Preliminary positive results from ceramic and burial practice analysis indicate the appearance of trade diaspora community in prehistoric Taiwan.
This research will provide a new approach to understanding the emergence of the Iron Age in Taiwan, which has puzzled archaeologists for decades. The trade diaspora model also encourages us to reconsider the interactions between different cultures, such as the entanglement between old and new trade systems, the Austronesian-based route around the South China Sea region, and the maritime Silk Road around the Indian Ocean.
Aitor Luz Villafranca
(Faculty of Philosophy and Letters, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain)
The building of Macedonian ethnicity before Philip II
One of the most outstanding themes in Macedonian studies is the issue of the ethnicity of this community. Indeed, the shaping of this collective identity has been analyzed by many scholars in the frame of Philip´s rise to power, because this ethnicity is a great case-study in the treatment of barbarity and hellenicity, but it has not been entirely examined prior to this great commander. Then, and keeping in mind Jonathan Hall´s view about the instrumentalism and mutability in ancient ethnic constructions, we must assume that Macedonian identity suffers a lot of changes along the time, but this identity is conditioned by the mirror of hellenicity. In effect, Hellenicity is one of the main ideological tendencies of classical period and we can consider it as a sort of ideological globalization. For these reason, the first aim of our talk is a detection of basic features of Macedonian ethnicity (blood, religion, culture and common descendance). With this list of features, we can prove their evolution and different relations with the global ideology of the hellenicity. On the one hand, we would see cases of accommodation to the prototypical shape of Hellenic identity, for example in legends around the origin of Temenid house, in the imitation of patterns of culture (literary genres, art…). On the other, we will expose another cases where the local difference in regard to the Hellenic prototype, for example the role of the dynasty, is significant in the construction of Macedonian identity. In this way, we want to prove the various responses regarding a global ideology, the Hellenicity, from the Macedonian state rethinking the possibilities of cultural globalization in ancient Greece, a land composed of a myriad of states and varied political organizations.
Francisco Machuca Prieto
(Universidad de Málaga, Spain)
The making of an Identity:
The Phoenician communities of the Iberian Peninsula and their integration in the Roman world
This paper aims to report the conclusions of our dissertation, titled The Phoenician communities of the Iberian Peninsula and their integration in the Roman world: an identity perspective. The period under discussion extends from the end of the Second Punic War in 206 BCE to the Flavian era.
Above all, the paper focuses on the cultural and ethnic dimensions of the process of integration of communities of Phoenician origin and tradition in the southern part of the Iberian Peninsula into the structures of Roman Empire.
Our investigation has as its primary goal the explanation of the mechanisms of construction of collective identity and forms of expression which have come about in the midst of these communities along the road to becoming established as Roman ciuitates. This dissertation also attempts to improve upon the one-dimensional classical perspectives concerning the poorly-named process of «Romanization». This in turn leads us to reinterpret the known «Phoenician» cultural «persistences» as a reflection of the possible existence of ethnic workings and re-workings by means of falsely or actually ancient components with the goal of legitimation within the dynamic Roman world.
Our main conclusion is that the Phoenicians, although they began to integrate themselves quite early into Roman power structures due to the necessity of the elites to consolidate their positions of power at the heart of their own communities, did so with the intention of maintaining their own idiosyncrasy and of not losing their unique cultural traits. As a base was used a series of cultural elements which displayed their specificity in the face of other contemporary identities by means of a connection with a prestigious ancestral past. There were two fundamental components of this process: the recognition of certain common origins, real or putative, which took root along with the city of Tyre, the oldest metropolis, and the figure of Melqart, the quintessential founding god within the Phoenician orbit.
