C o n c e p t s o f C r i s i s
“Crisis in Antiquity”
Prof. Dr. Teun Tieleman (Professor of Ancient Philosophy and Medicine, Utrecht University), “The Idea of Crisis in Ancient Philosophy: Plato, Aristotle and some successors”
Prof. Dr. Panagiotis Iossif (Deputy Director of the Belgian School of Archaeology at Athens, Professor of Ancient and Medieval Numismatics, Radboud University Nijmegen), “Monetary Crises in Antiquity: Coinage as marker of a crisis”
Moderators - Discussants:
Dr. Anna Tatsi, Research Center for Greek Philosophy
Dr. Catherine Brégianni, Greek Modern History Research Centre
Prof. Dr. Teun Tieleman
The Idea of Crisis in Ancient Philosophy: Plato, Aristotle and some successors
Philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle and the Stoics developed ideas on the rise, flourishing and decline of civilizations, some of them taking history to be cyclical and punctuated by natural catastrophes. But they also reflected on the transformation of societies in terms of changes of government or constitution, exploring the causes leading up to political turning points. Why is a political system discontinued and replaced with another one? What is the role of factors such as economic inequality? Is a specific pattern discernible in these processes, as with medical crises in individual humans? Further, the challenge does not always come from inside. An example of an externally caused crisis is the war waged by the empire of Atlantis against prehistoric Athens as narrated by Plato in his Timaeus. Here the crisis is the ultimate test of the strength and resilience of a particular society. In Plato’s Republic we find both crises provided by war between states and the inevitable decline of societies through internal imbalances. Thus, book VIII presents an analysis of how democratic states turn into dictatorships after a phase marked by the emergence of demagogues. Plato’s analysis was followed by Aristotle’s alternative theory on political dissent and revolution in Politics V. Finally we take a look at a few successors of the great philosophers of classical Athens, most notably the Stoic Posidonius and the Academic Cicero, who responded to the crisis of the Roman Republic.
Prof. Dr. Teun Tieleman studied classics and philosophy at Utrecht University, where he earned his PhD with highest distinction (1992). After spells in Cambridge and Nijmegen he returned to the Utrecht Department of Philosophy in 2001. In recent years he has held visiting positions at UCLA and Novosibirsk State University, Siberia.
His research focuses on the interactions between philosophy and science, in particular medicine, in antiquity, Galen of Pergamum and his influence, Stoicism, theories of emotion as well as the ways in which philosophy was taught and transmitted in the Graeco-Roman world. His books include: Galen and Chrysippus on the Soul. Argument and Refutation in the De Placitis II-III (1996), Chrysippus on Affections. Reconstruction and Interpretation (2003) and (co-ed.) The Letter of Mara bar Sarapion in Context (2012).
Teun Tieleman directs the research project ‘Human Nature: Medical and Philosophical Perspectives in the Work of Galen of Pergamum,’ which is funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) as part of the Free Competition Humanities Programme. He is also a member of the governing board of the Gravitation-programme ‘Anchoring Innovation’ (2018-20228).
Teun Tieleman is Chair of the Board of Examiners of the School of Philosophy and Religious Studies.
Prof. Dr. Panagiotis Iossif
Monetary Crises in Antiquity: Coinage as marker of a crisis
Crises in Antiquity, as in the Modern world, bear different forms. Many crises of institutions, as well as economic crises where recorded in ancient sources, both in epigraphy and ancient historians. Rare are the attestations of the monetary impact the latter had in economy. It is a methodological mistake to consider ancient economies as highly monetized comparable to modern, post-capitalistic systems. Therefore, an economic crisis had certainly an impact on coinage, but was less perceptible than in today's economies. Hence, we will approach the monetary crisis, after defining the exact meaning of the term, through coinage itself, i.e. starting from coins, their analyses and trying to demonstrate the existence of a crisis. This will be attempted through a quantitative approach of different study cases, inter alia the coinages of the third c. BC Pontic cities or of Roman coinages of the third c. AD.
Prof. Dr. Panagiotis Iossif is a classical archaeologist, historian of religions, and numismatist educated at Liège, New York and Oxford. He is the author and editor of various articles and books on Greek art, numismatics and ancient Greek and Roman religions. His More than Men, Less than God book discussing the royal cult and imperial worship is one of the major references on the topic, while he co-edited with François de Callataÿ and Richard Veymiers the methodological analysis of how to read coin types on ancient Greek and Roman coins. He actually prepares a monograph on the economics of war in Hellenistic antiquity, while editing with Winfred van de Put the collective volume on Greek Iconographies.
He is deputy director of the Belgian School of Archaeology at Athens; co-director of the Numismatic Seminar at Athens; and he’s professor of Ancient and Medieval Numismatics at the Radboud University Nijmegen. He also excavates at Thorikos (Attika) and will be the director of a new project focusing on the Macedonian tomb at Komnina, Xanthi.