Associazione Culturale Rodopis, in collaboration with Dipartimento di Civiltà Antiche e Moderne dell’Università degli Studi di Messina, organizes the XVII Cycle of Ricerche a Confronto Seminars on the theme “They gladly served with them: women and war”, which will take place between September and October 2022. The aim is to promote the encounter and comparison between young antiquists of different backgrounds and interests.

The cycle will be held in Messina, at the Dipartimento di Civiltà Antiche e Moderne, on a weekly basis starting from 29 September: the fixed dates are (Thursday afternoon) 29 September and 6, 13, 20, 27 October . Each seminar will consist of two presentations of approximately 30 minutes each, followed by an extensive discussion. The meeting can possibly take place remotely, should it be necessary, and the contributions can be discussed in both Italian and English to make it possible for all interested parties to participate and be involved.

Taking a cue from the images that come from the current war fronts, the theme of this edition will be the woman who, during armed conflicts, defends her affections, her family, her homeland. The emblematic image we have chosen is the well-known cup depicting Achilles killing, in a duel, the Amazon Penthesilea, with the hero in turn pierced by the proud and courageous gaze of the woman.



The role and courage of the mulieres during the wars are testified, already in ancient times, by all the stories related to the myth of the Trojan war, where women were both cause and victims of the conflict, up to the women, mostly anonymous, who certainly have took part in the clashes between Romans and barbarians in the last centuries of the Empire. In a dimension that can be both historical and literary, talking about women and war, from any perspective the topic is addressed, means carrying out an investigation that has anthropological and sociological implications on the condition of women in the ancient world and that allows us to analyze wars in the ancient world from a different perspective.

In the chronological framework between the Mycenaean age and the Empire of Byzantium, interventions of a historical, philological-literary, historical-artistic, archaeological, numismatic, epigraphic, papyrological, anthropological and historical-religious nature will be welcome. Particular attention will be paid to proposals which integrate methodologies and approaches in an interdisciplinary perspective.

Within this cycle we intend to encourage discussion between students and scholars of various aspects and moments of the ancient world, hoping that this does not stop at the meetings, but can be the harbinger of new and stimulating reflections.

Young PhDs, Graduates and Master’s Degree students are invited to submit an abstract of 200-250 words, indicating in the accompanying e-mail the dates on which they are available to submit their contribution.

The abstracts must be sent in .pdf format and anonymous (file name: first three words of the title) by 10 July 2022 to (subject of the email: RAC 2022 abstract). The proposals will be evaluated by a scientific commission chosen within the Rodopis association and the authors of the selected papers will be contacted by 30 July 2022.

At the end of the cycle the speakers will be asked to send a written version of their speech in view of the publication of the acts of RAC 2022.

Any travel and accommodation expenses will not be covered, but the selected candidates will be provided with all the necessary information to be able to find comfortable accommodation near the university environments where the meetings will be held.

These will be followed by an informal meeting in which it will be possible to continue discussing what emerged during the same.

The seminars envisage a blended modality of development and can be followed in streaming.

The Rodopis association will issue the speakers with an informal certificate of participation in the series of meetings upon request .


The organizers,

Fabiana Rosaci and Arianna Saraceno

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