2015: Under the Influence: Wine in the Ancient Mediterranean
On April 18, 2015, the graduate students in the Ancient Greek & Roman Studies MA Program hosted the second-annual Graduate Student Symposium, Under the Influence: Wine in the Ancient Mediterranean.
- Hosted By: The Ancient Greek and Roman Studies MA Program, Department of Classical Studies, Brandeis University
- Dedicated to: Professor Leonard C. Muellner
- Keynote Speaker: Professor Gregory Nagy
Professor Nagy discussed the contributions of Leonard Muellner to our understanding of ritual libations in the ancient Greek world. Professor Nagy is the Francis Jones Professor of Classical Greek Literature and a Professor of Comparative Literature at Harvard University, as well as the Director of Harvard's Center for Hellenic Studies.
About the Symposium
The cultivation and consumption of wine permeated all aspects of life in the ancient Mediterranean world, from large-scale economic relations to small-scale domestic activities. The production, utilization, and representation of wine constituted a large portion of ancient daily life through ritual, trade, art, and literature. As a result, the bulk of iconographic and textual corpora that survives today pertains to the topic of wine. Some of the topics explored by our speakers included:
Storage vessels and their contents as trade commodities
Wine in early scripts (Linear B, Ugaritic, etc.)
Containers as indicators of socio-cultural practices
Organic footprints of wine production
Sacred libation in ancient rituals and religion
Greek and Roman symposia
Roman political messages involving wine
Textual analysis of Medieval scholia which discuss Homeric wine-vocabulary