WiP-event 'War and the Classics'

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The research groups Classical Receptions and Traditions and the Anchoring work package Cultural Change and the Classics are organising a joint work in progress meeting on the 26th of April in Groningen. Our aim is to share current reception research within OIKOS and Anchoring Innovation related to and structured around the topic of ‘War and the Classics’.

Questions we might think about together include:

· How is modern discourse about war informed by ancient texts or artifacts? How do modern war narratives, speeches, films or images reference ancient ones, and how do they reconstruct them in the process? What purpose(s) do such engagements serve, what effects do they produce?

· How do modern societies understand or explain current wars in terms of ancient ones, and conversely, how do we project modern conceptions of war, warfare and its aftermath onto ancient armed conflict?

· In what ways do armed conflicts, as moments of severe social and cultural disruption, change, ‘un-anchor’, or strengthen a society’s engagement with (certain aspects of) the classical tradition?

· How is the subject of war connected to aspects of nationalism, imperialism, colonialism, cultural elitism, and/or social exclusion and which role can we attribute to classical studies in these discourses?

There will be a keynote lecture by Dr. Nicholas de Sutter (KU Leuven) on the topic ‘De bello Taurico. Classics and the Latin Poetry of the Crimean War (1853-1856)’.

The aim of this event is to share and discuss work-in-progress with other OIKOS members. Presentations can either concentrate on one or more specific texts or other types of evidence, introduce and discuss a helpful theoretical concept, or focus on a or a wider discourse which connects war and the classical tradition.





Henric Jansen: “Naming Weapons in Antiquity”


Dinah Wouters: “Making a Profit out of War in the Latin Poetry of Caspar Barlaeus”


Lunch Break


Ketty Iannantuono: “Colonialism in the Vitrine: the Representation of Africa and the Dodecanese at Italian Archaeological Exhibits Held in the Period 1911–1939”


Federico Petris: “War and the Classics in Political Discourses on Social Media”


Coffee/Tea Break


Adrie van der Laan: “Nulla armorum pars muta. War and the Classics in the University of Groningen Library Special Collections”


Coffee/Tea Break


Keynote Lecture by Nicholas De Sutter: “De bello Taurico. Classics and the Latin Poetry of the Crimean War (1853–1856)”





Additional Information: If you would like to join this event, please send an informal e-mail to Katharina-Maria Schön (k.m.schon@rug.nl). The deadline for participation requests is Thursday, April 18th 2024. You are cordially invited to join us for dinner (at your own cost).

We are looking forward to welcoming you to this event soon!