At the beginning of the first century BC Athens was an independent city bound to Rome through a friendship alliance. By the end of the first century AD the city had been incorporated into the Roman province of Achaea. Along with Athenian independence perished the notion of Greek self-rule. The rest of Achaea was ruled by the governor of Macedonia already since 146 BC, but the numerous defections of Greek cities during the first century BC show that Roman rule was not yet viewed as inevitable.
In spite of the definitive loss of self-rule this was not a period of decline. Attica and the Peloponnese were special regions because of their legacy as cultural and religious centres of the Mediterranean. Supported by this legacy communities and individuals engaged actively with the increasing presence of Roman rule and its representatives. The archaeological and epigraphic records attest to the continued economic vitality of the region: buildings, statues, and lavish tombs were still being constructed. There is hence need to counterbalance the traditional discourses of weakness on Roman Greece, and to highlight how acts of remembering were employed as resources in this complex political situation.
The legacy of Greece defined Greek and Roman responses to the changing relationship. Both parties looked to the past in shaping their interactions, but how this was done varied widely. Sulla fashioned himself after the tyrant-slayers Harmodius and Aristogeiton, while Athenian ephebes evoked the sea-battles of the Persian Wars to fashion their valour. This interdisciplinary volume traces strategies of remembering in city building, funerary culture, festival and association, honorific practices, Greek literature, and political ideology. The variety of these strategies attests to the vitality of the region. In times of transition the past cannot be ignored: actors use what came before, in diverse and complex ways, in order to build the present.
Preface: Relaunching the Publications of the Netherlands Institute at Athens Series
Winfred van de Put, director of the Netherlands Institute at Athens
Tamara M. Dijkstra, Inger N.I. Kuin, Muriel Moser, and David Weidgenannt
Part I: Building Remembrance
1. Roman Greece and the ‘Mnemonic Turn’. Some Critical Remarks
Dimitris Grigoropoulos, Valentina Di Napoli, Vassilis Evangelidis, Francesco Camia, Dylan Rogers and Stavros Vlizos
2. Strategies of Remembering in the Creation of a Colonial Society in Patras
Tamara M. Dijkstra
3. Contending with the Past in Roman Corinth: The Julian Basilica
Catherine de Grazia Vanderpool and Paul D. Scotton
Part II: Competing with the Past
4. Heritage Societies? Private Associations in Roman Greece
5. Performing the Past: Salamis, Naval Contests and the Athenian Ephebeia
6. Greek Panhellenic Agones in a Roman Colony: Corinth and the Return of the Isthmian Games
Lavinia del Basso
Part III: Honoring Tradition
7. Heroes of Their Times. Intra-Mural Burials in the Urban Memorial Landscapes of the Roman Peloponnese
8. Public Statues as a Strategy of Remembering in Early Imperial Messene
9. Shortages, Remembering and the Construction of Time: Aspects of Greek Honorific Culture (2nd century BC – 1st century AD)
Part IV: History in Athens
10. Anchoring Political Change in Post-Sullan Athens
Inger N.I. Kuin
11. Reused Statues for Roman Friends: The Past as a Political Resource in Roman Athens
12. Strategies of Remembering in Greece under Rome: Some Conclusions
Inger N.I. Kuin and Muriel Moser
Conclusion: Change and Remembering in Roman Greece
I.N.I. Kuin, M. Moser
David Weidgenannt works under the supervision of Dr M. Moser on continuity and change in the statuary landscape of Epidauros. In 2015 he participated in the BSA Epigraphy Course and in the German-Greek-PhD Colloquium of the German Archaeological Institute. His Master’s thesis dealt with “Coinage and Identity in Roman Greece”.
Muriel Moser received a PhD from the University of Cambridge. She is a member of the Department of Ancient History at the Goethe University Frankfurt and director of a research project on Roman Greece (A 02) within the interdisciplinary collaborative research group SFB 1095 Discourses of Weakness and Resource Regimes (funded by the DFG) in Frankfurt.
Inger N.I. Kuin
Inger N.I. Kuin received a PhD from New York University. She currently works at Groningen University in the Ancient History Department, studying memory, political change, and crisis recovery in the Roman East during the first century BC for the After the Crisis research project, which is part of the OIKOS Anchoring Innovation research agenda. Dr. Kuin has published on religion and humor in antiquity, on race and ethnicity in Lucian of Samosata, on Latin epigraphy, and on Roman Athens
Tamara M. Dijkstra
Tamara M. Dijkstra is in the final stages of her PhD-project at the department of Greek Archaeology of the University of Groningen. She studies social structure and identities in Achaea in the Hellenistic and Roman period, by analysing continuity and change in practices of death, burial, and commemoration. In addition to her PhD-project, works as an archaeologist in the Halos Archaeological Project in Thessaly.