Propylaeum Blog

Call for Papers: Correctness in Comparison. Negotiating Linguistic Norms in Greek from the Imperial Roman until the Later Byzantine period (I – XV AD)

13. Februar 2020, Philipp Weiss - Call for papers

International Conference
Institute for Medieval Studies of the Austrian Academy of Sciences,
Vienna, December 4-5, 2020

Correctness in Comparison.
Negotiating Linguistic Norms in Greek from the Imperial Roman until the Later Byzantine period (I – XV AD)

Linguistic correctness is a concept common to many, if not to all, linguistic systems. It primarily mirrors the basic need for speakers to share acknowledged rules for any form of communication to work. However, it can also have many other implications. For example, it can indicate a user’s (lack of) ability to express their thoughts in what is believed to be a standard language, and thus mark their social, geographical, etc. origins. Further, it can also show how certain social groups were influential in changing existing, or creating new, linguistic norms, etc.

The Greek language is unique among European languages because of the length of its written tradition, ranging from the first documents in the Linear B script (c. 1450 BC) to the present day, and represents an unparalleled terrain for linguistic studies. Among the issues in Greek linguistic theory, linguistic correctness, known as hellenismós, has earned a central status (Pagani 2014). Reflections on the concept can be found as early as the pre-Socratics, and are attested until the late Byzantine period and echoed in the debates on the Katharevousa in the 20th century.

Throughout the ages, hellenismós has been connected to various intellectual traditions: early discussions were framed in a philo­sophical line of thought, focusing, among other things, on the ‘correctness’ of nouns. Further, reflections on hellenismós can also be detected in the philological tradition, that is, the application of grammatical reflections to literary texts by the Alexandrian school. In the Hellenistic period, hellenismós featured as an object of theoretical speculation in the grammatical tradition: treatises on the criteria that can be used to establish correctness first made their appearance at that time.

In the rhetorical-stylistic tradition, too, hellenismós had a prominent role: it was con­sidered one of five virtutes dicendi by the Stoics. It is in this tradition, and in the work of Dionysius of Halicarnassus in particular, that the origins of ‘Atticism’ are usually situated, a movement that emerged during the Roman period and that searched for purity in vocabulary, as well as in morphology and syntax. This move­ment had a major impact on the then current conceptions of hellenismós: the main criterion for correctness became a canon of certain Classical authors, and the attitude changed from (positively) advocating Classical features to (negatively) rejecting anything non-Classical. Lin­guistic correctness, and the proper use of higher-register ‘Attic’ Greek more generally, became a hallmark of elite social identity, and played a pivotal – and very concrete – role in reshaping the inherited literary language.

For a long period of time, this later development, and its effects on linguistic and literary production, did not receive a lot of attention. Horrocks (2010:4), for example, describes how many of his predecessors viewed higher-register Greek ‘as an artificial construct devoid of interest for historical linguistics, a “zombie” language that was incompetently handled by its prac­titioners throughout its pseudo-his­tory’. In recent years, various relevant issues have been ad­dressed, including the consideration of high-register Medieval Greek as a worthy object of linguistic considerations in its own right (Hinterberger 2014); the value of metalinguistic resources such as scholia and textbooks (Gaul 2007; Cuomo 2017; Tribulato 2019); the influence of the lower on the higher register (Horrocks 2017a, 2017b); linguistic levels in non-literary sources (Bentein 2015); new digital approaches to measuring linguistic levels (Bozia 2016); etc. And yet, many other relevant issues remain to be ad­dressed.

The main aim of this conference is to consider the role and importance of linguistic correctness, hellenismós, in later periods of Greek, that is, from the Imperial Roman to the later Byzantine eras (first to fifteenth centuries AD).

Interested scholars are invited to submit proposals (600 words max.) for 30 min. papers on one of the suggested topics to MA Katharina Preindl at:, by May 31, 2020.


For more information, please check our website at

Tagung/Conference: Medical Knowledge and its 'Sitz im Leben': Body and Horror in Antiquity

13. Februar 2020, Philipp Weiss - Aktuelles

International Conference
University of Kiel, Germany, 22-23 May 2020

Medical Knowledge and its 'Sitz im Leben': Body and Horror in Antiquity

The conference will explore ancient and modern concepts of horror with reference to the human body. Our aim is to examine how the body is processing, affectively as well as cognitively, a horrifying experience but also how it can turn itself into a source of horror, e.g. in contexts of sickness and death. While we are firmly aware of the fact that ‘horror’ as a (largely post-Romantic) concept is not unproblematic when applied to Greek and Latin texts, we will try to show that its classical antecedents/roots are definitely worthy of close consideration and help to shed light on the ways in which the horrific, as a category that shapes our encounter with various forms of art but also with life itself, is understood today.

