Transcultural Uses of Myth in the Ancient World
When: April 14th-16th, 2014
Where: Sommerville College, University of Oxford
From the organizers:
This interdisciplinary conference aims to explore the mechanisms by which myth was transmitted between ancient cultures and to examine how mythological narratives became adopted and adapted within different cultural spheres.
Continuing shifts in rule in Anatolia and the Near East, from the Persian Empire to the Hellenistic Kingdoms and the Roman Empire, entailed enormously rich and varied mythical landscapes in these areas. The Trojan War epic both formed a response and became a catalyst for cross-cultural reciprocity. As part of on-going processes narratives were re-configured in ways that had both local and universal resonances. The on-going imperatives of reception and innovation are equally apparent in the uses of myth attested in Italy, here tangible in mythological programmes found in Etruscan tombs and the temples of Magna Graecia as well as Roman historiography. The conference investigates both wider geographic circulations of mythical themes and local transformations of myth within individual regions. The conference panels are organised according to important geographical and cultural regions, with a particular focus on Anatolia, the Near East, and Italy. In addition, thematic approaches focusing upon figures such as Dionysus and Heracles are included to further a synthesis of the different areas. All panels will be interlinked by general questions towards an understanding of the mechanisms that guided the processes of reception and steered the facets of local interpretation.
Registration is free for all members of Oxford University. The conference fee is £50 for those outside the university (not including lunch or dinner).