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Keynote address for the symposium, Beyond the Northern Aegean:
Architectural Interactions across Northern Greece, Macedonia, Thrace, and the Pontic Regions
in the late Classical and Hellenistic Periods


About the lecture: 

Is there any coherent construction of the “beyond Northern Aegean” space in ancient Greek and Roman texts? Which are the geographical and the anthropological frames of the Thracian and Macedonian peoples defined by the Greek and Roman authors? How can we match these various representations, centered on the Internal Sea, with the epigraphic and archaeological data about the languages and cultures of the Balkan region? Do the Greek and Roman descriptions correspond to the natural paths through which the elements of the Hellenic culture spread along the Aegean, Propontic and Pontic coasts and through the river valleys, up to the Istros/lower Danube? In this presentation, we will try to understand the fabric of the northern Aegean regions in the most important ancient texts and maps (from Herodotus and Thucydides to Apollonius of Rhodes, Polybius, Strabo and Claudius Ptolemy). We will refer to the paleoenvironements reconstructed by geoarchaeologists, to the socio-economic networks identified by archaeologists and to the cultural middle grounds, of interest for historians and art historians. The aim is to set the geographical stage for a new, critical study of the “Hellenisation” of Macedonia and Thrace, in Hellenistic and early Roman times.