(Research Centre ‘Education and Religion’, Georg-August University of Göttingen, Germany)
Living local, learning global. The challenge of Greek education in Graeco-Roman Egypt
As already emphasised by ancient authors, Alexander the Great’s conquests dramatically enlarged the boundaries of the Greek world and brought about a large-scale and multifaceted process of Hellenization. In this widened world, the Greek language and cultural tradition became the subject of school education in several geographical areas, where Greek education was used as a means to define and perpetuate the cultural identity of the elite (T. Morgan, Literate Education in the Hellenistic and Roman Worlds, Cambridge 1998, 22-5). While it is sensible to view Greek education as substantially homogeneous over time and across geographical boundaries (after all, its primary ingredients, such as Homer and moralizing maxims, tenaciously persisted for over a millennium), the widespread tendency among scholars to treat the extant evidence on school education as a continuum “virtually independent of societal changes and geography” (R. Cribiore, Gymnastics of the Mind, Princeton 2001, 8) does not capture the importance of the local element within it.
This paper focuses on Greek education in Graeco-Roman Egypt, an area which has preserved unique first-hand evidence in the form of papyri, potsherds and tablets written by students and teachers. By analyzing selected witnesses dating to the Ptolemaic and Roman periods, this paper highlights the dialectic between ‘global’ (Greek) and local (Egyptian) elements in educational practices. Particular attention will be devoted to three aspects:
1) Echoes of Ptolemaic propaganda in school texts, through the selection, as teaching material, of poetry celebrating the royal family or describing the grand urban landscape of the royal capital Alexandria (e.g. P. Cair. inv. 65445; P. Louvre inv. 7172);
2) Evidence of religious syncretism in primary education and reuse of rudiments of Greek poetry in Egyptian templar contexts (O. Mich. I 656 and 657; O. Edfou III 326);
3) School use and manipulation of Greek literary texts to enforce gender boundaries and restate stereotypes on women, as a way to protect the traditional Greek mores against the real or presumed danger posed by the more ‘egalitarian’ dynamics of Egyptian society (e.g. O. Wilcken II 1147, P. Berol. inv. 9772 and 9773).
A reappraisal of the relevant witnesses will help elucidate the intertwining of ‘global’, ‘timeless’ Greek elements with elements rooted into the specific geographical setting, and will show that Greek education was not an immutable and simply transferable package, but rather a set of locally adaptable practices.
(Historian-Oriental Studies, Karoli Gaspar University, Budapest, Hungary)
Scythians and Globalisation
In Iron Age, Scythians created a globalized civilization throughout the Eurasian territory, which flourished from the 7th century BC to the 3rd century AD. They had many innovations from the gastronomy via military equipment to craftsmanship. I try to summarise their achievements in the following:
According to Herodotus, the Greek historian, Scythians originated from a far land (Asia). They captured vast territories of Eastern Europe and Caucasus, and expanded toward westward and southward. Their unified material culture stretched from the Altay Mountains (Pazyryk cultures and Tarim mummies) via Central Asia (Saka cultures) to the Western edge of the Carpathian Basin, and beyond and influenced many nations of that time.
They were talented artisans, made wonderful objects from metals and decorated clothes, horse equipment, etc. Their independent art, which is known as ”animal style” - where they depicted their main elements of their own folk poetry and mythology – can be found the Eurasian steppe belt and influenced other peoples (Chinese, Persian, Etruscan, Celtic). They were able to make masterpieces of arts from metals: bronze, silver, gold, iron, etc. The archaeological findings are similar to the Asian and European continents as well, which means they have standards for making goods. The scholars work on to reveal their secrets how to fulfil globalisation and how their successors to survive them.
The Scythian men were talented and fearful soldiers and produced weapons. Thanks to their innovative procedures, many types of weapons developed, such as daggers, reflex bows, and special axes. Their dagger name was akinakes, both Persian, Chinese (jinglu) and Romans (gladius) derived from them. Nobody shot such Scythians, they were the lord of archery for a long time. Their speed has contributed to their success in battlefields. Thanks to high quality horses, which have been bred in special ways and the horses seemed to be a standard for the whole Scythian communities over Eurasia. Their Chinese name is known as „tian ma” or Heavenly horse.
Of course, they created unique horse equipment, which contributed efficiency in the battlefields. Connected to this, they have special clothes, which is fitted for horse riding. It was the foundation of modern dress. They introduce trousers, special hats and boots in Europe. They invented the fast food as well, because on the long journeys or campaign they had to bring food and other supplements.
