INSTITUTE OF HISTORICAL RESEARCH (IHR/NHRF) > Section of Greek & Roman Antiquity (SGRA)
 

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The Hellenic World and the East Programme

The Program Hellenic World and the East engages in the interdisciplinary study of the contacts of ancient Hellenism with the peoples of the Near East – one of the most rapidly-evolving fields of research on the history of the ancient world, but also a domain of research which, despite its special importance for the history of the Hellenic and Greco-Roman world, has a very limited representation in the Greek scholarly community.

Our research focuses on ancient East-West interactions, as expressed in texts, both literary and epigraphic, coinage, art/architecture, and the remains of material culture, particularly in the regions of Palestine, Arabia and the Sinai, the Aegean and Asia Minor, Cyprus and Iran. They aim at the systematic development of research resources (archives, corpora) and the production of synthetic studies.

The main topics of our research are:

  • the contribution of local primary sources to the study of the history of the Eastern Mediterranean and Near Eastern regions of Greek activity
  • the transmission of ideas, customs, practices, institutions and knowledge among peoples
  • the evolution and transformation of cultural characteristics in the multicultural environments of the eastern Mediterranean and the Near East
  • the role of the 'universal' states of the Achaemenids, Alexander and the Successors, Rome, and the Sasanians as catalysts for the ongoing dialogue and cross-fertilization between the Greco-Roman and Eastern worlds.

 

History

The Program started out in 1980 as the “Palestine” Program, concerned with the history, archaeology and epigraphy of Palestine, Arabia and the Sinai Peninsula in the Roman/Early Byzantine periods. Directed by Y. Meimaris, the Palestine Program was joined in 1985 by current member, K. Kritikakou-Nikolaropoulou, and from 1987 to 1991 by P. Bougia.

The present, enlarged geographical and research scope of “The Hellenic World and the East” Program has emerged through gradual enrichment: the merge in 2001 of the Palestine Program and G. Fowden's project (since 1985) on the Greek and Roman East into a single Greek East Program headed, successively, by Y. Meimaris (2001-2008) and G. Fowden (2009-2013); and the arrival, between 2003 and 2009, of new members with a specialization and interest in Asia Minor (C. Kokkinia), Syria (A. Bousdroukis), Cyprus (E. Markou, A. Zournatzi, and interested participation of former KERA Director, M.B. Hatzopoulos), the Achaemenid empire and the relations between the ancient Greek and ancient Iranian worlds (A. Zournatzi).

 

Members

Antigoni Zournatzi, Director of Research, Program Coordinator
Christina Kokkinia, Senior Researcher
Evangeline Markou, Senior Researcher
Kalliope Kritikakou-Nikolaropoulou, Functional Senior Researcher

Other Members

Research Directors Emeriti and Former IHR Researchers
Yiannis E. Meimaris, Research Director Emer. (Fmr Head of Program (1980-2008))
Garth Fowden (1985-2013), Director of Research, Head of Program  (2009-2013)
Apostolos Bousdroukis, Assistant Researcher (2009-2010)

Post-Doctoral Researchers
Giorgos Bourogiannis, Postdoctoral Research Fellow (2018-)
Michael Iliakis, Postdoctoral External Scientific Collaborator (2017-)
Seyedabazar Shobairi, Postdoctoral Research Fellow (2018-)

Former Collaborators
Helen Athanassiou, Research Collaborator (2014-2015)
Constantine Ananiades, Postgraduate Research Collaborator (2006-2008),
Demetrios Gerothanassis, Research Collaborator (2014-2015)
Myrto Malouta, Postdoctoral Research Fellow (2010)
Kyriaki Mavrommataki, External Scientific Collaborator (2006-2008)
Polyxeni Bougia, External Research Collaborator (1987-1991)
Giorgos Bourogiannis, Postdoctoral Researcher (2014-2015)
Pagona Papadopoulou, Postdoctoral Researcher (2014)
Vassiliki Psilakakou, Research Collaborator (2014-2015)
Elizabeth Key Fowden, Research Collaborator (until 2012)

Seyedabazar Shobairi, Postgraduate Research Collaborator (2014-2015)

 

Research Projects

Research Directions

  • The epigraphy, history and archaeology of the Roman provinces of Palestine and Arabia (K. Kritikakou-Nikolaropoulou, Y.E. Meimaris [emer.])

