Blog

Updates regarding the project, the database, and the website are posted here regularly

 

Project Launch

On 1 February we have launched or new NWO-funded research project Connecting the Greeks - multiscalar festival networks in the Hellenistic world. Adam Wiznura (MA Alberta) has started a PhD on festivals and regional identities and Tom Britton (MA Oxford) will focus on festivals and empire building. They are joined by Robin van Vliet (MA Utrecht) whose PhD on Rome oriented cults and festivals is funded by the OIKOS-Anchoring Innovation initiative. Christina Williamson will conduct postdoctoral research on festival sites and place making. Work on the database will of course continue. Caroline van Toor is our content manager; Cristian Marocico is responsible for database design and Pim Schievink is a student volunteer. We are also pleased that we have been joined from outside Groningen by Dies van der Linde (Royal Holloway, London) who has been entering the data for the Olympic victors (made possible by a grant from the British Academy). Mali Skotheim (Athens) will advise us on actors and paratheatrical performers, and Andrew Farrington advises us on the Nemeonikai.

Presentation of our Project in Warwick

On 29 January 2019 Onno van Nijf will present the Connecting the Greeks project at the University of Warwick. He is invited by Prof. Zahra Newby who directs a project on the Materiality of Graeco-Roman festivals. We are looking forward to further collaboration with our colleagues at Warwick.

4 year NWO funding for Connecting the Greeks

We have just received funding for our project Connecting the Greeks: multi-scalar festivals in the Hellenistic world. We shall investigate the role of agonistic festivals in the crucial timeframe from the third to the first centuries BC when festivals with athletic and cultural contests flourished as never before. This festival explosion was not simply the outcome of the spread of Greek civilization, but it was rather a major contributor to the process of identity creation at local regional and global levels, and to the growing interconnectivity of the Hellenistic world. This project aims to subject this multi-scalar festival culture to a rigorous analysis with innovative tools, theories and methods derived from social sciences and digital humanities, including network analysis and agent-based modelling. There will be a central role for the connected contests database.  One focus area will be the development of a mapping tool to display the mobility of athletes and performers between festivals. We shall also be recruiting two PhD students starting early 2019 to investigate the festivals and the representation of Hellenistic rulers and ruler cult, and the development of regional festival networks.

Fellowships for Onno van Nijf

Onno van Nijf is the recipient of a Visiting Fellowship of the British Academy that he will hold at Royal Holloway University of London from September 2018 to February 2019, together with a visiting fellowship at the Institute of Classical Studies. During the Fellowship Onno will work on a study of agonistic festivals, and continue work on the database.

Moretti's Imperial Olympionikai and Brunet's Ephesian athletes online

For the past two months, we have been entering data from two prosopographies, viz. the athletes from the Imperial period listed in Moretti's 'Olympionikai' (1957) and Brunet's collection of Ephesian athletes, from his 1998 dissertation, 'Greek Athletes in the Roman World: The Evidence from Ephesos'. Save some problematic cases, we are happy to announce that we will finish working on these lists this week. Users can now search through the data of over 500 athletes and musicians who won more than 3000 victories. And for those of you who wondered: no, these over 3000 victories are not largely made up of Emperor Nero's 1808 victories (as claimed by Cassius Dio). Only the victories by Nero that are linked to actual festivals in ancient sources have been added to the database as separate victories. The almost eighty recorded victories by Valerius Eklektos have of course been added separately.

Recent Posts

  • New content! Organizers and competitors in Boiotian contests centred on Rome

    The newest addition to the database includes ca. 150 competitors in and organizers of some Boiotian contests associated with the presence of Rome, that were being organized in the second and first centuries BCE: the Amphiaraia kai Rhomaia in Oropos, the Rhomaia in Thebes, and the alleged Erotideia kai Rhomaia in Thespiai. Like other contemporaries, the Boiotians seem to have used their association with Rome through these contests to claim their status in a rapidly changing world.   

  • CfP - Rooted Cities, Wandering Gods: Inter-Urban Religious Interaction

    We are proud to announce that the members of the Connecting the Greeks project are organising a conference on inter-urban religious contacts, to take place (hopefully in person!) at Groningen in the autumn of 2021. We invite anyone interested in cities, religious practices, and the ties between them to submit an abstract – you can read all about the conference theme and confirmed speakers in the full call for papers. 

  • New content! Competitors associated with Hellenistic dynasties

    Over the winter we’ve added a miscellany of competitors associated with the royal dynasties of the Hellenistic world. These range from actual royalty (the Ptolemies in particular were very fond of chariot-racing) to Greeks who came to take part in the new contests established by rulers eager for recognition and cultural authority. Particularly notable is Arsinoe II (Person ID 4178) - successively married to two of the most powerful rulers in the Hellenistic world and the first woman in Greek history to be declared a god, she won three races at the same Olympic festival in 272 BC. Also fun is an unnamed actor from Tegea (Person ID 4202). Known for outstanding performances in tragedies, he also managed to win a boxing contest at the newly-founded Ptolemaia festival at Alexandria. It’s still uncertain whether this means that the quality of the new competition was low, or whether he simply got very lucky!

  • Caldelli's Capitolian victors online

    All victors and participants collected by Caldelli (L'Agon Capitolinus. Storia e protagonisti dall'istituzione domizianea al IV secolo, 1993) have been added to the Connected Contests database. Find out all about the strange story of Herakleides, whose dream that he butchered the audience and judges during his performance meant that he would lose - which he did (event ID 30166). Or about the enormously successful Marcus Aurelius Asklepiades (person ID 656), a.k.a. Hermodoros, who quit boxing in his prime (he was 25) because of 'dangers and envious people' in IG XIV 1102. 

  • Spatial Data Support awarded to the Deep-Mapping Sanctuaries project

    Christina Williamson's project 'Deep-Mapping Sanctuaries', a subproject of 'Connecting the Greeks', is the recipient of a competitive call for 5 days of support from the Geo-services at the University of Groningen. As a pilot, this support will focus on mapping the experiences of Aelius Aristides in the Asklepieion in Pergamon. See also: https://deepmappingsanctuaries.wordpress.com/2020/03/30/support-grant-from-the-geodienst/

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