Events sponsored by the Centre for Ancient Environmental Studies:
“Weather, Authority, and Decision-Making in Ancient Greece: A Comparative Perspective”
Research seminar, 22 September 2021, 1pm.
Speaker: Dr Ruben Post (St Andrews)
“Ancient Graeco-Roman History and the Contemporary Climate Crisis: Rhetoric, Pedagogy, and Relevance”
Seminar, 13 October 2021, 4pm
Speaker: Dr Ruben Post (St Andrews)
Part of the Fall seminar series hosted by Archaeology at the University of Glasgow. View recordings
“More like stone than earth: a material history of gypsum on Iron Age Cyprus”
Research seminar, 15 October, 4pm.
Speaker: Katie Kearns (Chicago)
“Turbulence / Emergence /Enchantment: A Compendium of Climate Literacies”
The event brought together artists, writers, performers, academics, and activists from a wide range of different backgrounds to talk together about climate literacy. The event was organised by Francesca Bertolotti-Bailey at Cove Park, in partnership with Jason König from the Centre for Ancient Environmental Studies at the University of St Andrews, London-based curator Lucia Pietroiusti, Markus Reymann and TBA21–Academy, and Giacomo Savani from the School of Classics and the College of Arts and Humanities Environmental Humanities Research Strand at University College Dublin. It was made possible by funding from the Culture and Business Fund of Arts and Business Scotland.
“Theocritus and Things: The Agency of Stone”
Research seminar, 5 November, 4pm.
Speaker: Dr Lilah Grace Canevaro (Edinburgh)
“Ancient History and the Environment. The case for environmental change as a factor in historical processes”
CAES Annual lecture, 12 November 2021, 4pm.
Speaker: Prof Joseph Manning (Yale)
“Dio Chrysostom’s Euboean Oration“
Workshop, 1 March 2022, 2-4pm GMT (9-11am EST).
Hosted by: The Centre for Ancient Environmental Studies, and the Department of Classics at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Written in the late first or early second century CE, Dio’s Euboean Oration may be one of our best sources for both rural environmental practices and urban life in Imperial Greece. A resurgence of interest in the text has occasioned this event, facilitated by Clara Bosak-Schroeder (UIUC), which will feature brief remarks by Janet Downie (UNC), Jason König (St Andrews), and Mark Usher (UVM) followed by a group discussion of the oration itself and Donald Hughes’ 1996 article, “The Hunters of Euboea: Mountain Folk in the Classical Mediterranean” (which we will circulate in advance). Participants are asked to read both Hughes’ article and the oration (in Greek or translation) before the event.
The event will be held online, as a Teams meeting with live-captioning. For other access needs, please contact Clara Bosak-Schroeder (email@example.com). The link will be circulated closer to the date. All are very welcome!
“Take me to the River: Religious Communications in the Asopos-corridor in Boiotia (800-300 B.C.E.)“
Seminar, 23 March at 1pm, online (MS Teams).
Speaker: Roy van Wijk
In 1948 Guillon mentioned that Boiotia is divided into ‘les deux Béoties’ geographically. These were centred around the massifs dividing the region, with one area anchored around Orchomenos, and the other around the Teneric plain. Lake Kopais effectively formed the barrier alongside which these two ‘Boiotias’ existed. The neat separation resulted in a ‘religious corridor’ that negotiated these two halves, with the Poseidon-sanctuary at Onchestos as the main hub. Depending on the prism one uses to look at the region, there are many more Boiotias to be uncovered.
In this paper, I will investigate whether we can trace a similar religious corridor along the river Asopos in Southern Boiotia, inspired by theories from social geography. The river Asopos hosted many Boiotian poleis along its shores, such as Oropos, Tanagra and further removed, Plataia and Thespiai. Mythologically, these towns were connected by grace of their parentage, namely the river god Asopos. But how did the inhabitants of these towns view themselves? Can we detect a religious corridor as well that was meant to reconcile and negotiate between these various poleis? And if there was one, why were these places chosen? What this investigation will show is how the lives of the inhabitants around the river Asopos in Boiotia were shaped by an engagement with the local environment and influenced by their cultural, economic and political interactions. What emerges is an analysis of a ‘sub-region’ centred around the river Asopos without ever losing touch of its roots in Boiotia.
“Testing Hypotheses of Climate-Driven Societal Change through Settlement Archaeology“
Seminar, 12 April at 1pm, online (MS Teams).
Speaker: Matthew Jacobson
To confidently examine links between climatic and socio-cultural change, we need proximate high quality evidence for both changes and for a causal mechanism. However, this is rarely present. In this talk, I will discuss Late Antique Lycia-Pamphylia, a region with strong datasets, and explore pre-existing theories linking climate change to shifting agricultural productivity and settlement “prosperity”. On this smaller scale, these theories are found to be overly simplistic and/or false.
