Third-year undergraduate course - University College Roosevelt (Middelburg, the Netherlands)

Tuesday, March 21, 2017 -
10:00 to 19:00
Netherlands Institute at Athens, Makri 11
Event Description: 

Third-year undergraduate course - University College Roosevelt (Middelburg, the Netherlands) - "Death and the Polis"

10.00 Reception with coffee
10.30 Session 1 - The justification of violence in classical Athens
Nora Bentler, "Connecting rape and pollution in classical Athens"
Katherine Pangalos, "Vengeance in the Oresteia"
Joleyn Tange, "How to get away with murder: adultery as justification for murder in Attic tragedy and law"
Annick Wijnstra, "The crime of magic: pollution, magic and exclusion in Athenian law"
11.30 Discussion
11.50 Coffee break
12.15 Session 2 - Perceptions of madness in ancient Greece
Bram van Overdijk, "Rhetorical madness in Athenian fifth-century tragedy"
Anna den Hollander, "Perceptions of insanity as mental disease in the Hippocratic Corpus and fifth-century tragedy"
Desiree van Iersel, "Depictions of mad heroes and maenads on Attic vases"
13.15 Discussion
13.30 Lunch break
15.00 Session 3 - Status and commemoration in Athenian funerary contexts
Laura van der Knaap, "The paradox of the cemetery: children's depictions on gravestones and lekythoi in fifth-century Athens"
Daniel Boff, "Changing iconographies: archaic and classical funerary lekythoi"
Nanouk Kromhout, "War/death ideology in contrasting functions"
Joëlle Koorneef, "Vehicles of social constructs: tribes and public commemoration in democratic Athens"
16.20 Discussion
17.00 Coffee break

17.45 Professor Edward Harris, "Pollution and Purification in Athenian Law and in Attic Tragedy: Parallels or Divergences?"

In the Odyssey Orestes kills Aegisthus in revenge for the death of his father Agamemnon. The murder does not create any pollution, and Orestes is held up as a positive moral example for Telemachus. In the Eumenides of Aeschylus, Orestes kills both his mother Clytemnestra and Aegisthus and is pursued by the Erinyes, who consider him polluted and believe that he deserves punishment even though Apollo claims that he has purified him. Orestes is also considered polluted in several plays of Euripides. What is the reason for the different treatment? This paper will explore the portrayal of pollution for homicide in Attic tragedy and draw on my recent essay published in C. Ando and G. Rüpke, eds., Public and Private in Ancient Mediterranean Law and Religion (Berlin, Munich, Boston 2015). It will also question the view of Meinel that Attic tragedy attempts to make pollution problematic and examine the relationship between law, religion and tragedy.

Edward Harris is Emeritus Professor of Ancient History of Durham University; he has published extensively on Athenian political history and institutions, Greek law and the economy of Ancient Greece. Among his works are Democracy and the Rule of Law in Classical Athens (Cambridge University Press 2006), The Rule of Law in Action in Democratic Athens (Oxford University Press 2013), and translations of Demosthenes 20-22 and 23-26 for the series The Oratory of Classical Greece edited by Michael Gagarin (Texas University Press, 2008 and forthcoming). He has co-edited The Law and the Courts in Ancient Greece (London 2004) and, with David Lewis and Mark Woolner, The Ancient Greek Economy: Markets, Households and City-States (Cambridge and New York 2015). He has been a member of the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and NEH Fellow at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens.