Prof. Dr. Michael Sommer
Defining Space. The Frontier in Ancient History
Summer School, 22–30 September 2018
Barriers, borders, frontiers – while the modern world is becoming ever more global, lines and spaces of demarcation are not losing their importance. On the contrary: in an age of mass migration, trans-national economic entanglement and global environmental hazards, defining space seems more relevant than ever.
However, defining space is no challenge faced by present-day societies only. Classical civilisations had to cope with – natural, political, social, legal and symbolic – boundaries at all levels. From ancient empires to the Greek city-state, from public to private, from the Mediterranean to the commercial that was the Indian Ocean – the ancients across all periods and areas had to come to grips with the puzzling complexities of space, had to develop strategies of defining, defending and overcoming frontiers.
At the Summer School, we will explore barriers, borders and frontiers along a selection of ancient sources, from early Greece to Late Antiquity, ranging from literary texts to all kinds of material evidence. What concepts did the ancients develop to define and demarcate space? And using what techniques did they cope with natural barriers, such distinctions as the one between inside and outside or the diplomatic pitfalls of imperial frontiers?
We will be approaching the problem along a number of case studies, including:
- Roman town-planning, urbanism and private dwelling
- the Partho-Roman desert frontier in the Near East
- ancient Colchis and the fringes of the classical world in the Caucasus and in Spain
Applications including a cover letter, a complete transcript of records and a CV are welcome from BA and MA students with a keen interest in the ancient world and all questions of spatial organisation. A number of places will be reserved for international students. The organisers will fully fund accommodation and all meals as well as pay a lump sum towards travel expenses.
The Summer School will take place from 22 to 30 September 2018 on the North Sea island of Juist (Germany). Teaching language will be English.
Professor Christiane Kunst, University of Osnabrück
Professor Tassilo Schmitt, University of Bremen
Professor Michael Sommer, Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg
All enquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org