Greek Identity in the Western Mediterranean: Papers in Honour of Brian Shefton

Greek Identity in the Western Mediterranean: Papers in Honour of Brian Shefton

Greek Identity in the Western Mediterranean: Papers in Honour of Brian Shefton

Greek Identity in the Western Mediterranean: Papers in Honour of Brian Shefton

Synopsis

The Greek colonies of the Western Mediterranean were central to the evolution of many aspects of Greek culture and in many cases developed an identity which was significantly different from that of mainland Greece and the Aegean. This volume seeks to explore aspects of the cultural identity of these colonies and how it evolved. It covers the colonial foundations in Italy, Sicily, Southern France, Spain and North Africa, and ranges from the 8th century BC to the early Roman empire. Topics covered include the ethnic identity of the earliest colonial foundations, the evolution of Greek states in the West, the Greeks perceptions of their own identity and ways of representing it, and the role of the indigenous populations in the evolution of Western Greek culture.

Excerpt

The majority of papers in this volume were delivered at a confer- ence on 'Greek identity in the Western Mediterranean' in honour of the 80th birthday of Professor Brian Shefon, and held at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne in July 1999. These papers, together with some additional contributions, are dedicated to Professor Shefton who, as Professor of Classical Archaeology at the University of Newcastle (Professor Emeritus from 1984) and founder of the eponymous Shefton Museum of Greek Art and Archaeology, has been (and still is) one of the most influential scholars working in this field. The theme of the conference was selected to reflect Professor Shefton's long-standing interest in Greek contacts with the Western Mediterranean, and in the art and material culture of Western Mediterranean peoples such as the Etruscans, but it was also cho- sen with a view to examining a theme—that of Greek identity— which has become a key strand in modern scholarship in Hellenic studies. The aim was to bring together scholars from a number of backgrounds, including ancient history, epigraphy and numismatics as well as Professor Shefton's own discipline of classical archaeology in order to create a broad examination of Greek identity in a colo- nial context.

As editor, and organiser of the conference, I would like to thank Lord Rothschild, the Leventis Foundation, the Hellenic Foundation, and the University of Newcastle Archaeological Museums for their generous financial support for the conference. I would also like to thank the British Academy for permission to combine the presenta- tion of the Kenyon medal (awarded June 1999) to Professor Shefton with the conference reception, and extend my thanks to all the staff and student volunteers at the University of Newcastle who helped make the event such a memorable occasion. Finally, I would like to thank the editorial staff at Brill, Job Lisman, Marcella Mulder and Michiel Klein Sworminck, for their patience during the preparation of this volume.

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