The Graduate Group in Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology (AHMA) was founded in 1968, a year of revolution worldwide. On the occasion of this important anniversary, alumni, faculty, current students and esteemed friends of the program will gather for a conference devoted to the problem of revolutions in antiquity. If “revolution” is “one of the most polysemic words of contemporary English” (Thomassen), its general meaning is nevertheless clear: a transformation of underlying structures that carries with it, and is often enabled by, ideological shifts that undermine justifications for the old distribution of authority. Papers in the conference will explore the factors that contributed to significant and long-lasting change in the ancient Mediterranean, in political and economic life as well as in the structures of human settlement, human knowledge, and cultural production. How did gradual, incremental change intersect with sudden and massive shifts? What, in other words, was the relationship between evolution and revolution? We hope also to begin to understand the factors that limited or prevented such large-scale changes. Failed revolutions should be as interesting to students of the ancient Mediterranean as successful ones have been.
Panels will address resistance and revolt, and revolutions in monumentality, religion, law, political economy, state power, urbanism, art and culture.
Speakers: Ryan Boehm, Betsy Bryan, Lisa Eberle, Susanna Elm, Marian Feldman, Sara Forsdyke, Chris Hallett, Caroline Humfress, Lisa Kallet, Noah Kaye, Michael Maas, Jodi Magness, Ellen Morris, Andrej Petrovic, Nicholas Purcell, Josephine Quinn, Amy Russell, Brent Shaw, Nicola Terrenato, Peter van Alfen, Deborah Vischak.