List of speakers/titles:

  • Noёl Carroll (The Graduate Center, CUNY): “Philosophy, horror, and popular culture”
  • Giulia Maria Chesi (U. of Humboldt, Berlin): “Horror in the Odyssey: Polyphemus and Odysseus in comparison”
  • Debbie Felton (UMass, Amherst): “The ancient emotion of horror”
  • Maria Gerolemou (U. of Exeter): “Heracles’ automatic body: Madness, horror and laughter in Euripides’ HF
  • Lutz Alexander Graumann (Justus-Liebig-University Gießen, University Hospital): “Overcoming horror: faintness and medical agents. Some tentative thoughts on antiquity and today”
  • Lutz Käppel (U. of Kiel): “Roots of horror: Environment, bodies, societies”
  • George Kazantzidis (U. of Patras): “Horror and the body in early Greek paradoxography”
  • Dunstan Lowe (U. of Kent): “Hot and cold blood in Lucan’s Civil War
  • Nick Lowe (Royal Holloway, U. of London): “A terrible history of classica horror”
  • Glenn Most (Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa/U. of Chicago): “The horrific body in Sophocles”
  • Alessandro Schiesaro (U. of Manchester): “Apocalypse: Horror and divine pleasure”
  • Rodrigo Sigala (U. of Tübingen; independent scholar): “The thrilling forces behind horrific experiences: A neuroscientific approach”
  • Evina Sistakou (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki): “The visceral thrills of tragedy: Flesh, blood and guts off and on the tragic stage”
  • Dimos Spatharas (U. of Crete): “Enargeia, the lower senses and the abhorrent”
  • Chiara Thumiger (U. of Kiel): “Having guts”

Abstracts of papers and the finalized program will be uploaded soon in our website at:

For those who wish to attend: there is no registration fee, but please send an e mail to

Chiara Thumiger and

George Kazantzidis

Organizers: George Kazantzidis (U. of Patras) / Chiara Thumiger (U. of Kiel)

The conference is generously funded by the Exzellenzcluster ROOTS

Call for Papers: The Language of Colour in the Bible - From Word to Image

13. Februar 2020, Philipp Weiss - Call for papers

EABS (European Association of Biblical Studies) Annual Conference
Wuppertal, Germany, 3rd-6th August 2020

The Language of Colour in the Bible: From Word to Image

Red: Colour, Symbol, Emotion

Nowadays, the colour red is considered one of the basic colour terms of modern languages. The digital era allows the creation and nuancing of the various hues and shades it possesses. Its strength is such that today it forms part of logos, brands, announcements, road signs, etc. However, the expressive strength of the colour red is also found in antiquity. Curiously the Bible, which is characterized by its sober use of the language of colour, utilizes this colour through both direct (colour terms) and indirect (terms that themselves denote colour such as blood or fire) designations.

Their use not only imbues the text with colour but conveys various symbolic connotations. This happens both in the written text and in the different pictorial representations of the Bible.

As is well known, the Bible does not arise in a culture enclosed within itself. For this reason, it is relevant to study the colour red as it was used and interpreted in antiquity and in the subsequent centuries where we find the history of its reception.

For the 2020 conference, we are welcoming papers which study:

  • Colour terms related with the colour red in Antiquity (Hebrew, Hittite, Greek, Latin)
  • Metaphor and Symbolism of the colour red in the written text or in the artistic representations
  • Pigments and dyes used to elaborate the different hues of red
  • Restoration of artistic works and restitution of colours in religious painting

The call for papers is open until 20th February.

The link of the Workshop is:

The link of the Conference:

To submit your abstract click:

The chairs will communicate the acceptance of the proposal by March 12th.

Call for Papers: AG Römerzeit on "Roman Trade"

13. Februar 2020, Philipp Weiss - Call for papers

10th German Archaeology Congress
Kiel, 20-27 September 2020

AG Römerzeit on "Roman Trade", 23. -24. September 2020

"Trade" is considered an economic activity with the intention of making a profit. This includes manufacturing or processing activities in the craft sector as well as various services. We would like to put these everyday and nevertheless partly elusive aspects of Roman life up for discussion. Although the spectrum of topics should be as broad as possible, we would like to deliberately exclude the fields of pottery production and pottery trade.

At the 10th German Archaeological Congress in Kiel, the session AG Römerzeit will focus on the following aspects of Roman trade:

Features, finds and scientific analyses: How and on the basis of which characteristics does a feature indicate Roman trade? Which finds can be assigned to a trade and can they be used to specify features? In which cases can natural sciences be consulted?

Workshop structures and sizes: Which written sources and archaeological references attest the size and structure of enterprises? Can conclusions be drawn about the number of employees, production volume, sales and trade etc.? In which cases is it possible to reconstruct work processes from the archaeological features?

Localization of trade: It is generally assumed that workshops which posed a high fire hazard or which otherwise "disturbed" their surroundings (smell, noise,…) are located on the edge of a settlement. Does the current state of research support this hypothesis? Where are workshops located and are there differences in the localization of different industries?

