International Symposium at the European Cultural Centre of Delphi

Date: May 24 to 27, 2015

Organizers: Hans Beck (McGill) and Kostas Buraselis (Athens)

Participants (25 scholars from 9 countries): Sheila Ager, Claudia Antonetti, Cinzia Bearzot, Giovanna Daverio Rocchi, Adolfo Dominguez, Peter Funke, Angela Ganter, Nikos Giannakopoulos, Catherine Grandjean, Margriet Haagsma, Katerini Liampi, Emily Mackil, Alex McAuley, Maria Mili, Nikos Petrocheilos, Katerina Panagopoulou, Ruben Post, Selene Psoma, Athanassios Rizakis, Jim Roy, Jacek Rzepka, Albert Schachter, Katrina Van Amsterdam 

Please click here for the program. The Call for Papers and Conference Description are copied below.  

Latest news (April 2017): The manuscript has been accepted by Steiner Verlag for publication in its HABES series. 



The ethnic turn has led to a paradigm shift in Classics and Ancient History. In Greek history, it toppled the traditional view that the various ethnos states of the Classical and Hellenistic periods (the Boiotians, Achaians, Malians, and others) drew on a late-Mycenaean pedigree of tribal togetherness. Instead, it appears that their leagues were built on essentially changing, flexible, and relatively late constructions of regional identities that took shape most often only in the Archaic period.

The implications are far-reaching. They impact the conception of an ethnos’ political organization, including the full array of non-violent interactions between the members of the league; and they spill over into the study of external relations. It has been posited that in their conduct of foreign policy, ethne often resorted to a federal program. Did ethne emulate each other, and did they inspire others to adopt a federal organization? More recently, it was argued that their foreign policy was charged with ethnicized attitudes. Did the idea of ethnic togetherness generally influence foreign policy? And, did everyone subscribe to the same blueprint of ethnicized claims? This question is an important one. If the members of a league disagreed on this issue, it becomes obvious that the basic tenets of ethnic identity, commonly understood as aggregative forces, were also prone to fuel sentiments of political fragmentation within an ethnos.

The European Cultural Centre of Delphi is a congenial venue to discuss the foreign policy of ethne and explore the potential direction of future research in the field. The conference program includes visits to the site and museum of Delphi as well as the Plain of Krisa.