We have Greek sources, which presented how many objects discovered by Scythians. I think the unforgotten steppe nations contributed to be creating the modern world.
(Director, Research Center of the Presbyterian Church of Korea UK)
St Augustine on how to save Inwardness from Globalization
This paper examines how globalization as a result of Hellenistic and Roman expansion changed the way of choosing a religion in late antiquity by comparing St Augustine’s conversion in the Confessions with ancient regional and national religions. Before such expansion, religion was closely associated with nation and with place. The Athenians had their gods, as did the Romans, the Egyptians, and the Syrians. These gods were quite distinct, reflecting different cultural and social values and traditions. People were their devotees by the mere fact of having been born in a particular land or city. An Egyptian’s religion centered on gods such as Isis, Osiris, and Horus. A Roman’s religion focused on Saturn, Jupiter, and Neptune. An Athenian would be devoted to Athena, and a Jew to Yahweh. This changed radically with the advent, first of Hellenism, and then of Roman Empire. Socrates’s concept of the examined life, Aristotle’s notions of self-reflective citizenship, and Roman Stoic notions of an education, as Nussbaum claims, contributed to fostering citizens of the whole world. Globalization as a result of Hellenistic and Roman expansion was accompanied by cosmopolitanism and individualism. The world had become so wide as to be beyond one’s grasp. People in the centuries of Hellenization and Romanization had to live in a wide and alien world, and they responded by creating their own smaller worlds, their own definitions of reality, their own value systems, and even their own religions. People traveled from one area to another. They settled in cities far away from their won. It was difficult to worship the ancient gods, often closely connected with particular sites and religions, in far-away lands. Even in their won native areas, people encountered and interacted others who worshiped other gods. The very process of globalization, as Stackhouse argues, led to a sort of globalization of the gods, crating equivalencies that overshadowed the former differences among local gods. In this context, it is important to realize that it is possible to see Christianity and its eventual success precisely as a response to the new global conditions. In those conditions, birth and nationality were no longer important as personal decision and initiation. In the Confessions St Augustine highlights conversion is the matter between soul and God beyond them.
(Israel Antiquities Authority)
Aegyptiaca and Globalisation in the Ancient Mediterranean
The Egyptian-Canaanite/Phoenician network is one of the most enduring exchange networks of the ancient world, one that has left a distinct impact around the Mediterranean from the Bronze Age until the Hellenistic period, continuing into modern times. It is the earliest global network, one which has formed the basis for later Phoenician trade-nets around the Mediterranean. Egypt had a profound impact on the Phoenician religion, style and corpora, elements that became apparent in later Phoenician network zones around the Mediterranean starting in the Late Bronze Age.
Despite now compelling evidence otherwise, Egyptian artefacts found around the Mediterranean are still interpreted frequently by scholars as markers of direct connections between Egypt and Greek, Cypriote and Etruscan traders. In fact, the bulk of Aegyptiaca found around the Mediterranean was shipped not by Egyptians, or by Greeks, but by the Canaanite-Phoenicians. The latter operated not just as mediators but as the main trading agents carrying Egyptian goods to various locations around the Mediterranean. As far as Egyptian products are concerned, Canaanite-Phoenicians had an exclusive and comprehensive monopoly for distribution and trade of papyri, linen, ivory, scarabs, and palm-wine. In addition, Egyptian style artefacts were manufactured in Phoenicia and distributed as Aegyptiaca.
The Egyptian-Phoenician network has a distinct archaeological signature, important in the identification of Phoenician presence around the Mediterranean. Because of the Phoenicians dominant role as distributors of Egyptian objects, these are found almost in every site around the Mediterranean that had contact with Phoenician traders and settlers. Such objects are found in Phoenician “colonies” but also in individual Greek and Etruscan temple corpora and their tributes to various deities. Significantly, the Egyptian objects are rarely the only imported objects in such sites. These are found with Phoenician artefacts made of glass, ivory, and metal and frequently with Phoenician pottery and epigraphic evidence.
