Propylaeum Blog

Call for Papers: The Layered Image. Its Phenomena and Constructions in Ancient Art

10. Juli 2019, Philipp Weiss - Call for papers

Call for papers for a conference in image theory and visual culture studies, 23-25 March 2020, University of Hamburg

Images are not two-dimensional. This insight is essential for approaching the perception of and the constitution of meaning through images. It applies to sculpture in the round, reliefs, and wall paintings as well as to coins, book illumination or floor mosaics. Such works of art all occupy a (variable) place in space, are bound to the surface and consist of several layers. Moreover, they are handled and interfere with other objects and actions. Even the production of all kinds of images can be described as a multi- layered process in a material sense. Tesserae are inserted into a substrate, paint is being applied, material removed with a chisel or poured into a mould with a certain thickness. Thus, it makes sense to distinguish different levels or layers of images and to ask how they have contributed to their perception and efficacy. In addition, the phenomena and processes associated with images are all bound to a temporality: the production of the image medium is a process that, like its perception, extends over time. The image itself references the time and duration of what is depicted, and its carrier moves through space as well as through time. With time, various layers of meaning may sediment or reappear through erosion processes. The dimension of time thus creates further layers of the image.

While, in the end, these phenomena apply to all physically perceptible objects, images are additionally characterised by further complexity in communication processes. In figural representations, figures can interact with each other, be staggered or positioned parallel in the pictorial space. The vase painters, engravers or illuminators – to name just three groups of producers – makes use of a variety of possibilities to shape and design their works. These, in turn, can reflect different intentions of their producers in their respective contexts or evoke effects on the recipient’s side. For example, different registers are used to invoke hierarchies of image elements. Within a composition, framing takes place in different ways, which in turn serves to identify significant differences. Framing here does not only mean the actual embedding in a picture frame, but moreover it refers to phenomena such as stylistic differences, size variation, positioning on a pedestal or in a building and other strategies of differentiation. Such strategies can be used to identify a human figure as an ancient statue or as a deceased person or to distinguish between different strands of action. Different narrative styles, techniques and themes provide e.g. the painters and sculptors with specific options to operate with the communicative and ontological levels.

Works of art are multidimensional. For the recipients, this results in diverse and multi-layered approaches to interpret and deal with them. Approaches to contemporary perceptions and attributions of meaning inevitably raise questions regarding ambiguous aesthetic experiences: the possibilities of a casual, as well as an intensive contemplation and observation. Connections and layers of meaning can be developed in different ways. The recurring question remains, whether, how, and by whom a distinction can or should be made between different layers. With these considerations in mind, the conference will address phenomena and constructions of different types of image layers.

We invite contributions regarding possibly but not exclusively the following questions:

How do certain material properties and genres influence the possibilities of distinguishing between image layers? How do material, design and content interact?

Which correlations exist between the design of material, temporal and communicative layers?

How does the differentiation and marking of image layers contribute to the presence of an artwork as object, medium or image?

Which different perceptions are fostered or controlled by the creation of layers? How do these relate to the circumstances of reception? Is the recognition of multiple layers linked to an intensive scrutiny or does the multi-layered image in some cases perhaps even allow a more rapid understanding of certain contexts?

Which means were used to distinguish between image layers? To what extent are these typical for certain temporal and spatial contexts?

In the context of image layers, is it feasible to speak of a readability of images, and what potential does a text-oriented analysis of ancient works of art hold? To what extent can, for example, categories of analysis from narratology be applied in this respect? By what means are levels differentiated and identified in texts, and what role did phenomena such as palimpsests or intertextuality play in antiquity?

Please send an abstract (250 words) of your proposed paper along with your contact details and a short academic CV to: by 22 August 2019.

The conference is organised by Jacobus Bracker, Fanny Opdenhoff, and Martina Seifert and will take place at the Institute for the Archaeology and Cultural History of the Ancient Mediterranean at the University of Hamburg.

