Citizenship imagined, citizenship practiced: Citizens and non-citizens in the ancient Greek world

Illustration: Ekklesiasterion von Messene. Herr Adams / CC BY-SA (https://creative-

The international conference will take place from 26 to 28 May. The keynote lecture was broadcasted live on YouTube.

What makes a citizen a citizen? How do citizens distinguish themselves from non-citizens in the institutions and in the social and political practices of the ancient cities? How did phenomena such as migration and integration of foreigners in the civic community affect the discourse and reality of citizenship in Antiquity? The conference will discuss such questions, comparing traditional and more innovative approaches to ancient Greek citizenship.

Citizenship has been an intensively debated topic in recent years among historians of the Greek world. The traditional approach has been challenged. Recent works, such as J. Blok, Citizenship in Classical Athens (Cambridge 2017), L. Cecchet and A. Busetto, Citizens in the Graeco-Roman World (Leiden 2017), and A. Duplouy and R. Brock, Defining Citizenship in Archaic Greece (Oxford 2018) have clearly pointed out the necessity of re-discussing the traditional interpretative models of ancient citizenship, on the attempt to overcome the view of citizenship as a condition simply defined by institutions, privileges, rights and duties. This conference aims at bringing together institutional and non-institutional approaches to ancient citizenship, promoting dialogue between scholars who have worked on the institutional aspects of citizenship and those who have worked mainly on its discursive and performative aspects.

Looking at a wide range of source materials from Archaic Greece to the Imperial Age, the conference will provide a venue for discussing the institutions, practices and values that contributed to defining citizen status, while at the same time marking it off from non-citizen status in Greek Antiquity.

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