Accordia/Institute of Classical
Studies Seminars 2005-6
In connection with the new research programme on literacy and
cultural identity in Etruscan Italy, Accordia and the Institute of
Classical Studies are running a seminar series on
New Perspectives on the Etruscans.
This will examine new approaches to a range of different aspects of
Etruscan culture and identity, although some papers will focus more
specifically on themes of language and literacy.
Literacy and State Development in
A one-day conference
on this theme was held at the Institute of Archaeology, UCL in November
2005. Contributors included: John Tait, Kathryn Piquette, Yvette
Balbaligo, Ruth Whitehouse, Kathryn Lomas, Jose-Ramon Perez-Accino, Bill
Sillar and Robert Hoyland. The papers will be published in due course by
the Institute of Classical Studies.
The theme of the Accordia and Institute of Classical Studies seminar
series for 2004-5 was 'Language, literacy and identity in the
The study of various forms of identity (ethnic, cultural, state,
social/personal) has been a key topic in the study of ancient Italy for
some years. Material used to explore various identities has ranged from
material culture, through settlement patterns, social behaviour,
inscriptions etc. to the literary cultures of the Roman period. One
factor which is under-explored, however, is the role of written and
spoken language in the formation of identity, and especially its
relation to other cultural markers. Historically, this stems from the
confinement of the study of pre-Roman languages to the field of
comparative philology and its relative isolation from the debates being
conducted by archaeologists and historians. Despite this, the study of
language and literacy has much to offer the field of cultural
history/archaeology and has many implications which deserve to be more
problematised and more widely discussed than they frequently are. The
central theme of this seminar series is the relationship between
language and other, primarily archaeological, forms of evidence in the
development of cultural and ethnic identities.
A series of seminars on the theme of 'The Establishment of
Literacy in state societies: the Ancient Mediterranean' took place
during 2003/4. Details of the
programme are still available, and
we hope to publish many of the papers from both series in the Accordia Special Studies
on the Ancient Mediterranean series in 2005.