23/24 February 2023 – Memory, space and mindscapes in ancient Greece

Place: Palazzo Paolo Prodi – Via Tommaso Gar 14, Trento

Room: Aula 001


Today it is widely acknowledged that space is crucial with respect to memory. Some of the most influential concepts in the field of memory studies are based on the connection between space and memory: from Halbwachs’ mnemonic topography to Assmann’s mnemotopes, from Nora’s lieux de mémoire to Zerubavel’s social mindscapes. The neologism ‘memoryscape’, which has been coined in very recent years, summarizes this line of research well. From different disciplinary perspectives and thematic approaches, spanning from the historical to the social sciences, space is more and more acknowledged in actively creating meaning: it works both as an economic principle ruling the mnemonic processes from within, and as an external framework affects and shapes memorializing processes from without.

The awareness of the importance of space within the dynamics of memorialization and commemoration of historical events is also expanding into the field of ancient Greek history. However, this field of investigation is still in its initial phase and is limited in its chronological and geographical horizon (with most contributions to date dealing with Classical Athens, and the Greek Pan-Hellenic sanctuaries). This workshop, which is part of a research project entitled ‘Public history in ancient Greece. Archaeology, memory, and mindscapes’ which is funded by a Starting grant of the University of Trento (resp. Giorgia Proietti), aims to expand on this exciting research topic, widen its chronological and geographical framework, and advance the debate around the multiple and interwoven issues of memory and space in ancient Greece.



23 February

9.00 welcome

9.15-9.30 Institutional greetings

Introduction: Giorgia Proietti, Università di Trento, How do memory and space meet? Perspectives from ancient history

ore 9.30-10.10 Janric van Rookhuijzen, Nijmegen, Methodological Remarks on Interpreting the Acropolis of Athens as a Memoryscape

ore 10.10-10.50 Riccardo Di Cesare, Foggia, Visible Pasts, Changing Narratives: the Bronze Age Material Heritage in the Archaic and Classical Polis Landscape

[10.50-11.10 coffee break]

11.10-11.50 Katharina Kostopoulos, Köln, Memory Through Space and Time in the Speeches of Aeschines

11.50-12.30 Antonio Iacoviello, Paris, Untangling the ‘Face of the 280s’. Space, Text, and Memory in Athenian Public Honours (322-261 BCE)

[12.30-14 lunch break]

14-14.40 Roy van Wijk, Münster, “That sends me down to the river”: Rivers as mindscapes in Oropos  

14.40-15.20 Elena Franchi, Trento, Imaginary Borders in the Eastern Peloponnese: the Battles for Thyrea and (the Memory of) the Herakleidai

15.20-16.00 Jerome Ruddick, Newcastle, Pushing Boundaries: Lykosoura’s Use of Material Culture to Manipulate Memory and Space

[16-16.20 coffee break]

16.20-17 Olivier Gengler, Tübingen, Pausanias and the Memoryscape of Roman imperial Greece: the Example of Sparta

17-17.40 Alexandru Martalogu, Oxford, Actian Nikopolis and Rome’s Greek coloniae: Collective Memory and Space in Graeco-Roman Contexts

18.00 keynote lecture PROF. JEREMY MCINERNEY (UNIV. OF PENNSYLVANIA), The Arta Polyandrion: Recreating Memory in the Landscape (room 001)

24 February

9.00-9.40 Ioannis Mitsios, Athens, Distant Memories, the Use of Space and the Shaping of Identities on the Acropolis of Athens: the Case of the Erechtheion  

9.40-10.20 Ben Cassell, London, Recalling a Heroic Death: Conceptual and Experiential Space, and the Cognitive Impact of Recalling Aglauros

[10.20-10.40 coffee break]

10.40-11.20 Marion Meyer, Wien, The Statue of Antioch in Syria and its Mnemonic Function  

11.20-12 Matthias Haake, Tübingen, Remembering Pythagoras: The Invention of Honours for a Controversial Figure in Metapontum and Croton in the Early Hellenistic Period

12-12.40 Francesco Buè, Paris, The Epinician Odes and the Aspective Memory. Pindar and his way of reminding Architectures

[12.40-14.00 lunch break] + 12.45-13.45 ONLINE POSTER SESSION*

14.00-14.40 Giovanni Ingarao, Napoli, “To display his power and leave a memorial” (VII, 24). The Ambivalent Meaning of Monuments in Herodotus’ Histories

14.40-15.20 Marco Ferrario, Trento, Herodotus’ Achaemenid Geography. Cyrus’ Central Asian Last Campaign Between the Histories and Bīsutūn

 [15.20-15.40 coffee break]

15.40-16.20 Christina Williamson, Groningen, Urban Mindscapes and Sacred Timescapes in the Graeco-Roman world. The Asklepieion of Pergamon

16.20-17.00 Rogier van der Heijden, Freiburg, Empire and Imagination in Roman Sardis: The Imperial Cult as Focal Point of Memory and Myth

17-17.30 Final discussion – chaired by Maurizio Giangiulio, with the conference speakers, Claudio Biagetti, and Sebastian Scharff


Charles Westfall Oughton, Brigham Young Univ., A Lesson for the Future: The Siege of Epidamnos as a Historiographic Mnemotope

Itamar Levin, Brown Univ. Tombs of the Illustrious Soldiers: The Cenotaphs of the Persian wars in the Greek polis

Ben Ferris, Sydney, Apocalypse then and now: the Homeric ‘underworld’ as Memory of the World

Paolo Di Benedetto, Napoli, Memory, Space and History in Ancient Asia Minor: the Case of Aeolian Kyme

Maurits de Leeuw, Leiden, Thucydides on Collective Memory: The Sicilian Expedition as an Experimental Memoryscape

Sponsored by LabSA – Ancient Civilization Lab, LIMS – Interdepartmental Lab in Memory and Society