  • Archaic, Classical and Roman Cyprus
    a) Relations of Cyprus with the Achaemenid empire (A. Zournatzi)
    b) Economic policy and numismatics (E. Markou)
    c) Inscriptions of Roman Palaipaphos (C. Kokkinia)
  • Institutions and society of Asia Minor during the Roman period (C. Kokkinia)
  • Relations between the ancient Greek and Iranian worlds (A. Zournatzi)

 

Participation in Externally Funded Research Projects

Current Projects

“People in Motion: Entangled Histories of Displacement across the Mediterranean (1492-1923)” [PIMo, CA18140], Α. Zournatzi (Participant, Member of Management Committee). COST (2018-2022)
https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA18140

“Cypriot Connectivity in the Mediterranean from the Late Bronze Age to the End of the Classical Period [CyCoMed], G. Bourogiannis (Principal Investigator), Ε. Μarkou (Scientific Responsible). 1st Call for H.F.R.I. Research Projects (2018-2021)
Giorgos Bourogiannis (Principal Investigator), Evangeline Markou (Scientific Coordinator): “Cypriot Connectivity in the Mediterranean from the Late Bronze Age to the End of the Classical Period” [CyCoMed].
Funding: 1st Call for H.F.R.I. Research Projects To support Postdoctoral Researchers, General Secretariat of Research and Technology (GSRT).
Duration: 36 months (starting date: 12/10/2018).

“The coins of the kings of Cyprus in the collection of the American Numismatic Society (New York)”, Ε. Markou. “ANAVATHMIS. Historical Research and Digital Applications” [MIS 5002357], NSRF (2017-2020)

«Material Entanglements in the Ancient Mediterranean and Beyond», A. Zournatzi (Principal Investigator, jointly with M. Feldman, Johns Hopkins University), Κ. Kritikakou (Participating Researcher). The Getty Foundation’s Connecting Art Histories initiative (2017-2020)
Duration: August 2017-January 2020
http://www.getty.edu/foundation/initiatives/current/cah/
http://materialentanglements.org

 

Selected Earlier Projects

“Researcher’s Night”. H2020-MSCA-NIGHT-2016/2017 (2016, 2017)
- C. Kokkinia: “From stone to paper”. Educational laboratory of epigraphic squeeze making for children.
- Ε. Markou: “Throw a coin!”. Educational laboratory for the creation of coin-die casts with plaster and modeling clay (ages 5-12).

“The Silver Coinage of the Kings of Cyprus: Numismatics and History in the Archaic and Classical Periods (6th to 4th c. BC)” [SilCoinCy - MIS 3731], Ε. Μarkou (Principal Investigator). GSRT Action ARISTEIA II, NSRF (2007-2013)
Duration: 28/1/2014-31/10/2015
http://kyprioscharacter.eie.gr/el/

“Kyrtou Plegmata: Networks of Economy, Power and Knowledge in the Greek World from Prehistoric Times to the Modern Era: Analytical Documentation – Interpretative Mapping – Synthetic Approaches”, Τ. Κolias (Principal Investigator IHR). Autonomous contributions by Program members (Α. Zournatzi, Κ. Κritikakou, Ε. Μarkou [collaboration with C. Papageorgiadou]). GSRT Action ΚΡΗΠΙΣ (2013-2015)

Archaeological Excavation at Zoni, R.U. Hebrus”, P. Tsatsopoulou (Principal Investigator). Member of the research and publication team (A. Zournatzi). Ministry of Culture, NSRF (2007-2017)

GSRT Action ARISTEIA in Research Centers/Institutes Cycles I and II (2003-2008). Μ.Β. Hatzopoulos (Principal Investigator ΚΕRΑ). Autonomous contributions by Program members (Α. Zournatzi, C. Kokkinia, Κ. Κritikakou, Y.E. Μeimaris)

Electronic Atlas of the Written Sources for Greek History”, Μ.Β. Hatzopoulos (Principal Investigator ΚΕRΑ). Autonomous contributions by Program members (Α. Zournatzi, Κ. Κritikakou, Y.E. Μeimaris). GSRT Action HISTOS (1997‒2000)

 

 

Conferences and Events
  • International Research Workshops “Material Entanglements in the Ancient Mediterranean and Beyond”. 1st Workshop: NHRF, 1-10 October 2018. 2nd Workshop: fall 2019. Co-organization NHRF – Johns Hopkins University. Coordinators: Α. Ζournatzi (NHRF), M. Feldman (Johns Hopkins University). http://materialentanglements.org/news-and-events/
  • Greek-Iranian Symposium “Homer and Ferdowsi”, NHRF, 19-20 January 2007. Co-organization NHRF – Cultural Center of the Embassy of I.R. Iran – Research Institute of the Iranian Cultural Heritage Organization. Coordinators: Α. Ζournatzi (NHRF), S.M.R. Darbandi (Cultural Center of the Embassy of I.R. Iran), Abolghasem Esmailpour (Research Institute of the Iranian Cultural Heritage Organization).
  • 1st International Conference “Ancient Greece and Ancient Iran: Cross-Cultural Encounters”, NHRF, 11-15 November 2006. Co-organization NHRF – Hellenic National Commission for UNESCO – Cultural Center of the Embassy of I.R. Iran / Research Institute of the Iranian Cultural Heritage Organization. Coordinators: Α. Ζournatzi (NHRF), S.M.R. Darbandi (Cultural Center of the Embassy of I.R. Iran).
    www.eie.gr/greece-iran-conference/

