(Self-)Presentation of Powerful Women in the Ancient World
(Selbst-)Darstellung und Wahrnehmung mächtiger Frauen in der antiken Welt

31.01.2019–01.02.2019, Kassel, Kassel University, Campus Holländischer Platz

Though we often consider the ancient world a male dominated and patrimonial world, our sources provide rich evidence for powerful, influential and even ruling women as well. Women in power are often perceived as an absolute Otherness, as oxymora and remarkable – and too often highly critically judged – exemptions or deviations, challenging the common order. This is particularly true for the portrayal of such women in classical sources – one may only think of Semiramis, Olympias, Cleopatra, Agrippina or Iulia Domna. But even in this source material exemptions occur, as Cornelia, mother of the Gracchi. But powerful women are by no means a 'classical' phenomenon – when it comes to the ancient Near East a remarkable number of similarly influential women appear, as for example Enheduanna or Adad-guppi. The workshop aims at combining papers on the portrayal of powerful ancient women in classical sources and cuneiform text, aiming at bringing together both a "western" and "eastern" perspective on these exceptional women. The overall question would be if and how classical sources and cuneiform texts apply different narrative patterns when dealing with powerful women. In addition the workshop will focus on how the self-presentation of these women differs from their discursive/narrative treatment by (later, male) outsiders. Key questions are e.g. what information we can get about their actual radius of action, their social and economic status and if it is possible to detect if these women were considered role models (and if so when and by whom) and what these details tell us about different gender roles in the Classical and Mesopotamian worlds.


Thursday, 31.1.2019

08:30 Arrival & Registration
09:00 Welcome & Introduction

09:15 Panel 1: African & Near Eastern Women
Chair: Agnès Garcia Ventura (Barcelona)
09:15 GÖSTA GABRIEL (Göttingen) – Kug-Ba'u of Kish – A Queen AmongKings
09:45 GINA KOSTANTOPOLOUS (Helsinki) – Enheduanna: Identity, Authorship, and the 'World's First Poet'

10:15 Coffee Break

10:45 ANNETTE ZGOLL (Göttingen) – Power on Earth, Power in Heaven. The mutual empowerment of Inana and En-hedu-ana
11:15 NICOLE BRISCH (Copenhagen) – Shamhat: Temple Prostitution in the Ancient Near East Revisited
11:45 JOSEFINE KUCKERTZ (Berlin) – Amanishakheto – a Meroitic ruling queen of the late 1st cent. BC/early 1st cent. AD

12:15 Lunch Break

13:15 Panel 2: Biblical & Persian Women
Chair: Sebastian Fink (Helsinki)
13:15 MARTTI NISSINEN (Helsinki) –The Agency of Female Prophets in the Hebrew Bible: Independent or Instrumental? Prophetic or Political?
13:45 LLOYD LLEWELLYN JONES (Cardiff) – Crowns and Concubines: Bathsheba of Jerusalem, Abishag of Shunem and succession politics in the House of David
14:15 EVE MAC DONALD (Cardiff) – Shirin: Power Real and Imagined at the End of Antiquity

14:45 Coffee Break

15:15 Panel 3: Women of the Greek World
Chair: Sebastian Fink (Helsinki)
15:15 ELIZABETH IRWIN (New York) – Artemisia in Herodotus
15:45 PAOLA CORO (Venice) – Between a queen and an ordinary woman: the representation of women in cuneiform sources in the Hellenistic period
16:15 SABINE MÜLLER (Marburg) – In Argead mission: Olympias and Kleopatra

18:00 Keynote:
SILKE HACKENESCH (Cologne) – A Taste of Power? A Look at First Ladies of the United States

19:00 Reception

Friday, 1.2.2019

09:00 Panel 4: Women of the Roman World
Chair: Kerstin Droß-Krüpe (Kassel)
09:00 KORDULA SCHNEGG (Innsbruck) – Cornelia: A Powerful Woman & A Powerful Concept
09:30 ELKE HARTMANN (Darmstadt) – Sempronia
10:00 MARTIN LINDNER (Göttingen) – Stand by your man? Female characters in Günther Birkenfeld's Augustus novels (1934–1984)

10:30 Coffee Break

11:00 Panel 4: Women of the Roman World (continued)
Chair: Kai Ruffing (Kassel)
11:00 CHRISTOPH SCHÄFER (Trier) – Kleopatra im Spiegel ihrer Zeit
11:30 FRANÇOIS DE CALLATAŸ (Brussels) – Cleopatra as a strong woman in modern times: a positive episode in a disfigured tradition
12:00 CHRISTIANE KUNST (Osnabrück) – Iulia maior: exemplum licentiae and euergetis
12:30 FRANCESCA ROHR (Venice) – Domum servavit, lanam fecit. Livia and the rewriting of the female model in the Augustan age

13:00 Lunch Break

14:00 Panel 4: Women of the Roman World (continued)
Chair: Anja Wieber (Dortmund)
14:00 HELMUTH SCHNEIDER (Kassel) – Der Tod der Messalina. Machtkalkül oder sexuelle Libertinage?
14:30 BRIGITTE TRUSCHNEGG (Innsbruck) – 'Oriental' and Female – Aspects of Power and its presentation: The Case of Iulia Domna

15:00 Coffee Break

15:30 UDO HARTMANN (Jena) – Zenobia von Palmyra - eine römische Herrscherin in Zeiten der Krise
16:00 PATRICK REINARD (Trier) – "... die Juden unterstützen". Plotina und die Provinzen

16:30 - 17:00 Closing remarks & Goodbye

Dr. Kerstin Droß-Krüpe, Kassel University
Dr. Sebastian Fink, University of Helsinki

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