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Myth in the Landscape: Ancient Heroes and Hellenic Culture in Imperial Asia Minor
October 22, 2012 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Solmsen Fellow (2012-2013)
Classics, Princeton University
The purpose of my current book project is to understand the role of landscape in the articulation of Hellenism in Imperial Asia Minor. In this presentation I will focus on a particular feature of the mythic landscape of the region: large mounds that dotted the region of the Troad and were believed (sometimes rightly) to be the burial places of ancient epic heroes. For the third century CE writer Philostratus, these tumuli provided a literary trope for the persistence of the Hellenic past in the present. Sources of different kinds offer a wider context for exploring the sorts of landscape – physical and mental – formed by commemorating and creating heroic burials.
Janet Downie has been assistant professor of Classics at Princeton University since 2008. She received her Ph.D. in Classics from the University of Chicago and her BA from the University of Victoria, Canada. Her research focuses on Greek literature of the Roman Imperial era and she is interested broadly in the history of rhetoric and oratory, authorship and issues of literary self-presentation, and ancient medical writers, including Galen. Her first book, At the Limits of Art: A Literary Study of Aelius Aristides’ Hieroi Logoi will be published by Oxford University Press.