News & Events
Knowing Future Time in and through Greek Historiography
Department of Classics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
7-9 June 2013
Future time had a peculiar position in both Greek historiography and the genealogies of historical thought generated through its reception. On the one hand, as Arnaldo Momigliano noted, “the future did not loom large in the work of Greek historians”, especially in comparison with Roman, Judeo-Christian or modern historiography. Indeed, in a context wherein interpretations of oracles and divine signs posited prediction as a key part of cultural conceptions of time, while mythical temporality offered an ethical basis for linking past, present and future, Greek historical thought may be seen as produced on the basis of resistance to narratives of future time and prediction. On the other hand, both the concept of knowing the future and specific claims to such knowledge were never banished. Herodotus has been read as anticipating the future of the Peloponnesian war, when he warned about the catastrophic nature of Persian imperialism; he embraced the memorializing nature and ethical dimension of mythical traditions; and deployed interpretations of dreams and oracles throughout his narrative (without, however, offering a historiographical category of correct interpretation). Thucydides began his work with a prediction about the greatness of the war to come and prefigured his reception by proclaiming his investigation to be a possession for all time. Xenophon’s history was delimited by two categories of future time in the genre of historiography itself: it began by setting itself in the time after Thucydides incomplete history of the Peloponnesian War and concluded by anticipating its own continuation. In a different context, Polybius’ account of the fate of political regimes elaborated future time in both philosophical and historical terms, setting up a category of the politics of time that often mediated the reception of Greek historians and continued to reverberate in modern historiographical and political thought.
The conference seeks to discuss the philosophical, narrative, ethical and political articulations of future time in Greek historiography and reflect on the repercussions of this category in modern genealogies of historical thought. How was the quest for knowing the future inscribed in or resisted by Greek historiography? What was the position of future time in regimes of historicity whose dominant orientation focused on past and present? What were the ethics and politics of future time in Greek historiography and the modern genealogies of history that evoked Greek antiquity as their inaugural moment?
Friday 7 June
9:00-11:00 Theorising Future Time in Greek Historical Thought
Jonas Grethlein (University of Heidelberg) Futures Past in Ancient Historiography.
Catherine Darbo-Peschanski (EHESS) Le futur et la logique de la clôture dans l’historiographie grecque.
Εmily Greenwood (Yale University) Futures Real and Unreal in Greek Historiography: From Herodotus to Plato.
11:30-13:30 Future Time in Classical Historical Thought, I
Katharina Wesselmann (University of Basel) Herodotus and Mythical Temporalities.
Τim Rood (University of Oxford) Thucydidean Futures and their Reception.
Karen Bassi (University of California, Santa Cruz) Fading into the Future: Visibility and Legibility in Thucydides History.
15:30-16:50 Future Time in Classical Historical Thought, II
Antonis Tsakmakis (University of Cyprus) Narrative Prolepsis and Historical Interpretation in Xenophon's Hellenica.
Emily Baragwanath (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) Knowing Future Time in Xenophon’s Anabasis
Saturday 8 June
9:00-11:00 Hellenistic Historians and Polybius
Nicolas Wiater (University of St. Andrews) Temporal Fragmentation, Insecurity and Lack of Closure in Polybius' Histories.
Nikos Miltsios (University of Thessaloniki) Knowledge and Foresight in Polybius.
Christopher Pelling (University of Oxford) Preparing for Posterity's Judgment: Polybius and Dionysius.
11:30-13:30 Looking Back and Forward: Greek Historiography and the Future in Historians of Roman Times, I
Lawrence Kim (Trinity University) The ‘Future’ in Imperial Ancient Literary History: Dionysius, Plutarch, Philostratus.
Paolo Desideri (University of Firenze) Plutarch on the Future of an Ancient World.
Luke Pitcher (University of Oxford) Future's Bright? Looking Forward in Appian and Others.
15:30-16:50 Looking Back and Forward: Greek Historiography and the Future in Historians of Roman Times, II
Melina Tamiolaki (University of Crete) Writing for Posterity in Ancient Historiography: Lucian’s Perspective.
Dennis Pausch (University of Regensburg) On the Shoulders of Greeks? Future Time in Livy’s ab urbe condita.
Sunday 9 June 2013
9:00-10:20 Greek Historians and Future Time in Christian and Modern Historiography
Peter van Nuffelen (University of Ghent) No Light from the Future. The Impenetrable Present in Christian Historiography.
Antonis Liakos (University of Athens) Changing the Structure of Historical time: Comments on a Title Page Engraved by Rubens in 1632.
Aviezer Tucker (University of Texas, Austin) Ancient and Modern Historiography: A Probable Difference.
Garry Trompf (University of Sydney) The Cycle of Governments as Confirmation, Judgement and Prediction in Modern European Thought
Alexandra Lianeri (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki) Future Time and Historical Method in Ancient and Modern Historiography.
12:45-14:00 Roundtable Discussion
Jonas Grethlein, Alexandra Lianeri, Oswyn Murray, Chris Pelling, Antoniοs Rengakos, Kostas Vlassopoulos
Conference co-discussants: Oswyn Murray, Kostas Vlassopoulos
Organizing committee Jonas Grethlein, Alexandra Lianeri, Antonios Rengakos
(For further information please see the website: http://www.lit.auth.gr/en/node/1884)
The Past in the Present
Interpreting Herodotus after Charles W. Fornara
Columbia University, September 20-22 2013
Fornara’s Herodotus. An Interpretative Essay stands out in Herodotean scholarship, in particular for locating Herodotus in the context of the Atheno-Peloponnesian war and for its exploration of the Athens-Sparta conflict as a ‘red thread’ running through the Histories. It also includes penetrating discussion of other issues: the relative unity of Herodotus’ work, the relationship between ethnographies and historical narrative; and the significance of ‘patterning’ within the Histories, the way (in Fornara’s words) in which ‘history became moral and Herodotus didactic’.
Forty years on from the publication of Herodotus. An Interpretative Essay, this conference brings together a group of international scholars with varying approaches and interpretative skills into dialogue with one another, to look afresh at the themes of Fornara’s Essay in the light of the scholarship of the intervening years.
If you would like to attend the conference, or if you have any queries, please contact the organisers, Tom Harrison (email@example.com) or Liz Irwin (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This conference is funded by the Stanwood Cockey Lodge Fund of the Department of Classics, The University Seminar in Classical Civilization, the Center for the Ancient Mediterranean (Columbia University), and the John Percival Postgate Trust (University of Liverpool)
Charles Fornara and Herodotus Book II. The question of unity and development
The lesson of Book 2
Hecataeus and Herodotus
Dogs that do not (always) bark: Herodotus on Persian Egypt.
Robert Rollinger & Josef Wiesehoefer
Herodotus and the Persian empire. The transformation of Ancient Near Eastern motifs
Herodotus and democracy
Herodotus and Sparta
Herodotus and the Battle of Plataiai
Past and present in Herodotus' Histories
The moral of history
The world of Herodotus
History on the move
Herodotus’ last logos
Discussants include Charles Fornara, Adele Scafuro, Lucia Athanassaki, and John Moles