 

 

Collaborations

Based on their research interests the members of The Hellenic World and the East Program collaborate in various ways within Greece with the University of Athens, Ionian University, University of the Aegean, Epigraphic Museum and the Ephorate of Antiquities of Evros. As part of their international scholarly exchanges, the Program members have also developed significant collaborations with, among others, the following local archaeological authorities and academic and research institutions: Cyprus Department of Antiquities, Cultural Foundation of the Bank of Cyprus, Palaipaphos Museum, Department of Antiquities of Jordan (Excavation of Ghor es-Safi), Hellenic Society for Near Eastern Studies, Oriental Institute of the University of Oxford, University of Zurich, Yeshiva University of New York, Johns Hopkins University, National Museum of Iran, Iranian Cultural Heritage Organization, Cultural Center of the Embassy of I.R. Iran, Hellenic National Commission for UNESCO and J.P. Getty Foundation.

 

Databases - Websites

The initial archive (and squeezes) of inscriptions from Palestine brought to the Program by founding researcher Yiannis Meimaris has expanded over the years into a substantial epigraphic collection, complete with a photographic and bibliographic archive, as well as a digital database of dated Greek inscriptions of Roman-Early Byzantine Palestine and Arabia.

More recent initiatives for the development of open-access resources for research purposes and the dissemination of sound historical knowledge through the World Wide Web include the following digital endeavors:

  • “Mapping Ancient Cultural Encounters: Greeks in Iran ca. 550 BC – ca. AD 650” – Online archive of archaeological, epigraphic and numismatic documents that relate to the Greek presence in Iran and to Greek-Iranian encounters in Iran in antiquity
    http://iranohellenica.eie.gr  

 

 

Prizes - Distinctions
  • A. Zournatzi named Getty Scholar (April-June 2019), Getty Research Institute Program 2018/2019 «The Classical World in Context: Persia»
  • C. Kokkinia appointed member of the Committee of the Association Internationale d'Épigraphie Grecque et Latine (AIEGL) [https://www.aiegl.org/news-18.html], 2013
  • E. Markou awarded the "Delepierre" Prize of the Association pour L' Encouragement des Études Grecques en France for the monograph L' or des rois de Chypre. Numismatique et histoire a l' époque classique (MELETEMATA 64, Athens 2011), 2012  
  • E. Markou awarded the “Allier de Hauteroche” Prize of the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres for the monograph L' or des rois de Chypre. Numismatique et histoire á l' époque classique (MELETEMATA 64, Athens 2011), 2013.
  • S.M.R. Darbandi and A. Zournatzi awarded the "World Prize for the Book of the Year of the Islamic Republic of Iran" for the organization and publication of the proceedings of the 1st International Conference Ancient Greece and Ancient Iran: Cross-Cultural Encounters, NHRF, 11-13 November 2006 (a co-publication of the National Hellenic Research Foundation - Hellenic National Commission for UNESCO - Cultural Center of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Athens 2008), 2010
    [http://www.ibna.ir/vdciqraq.t1arz2lict.html] [http://www.eie.gr/nhrf/institutes/igra/news/world-prize-zournatzi.pdf]
  • Y.E. Meimaris and K.I. Kritikakou-Nikolaropoulou awarded the "Prize of the Academy of Athens in Letters and Fine Arts" for the corpus Inscriptions from Palaestina Tertia, vol. Ia. The Greek Inscriptions from Ghor es-Safi (Byzantine Zoora) (MEΛETHMATA 41, Athens 2005), 2006

 

Publications

Program members are regular contributors to international scientific journals, collective scientific volumes, and international conference proceedings (see, indicatively, individual member CVs). Fruits of our work so far are also the following corpora of inscriptions from Third Palestine and Boubon, synthetic studies in the form of monographs about the history, culture and coinage of the areas under study in the Program, and proceedings of the first international scientific conference on ancient Greek-Iranian relations that was jointly organized by Greeks and Iranians:

