What we do

Work Packages

Our researchers are working together on 12 work packages (divided into six domains and six historical 'nodes') led by eminent researchers in the field. An additional work package is devoted to discussing issues of theory.

Work Packages

All Domains

1. Discourse & Rhetoric

2. Literature & Art

3. Philosophy & Religion

4. Politics, Law, Economy & the Military

5. Technology, Science & Material Culture

6. Reception of Antiquity

B. Theory & Methods

7. Classical Athens

8. Hellenism

9. Late Roman Republic & Augustan Rome

10. Roman Empire, esp. Flavian Period

11. Long Late Antiquity

12. Modern Europe

What to expect from the domains?

1. Discourse & Rhetoric

Language is arguably the most powerful anchoring device. Anchoring mechanisms in communication often disclose shared values, ambitions or knowledge.

2. Literature & Art

Projects on important literary and artistic innovations, the invention of new forms of literature and art, and their relation to pre-existing models.

3. Philosophy & Religion

Issues of authority in cultic innovations, innovations in priesthood, and foundations of civic festivals from the point of view of successful or unsuccessful anchoring.

4. Politics, Law, Economy & the Military

How and why did political innovation come about and how were such innovations anchored (more or less) successfully?

5. Technology, Science & Material Culture

Case studies of dramatic innovations in technology, science and material culture, where we can study anchoring processes and their outcomes in detail.

6. Reception of Antiquity

Antiquity itself can serve as an anchor in and through a long history of reception.

B. Theory & Methods

The team jointly strives to develop a theory of Anchoring Innovation. This group guarantees optimal collaboration between all domains and focuses on common issues of theory.

7. Classical Athens

This work package is set in its entirety in the context of the new institution of Athenian democracy in the 5th century BCE and the anchoring practices discernible in this major transition.

8. Hellenism

‘Hellenism’ both refers to the situation in the east after the death of Alexander and to the spread of Greek culture throughout the Mediterranean, including Rome. This work package is about anchoring cultural and religious innovations, primarily under the Hellenistic successor kingdoms.

9. Late Roman Republic & Augustan Rome

This work package studies the expansion of the Roman republic into the east and the transition to the Augustan period from the point of view of the attendant ‘cultural revolution’ and the need to anchor new forms of political authority.

10. Roman Empire, esp. Flavian Period

The Flavian dynasty inaugurated a ‘new age’ in need of legitimation, but could not anchor itself in the recent past.

11. Long Late Antiquity

This work package studies the transition constituted by the establishment of Christianity in the ancient world.

12. Modern Europe

This work package deals with the use of the classical world as itself an anchoring device for later periods, an archive and storehouse to find ideas and devices by which later times may anchor innovations, but which may also function as a site of creative inspiration, not simply conservation.