All are welcome. To get the meeting link, please subscribe to the CAES mailing list.
“The Environments of Mediterranean City-States: Experience and Resilience“
International conference, 27-28 May 2022.
The urgency of modern environmental crises has led to growing interest in past human-environment interactions. A fundamental truth about effective responses to ecological pressures, today as in the past, is that they often require communal, not simply individual, action. This conference aims to examine the dynamics of human-environment interaction through the lens of the city-state in the first millennium BCE Mediterranean world.
Watch again: Follow the links below to watch recordings of individual papers on YouTube.
9:00-9:20am: Opening remarks
Morning session: Greek city-states and the environment (9:20am-1:00pm)
9:20-9:55am: Hans Beck, “Aesop’s logoi: environmental setting, ecocritical approaches”
10:30-10:40am: Coffee break
10:40-11:15am: Ruben Post, “Weather, anxiety, and decision-making in the Hellenistic polis: Greek astrometeorological calendars reassessed”
11:15-11:50am: Lou Godefroy, “Multiproxy and Ancient Greek world : reconstructing farming practices and subsistence strategies, in Greek motherlands, indigenous and colonial areas in Southern Italy (850-550 BC)”
11:50am-12:10pm: Sophia Nomicos response
1:00-2:00pm: break for lunch
Afternoon session: Italian city-states and the environment (2:00-5:30pm)
2:00-2:35pm: Seth Bernard, “Environment and early urban society in Etruria: resources, resiliency, and community”
2:35-3:10pm: Peter Attema, “Salt and power: early states, Rome and resource control”
3:10-3:20pm: Coffee break
3:20-3:55pm: Angela Trentacoste, “Herds for the urbs: animal resources as a lens for city-environment interaction”
3:55-4:30pm: Andrea Brock, “Building the eternal city in a floodplain: communal challenges and
4:30-4:50pm: Marian Helm response
Morning session: The environmental history of Mediterranean city-states in perspective (9:00-
9:00-9:35am: Francesca Fulminante, “Urbanization and women’s lives: a complex cause-effect
9:35-10:10am: Katie Kearns, “The roots of kingship: towards a political ecology of historical
states on Cyprus”
10:10-10:20am: Coffee break
10:20-10:55am: Paul Erdkamp, “Challenging the carrying capacity perspective on climate
change in Antiquity”
10:55-11:30am: John Bintliff, “Mediterranean city-states and their environmental challenges”
12:30-1:00pm: Concluding remarks
“Pausanias as nature writer”
Research seminar, 25 September 2020, 4 – 5:30pm.
Speaker: Christopher Schliephake (University of Augsburg)
Watch again: “Pausanias as nature writer” .
“Life on the edge of the desert: religious and economic landscapes in late antique Egypt”
Research seminar, 9 October 2020 , 4 – 5:30pm.
Speaker: Louise Blanke (University of Edinburgh)
“In the Shadow of the Desert: The Making of Roman Africa”
Research seminar, 16 October 2020, 4 – 5:30pm.
Speaker: David Mattingly (University of Leicester)
“Interdisciplinary Engagement in Ancient Environmental Studies: Prospects and Problems”
Workshop, 28 October 2020
This inaugural CAES workshop will be held over Microsoft Teams and is open to the public. It aims to facilitate productive dialogue between palaeoenvironmental specialists and more traditional archaeologists, historians, and philologists interested in the environment of the ancient Mediterranean. For those interested in attending, further information will be sent out in September via the CAES mailing list.
All scheduling according to UK time.
Watch again: follow the links in the program to watch the individual recordings.
Ruben Post (St Andrews) – Opening statement (9:00-9:10am)
Panel 1: Climate
David Kaniewski (Toulouse) – Palaeoclimatology (9:10-9:35am)
Lin Foxhall (Liverpool) response and question period (10:00-10:30am)
Panel 2: Plant and Animal Remains
Dimitra Mylona (INSTAP) – Zooarchaeology (10:40-11:05am)
Robyn Veal (Cambridge) – Palaeobotany (11:05-11:30am)
Sian Lewis (St Andrews) response and question period (11:30-12:00pm)
Panel 3: Geology and Landscape
Cristiano Nicosia (Padova) – Geoarchaeology and micromorphology (12:30-12:55pm)
Helmut Brückner (Cologne) – Palaeolandscape reconstruction (12:55-1:20pm)
Andrea Brock (St Andrews) response and question period (1:20-1:50pm)
If you are interested in attending, please subscribe to the CAES mailing list.
‘The environmental impact of protohistoric activity in Mediterranean mountains: a review of the roles of climate and people in the story of environmental degradation’
Research seminar, 9 April 2021, 4-5:30pm.
Kevin Walsh (University of York)
Interdisciplinary engagement in ancient environmental studies II: new directions in ecocritical approaches to classical literature
Workshop, Thursday 27 May 2021, 1:30-4:45 p.m.
