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G.P. (Gavin) Blasdel, Dr

Postdoctoral Researcher
Profile picture of G.P. (Gavin) Blasdel, Dr

I am a postdoctoral researcher in Ancient History at the University of Groningen. While my interests in the eastern Mediterranean world have wide chronological scope, ranging from pre-history to the early Byzantine period, my research to date has mainly focused on the late Hellenistic through Roman eras, especially their epigraphic record and material culture. As part of Anchoring Innovation, my project at Groningen, entitled "Gender, Emotions, and Language in the Imperial Greek City," studies the use of gendered emotional language and affective strategies of inscribed honorific and funerary monuments of the Greek world under Rome from the first century BCE until the third century CE. My first article from this project, currently in preparation, studies the postmortem honorific decrees awarded by Greek communities upon the deaths of their elite members. In establishing the first corpus of these documents, it shows how emotional norms varied from community to community across time and space, and depended on various factors like the gender and age of the deceased.

Prior to arriving at Groningen, I received my PhD in Ancient History from the University of Pennsylvania in 2023. My dissertation (“Honors, politics, and community in Roman Athens”), which I am in the process of turning into a monograph, is the first large-scale study of the more than 1,000 inscribed honorific monuments of Roman Attica that survive from period between the sack of Sulla in 86 BCE until the Herulian destruction of Athens in 267 CE. In analyzing the language of their inscriptions, both their content and the manner in which they communicate, as well as their political and social contexts, it contends that, far from being empty gestures, the awarding of inscribed honorific monuments was a dynamic, integral component of civic life that made powerful statements about Athenian identity and values.

Since 2013 I have worked as a senior staff member on the American Excavations at Kenchreai (Greece) directed by Joseph L. Rife (Vanderbilt), where I currently serve as assistant director. Together with Rife and Sebastian Heath (Institute for the Study of the Ancient World), I am currently preparing the publication of the Late Roman ceramics from a structure located near the site’s port (see the preliminary publication). I have also excavated at Caesarea (Israel) and Corinth (Greece). I am engaged in several epigraphical studies, including the publication of the unpublished Greek and Latin honorific inscriptions from Corinth and several dozen new and revised Athenian honorific inscriptions from the Roman period, work for which I was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in 2022-23.



PhD in Ancient History, University of Pennsylvania (2023)

MA in Classical Studies, Vanderbilt University (2014)

BA in Classics, Loyola University Maryland (2012)

Last modified:19 May 2024 8.13 p.m.