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Tuesday, 29 July 2014 00:00


The external relations of the Greek cities 
on the western Black Sea shore in the Hellenistic and Roman periods
      The cities under discussion include Istros, Tomis, Kallatis, Dionysopolis, Odessos, Mesambria, Apollonia; starting with the reign of Trajan, Anchialos is to be added. The sources for the external relations of these cities are mainly epigraphic; the extant references in literary sources are dispersed, fragmentary and not very explicit. The external relations will be grouped according to the external partner. A first set includes the great powers / territorial states: the Hellenistic kingdoms and Rome. The second consists in the Barbarian entities: the Odrysian kingdom of Thrace, the tribes and tribal unions in Dobrudja and beyond the Danube, the realm of Burebista. Finally, the relations to other poleis will be examined, inside the Black Sea area and out. In all of these cases, political, military and diplomatic relations at an official/governmental level as well as personal/individual relations will be included.
Mobility and identity in the south Pontus cities
Mădălina DANA
        In my presentation I am going to focus, firstly, on the theoretical principles, concepts and historiography related to mobility/networks and relations of the Greek cities in general, as well as on the relations of the South Pontus cities and the Greek world in particular. These concepts began to interest the scientific community over the past three decades, but have become increasingly present since 2000. The term "network" became mainly used in terms of religious aspects regarding the relations of cities and attendance of Panhellenic sanctuaries (see the works of Irad Malkin). In dealing with the relations between cities, some aspects are better revealed than others, so that what I am going to do is to focus on the less covered aspects: while economic and monetary circulation, and partly the political relations, became a classic subject already, other types of relations, cultic and cultural, are issues that deserve far more attention. It would also be essential to establish, a fact that even becomes the main purpose of the present research, the link between the scope of a city’s external relations and the place it has in both the region to which it belongs  another concept that needs explaining  and in a broader area, the Aegean or Mediterranean space. Finally, regarding this latter point, the problem of identity creation and claim within a regional or Panhellenic system should be considered, a system within which this identity, assumed or assigned, adds to existing local identities.
From the external relations of the Pontic cities 
to the external relations of the North-Pontic apoikiai
          In the first part of the presentation the author draws attention to issues related to the topic of the PN II-ID-PCE-2011-3-0054 project. A first observation regards the scholars of Central and Western Europe who provide us with a good example to follow. What we firstly mean is to revive the interest in the ancient tradition (by constant reference to sources), in an attempt to counteract the decline of philology and classical studies in general; that also implies struggling against the mercantile moods of the last decades. Hand in hand with this, we underline the relatively low interest of West European scholars in the Ancient Pontus area, which, by its heterogeneous population, demographic and cultural contacts and exchanges, may become a highly important and interesting research field. An even bigger problem was caused by the break that occurred in the West-East historiographic dialogue after Bolshevism emerged in Russia and then spread over the entire Eastern Europe. Thus, most colleagues in the "Gulag Archipelago" (especially, those in the former Soviet camp) were pushed, for decades, towards treating the Black Sea area as a world apart, so eventually they no longer felt like correlating their own research to the requirements of a broader-scale historiographic discourse. More than two decades after the collapse of East European totalitarianism, and despite an apparent freedom of thought and expression, we find ourselves still facing the legacy of the past. As a summary of the most general issues, here are the four major principles that should guide our steps during the articulation of our assumed individual contribution to the project: 1) constant reference to sources - Ad fontes/E fontibus haurire!; 2) striving to thoroughly master both  East European and Western historiography; 3) awareness of  Circum-Pontic lands as part of the Greek-Roman world; 4) renunciation of traditional ethnocentric approaches (Scythian, Dacian, Thracian, or East European in general), since such approaches can prove to be harmful to the scientific spirit in attempts at reconstructing the past. The second part of the presentation briefly presents the sources and methodology, insisting more on the present research stage, on the new issues propounded for research. All these must be viewed from the perspective of the overall goal of the project – to create a complex picture of the external relations of the Pontic Greek cities in the Hellenistic and the Roman times.
