Waterloo Institute for Hellenistic Studies
Department of Classical Studies
Modern Languages, room 224
University of Waterloo
200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, Ontario Canada
Phone: 519-888-4567 ext. 32377
This conference will bring together some 50 scholars from Europe, Asia, and Northern America to discuss aspects of political, social, cultural, and economic exchange mainly in the north-eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea (Pontus) region. The chronological scope will be the whole of Classical antiquity, but the majority of papers will concentrate on the 4th century BC to the 3rd century AD.
The two initiators of this event, Victor Cojocaru from the Iaşi Branch of the Romanian Academy and Altay Coşkun, a researcher of the Waterloo Institute for Hellenistic Studies, previously collaborated at the University of Trier, Germany. Much of their work had been initiated, supervised, or inspired by Heinz Heinen, who is renowned not only for his several publications on Hellenistic culture in general and the Pontus region in particular, but also for his sustained efforts in fostering the exchange of scholars and scholarship between eastern and western Europe, starting in the 1970s, i.e. several years before the Iron Curtain fell.
It has been a long-term goal of the two co-organizers not only to follow in that same spirit, but even to extend the network further by also including colleagues from North America (so far three from Canada and two from the US), as much as to other countries dedicated to Classical scholarship, including the state whose territory provides the longest coastlines of both the Black Sea and the eastern Mediterranean: Turkey.
Thanks to the generous offer of the third co-organizer, Gabriel Custurea, the Director of the National Museum for History and Archaeology at Constanţa (ancient Tomis, famous due to the exile of Ovid), the participants will enjoy an ideal location between one of the most important museum collections in Romania on the one hand and the Black Sea coast on the other. This venue will thus provide plenty of opportunities not only to exchange news relating to recent epigraphic, numismatic and archaeological discoveries, but also more generally to share perspectives, methods, and frameworks from which to look at ancient texts and artefacts, whether to gain a better understanding of the past, or to make ancient objects or histories more meaningful for us today.
To foster international friendships and collaborative research initiatives is not only among the missions of the Waterloo Institute for Hellenistic Studies, but it is also entirely worthy of the research contexts that brought together Victor Cojocaru and Altay Coşkun in the first place: the former’s study of the public guest friends (proxenoi) of Greek cities of the Pontus, and the latter’s dedication to international friends and friendship of the Romans.
Both topics are still being studied collaboratively within the framework of the research projects on the External Relations of the Pontic Greek Cities during the Hellenistic and Roman Periods (Iasi) and on the Amici Populi Romani (Waterloo). Several of the participants are already contributing to either of these research agendas, others will feel encouraged to join them, or to agree on new collaborative initiatives, such as the recently designed project on the Dynasties of the Hellenistic World (DHW).