Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
About us Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies Research CRASIS

Ancient World Seminar: Muriel Moser (Frankfurt) – “The past as a political resource in Greece under Roman rule”

When:Mo 19-10-2015 16:15 - 17:30
Where:Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies (Oude Boteringestraat 38), room 130

In this paper, I shall be presenting my new research project on the role of local elites in the (ab)use of the past in the public and religious sphere in Roman Greece from 100 B.C. to A.D. 100. The aim of the project is to challenge the dominant view of a Roman cultural imperialism (and their ideas of what it meant to be Greek) and Greek passivity or powerlessness in Roman Greece as regards the use of the Greek past in public narratives. In discussing examples from Olympia and Argos, (and briefly Athens), I will make a case for locating agency of change and the choice of the 'historical' narratives and motifs more firmly in the local political and economic context: I argue that in Greece under Roman rule, local elites, individuals and groups, mobilised the immaterial resource of the admired (Greek) past to improve their political and economic situation under Roman rule.

Since finishing her PhD in Classics at Cambridge University in 2008, Muriel Moser has enjoyed a fellowship at the historical institute of the Universität zu Köln and is now a lecturer and researcher in Ancient History at the Goethe-Universität Frankfurt. Since the start of 2015, she has been the director of the subproject The past as a political resource: rememberinng as a strategy in Greece under Roman rule , part of the larger Sonderforschunsbereich 1095 project Discourses of Weakness and Resource Regimes. This project examines how Greek elites and priesthoods used the (Greek) past as a political resource under Roman rule. Another field of dr. Moser’s interest is the later Roman empire, particularly the relationship between emperor(s) and the senates of Rome and Constantinople.

Click to view a larger version. Poster design by Caroline van Toor.
Click to view a larger version. Poster design by Caroline van Toor.