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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Past Events

Water and Identity in the Ancient World Workshop

22nd March 2010, 09:00 to 23rd March 2010, 17:00, The Ritson Room, Classics Department

This workshop will study the geopolitics of the ancient Mediterranean and north western Europe (both in their uniting and their dividing facets), in dialogue with experts from various periods and cultures. The individual days of the workshop will focus on the ancient Mediterranean (first day) and the 'outer Atlantic' (second day), linking the two aspects through a comparative perspective.

The workshop thus aims to enhance our understanding of how water functions as a defining element of communal identity, from antiquity to the present. Themes that will be discussed include the importance of water in the ancient Egyptians' perception of their identity; the meaning of the 'Bitter sea' as a boundary for the Persian empire; Greek notions of insularity; the role of rivers in the definition of the territory and of colonial identities in the Greek colonies of Southern Italy; the island identity of Britain and the role of the Rhine in defining the edge of Roman imperial territory.

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