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Andromeda, Alexander, And Ascalos: Founders And Foundation Myths In The Roman Near East

  • 29 Sep 2021
  • 6:00 PM (CDT)
  • Virtual

Andromeda, Alexander, And Ascalos: Founders And Foundation Myths In The Roman Near East

AIA Society: Kansas City/Lawrence
Lecturer: Robyn Le Blanc

This talk explores city founders and foundation myths in the Roman Near East. Depictions of these local traditions appear on civic coinage, sculpture, and on the Caesarea bowl, and some are described by ancient authors such as Pliny and Pausanias. Foundation myths reflect ideas about the community and its past, and helped forge and maintain cultural, ethnic, and kinship links between and within communities. Investigating the rich corpus of material related to this practice, we will see (for example) how Joppa placed the story of Andromeda and Perseus in southern Judaea, and how cities of Syria and Arabia promoted Alexander the Great as founder and ancestor. We will survey the role of Io, Heracles, and the Cretan king Minos at Gaza, the nymphs Nysa and Ambrosia at Scythopolis and Damascus, and the eponymous founder Ascalos and the local goddess Derceto from Ascalon.


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