Resource extraction: The extraction of resources, be it raw materials for the products themselves or materials for the production process, is trade specific. Does the process of resource extraction influence the choice of location and how is the procurement of resources structured?

Sales and markets: How and in what form can the chain "producer - retailer - recipient" be retraced? Can different distribution systems for commercial end products be identified? Which businesses moved into the vicinity of potential customers and where did it work the other way round?

Position in society: An interesting question will also be what position the different traders had in society. Did some trades offer the possibility to climb up the social ladder or to reach a certain status? As at the last meeting of the WSVA of the AG Römerzeit, we will pursue an interdisciplinary approach.

Speakers from all fields of archaeology, natural sciences and ancient history are cordially invited to present their research and current projects on this topic.

Abstract length: 500 characters
Length of talk: 15 - max. 20 min.

Please submit the abstracts to the speakers of the AG Römerzeit to:

At the Kiel congress there will be the possibility to present posters. If you would like to present your thesis or project on other topic of provincial Roman or Roman research within this framework, you are also cordially invited to submit posters.

In particular, we would like to address our young colleagues with this congress in order to further develop networks among the university sector and research institutes.

Information on past conferences of the AG Römerzeit can be found at the following address:

Neue Schriftenreihe bei Propylaeum-eBOOKS: Acta Didactica – Bielefelder Beiträge zur Didaktik der Alten Sprachen in Schule und Universität

29. Januar 2020, Katrin Bemmann - Aktuelles

Mit „Augustinus: De civitate Dei. Fachwissenschaftliche und fachdidaktische Zugänge“, herausgegeben von Jochen Sauer, ist der 2. Band der Schriftenreihe „Acta Didactica – Bielefelder Beiträge zur Didaktik der Alten Sprachen in Schule und Universität“ bei den Propylaeum-eBOOKS erschienen. Der Band steht sowohl im Open Access zum Download bereit als auch im Buchhandel als Printversion zur Verfügung.
In fünf Beitragen wird die Schrift „De civitate Dei“ von Augustinus analysiert und zeigt Strategien auf, nach denen u.a. Schüler(innen) des Faches Latein sowie Studierende an die augustinische Staatstheorie und Religionsphilosophie herangeführt werden können.

Neu bei Propylaeum-eBOOKS: Angela Simons (Hrsg.), Hirten im Himalaya

23. Januar 2020, Katrin Bemmann - Aktuelles

In "Hirten im Himalaya – Prähistorische Mumien im Höhlengrab Mebrak 63 (Mustang/Nepal)", herausgegeben von Angela Simons, sind die Grabungsergebnisse in der prähistorischen Grabhöhle Mebrak 63 im Dzong-Tal, einem Hochtal des Himalaya in Nepal, komplett publiziert. In Band 31 der Archäologischen Berichte sind die komplexen Grabungsbefunde und das Fundmaterial ausgewertet.

Christoph Weilbach: Wie Laien und Fachleute über Medizinisches sprechen - neu bei Propylaeum-eBOOKS

22. Januar 2020, Katrin Bemmann - Aktuelles

Christoph Weilbach geht in seiner Dissertation "Wie Laien und Fachleute über Medizinisches sprechen. Ein Vergleich medizinischer Äußerungen in Briefen und Fachtexten aus der Zeit der späten römischen Republik bis in die frühe Kaiserzeit"  der Frage nach, ob in der Kommunikation zwischen Laien und Fachleuten zu den Themen Gesundheit und Krankheit in der antiken römischen Literatur sprachliche Merkmale festzustellen sind.
Der Titel steht im Open Access bei den Propylaeum-eBOOKS zum Download bereit und ist zudem als Printexemplar im Buchhandel erhältlich.

Neues Propylaeum-eBOOK: Dietrich Klaus Hartmann, Archäologisch-baugeschichtliche Studie zu den Dorfkirchen im ehemaligen Bistum Konstanz

21. Januar 2020, Katrin Bemmann - Aktuelles

Dietrich Klaus Hartmann "Archäologisch-baugeschichtliche Studie zu den Dorfkirchen im ehemaligen Bistum Konstanz", Band  32 der Reihe "Archäologische Berichte", herausgegeben von der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Ur- und Frühgeschichte (DGUF), befasst sich mit dem Osten des ehemaligen Bistums Konstanz (ca. 585 bis 1821). In dieser bis heute ländlich geprägten Region findet sich eine reiche bis ins Frühmittelalter zurückgehende Kirchenlandschaft. Hartmann hat die Ergebnisse der archäologischen Untersuchungen, die in den letzten Jahrzehnten an vielen dieser Kirchen stattgefunden haben, zusammengefasst.
Die zugehörigen Forschungsdaten sind hier einzusehen.
Der Band steht sowohl im Open Access bei den Propylaeum-eBOOKS zum Download als auch im Print im Buchhandel zur Verfügung.