The external relations of Byzantion and Kalchedon in the Hellenistic period: the epigraphic, the iconographic and the numismatic evidence
Adrian ROBU
         Firstly, in our paper we would like to present the current state of research on the Hellenistic and Roman history of Byzantion and Kalchedon. After that we will discuss the main stages in the history of the external relations of the two cities situated in the area of the Thracian Bosporos, which need a new study today. On the basis of our investigations, we intend to show that not only the magistrates and the notables of the cities under discussion, but also the merchants and the sanctuaries played an important role in the complex process by which the external relations of the Greek cities were established. In that context, we will discuss the problem of the public/private dichotomy in the study of the external contacts of the cities. Another issue concerns the nature of the relations between Byzantion and Kalchedon in the Hellenistic period: we have to find out if there was only an alliance between the two cities, or, much more, a sympoliteia (political union) between them. It is obvious that the type of relation established between Byzantion and Kalchedon had directly influenced their external relations. We would also like to stress that the dissemination of the cults, the institutions, the coins, the epigraphic vocabulary, and the epichoric names can also help us in identifying the “networks” between the cities. This will be exemplified by a few case studies about the distribution of some Byzantine and Kalchedonian names, cults and political institutions in other cities and regions. We will end our paper by stressing the role of the sanctuaries in the relations between the cities in the Hellenistic period. In that respect, the oracular shrine of Apollo in Kalchedon provides an interesting case study for the way in which divinities could serve the interests of the Greek cities.
Possibilities of data interpretation based on ceramic epigraphy
           The category of ceramic epigraphy –  represented in our space by amphora stamps – provides a wide range of data, whether we refer to the production centers (or workshops), import centers, areas of distribution, types and inner chronology (within centers), operational economy and production mechanisms. At the same time, new global research reveal subtleties of interpretation, whose validity can be checked only through a careful and complex examination of materials from different geographic areas of the Ancient World. We suggest three methods of analysis: 1) case study: Tomis, 2) Rhodes –  amphora products export center in the Black Sea area, 3) stamps ascribed to the Pontic Heraclea in the northern and western Pontic areas. The present analysis aims to determine the place of Tomis among the Pontic cities and supply the existing lack of data by, at least, the middle of the 3rd century BC. When referring to Rhodes products, we mean the chronological criterion and its application in an almost absolute acceptance (after Finkielsztejn 2001) for products in Tomis and Callatis. Finally, the Pontic Heraclea stamps, of an earlier date, can provide interpretation arguments for the 4th-century Callatis. The comparison with the North Pontic area is able to reveal more fixed stages within the above-mentioned century.
Iconographical models from the Aegean world adapted in the Greek cities of the Black Sea area in the Hellenistic and Roman periods
          The Greek cities of the Black Sea area did not developed their own major art, but were always under the influence of the main artistic centres of the Aegean and Propontis area (Athens, Pergamon, Nikomedia, etc). The activity of some Athenian sculptors is epigraphically attested at Olbia and probably at Chersonessos. Also the source of marble and the stylistic traits of the sculptures discovered in the Black Sea cities indicate an origin in artistic centres outside the Pontic area. The evidence of metal workshops for casting of bronze sculptures in the northern and eastern Pontic colonies, such as Panticapaeum and Vani, indicates not only local artistic production, but also, if not exactly the existence of itinerant artists, at least of imported iconographical models. The problem of the models and sources of inspiration represents an important chapter in the history of ancient art (Kopienkritik), whose main aim is to identify classical originals in various creations of later ages, mainly of Hellenistic and Roman times. The fame of a work of art was enough to ensure its reproduction. It could be copied either by specific copying devices (the compasses method for marble sculptures), or by a mould, especially in the bronze sculpture casting. The model could be propagated through originals, moulds and even through albums of sketches and designs. The adaptation to a different style could transform the model into a completely new work, without modifying its meaning. The iconographical model could be faithfully copied, or just partially “quoted” in stance, gesture, expression or garment treatment. The problem raised in the present paper was only superficially touched in several publications of pieces or collections of sculptures. The main purpose is to establish how the meaning of Aegean iconographical models, namely of cult images, could change through adaptation, but especially through transfer from one centre to another, taking into consideration that imported models were expected to serve cult necessities specific to Pontic cities.
