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Ancient World Seminar: Christof Berns (Bochum) – ‘Memorializing the Dead in the Roman Empire. The Case Study of Cnidus’

When:Mo 18-04-2016 16:15 - 17:30
Where:Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies (Oude Boteringestraat 38), room 130
Click to enlarge. Poster design by Caroline van Toor
Click to enlarge. Poster design by Caroline van Toor

The talk uses new results from fieldwork at Cnidus in Southwestern Turkey as an opportunity to reflect on the specific patterns of elite communication in the Roman Empire. An archaeological survey of the extensive necropolis of that place has produced a broad picture of monumental tombs from the Hellenistic to the Roman Imperial periods. In connection with them, a wide range of media like architectural decoration, sculpture, and inscriptions tells us about various ways of commemorating the deceased. In part, these variations seem to reflect a significant shift of the forms of memoria after the Hellenistic period. In the lecture, this shift is interpreted as a symptom of a crisis of elite communication. New patterns seem to have been developed to adjust their ways of representation to the complex situation of the Roman Empire with its political networks of different size and structure.

Christof Berns is a distinguished professor of Archaeological Studies at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum and was appointed as corresponding member of the Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts last year. He has published on topics ranging from the architectural and urban history of Asia Minor, funerary architecture and their context, Hellenistic and Roman sculptures, Romanization of the Iberian Peninsula and Reception History.