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Workshop - The Return of the Golden Age

From:Th 23-06-2022
Until:Sa 25-06-2022

The Anchoring Innovation Work Package 6 ‘Reception of Antiquity’, in collaboration with the OIKOS research group ‘Classical Receptions and Traditions’, organizes a seminar on the reception of golden age rhetoric from Antiquity up to the 21st century. The seminar will be held at the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome (KNIR) from the 23rd to the 25th of June, 2022. The workshop is organized by dr. Susanna de Beer (Head of Ancient Studies KNIR), Ruben Poelstra (Leiden University) and Louis Verreth (Leiden University).


We are primarily interested in the question how, throughout history, the classical concept of the ‘Golden Age’ has been used to frame subsequent periods of time, either as a Golden Age returned or – in contrast – as a period in need of its return. In terms of reception, the Golden age rhetoric could be used to appropriate specific periods in Antiquity (or Antiquity in general), and/or, more generally, it may take its cue from the ancient idea that Golden Ages can and do regularly return.

Although the idea and rhetoric of the (return of the) Golden Age is widespread and numerous case studies have been devoted to this topic, there are no comparative, diachronic studies that analyze the common threads and malleability of this rhetoric, neither do they distinguish between the several types of reception that form its foundation. By means of studying a wide range of such receptions of the classical ‘Golden Age’ in different periods, we aim to get a clearer view on the characteristics of Golden Age receptions in different periods, starting from Antiquity itself.


We cordially invite you to the public event which will be held at the KNIR on this occasion:

23 June, 17.00 CET: Public lecture by dr. Luke Houghton (Royal Holloway, University of London / UCL): “The Return of the Golden Age: Sycophancy and Subversion”

To attend in presence, please send an e-mail to secretary

To register for the livestream, please use the form which you can find on the web page of the event.