Centres of terracotta production in the Black Sea area in the Hellenistic period and their relation with the Aegean world. An overview
           The first statuettes discovered in the Greek colonies of the Black Sea area are connected to the beginnings of the Ionian colonization of the second half of the 7th century BC. They represent sparse imports, found in the earliest Milesian colonies. The local productions appear in the late archaic period (workshops of Panticapaeum) and they reflect an Eastern Greek tradition. From the same cultural milieu come the statuettes of the early classical period. An increasing role of the workshops of continental Greece, especially of Athens, is manifest during the second half of the 5th century and the first half of the 4th century BC. The early Hellenistic period is marked by the influence of the Aegean workshops, such as Myrina, Priene, Pergamum, Troy, Athens, Tanagra, the major part of the Pontic products being imitations from those centres. Typical are the representations of Cybele, Aphrodite, Eros-Thanathos, and of other feminine figures. The protomes, along with statuettes of Demeter and Core, continue to be of some importance. The late Hellenistic period, during the 2nd and 1st centuries BC, represents the flourishing period of local workshops. The terracotta wares discovered in the Greek colonies of the Black Sea in the Hellenistic period have been the subject of numerous papers starting with the end of the 19th century, but the number of complete studies is rather small. The latter regard either certain centres (such as Amisus), or different types of statuettes from a broader area. The central issue of the research on Hellenistic terracotta is the index of types. A main question regards the origin of such types, be they types taken over from other centres, or local products. The limits of our investigation depend on the dynamics of the archaeological research on the Pontic colonies and on the documentation of such research, as most finds are from insufficiently published excavations.
Coin finds in Roman sites of Moesia Inferior
          The subject of this paper is the monetary finds in Moesia Inferior sites. Only representative currency samples sorted by well-defined criteria have been recorded. Database processing was done with the help of Ravetz’s formula and the analysis method made use of the method of monetary patterns. The evolution of monetary circulation in the civil and military sites of Moesia Inferior can be divided into four chronological stages, different in terms of composition and structure of currency discoveries. A comparison of the numismatic data from this area with those from other provinces of the Roman Empire (i.e., Dacia, Pannonia, Raetia, Germania) makes it possible for us to determine a monetary pattern characteristic of Moesia Inferior sites. Particular features of this model owe mainly to the large number of coins issued by the Greek cities contributing to the monetary amount growth in the years 161-249 AD. The majority of provincial coins come from provincial Moesian (Tomis, Histria, Marcianopolis, etc.) and Thracian workshops (Mesembria, Philippopolis, etc.); the presence of coins belonging to North Pontic, Macedonian, Microsian (especially Nicaea Bithyniae) or Egyptian centers seems to be the result of commercial activities. The standard Moesian pattern reveals local coinage subtypes due to a difference in functionality (civil/monetary), geographic location (the Danubian/Black Sea limes) or origin (Greek/Roman). The monetary finds of Moesia Inferior attest to the connection between that area and, in a particular manner, the numismatic realities of the Empire throughout the existence of the South-Danubian province under discussion.