Call for Papers: ‘Graduate Workshop: Architecture and The Ancient Economy’

10. Juli 2019, Philipp Weiss - Call for papers

23 September 2019, Freie Universität Berlin

Deadline CfP: 12th July 2019


Application: abstract (max. 150 words) with a short CV

Head: *Dr Dominik Maschek (University of Oxford, Associate Professor of Roman Archaeology and Art)

Organizing committee: *Thomas Heide, Paola Santospagnuolo, Anja Schwarz (PhD Candidates, FU Berlin, Institute for Classical Archaeology); Konogan Beaufay, Alice Poletto (DPhil Candidates, University of Oxford); Dr. Regina Attula (Coordinator Berlin Graduate School of Ancient Studies, FU Berlin)

Keywords economy, architecture, urbanism, infrastructure, construction techniques and materials, economics of construction, supply and transport of (building) material, trade, methods & methodology, technology

Like any other human creation, ancient architecture is heavily affected by economic considerations. Procurement and transportation of building material, labour requirements, and technological developments are three important (but not the only) factors which influenced the planning and construction of monuments, buildings, and urban / extra-urban infrastructures.

In the last few decades, research on the ancient economy has been constantly increasing, largely thanks to the use of a wide range of proxies and models fruitfully applied to many different questions and historical periods. The economic impact of construction processes, of the uptake of technological innovations, of architectural design and urban planning are some of the aspects that have recently been investigated more systematically and comprehensively. In this context, both large-scale perspectives – considering entire towns, their fabric and infrastructure, and their transformation over time – and micro-scale approaches have been employed to assess the connection between architecture and economy.

Addressing the outlined issue, this graduate workshop aims to offer a forum for discussion and exchange on case studies, as well as on theories, methods and approaches to the ancient economy. Young scholars (PhD candidates and post-docs) with different disciplinary backgrounds are invited to contribute by presenting their research topic within an economic framework.

The workshop will take place in the run-up to the conference ‘ARCHITECTURE AND THE ANCIENT ECONOMY’ (September 26-28, 2019, Freie Universität Berlin, organised by Prof. Dr. Monika Trümper and Dr. Dominik Maschek). This joint workshop is co-organised by graduate students from the University of Oxford and the Berlin Graduate School of Ancient Studies (BerGSAS), FU Berlin, and funded by the Einstein Stiftung Berlin.

The programme will be organised into thematic sessions based on the proposals. There will be time for open group discussions on different topics, for which we welcome your suggestions and ideas. Presentations should be 10-15 minutes, followed by 15 minutes of discussion. The preferred conference language is English, but French, Italian and German are welcome as well. Unfortunately, we cannot reimburse any costs for travel or accommodation, but there is no registration fee.

Colleagues who are interested in presenting a paper are kindly requested to submit an abstract (max. 150 words) with a short CV to by 12th of July 2019.

Neu auf Propylaeum-DOK: Schriften von Tonio Hölscher

08. Juli 2019, Katrin Bemmann - Aktuelles

Eine Auswahl von Schriften des Klassischen Archäologen Tonio Hölscher wird jetzt sekundär auf Propylaeum-DOK online im Open Access bereit gestellt.
Erste Titel stehen bereits zum Download zur Verfügung, weitere werden sukzessive online gestellt.
Hölscher war von 1975 bis 2009 ordentlicher Professor für Klassische Archäologie an der Universität Heidelberg.
Hölscher ist Mitglied zahlreicher Akademien und Wissenschaftsinstitutionen, darunter die  Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften, die Academia Scientiarum et Artium Europaea in Salzburg, die Academia Europaea in London, die Accademia di Archeologia, Lettere e Belle Arti in Neapel, die Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei in Rom, dem Deutschen Archäologischen Institut und dem Österreichischen Archäologischen Institut in Wien.


Freiburger Kolloquium 2019 « Der Tod des Königs: Realität, Literatur, Repräsentation »

04. Juli 2019, Philipp Weiss - Aktuelles

Vom 9. bis 11. September 2019

Das Freiburger Colloquium 2019 hat zum Ziel einen interdisziplinären Blick auf diesen transzendenten Moment des Lebens eines Königreichs zu werfen. Wir möchten über die reiche Literatur, die dieses Ereignis begleitet (chronikale Berichte, Begräbnispoesie, volkstümliche Erzählungen, Exempla) ebenso nachdenken, wie über ihre Repräsentationsformen und Symbole (Gräber, Ikonographie, Skulpturen) und über ihre politische Bedeutung.

Université de Fribourg
Site Miséricorde
Avenue de l'Europe 20
MIS 4, Salle Jäggi (1er étage)

Prof. Hugo Oscar Bizzarri

Directeur de l'Institut d'Études Médiévales

Membre du département d'espagnol

Beauregard – Bureau 3.213
CH–1700 Fribourg
+41 26 300 7897

Martin Rohde

Administrateur de  l'Institut d'Études Médiévales
Miséricorde – Bureau 4123
CH–1700 Fribourg
+41 26 300 7915

International Conference: Secrets and Secrecy in Late Antiquity, Byzantium, and Early Islam

04. Juli 2019, Philipp Weiss - Aktuelles

 Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg, Germany, 26–28 July 2019


Secrets and secrecy are key features in late-antique, Byzantine, and early Islamic literature. They can manifest as hidden knowledge or sanctity, as disguise or the veiling of intentions, as a physical and metaphorical absence, as the creation of new identities or even as alternative modes of existence. An international conference organised by Anne Alwis (Kent), Anis Ben Amor (Tunis), Kirill Dmitriev (St Andrews) and Konstantin Klein (Bamberg) and funded by the Arab-German Young Academy of Sciences and the Humanities (AGYA) will be investigating the role of secrets and secrecy in a diachronic and interdisciplinary way.

*Friday 26th July 2019*

16:00   Registration

18:15   Welcome Address

18:30   *Zachary Yuzwa (University of Saskatchewan) – *“A Flower Among Thorns”: Hiddenness and Holiness in the Lives of Katherine Tekakwitha

20:00   Dinner for Speakers

*Saturday 27th July 2019*

9:00     Coffee and Registration

9:30     Introduction to the Conference

*Session I*

10:00   *Benjamin Pohl (University of Bristol) – *The Hidden Narrator

10:10   *Stavroula Constantinou (University of Cyprus) – *Authorship and Secrecy: The Hidden Agenda of a Fifth-Century Hagiographer

10:40   *Kirill Dmitriev (University of St Andrews)* – Secrecy as a Narrative Strategy in the Legend of Barlaam and Josaphat

11:10   Coffee

*Session II*

11:30   *Jan-Markus Kötter (University of Düsseldorf)* – Literary Absence

11:40   *Lieve Van Hoof (Ghent University) – *Self-Fashioning Through Secrets: The Years 363–388 in Libanius’ Letter Collection

12:10   *Christa Gray (University of Reading) – *Concealing the Body: Hidden Burials in Jerome’s Lives of Holy Men

12:40   Lunch for Speakers

*Session III*

14:00   *Anne Alwis (University of Kent)* – Lifting the Veil

14:10   *Marlena Whiting (University of Amsterdam) – *Secret Women. Female Pilgrims Disguised as Men in Early-Byzantine Hagiography

14:40   *Laura Franco (Royal Holloway, London) – *Between Concealment and Disguise: The Cases of the Cross-Dressing Saints Euphrosyne/Sma­ragdus (BHG 625) and Mary/Marinus (BHG 1163)

15:10   Coffee

*Session IV*

15:30   *Dionysios Stathakopoulos (King’s College, London) – *Secret Sanctity

15:40   *Klazina Staat (Ghent University)* – Late-Antique Latin Lives of Chaste Couples: Secrecy as a Strategy of Belief

16:10   *Christodoulos Papavarnavas (University of Vienna) – *Martyrdom and Secret Holiness: The Role Swap Between a Martyr and a Flute Player

