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Research Our research Research per discipline Classics

Landscape, Place, and Memory

Space as a social construct, constantly being (re)produced by those staking claims to it, is addressed from various angles by classicists at Groningen. Cultural memory is tightly connected to landscape, as social, political, economic, and religious narratives flow through the spaces in which people lived. These narratives derive from a wide variety of media, textual and material, and may coalesce, conflict, or change over time, depending on the sending and receiving parties.

Religious landscapes and their shifting temporalities are the focus of Christina Williamson’s work.  Her current project Deep-mapping sanctuaries as festival hubs investigates place-making practices and spatial narratives told over time at sanctuaries, invested by different groups with different interests.

Through epigraphy, Onno van Nijf localizes cultural memory in their spatial and temporal contexts in the Greek east. He has studied the localization of the elite through monuments in civic space cities and works on funerary epigraphy. 

The interplay between monuments, myth and memory are studied by Jeremia Pelgrom in the context of the Mapping the Via Appia project. In particular, his recent research focuses on a series of enigmatic monuments connected to the legendary Horatii and Curiatii triplets. 

Research on mortuary archaeology in prehistoric and historical periods in Greece by Sofia Voutsaki, Anna Moles and their team focus on the creation of cosmological landscapes (the world of the living versus the world of the dead), the construction of social memories by means of mortuary rites and monuments, and the materialisation of social identities. Anna Moles’ work also considers the impact of changing environments and cultural institutions on human health, diet and lifeways.

Lidewijde de Jong investigates the entanglements of memory and place in funerary landscapes, most recently from the perspective of Palmyra in Roman Syria and Pisidia in Turkey (Funerary Life in Pisidia).

Bettina Reitz-Joosse investigates ‘Landscapes of war in Roman literature'. Relying especially on the insights and tools of memory studies, intertextuality and ecocriticism, she explores how Roman authors negotiate and localise traumatic memory in written warscapes. 

Leanne Jansen is interested in the commemorative culture of the Roman empire. She studies the Roman discourse of exemplarity and the monumental place of heroic figures from the past in the literary tradition and in the cityscape of Rome. She has a special interest in the imperial memory of Cicero.

Last modified:09 November 2023 7.43 p.m.