A Workshop on Rural Communities in Ancient Greece

Friday 30 October 2020 (09:00-17:00)

Please contact Dr Maeve McHugh -  m.mchugh@bham.ac.uk


Studies of non-elite individuals, groups, and communities, which consider the forces that compel and define including and beyond their economic and political imperatives are flourishing.

In addition to broad studies relating to non-elite groups, fewer, but equally essential studies have begun to reconstruct the lives, labour, and interactions of other sexes and ages beyond the male labourer paradigm. Current scholarship on the connectivity of rural communities, the economic objectives of individuals and groups, and their interactions with broader socio-political institutions have added a greater depth of knowledge to an aspect of the ancient Greek world that was previously poorly understood. This workshop aims to bring scholars whose research interests align with the above themes to discuss the new and growing discipline of Greek rural communities studies. 

Zoom structure: 30 minute paper, ten minutes for questions, and a five-minute break between each paper.

09:00-09:20 Logging onto Zoom and introductions

Session 1, 09:20-11:30: Is it possible to define Greek rural communities?

  • Chair: Dr William Mack (University of Birmingham) 

09:20 – 10:00 - Dr Dan Stewart (University of Leicester): “Finding Time for Greek Rural Communities”

5 minute break

10:05 – 10:45 - Dr Andrew Bayliss (University of Birmingham): “Rethinking rural communities in Classical Lakonia and Messenia”

5 minute break

10:50 – 11:30 - Dr Jane Rempel (University of Sheffield): “Connecting communities? Rural settlement and land-use as facilitators of (or barriers to) interaction”

20 minute break

Session 2, 12:00-13:30: Should we, and can we, discern between elites and non-elites in Greek rural communities?

  • Chair: Dr Maeve McHugh (University of Birmingham)

12:00-12:30 - Dr Sarah Murray (University of Toronto): “Assessing Social and Economic Hierarchies in Rural Communities: Evidence, Methods, and Models”

5 minute break

12:35 – 13:15 - Anna Lagia (University Freiberg): “Can bioarchaeology help appreciate differences between urban and rural lifeways? Examples from the Athenian asty and the region of Laurion”

45 minute break

Session 3, 14:00-15:30: Benchmarking the discipline of Greek rural communities studies.

  • Chair: Dr Andrew Bayliss (University of Birmingham)

14:00-14:40 - Prof. Hamish Forbes (University of Nottingham): “Rurality from the ground up: what can ethnography tell us about ancient Greek agriculture?”

5 minute break

14:45-15:25 Prof. Lin Foxhall (University of Liverpool): “Finding non-elites? Interpreting status in ancient Greek countrysides”

10 minute break

Session 4, 15:35 -16:30: Roundtable discussion on Greek rural communities.

  • Chair: Dr Maeve McHugh (University of Birmingham)

The workshop is supported by a financial grant from the Institute of Classical Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London and the School of History and Cultures, University of Birmingham.