16:40   Coffee

*Session V*

17:00   *Leah Tether (University of Bristol)* – Literary Discretion

17:10   *Isabel Toral-Niehoff (Free University of Berlin) – *The Gentle Art of Safeguarding Secrets. Confidentiality in Arabic Advice Literature

17:40   *Lale Behzadi (University of Bamberg) – *Al-Jāḥiẓ on the Difficulty of Keeping a Secret

18:30   City tour

20:00   Dinner for Speakers

*Sunday 28th July*

9:30     Coffee

*Session VI*

10:00   *Jenny Oesterle (University of Heidelberg) – *Secrecy and Knowledge

10:10   *Georg Leube (University of Bayreuth) – *Gnosis on the Via Dolorosa: The Scope of Hidden Meaning in Early and Classical Arabic-Islamic Historiographical Accounts of Ali’s March to Siffin

10:40   *Enass Khansa (American University of Beirut) – *The Concealed Gates of Heaven

11:10   Coffee

*Session VII*

11:30   *Benjamin Gray (Birkbeck College, London) – *Masquerading Voices

11:40   *Tina Chronopoulos (Binghamton University, New York) – *Ineffable Speeches in the Greek Lives of St Katherine of Alexandria

12:10   *Klaus van Eickels (University of Bamberg) – *Revealing Secrets: Assassinations Explained or Prevented by Letters in Crusading Historiography

12:40   Lunch for Speakers

*Session VIII*

14:00   Konstantin Klein (University of Bamberg) – Concealing Vision: Seen but not Heard

14:10   Julia Doroszewska (University of Warsaw) – Secrets of the Saints: Tricks and Disguises in the Saintly Apparitions of the Late-Antique Miracle

14:40   James Corke-Webster (King’s College, London) – Seeing and Secrecy: Visibility and Martyrs

15:10   Break

15:20   *Alexandra Vukovich (University of Oxford) – *Final Conclusions

16:00   Walking tour

20:00   Dinner for Speakers


Friday (Keynote) – Theology Building; An der Universität 2, 96045 Bamberg, Room U2/00.25

Saturday & Sunday – Oriental Studies Building, Schillerplatz 17, 96045 Bamberg, Room SP17/00.13

Registration is not required. Please direct any questions at
Dr. Konstantin M. Klein
Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg
Lehrstuhl für Alte Geschichte
Fischstraße 5-7
D-96045 Bamberg
Tel.: 0951-863-2349
Fax: 0951-863-2348

Zwei Datenbanken zu Gregor von Nyssa lizenziert

02. Juli 2019, Philipp Weiss - Aktuelles

Registrierte Nutzerinnen und Nutzer von Propylaeum können ab sofort zwei Datenbanken zu Gregor von Nyssa nutzen. Zum Angebot gelangen Sie über diese beiden Links: Gregorii Nysseni Opera Online und Lexicon Gregorianum Online.

Die Datenbanken bieten griechische Volltexte des Kirchenvaters und ein Autorenlexikon.

Für den Zugang zur Datenbank müssen Sie sich als Nutzerin bzw. Nutzer registieren.

Verlinkungen auf iDAI.gazetteer in PropylaeumSEARCH

01. Juli 2019, Philipp Weiss - Aktuelles

Bei einem Teil der Datensätze in PropylaeumSEARCH, der Metasuche von Propylaeum, werden seit Mai 2019 Verlinkungen auf Geographika-Eintragungen zum iDAI.gazetteer angezeigt. Über diese Links bzw. eine Zwischenseite haben die NutzerInnen künftig die Möglichkeit, direkt in den iDAI.gazetteer oder auch in die angeschlossenen Dienste des DAI/der (iDAI.objects und iDAI.bibliography) zu wechseln. Ein besonderer Mehrwert für die NutzerInnen ergibt sich daraus, dass auch Verweisformen - z. B. fremdsprachige Alternativbezeichnungen - mit indexiert und somit suchbar gemacht wurden (über "Einfache Suche" und "Thema (Schlagwort)"). Künftig soll die Zahl der Verlinkungen v. a. um archäologisch und historisch relevante Orte weiter erhöht und auf Basis der jetzt vernetzten Datenbestände an einem kartenbasierten Sucheinstieg gearbeitet werden.