  • Y.E. Meimaris and K. Kritikakou-Nikolaropoulou, Inscriptions from Palaestina Tertia, vol. Ic: The Jewish Aramaic Inscriptions from Ghor es-Safi (Byzantine Zoora) (MELETEMATA 73, Αthens 2016)
  • E. Markou, Coinage and History. The case of Cyprus during the Archaic and Classical periods / Νομισματική και ιστορία. Η περίπτωση της Κύπρου κατά τους αρχαϊκούς και κλασικούς χρόνους (Lectures on the History of Numismatics / Διαλέξεις για την Ιστορίας της Νομισματοκοπίας 6, Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation, Nicosia 2015)
  • G. Fowden, Before and After Muhammad: The First Millennium Refocused (Princeton 2013)
  • E. Markou, L'or des rois de Chypre. Numismatique et histoire à l'époque classique (MELETEMATA 64, Athenes 2011) (“Allier de Hauteroche” Prize 2013 of the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres and “Delepierre” Prize of the Association pour L'Encouragement des Études Grecques en France, 2012)
  • C. Kokkinia, Boubon. The Inscriptions and Archaeological Remains. A Survey 2004-2006 (MELETEMATA 60, Athens 2008)
  • S.M.R. Darbandi and A. Zournatzi, (eds.) Ancient Greece and Ancient Iran: Cross-Cultural Encounters. 1st Ιnternational Conference (Athens, 11-13 November 2006) (Athens 2008) ("World Prize for the Book of the Year of the Islamic Republic of Iran", 2010)
  • Y.E. Meimaris and K. Kritikakou-Nikolaropoulou, Inscriptions from Palaestina Tertia, vol. Ib: The Greek Inscriptions from Ghor es-Safi (Byzantine Zoora) (Supplement), Khirbet Qazone and Feinan (MELETEMATA 57, Αthens 2008)
  • E. Key Fowden and G. Fowden, Contextualizing Late Greek Philosophy (MELETEMATA 54, Athens 2008)
  • Y.E. Meimaris in collaboration with N. Makrygianni, Ernos Kydimon Palaestines Gaees: Anthology of Greek Inscriptions of Palestine and Arabia / Ἔρνος κύδιμον Παλαιστινῆς Γαίης: Ἀνθολογία ἑλληνικῶν ἐπιγραφῶν Παλαιστίνης καὶ  Ἀραβίας  (Athens 2008)
  • A. Zournatzi, Persian Rule in Cyprus: Sources, Problems, Perspectives (MELETEMATA 44, Athens 2005)
  • Y.E. Meimaris and K. Kritikakou-Nikolaropoulou, Inscriptions from Palaestina Tertia, vol. Ia: The Greek Inscriptions from Ghor es-Safi (Byzantine Zoora) (MELETEMATA 41, Athens 2005) ("Prize of the Academy of Athens", 2006)
  • G. Fowden, Qusayr 'Amra: Art and the Umayyad Elite in Late Antique Syria (The Transformation of the Classical Heritage 36, Berkeley 2004)
  • G. Fowden and E. Key-Fowden, Studies on Hellenism, Christianity and the Umayyads (MELETEMATA 37, Athens 2004)
  • G. Fowden, Empire to Commonwealth: Consequences of Monotheism in Late Antiquity (Princeton 1993) (Transl. in Italian, Rome 1997)
  • Y.E. Meimaris in collaboration with K. Kritikakou and P. Bougia, Chronological Systems in Roman-Byzantine Palestine and Arabia: The Evidence of the Dated Greek Inscriptions (MELETEMATA 17, Athens 1992)
  • Υ.E. Meimaris, The Monastery of Saint Euthymios the Great at Khan el-Ahmar in the Wilderness of Judaea: Rescue Excavations and Basic Protection Measures, 1976-1979. Preliminary Report (Athens 1989)
  • Y.E. Meimaris, Sacred Names, Saints, Martyrs and Church Οfficials in the Greek Inscriptions and Papyri Pertaining to the Christian Church of Palestine (MELETEMATA 2, Athens 1986)
  • Y.E. Meimaris, Catalogue of the New Arabic Manuscripts Found in the Holy Monastery of Saint Catherine, Mount Sinai / Κατάλογος τῶν Νέων Ἀραβικῶν Χειρογράφων τῆς Ἱερᾶς Μονῆς Ἁγίας Αἰκατερίνης τοῦ Ὄρους Σινᾶ (Athens 1985) (in Greek and Arabic) 

 

The Program’s researchers generally support the publishing activity of the Section of Greek and Roman Antiquity as regular members of the editorial committees of the monograph series MELETEMATA and the journal Tekmeria.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 
 

 

   
       

 

 

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