Cultural and commercial connections of the Canaanite-Phoenicians with Egypt manifested in two ways: Phoenician trade that shipped and distributed Egyptian goods and objects; and Phoenician art, religion and ceremonies, that absorbed Egyptian motives and beliefs already in the Bronze Age and integrated them into the Canaanite-Phoenician culture.
(Universitat de les Illes Balears, Palma, Spain, Occidens Research Group: www.occidens.es)
Ius gentium: an "international" concept in the Roman Republic? Some reflections on the use of the formula in the Western expansion
Literary sources on the Roman expansion in the Mediterranean provide a certain number of direct and indirect references to ius gentium. This juridical and religious concept is mentioned especially in contexts of war-peace.
The aim of this paper is to study the application of this terminology in the West (Roman Spain and Gallia, III-I BC). We first establish a relation with the Greek concept of asylia, as studied by E. Schlesinger and Ph. Gauthier. From this departure point, we carry out a contextual analysis of the literary references to ius gentium, such as Caesar's allusion to the international inviolability of the ambassadors: quod nomen ad omnes nationes sanctum inviolatumque semper fuisset (Caes. BGall. 3.10.2.). We study the application of the concept in relation to oaths of alliance, ambassadors' inviolability, occupation of territories by "right of conquest", hostage-taking and management of unconditional surrender or deditio, taking into account a vast bibliography from C. Philippson and E. Taübler, to the recently published approaches.
We conclude that a roughly common understanding of practices in the realm of war-peace was shared in the Mediterranean basin, but this global perception of the right of war was deeply re-elaborated by classical sources as an ideological justification for imperial domination.
(Faculty of Archaeology at Leiden University, The Netherlands)
Appropriating Global Koiné. Aspects of Glocalisation in the Kingdom of Commagene
The kingdom of Commagene along the Euphrates in today’s South-Eastern Turkey is situated on a crucial interface connecting the Mediterranean World with Central and Eastern Eurasia. It arose from the instability of the Seleucid Empire in 163 BC and its rulers manoeuvred it through times until it was taken up in the Roman Empire in AD 72/73. Many scholarly attempts have been carried out to culturally locate it in the Greco-Hellenistic or Persian sphere and sometimes ended up with the unsatisfying concept of ›hybridity‹, mainly focussing on Antiochos I. of whom a unique programme of monumental architecture and stylistic novelties has been preserved. But the visual expression of royal self-presentation developed by Antiochos I. in the 1st c. BC and the related issues of its interpretations in terms of cultural affiliations can only be understood when they are put into their local, global, and chronological contexts.
The paper will therefore consider aspects of the material culture within the Kingdom of Commagene from the Hellenistic period until the time after Antiochos I. in order to track down changes in the objectscape. These changes become most apparent in the royal portraiture but also in the remains of the kings’ residence in Samosata. Both cases reveal developments which might best be assessed by applying parts of the analytical toolset offered by globalisation theory. Broadening the view on Commagene through a global lens indicates that the shaping of the identity of the local elite took place in an interconnected world to which it responded by specific appropriations of concepts available from this koiné. In this regard the aspect of identity is crucial to understand the positioning of the Commagenian kings in an increasingly globalising environment. To get closer to an answer of this question, ideas from globalisation theory will be combined with those from reception studies which offer the opportunity to address issues of identity through the interpretation of various media.
Thus, the paper will combine methodological approaches from globalisation theory and reception studies and apply them to the material culture of the Kingdom in Commagene. In doing so, it aims to evaluate the potential of globalisation theory in the studies of ancient societies by adding reception studies to its theoretical framework. Taking the latter and their application to material culture more into account offers a promising possibility to considerably contribute to questions of identity which are at the core of debates on globalisation and local responses to it.