Present-day issues regarding the production and circulation 
of glassware in the north-western Pontic area (3rd c. BC – 3rd c. AD)
          The large-scale development of glass industry beginning with the Hellenistic period, made it possible for glassware to penetrate the inter-regional market in appreciable quantities. Valued for their elegance of form, but also for their relatively low cost of production and sale, glass vessels spread quickly throughout the ancient world. Although peripheral, the area north of the Black Sea region makes no exception to the rule, and even displays a number of interesting specific features of its own. As expected, for the period under analysis (3rd c. BC – 3rd c. AD), glassware is extremely abundant and varied in terms of forms. Among these, prevailing are especially the drinking vessels with many types of bowls, cups and drinking glasses, and – especially for the first three centuries AD – unguentaria, many of them having funeral value. In the period under discussion, the majority of the pieces were mainly imports from the Syrian-Palestinian area and from Egypt, and to a lesser extent, from Northern Italy. The present state of research reflected in the material published so far allows us to conclude that the North Pontic centres are much better represented, in terms of number and quality of vessels, than those in the West, which should not appear as surprising, if we consider the advanced stage of economic development in centres such as Panticapaeum, Chersonessos or Olbia. Here vessels of an exceptional artistic value have been discovered, such as the Olbian amphora (2nd c. BC) that is the largest intact glass vessel preserved from the Antiquity (ca. 60 cm), or the bowls with painted decoration – probably of Alexandrian provenance – discovered at Olbia and Tanais. The hypothesis of local workshops is quite difficult to sustain at present, due to the lack of doubtless proofs. We can only assume that such workshops did exist, especially in North Pontic centres, and that they accounted for the production of common domestic glassware.
The significance of some late Roman commercial seals for the relations of Micro-Asian cities and the West-Pontic area (3rd – 5th centuries)
          The author aims to take up again the discussion on an issue of late ancient economic and commercial history related to the West-Pontic Basin and, in particular, to the Roman provinces of Moesia Secunda and Scythia (Minor). The focus of the presentation is on commercial lead seals or tags attached to certain categories of goods that came from great micro-Asian centers (Ephesus, Smyrna, Clazomenai, Tralles, etc.). The fact that the names of several cities of the above-mentioned area appear printed on such seals becomes the most eloquent proof of the directions and trade routes maintained for centuries between the Pontic-Danubian and the Aegean-Anatolian worlds. The author provides new readings of a number of inscriptions on seals, or he brings up for discussion original items in order to accomplish a repertoire of goods centers origin as well as determine a possible difference in the seals chronology. Mapping of seals and places of similar findings within the West Pontic area, to the extent they were published, is accomplished. Conclusions drawn from the present study reveal a deeper significance of these "small finds" for the structure and economic development of the Ponto-Danubian regions in the Late Roman epoch. One of the future research goals would be to reconsider similar discoveries in the very areas of origin in order to better understand the functional mechanism of goods sealing and their transportation by water or by land.
A classification of the Germanic populations active in Carpathian-Danubian-Pontic (CDP) territories between the 3rd century BC and the 6th century AD
             Whenever specialists (be they historians, or linguists) have to refer to actions of Old Germanic populations in Southeast Europe, they rather automatically think first of the Goths. Commonly forgotten or overlooked is an earlier Old Germanic factor, namely the one that represented a rather obscure NW-SE expansion of the 3rd-1st centuries BCE. As part of that expansion – which, originally, must have been set into motion by the Celts – a number of West Germanic (more precisely, Elbe-Germanic) tribal units, such as the ones that became historically known as Bastarni and Peucini, moved into regions north and east of the Carpathians and as far as the Danube Delta, respectively. Early Germanic intruders in Southeast Europe are bound to have come into contact with the native populations (including the ones that were to represent the pre-Roman substratum of the Romanians). A little later, the settled heirs of those Germanic intruders also came into touch with speakers of Latin that were brought to the Lower Danube and the Black Sea by the expansion of the Roman Empire. Whereas the Old Germanic populations that played significant roles in West European areas during late ancient and early medieval times are described (and classified) in quite a number of documents, the information regarding pre-Gothic Germanic tribal units in Southeast Europe is scanty. Nevertheless, by taking into account clues provided by archaeology, by classical historians (such as Polybios, Caesar, Tacitus), by linguistics and epigraphy, or by representations such as the ones of Bastarnic warriors on the Tropaeum Traiani at Adam Clisi, we can draw some credible conclusions in regard to the distinctive features of the earliest Germani that were militarily and politically active in the Southeast Europe before the Goths. Most briefly, the first thing to do for a classification of the Germanic populations that had direct impact on CDP territories (in the period indicated above) is to distinguish between (1) a West Germanic grouping, which had a Suebic component, and which was represented by archaeological cultures such as Przeworsk, Zarubinec and Poieneşti-Lukaševka, and (2) a so-called “East Germanic” (Gotho-Gepidic) grouping, which most probably had a Scandinavian component, and which was archaeologically represented mainly by the vast Černjakhov-Sântana de Mureş cultural conglomerate. The relationships (and combinations) between the two Old Germanic groupings deserve as much attention as the relationships both groupings had with the CDP cultures and polities, including the ones represented by the Pontic colonies of the Greeks and by the Roman provinces of Southeast Europe.
