Historical and Cultural Aspects of the Black Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean in the Hellenistic and Roman periods

The subject of this course is the presence of the Graeco-Roman civilization in the Black Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean, as seen through material remains. It will examine the spread of Roman civilization in these areas, the succession from  Hellenistic to  Roman culture, and the development of a common artistic language throughout the Empire that allowed the transmission of specific messages from the Emperor to his subjects, and vice versa. It will provide an overview of  Roman civilization as formed in the Balkan –Danubian provinces and the Greek and Asia Minor provinces during the period of its great flourishment (2nd c. AD). During the Imperial period some of the major Greek cities maintained their institutions and their administrative autonomy, although under the provincial governor; besides the existing old cities (e.g. Athens, Argos, Sparta, Thessaloniki, Veroia, Ephesus, Miletus, etc.) new cities were established in the Greek mainland and the Asia Minor, as Roman colonies where Roman colonists were settled and organized on the model of the Roman cities of Italy, however, also adopting local features.

Learning outcomes

Upon completing the course, the students will have gained:

  • a spherical view of the Black Sea region and Asia Minor on grounds of history and artistic expression during the Hellenistic and Roman period
  • knowledge on the Romanization process in the Balkan-Danubian and the Greek and Asia Minor provinces
  • ability to examine Roman monumental architecture and sculpture (historical reliefs, portrait, etc.) and discuss their role within Roman society and the formation of local identities
  • ability to discuss topics such as strategies of ‘Remembrance’ in the Graeco-Roman provinces, Benefactions, Imperial propaganda, etc.