Juan Pablo Sánchez Hernández
The Antonine plague as the first global disease in Antiquity
In Roman history the “Antonine plague” refers to the epidemic disease that supposedly spread from East to West in the wake of the Parthian Wars (161–66 CE) and had several reoccurrences during the reigns of Marcus Aurelius (161–80 CE) and Commodus (180–92 CE). The most hotly debated issues surrounding this topic have been the nature of this disease (smallpox? bubonic plague?), its actual virulence and death-rate (estimates ranging from 1 % to 30%, depending on the region) and its impact on the Roman economy and the military manpower (especially in relation to the crisis of the 3rd century CE).
It is commonly assumed –mostly in late sources, such as Ammianus’ Res Gestae and the Historia Augusta– that the strongest agents of the propagation of the disease were the armies in the Parthian campaign who brought the virus to the West after their conquest of Seleucia on the Tigris (Mesopotamia) in 165 CE. However, in an attempt to reframe the whole question of the impact of the ‘Antonine plague’, this paper will be devoted to the study of the available evidence (texts, papyri and inscriptions) from a global perspective. On one hand, we will focus on the connectivity and multiculturalism of the places that are mentioned as affected by the plague, such as Seleucia in Central Asia, Smyrna in Asia Minor, Athens in Greece, Ostia in Italy, etc. But also, on the other hand, we will present some case studies to show how the great mobility of a class of merchants and even elite individuals (students, sophists, etc.) also contributed to the expansion and virulence of this pandemic disease at that time.
We will see, therefore, how the disease could have been transmitted through various overland and maritime routes that connected Central Asia with the Mediterranean region, allowing the disease to spread to many densely populated areas simultaneously. In fact, the strongest vectors in the propagation of this global disease were not only the movements of the army personnel, but also the continuous travels of traders that sustained the influx of eastern products to the West, and even the journeys of mere individuals who could have fallen sick en route, quickly communicating the virulent infection to other fellow travellers.
(School of Buddhist Studies and Civilization, Gautam Buddha University, India)
Embassies, Emissaries, and Empire: Aśokan Version of ‘Benevolent Globalization’
Aśoka, was destined to be one of the most legendry emperors of all times. His qualities and visionary policies have been in the eye of imagination to his contemporaries and future generations. He was known for striking balance between a benevolent monarch and a devout Buddhist. He is acknowledged as a benevolent, charismatic, commanding, and composed who ruled Indian subcontinent with a different vision and policies. He was fully directed towards exercising leadership over self, over his subject, his contemporaries, and over the extending territories beyond his borders. In his long reign and prosperity he ushered in number of initiates to mingle with the people and communicate with the rulers and people through his emissaries and missions. His nine missions are remarkable to expand the horizon of Buddhism beyond Indian subcontinent. His edicts show that he was in touch with western world and was regularly exchanging words with them. Such harmonious co-existence always lead to growth of mutual cultural interactions, trade and commerce. Though globalization is term used for new world order where corporate capitalism play pivotal role. Here profit is only motive of such companies. But in the ancient world process started by Aśoka had benevolent visions for every type of people and society. The paper will explore that how tenets of globalization can be applied during the age of Asoka and how it was beneficial for all.
(Classical Studies, Columbia University, USA)
Beyond the Sea:
Diaspora Communities and Networks across the Indian Ocean in Antiquity
How did traders in the ancient world coordinate their long-distance activities? In studies of trade across the Indian Ocean in antiquity, many Western and Indian scholars fixate on iconic items of exchange or the distances traversed by ancient merchants, without taking into consideration just how trading activities were sustained over these distances. A rather obvious consequence of the limitations of ancient transoceanic travel and, thereby, the integration of global markets no doubt hindered such coordination—the seasonal monsoon winds only enabled wind-powered travel in one direction for months at a time. As a result, foreign traders engaged in seasonal or long-term residence in various locales surrounding the Indian Ocean, often apart from their financiers or associates. How diaspora communities of traders contributed to the flow of transoceanic commerce beyond moments of exchange remains critically understudied.