Research in the field of Social Sciences and Humanities in the context of framework Programme 7 (2007-2013) for research and development
Diana STAH
           Framework Programme 7 (FP7) for research and technological development is the main instrument of the European Union for supporting international, intersectoral and interdisciplinary research within the European Union and at a pan-European level. The main goal of this programme is to contribute, through research, to the achievement of the objectives set out in EU development strategy - Europe 2020. Social Sciences and Humanities, a separate thematic area with a growing budget since 1994, have the mission to generate a comprehensive perspective on socio-economic challenges faced by Europe at the present stage of development, as well as to ensure the transition to a knowledge-based society. On the other hand, the creation and consolidation of a European Research Area and its convergence with the European Higher Education Area by 2020 is another goal of the European Commission aimed at Social Sciences and Humanities. Against such a background, my presentation will focus on three issues: 1. Ways to foster the continuity of the project PN II-ID-PCE-2011-3-0054 in FP7 Specific Programmes (Cooperation, Ideas, Capacities, Science in Society); 2. FP7 on-going projects relevant to the project PN II-ID-PCE-2011-3-0054; 3. Dynamics of European Research Policy and its short- and mid-term impact upon science funding programs’ objectives.
Preliminary observations on the external relations of Greek cities 
of Dobrudja in the light of Roman-amphora circulation
Andrei OPAIŢ
               For over half century amphorae have enjoyed a significant attention from archaeologists, their circulation being an important marker of the main trade routes both by land and by water. Due to their solidity, these ceramic containers are the most abundant finds on Greek and Roman archaeological sites. Their contents, wine, olive oil, fish sauce, and other perishable produce, provide us with valuable data on some luxury products that were traded between the producing and the consuming centres. In spite of this abundance of information provided by these ceramic containers, their study in Romania has been less advanced, many tons of pottery being discarded by archaeologists as useless. In other cases, they preserved only selected, 'diagnostic' fragments, making any attempt for future quantification fruitless. Although serious studies of Hellenistic amphora stamps discovered in the Greek cities of Dobrudja were undertaken, such investigations are not useful for economic history of these sites, as a great deal of amphorae were not stamped. Among the products shipped to the Greek cities of Dobrudja, wine was the main staple, followed by olive oil, and, mainly in the Roman time, fish products. However, not all the amphorae were emptied in those cities, as some Mediterranean wine amphorae have been found on many Getic sites north of the Danube, while olive oil amphorae appear to have reached that northern area less frequently. The products under discussion were used by the local aristocracy to enhance their social prestige, the Greek cities serving as an intermediary between the southern and northern areas. Of course, both parties benefited from that exchange. In this way, the Greek cities of Dobrudja were not only consuming markets, but also important mediators, playing an important role in the network of exchange and redistribution of that area. The amphorae will be divided according to areas (Pontic and East Mediterranean), and subdivided into wine, olive-oil and fish-product vessels. The intention of the author is to draw together old and new amphora evidence from the Greek cities of Dobrudja, to give a definition of what we know and do not know at the present time, and to indicate possible directions for future research.