Diana Wolf: "Monsters and the Mind" frisch online bei Propylaeum-eBOOKS

27. Juni 2019, Katrin Bemmann - Aktuelles

Im neunten Band der Reihe "Daidalos. Heidelberger Abschlussarbeiten für Klassische Archäologie" hat Diana Wolf in "Monsters and the Mind. Composite Creatures and Social Cognition in Aegean Bronze Age Glyptic" eine erste systematische Erfassung von „Monster“-Darstellungen auf bronzezeitlichen Siegeln und Siegelabdrücken aus der Ägäis mit dem Schwerpunkt auf das Minoische Kreta vorgenommen. Grundlage ist ein umfassender Katalog aller publizierten Siegel, die Hybride und Mischwesen führen. Der Titel steht im Open Access bei den Propylaeum-eBOOKS zum Download zur Verfügung.

Domitian and the East (Summer 2019)

26. Juni 2019, Philipp Weiss - Aktuelles

Domitian and the East, International Conference at the Anargyrios and Korgialenios School Spetses, Greece – June 30-July 2, 2019

Organizers: Antony Augoustakis (Illinois), Emma Buckley (St Andrews), Nathalie de Haan (Nijmegen), Aurora Raimondi Cominesi (Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, Leiden), and Claire Stocks (Newcastle)

Programme available at:

Call for Papers: Plutarch and his Contemporaries. Sharing the Roman Empire

26. Juni 2019, Philipp Weiss - Call for papers

*12th International Congress of the International Plutarch Society*

Warsaw (Poland), 3-6 September 2020

Plutarch lived in the multicultural yet increasingly interconnected world of the Roman empire: a world in which diverse local, linguistic, religious, and political identities were combined with a common education and culture as well as shared everyday experiences. This sense of interconnectedness is apparent in Plutarch’s works in a number of ways, such as in the inclusion of speakers from various backgrounds in dialogues and the exploration of Roman history and culture alongside that of Greece. There is an abundance of parallels between Plutarch and other imperial-period writers with backgrounds that differed from his, reflecting their shared cultural participation.

*This conference seeks to discuss Plutarch’s works within the broader context of imperial-period literature and to explore overlaps and points of intersection between Plutarch and other ancient authors of the 1st and 2nd c. CE, including Greek and Roman as well as pagan and Christian writers* (including, for instance, Dio Chrysostom, Arrian, and Lucian; Seneca, Quintilian, the two Plinies; Christian apologists and the early Church Fathers). We welcome contributions of a comparative nature investigating convergences and variations, parallels and modifications in themes, formats, and literary techniques in Plutarch and other authors of the early empire. We also invite submissions reflecting on the value and potential of such a perspective: does it allow us to identify the cultural and literary background Plutarch and other authors shared and distinguish it from their individualizing modifications, agendas, and preoccupations? To what extent does it allow us to define distinctive features of the Plutarchan *corpus* and thought? And, more generally, how does a comparative approach contribute to our understanding of the literary and intellectual culture of the early imperial period?

*Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following*: philosophical and religious concepts and ideas; use of literary motifs, *topoi*, and *exempla*; use of genres, literary formats, rhetorical and narrative strategies; stylistic and linguistic characteristics and tendencies; attitudes towards Rome and Roman domination; attitudes towards the Greek past and its cultural heritage.

Please send paper proposals of ca. 300 words in Word or PDF format to before the deadline of December 1, 2019. The participants will be notified of the acceptance of their proposals by March 1st 2020. Membership of the International Plutarch Society is not required.

International Plutarch Society
Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw, Faculty of Humanities
Organizing Committee: Katarzyna Jazdzewska, Joanna Komorowska, Filip Doroszewski

The conference will be held at Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw, Campus Dewajtis