This bimonthly gathering seeks to provide a forum for faculty and students (graduate and undergraduate) of various aspects of antiquity to discuss areas of common interest, to learn about interdisciplinary projects of IU faculty, and to engage with scholars from outside I.U. whose work bridges multiple fields. While this is primarily an "in-house" series, we seek to bring in one outside speaker each semester to broaden our awareness of approaches to the ancient world.
Matt Simonton (Arizona State University)
Topic: Demagogues and Democracy in the Hellenistic Period: Recent Epigraphic Discoveries
Far from being the graveyard of democracy as previously thought, the Hellenistic period is increasingly being acknowledged as the high tide of “people power” in ancient Greece. But what was the nature of Hellenistic democracy? Scholars have spoken of “moderated” democratic regimes, more “republican” in character than radically populist. New epigraphic evidence, however, alters this picture. A recently published inscription from Kos shows demagogues and politicized courts in action on the tiny island of Telos ca. 300 BCE. The text reveals a world in which democratic politics and its attendant controversies were still very much alive, even as new institutions were being developed to rein in what were arguably democratic excesses. The document also confirms that Aristotle remains an excellent guide to the politics of the late Classical and early Hellenistic periods.
Time: 2:30-4 p.m.
Nick Vogt (Indiana University)
Previous Outside Speakers:
Gary Farney (Rutgers)
Björn and Jeannette Forsén (The Finnish Institute at Athens)
James Francis (University of Kentucky)
Richard Frye (Harvard University)
Campbell Grey (University of Chicago)
Clayton Jefford (St. Meinrad School of Theology)
Noel Lenski (University of Colorado)
John Matthews (Yale University)
Scott McGill (Rice University)
Martha Nussbaum (University of Chicago)
James O'Donnel (Georgetown University)
Josiah Osgood (Georgetown University)
Raymond Person (Ohio Northern University)
Laurajane Smith (Australian National University)
Dennis Trout (University of Missouri-Columbia)
Dov Weiss (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
Terry G. Wilfong (University of Michigan)