News

Peter Wilson - Public Lecture: A potted political history of the Sicilian theatre (to ca. 300)

By Dr Julie-Ann Robson

6 July, 2017

Wednesday the 12th of July 2017
5-6:30pm in the General Lecture Theatre
Click here for map

Part of the Amphorae Conference

Plato claimed that tragic poets ‘drag states into tyranny and democracy’. The word order is deliberate: tragic poets are honoured ‘especially by the tyrants, and secondly by the democracies’ (Republic 568c). For over forty years scholars have explored the political, ideological, social and economic links between Athenian democracy and theatre. By contrast, study of the politics of Sicilian theatre is in its infancy. At the same time historians have observed that Greek Sicilian culture was, rather more than Athenian culture, broadly and intensely theatricalised. In this paper I make the case that Greek Sicily’s hypertheatrical culture can be explained in part as a consequence of the dominant role of tyranny on the political horizon of the fifth and fourth centuries. Tyrants depended on theatre and exploited its possibilities even more energetically than democracies. In a democracy the theatre was only one political space among several, and ultimately not the most important. In tyrannies, theatre was the sole space for mass communication between ruler and ruled. In a series of case studies I shall explore the multiple intersections between politics and theatre in Greek Sicily. 

Contact:SOPHI
Phone:+61 2 9351 2862
Email:sophi.enquiries@sydney.edu.au

Fieldwork opportunity in Kythera for Australian Archaeology students.

The Australian Paliochora-Kythera Archaeological Survey (APKAS) is seeking student volunteers for its 2017 field season (24 June-16 July)


The Australian Paliochora-Kythera Archaeological Survey (APKAS) has positions for a maximum of 4 student volunteers for its 2017 field season. This project is sponsored by the University of Sydney and the Australian Archaeological Institute in Athens, and it has the approval of the Ephorate of Antiquities of Western Attica and the Islands of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports.

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Background and Plans for 2017: The primary objective of the project is to produce information to help us understand the settlement history of northern Kythera, from remote antiquity to the present. In its early years of exploration (1999-2003) the survey identified significant numbers of places of special interest in many periods of the past, from prehistoric (especially Minoan), Classical, Medieval (especially Byzantine and Venetian), and modern. Since last year, APKAS has returned to the field in order to answer certain questions that remain unanswered and to complete the recording of several “sites” that have the potential of providing us with further information about activity in various periods in the past. While, in the past, APKAS made use of intensive and systematic pedestrian survey techniques, the forthcoming fieldwork will focus on a more targeted approach involving remote sensing, aerial reconnaissance, and quick means to record artifact locations and densities.

Location: The project will take place in the northern part of the island of Kythera, which lies just south of the Greek mainland on the sea-lanes toward Crete. Kythera has a fascinating history, impacted significantly by its place that all great powers in the Mediterranean have sought to control for their own purposes. It was also important in antiquity as the supposed “birthplace” of Aphrodite. The survey area is located in the northern half of Kythera, which has always had close connections with Lakonia and the Peloponnesoss. Our “headquarters” are in the village of Karavas, known for its springs and flowing water, but only a 5-minute drive from the sea (20 minute hike), looking out to Cape Malea and the mountains of the Greek mainland.

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Organisation and Role of Participants: The scientific team of APKAS 2017 will be led by Dr. Stavros Paspalas and Lita Tzortzopoulou-Gregory (both of the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens and the University of Sydney) and Professor Timothy Gregory (Ohio State University); we also will have three other specialists in the senior team of the project. We are encouraging applications from students (post-graduates and advanced undergraduates) in Classical Archaeology. Applicants should normally have some experience in archaeological fieldwork and experience or interest in one or more of the following specialties: archaeological survey, GIS and/or archaeological drawing, architecture of the eastern Mediterranean area, and one or more of the following periods (preferably in the eastern Mediterranean): Neolithic, Early Helladic, Minoan, Classical-Hellenistic, Byzantine, Venetian, and early Modern.

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Participants in this project will be expected to arrive on Kythera no earlier than Saturday 24 June and to be on Kythera for the duration of the three-week field season, which ends on 16 July. Transportation to and from Kythera (by either ferry from Peiraias or airplane from Athens) will be at each participant’s own expense. A participation fee of AUD 500 is requested to help offset the cost of room, board, and local transportation. Dormitory style accommodation will be provided in the village of Karavas and all meals, except for Saturday evening dinner and Sunday lunch.

Applications should be sent via e-mail to: by Thursday April 13, and they should include the following:

1. A brief CV, including academic experience and standing, previous archaeological field experience, and special skills and or abilities and interests.
2. A brief statement of interest, including what it is that you hope to gain from participation in the project.
3. A reference contact from a university level instructor or senior member of a previous archaeological field project.

For more enquiries contact the project directors at the above email address.


Model of Athenian trireme 'OLYMPIAS' in Sydney

A scale model of the full-size operating replica of the 5th century BC Athenian trireme OLYMPIAS has arrived in Sydney and will be on show at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Darling Harbour as part of the 'Escape from Pompeii exhibition'


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