Aspects of the integration of West-Pontic Greek cities 
in the Roman Empire
              Western Pontic Greek colonies Histria, Tomis, Callatis, Dionysopolis, Odessos, and Mesambria (the status of the former colony Orgame/Argamum in the Roman period is unknown, and cities that were exclusive part of the province of Thracia  Anchialos and Apollonia Pontica  will not be taken into account) were included in the Roman Empire during the early Christian era (Ovidius, Tristia, II 199-200: Haec est Ausonio sub iure novissima vixque / Haeret in imperii margine terra tui). Except the ephemeral rule of Mithridates VI Eupator, it was the first time when these cities became part of such an extensive political body. As a natural consequence, step by step, the evolution of political, social, economic, religious and cultural life of these cities changed. Within the PN II-ID-PCE-2011-3-0054 project, I am going to study the various aspects of the integration of this space in the Roman Empire. My interest for such an approach is not novel. I would like to mention here my dissertation on Rome's relations with the Western Pontic cities from Augustus to Vespasian, or my article on the relations of the Roman army with these cities, based on a talk given at a Romanian-German Epigraphy Symposium (Constanţa, 2010 – to be published in a collective volume). Thus, I could notice that many issues are still unclear, not enough studied, or rather poorly connected to the regional context of the Moesia Inferior province and the Black Sea area (or, more generally, to the context of the Roman Empire). A relevant example may be the theory according to which a pre-provincial administrative unit, praefectura orae maritimae, supposedly existed in the area before the creation of the province Thracia in 46 A. D. The theory, launched with caution by G. Barbieri in 1946 and accepted by most Romanian scholars, was included in all history and archeology works of the area, with no further attention paid to the sources. In fact, the persons identified as possible praefecti orae maritimae held other positions (e.g., Julius Vestalis, primipilus; P. Vitellius, probably legionary legate; L. Pomponius Flaccus, a praetorian legate of C. Poppaeus Sabinus). The last case highlights the necessity to analyze the data of the area under discussion in the broader context of the Empire; for example, L. Pomponius Flaccus could not have been a prefect, as he belonged to the senatorial order! In this context, I would also like to point out the pernicious habit of including extensive historical introductions in any work dealing with various aspects, mainly archaeological, of the cities under discussion  in fact such introductions have become nothing but partial or full reproductions of passages from works such as Din istoria Dobrogei [From the History of Dobrudja], I-II, and others. Therefore, for my contribution to this project I aim to return to the sources, first of all to the epigraphic as well as to the archaeological ones.
Development of the PN II-ID-PCE-2011-3-0054 Project 
Electronic Platform: Website Draft
        The website of the PN-II-ID-PCE-2011-3-0054 project is going to be accomplished by:
- Purchasing a domain;
- Conceiving, designing and completing web pages’ structure;
- Loading basic information about the project: the creation and continuous indexing of project related data, funding source, financing institution, project summary, research team (CVs and other important information about project members; list of works elaborated within the project, etc.), other activities, studies, news and data of interest for the website visitors, professionals and project members;
- Daily monitoring (functionality check);
- Regular indexing and updating of project-related research news;
- Editing images and/or text on the pages;
- Database and archives management;
- Setting up accounts and the webpage hosted forum;
- Page redesign (if necessary);
- Webpage architectural structure change.
       "External Relations of the Pontic Greek Hellenistic and Roman Cities in the Times: a Multidisciplinary Approach" project website design and launch is an important step in the evolution of project objectives-related research being a sustainable tool able to ensure international visibility to project outcomes. Promotion by means of well-known search engines (Google, Yahoo, etc.) will provide a highly qualified traffic due to visitors continuously looking for specialized information. In order to reach the project goals, new areas, creative and relevant ideas will be identified, as well as key words aimed at creating the most appropriate frame to the foreseen research topics content.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 July 2014 08:23