Watch again: follow the links in the program to watch the individual recordings.
- 1.30-1.35: Introduction
- 1.35-2.15: Rebecca Armstrong: Time and the vegetable in Ovid’s Fasti
- 2.15-2.55: Emmanuela Bakola: Between cosmology, environmental philosophy and performance criticism: building a framework for reading Aeschylus’ Oresteia from an ecocritical perspective
- 2.55-3.15: Break
- 3.15-3.55: Krešimir Vuković: Wolves, twins, and rivers: beyond nature and culture in early Rome.
- 3.55-4.35: Mark Usher: The Roman Villa Project: Archaeology, Paleobotany, and Sustainable Agriculture in Italy’s Sabine Hills.
- 4.35-4.45: Closing discussion.
This event aims to explore some of the opportunities and challenges involved in bringing work on ancient Greek and Latin literature into dialogue with research in ecocriticism and the environmental humanities. It also aims to explore the prospects for increased interaction between ecocritical and archaeological/scientific approaches to ancient environments. Oliver Rackham 25 years ago criticised anachronistic ascriptions of ‘environmental consciousness’ to ancient authors based on credulous readings of ancient literary evidence insufficiently informed by scientific approaches (for example in relation to J. Donald Hughes’ work on deforestation). Our starting assumption is that that image of the relationship between literary and scientific perspectives on ancient environments needs to be reassessed given the very rapid developments in both ecocritical and scientific engagement with ancient environments over the last two decades. We envisage a series of work-in-progress papers covering a range of different genres, authors and approaches. Contributors are invited to address some or all of the following questions:
- How do you see the current state of play in ecocritical/environmental study of the authors and texts you work on? What new prospects/possibilities do you envisage for the future?
- How should we best articulate the value of ecocritical approaches to ancient literature to those who work on archaeological and paleo-scientific approaches to ancient environments, or to those who work in the environmental humanities outside Classics? What opportunities do you see for bringing these different fields more into dialogue with each other?
Events sponsored by the Centre for Landscape Studies :
8 November 2019: ‘Mount Olympus: The archaeology and imagination of a mountain’ – Achim Lichtenberger (Münster)
Hosted by the Centre for Landscape Studies.
31 August-1 September 2020: Workshop on ‘Defining Late Antique Space’
co-hosted by the Centre for Landscape Studies and Centre for Late Antique Studies
4-5 December 2018: ‘Mountains in the Classical Tradition’
Workshop hosted by the Centre for Landscape Studies.
6 December 2018: ‘Making an Impression: Pietro Bembo, Mount Etna, and the Venetian Printing Press’, Gareth Williams (University of Columbia).
Public lecture co-hosted by the Centre for Landscape Studies and Centre for Late Antique Studies
5 March 2019: ‘Love, Hatred, and Madness: The Emotional Lives of the Capitolium’, Jason Moralee (Massachusetts).
Co-hosted by the Centre for Late Antique Studies and the Centre for Landscape Studies.
15 March 2019: ‘Rome is not a space on a map. Intersections and thresholds within the unmapped historical landscape of place’, Elena Isayev (Exeter).
Centre for Landscape Studies Annual Lecture.
8 November 2017: “Mythic Topographies in the Periegesis of Pausanias”, Professor Bill Hutton (William & Mary)
This lecture was part of the academic exchange between the University of St Andrews and the College of William and Mary, stemming from the BA International Honours degree programme.
Wednesday 15 November 2017: Alistair Moffat with The Hidden Ways in St Andrews
16-17 November 2017: Cultivating Perspectives on Landscape
Conference organised by Chloe Bray, Anahit Behrooz, Laura Donkers
17 November2017: ‘Lively Nature’, Dr Katharine Earnshaw (Exeter).
Annual Lecture of the Centre for Landscape studies
11-14 July 2018: Approaching Landscape, panel at the 11th Celtic Conference in Classics. Read more details and a full panel report .
Thursday 9 November 2017: Into the Mountain: A Life of Nan Shepherd in St Andrews
29-30 April, 17 June – 18 September 2016: Exhibition, ‘Through a glass darkly: perceptions of artefact, art and context: exhibition and events’, (MUSA Learning Loft) (Leventis Funded)
18 November2016: ‘Landscape approaches and settlement archaeology in post-Roman central Greece’, Dr Athanasios Vionis, Associate Professor, University of Cyprus.
Inaugural Lecture of the Centre for Landscape studies
25-27 May 2017: ‘Landscapes of Movement’
Organised by Rebecca Sweetman & Erica Morais Angliker.
8-9 June 2017: ‘Mountains in Antiquity’
Organised by Jason König and Nikoletta Manioti.
22 November 2016: Screening of Pathfinder (1987) followed by panel discussion.