This paper investigates the logistics of sustaining diaspora communities across the Indian Ocean and their role in facilitating long-distance networks. It focuses on three regional examples dating between the first and third centuries CE: Indian traders in Roman Egypt; Mediterranean traders in western and southern India; and the multiethnic community on the Yemeni island of Socotra. While some of these groups are attested through documentary evidence (such as the Periplus Maris Erythraei and Tamil poetry), others are only recognizable through epigraphic, ceramic, and archaeobotanical sources. These sources reveal how these foreign communities operated, such as through the importation of food for consumption by traders themselves.
In light of this evidence, this paper further proposes ways in which diaspora groups could strengthen long-distance trading operations, building on recent New Institutional Economic studies of the ancient economy. Permanent diaspora groups built around shared identity or profession could lower transaction costs by serving as sources of institutional support for seasonal visitors and communicating their firsthand knowledge of how to best conduct business in foreign environments. Other diaspora trading communities from antiquity (such as those of Nabatean and Palmyrene traders) and the medieval period (e.g., the network preserved in the Cairo Geniza archive) serve as useful comparanda for this phenomenon.
We should thus consider these sustained diaspora communities alongside other strategies and institutional factors that lowered transaction costs for global trade, such as involvement in regional institutions (e.g., trader dedications at Buddhist monasteries in the western India) and streamlining interventions of the state (e.g., regularized systems of taxation and infrastructure projects promoting foreign trade).
(Institut für Geschichte, Carl-von-Ossietzky Universität, Germany)
Gateway Tadmur – the beginnings of Palmyra’s long-distance trade
Abstract to be added
(University of Lucknow, India)
‘Norm Localization’ in diasporic settlements in Karakorum Region:
Ancient Globalization at the ‘Cross-Roads’
Post-modernists predicted that religion will lose its importance in scientific societies but Globalization has reinforced the role of Religion as the cultural aspect which both invigorates it by utilizing opportunities for interfaith dialogue and intercultural communications, at the same time, addressing to the insecurities and marginalization of the communities, it also acts as the greatest resistance to the globalization. Success of globalization is linked to sensitive and careful handling of religious issues. Some experiences from ancient past emphasise that religion, more than any component of culture, has the potential to provide normative bases for globe-oriented ideologies; overarching differences and divisions. One such example comes from the Karakorum region in Northern Pakistan and the phenomenon occurred between the 1st c. A.D. to 9th c. A.D. The archaeological and historical material from the region makes the most complex yet most fascinating subject matter for study of confluence of multitude of cultures, dynamics of interaction between the foreign religious systems and their interaction with the local belief system. The outcome of the process had been a peculiar form of syncratric Buddhism for which, it is difficult to find parallels.
UNESCO has identified more than 800 provinces of rock art for documentation, study and revival, Karakorum region is one of them with its highly expressive rock carvings, petroglyphs and engraved epigraphs. Around 30,000 petroglyphs and more than 3,000 inscriptions in various scripts and languages have been found, mainly due to the spade work of German arcaheolgoists like Karl Jettmar. The largest concentration of lithic records are found in the upper valley of Indus river at the sites of Chilas Hodur, Hunza-Heildeikish Thalpan, Shatiyal bridge, Gilgit etc. Most of these sites were located on or in the proximity of ancient silk-route network and handled a large number of migratory and transitory population besides the nomadic and the sedentary population. Hence, the sites have been labeled as diasporic settlement in the present study. The first part of the study deals with the ethno-demographic constitution of the region derived through the interpretation of rock drawings and records. A comparison is drawn between their original ethnic beliefs and practices and their adopted beliefs and practices as displayed in rock-carvings. The process and stages of intermingling of religions is studied through application of Norm-Localization theory. An enquiry is made into the causes which led to prevalence of Buddhism, among people of Chinese, Greek, Bactrian, Saka, Huna and Soghdian origin.
It is concluded that absence of three factors, i.e. value judgment of relevant religions, attempt towards relativism of religions and authoritarian enforcement, were primarily responsible for this model of ancient globalism where norms were chosen and localized by popular will.
(Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, University of New Mexico, USA)
Juvenal’s Global Sensibility
Recent work on globalization in the Roman era has demonstrated how Mediterranean communities, or localities, grow increasingly interconnected and interdependent as network activity accelerates with the circulation of goods and cultural practices (Jennings 2011, Collar 2014, Pitts and Versluys 2015). Where the wide geographic extent of material remains (e.g. pottery, coinage, other artifacts, etc.) confirms this expression of globalization as increased connectivity, so, too, does the literary account of Juvenal’s Satires that criticizes the increasing mobility of people and goods into and out of Imperial era Rome as a result of intensifying connections between peoples and ideas within the space of Rome’s empire (Umurhan 2018).
As both a complement to and reinforcement of globalization in antiquity this paper argues that the postmodern literary theories of deterritorialization and the process of the rhizome proposed by Deleuze and Guattari (1972, 1980) offer a critical map that highlights the significance of circulation and exchange in the destabilization of Roman institutions described in Juvenal’s Satires. I offer three test cases by which these processes illuminate the increasing effect of mobility and connectivity on institutional instability at the political (Satire 15.110-112), social (6.292-300), and economic (11.136-160) levels. Deterritorialization involves the increasing flow of people, goods, and foods to a locality—the conditions of which “act to dislodge everyday experience and meaning construction from their ‘anchors’ in the local environment” (Tomlinson 2012). In like manner Juvenal’s literary portrait illustrates how the indiscriminate circulation of people and goods dislodges the meanings of these institutions (and their participants) from their traditional and stable Republican context anchored in the city of Rome.
Like deterritorialization, Deleuze and Guattari’s “rhizome” offers another useful analytical tool for understanding the intensification of globalization processes within Juvenal’s literary landscape. The rhizome is a process, not what was or what is, but will become. It is precisely the satirist’s occupation of the “middle” (Deleuze and Guattari’s milieu), like the rhizome, that I argue enables a perspective and awareness of the multiplicity of globalization unique to Juvenal’s portrait of Rome. The basis of multiplicity represents the collection, or collective, of directions mouvantes (“directions in motion;” Deleuze and Guattari 1980: 31) that are sharply representative of network flows in the satirist’s collection and those representations of the satirist as both physically movable and institutionally displaced.
Both deterritorialization and the rhizome prove not only relevant to the study of pre-modern eras, but also illuminate the shifting parameters of cultural and political meaning produced by the exigencies of increased connectivity described in Juvenal’s narrative.
Ghislaine van der Ploeg
(Historisches Institut, Alte Geschichte, University of Köln, Germany)
A Global Asclepieian Iconography?
The cult of Asclepius enjoyed widespread worship during the Classical and Hellenistic eras but it was during the Roman Imperial period that the cult truly flourished and was disseminated all across the Roman provinces. Within this worship there were certain rituals and cultic elements which seem to have been present at every cult-site. However, there were also a number of rites which were specific to a single locality. Because of this, there appears to have been a strong tendency towards regionalism within cults of Asclepius, existing in addition and parallel to elements which could be called global.
This paper aims to examine how this regionalism functioned within the global nature of the Roman cult of Asclepius via a case-study examination of a statue type, namely that of Asclepius Amelung. This iconography was introduced into the Pergamene Asclepieion as a result of Hadrian’s patronage of this sanctuary. Caracalla also visited the Asclepieion in order to supplicate the god there which led to a boost in the popularity of the cult and the dissemination of the Asclepius-Amelung iconography across the Roman provinces. It was even adopted for use by the Roman mint and this iconographic type, once specific to Pergamum, was used as an official imperial iconography of Asclepius until late antiquity. This paper will look at how this development occurred and how this regional iconographic type appeared to become a standard global Roman representation of the god.
In undertaking this examination, this paper aims to explore how a local cult identity became a global one as well as look at the interactions between Rome and its provinces. The cultural exchange which took place will be shown to be multi-directional, with the provinces influencing the centre of the empire as much as the city of Rome influenced the provinces. In doing so, this paper aims to examine what it meant to be a global or a regional cult. It also looks at how the boundaries between local and global could change over time, as well as how these two could be combined and melded and what it meant to be regional or global.