|Domain||Experience, Intermediality, Mediation: Embedding Global Diversity in Hellenistic Rome (323 BCE-31 BCE)|
|Date Range||September 2023 - Present|
|Supervisor(s)||Prof. Luuk de Ligt|
Dr. Miko Flohr
Although the incorporation of Egypt into the Hellenistic world intensified the use of “Greek” architectural and artistic styles in the land of the Nile, it would not be until the second century BCE that a Greco-Egyptian mixed style emerged. This project investigates spaces dating to the fourth and third centuries BCE where works in Greek and Egyptian styles appeared side-by-side, and the ways in which these works and the contrasts between them created new meanings for ancient onlookers.
During the fourth and third centuries BCE, “Greekness” began to be visually expressed in traditionally Egyptian spaces, like religious sanctuaries. At the same time, works in Egyptian style also continued to be added to these spaces, often hearkening back to the style of the pre-Persian indigenous Thirtieth Dynasty. Little attention has so far been given to this period of stylistic heterogeneity, in which Greek and Egyptian styles appeared side-by-side, but had not yet mixed into a “hybrid” style. Scholarly analyses of entire spaces of a heterogeneous stylistic nature, and of the interrelations between the uses of these styles, are likewise scarce.
This project aims to shed light on the visual strategies used in stylistically heterogeneous spaces in fourth- and third-century Ptolemaic Egypt, as well as on their effects on ancient onlookers. The remains of monumental visual and material culture – mainly architecture and sculptural art – will be the primary source material. These remains shall be analysed through the lenses of material and form or style: central here will be the ways in which objects attributed to the kósmos or atmospheric meaning of a space. At that point, it becomes possible to investigate in what ways works of different styles interacted with one another, and how this might have influenced an ancient onlooker. Following this general methodology, sites like the Serapea of Alexandria and Memphis/Saqqara and the temple complex of Hermopolis Magna/El-Ashmunein may reveal more of their secrets.