Over-arching Goddess: Artemis of Ephesos between Anatolia and Iberia

Public Lecture, Thursday, 20 August, 6:30
Laby Theatre (Physics South), The University of Melbourne

Prof Irad Malkin, Tel Aviv University

In ancient Anatolia, Greeks encountered the figure of a great Goddess whom they identified with Artemis of Ephesos. So unique were her features, and so intimately these were linked with notions of prosperity, safety, and legitimacy, that even the “Oriental” Lydian kings re-adopted her as a Greek Goddess. She was an over-arching deity, common to Ionian (Greek) migrants and colonists, and identified with the very foundation and secure existence of the city. She was the one whom Anatolian colonists (Phocaeans) took with them westwards, together with her priestess, to the modern shores of Spain and France. Her statue and cult (a rare occasion in Greek religion) were intentionally disseminated among Barbarians, such as Iberians and Romans. A goddess of mediation and cultural encounters among settlers, traders, and local populations, she came to express Hellenic identity within wide-reaching Mediterranean horizons.

Irad Malkin is Professor of Greek History at Tel Aviv University. He holds the Cummings Chair for Mediterranean History and Cultures and is co-Founder (1986) and co-Editor of the Mediterranean Historical Review. His research interests include ancient colonization, religion, myth, ethnicity and network theory. He is the Laureate of the Israel Prize for History, 2014. Professor Malkin is visiting Australia as a guest of Macquarie University, where he holds the 2015 Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Visiting Fellowship.

His major publications include Religion and Colonization in Ancient Greece, (Brill: Leiden, 1987); Myth and Territory in the Spartan Mediterranean (Cambridge UP: Cambridge, 1994; Paperback edition, Cambridge UP, 2003, French translation 1999); The Returns of Odysseus: Colonization and Ethnicity (University of California Press, 1998; Italian translation 2004; Hebrew translation 2004); Ethnicity and Identity in Ancient Greece (In Hebrew, Tel Aviv 2003); (ed.), Ancient Perceptions of Greek Ethnicity (Center for Hellenic Studies and Harvard University Press, Washington DC, 2001); (ed.), Mediterranean Paradigms and Classical Antiquity (London: Routledge, 2005 = Special issue of the Mediterranean Historical Review 18, 2003); A Small Greek World: Networks in the Ancient Mediterranean (Oxford University Press: Oxford and New York 2011; French translation, at Belles Lettres, forthcoming).

This lecture is co-sponsored by the Classical Association of Victoria, and the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies (SHAPS) at The University of Melbourne.

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