The concept of “The invention of tradition” was formulated 30 years ago in the now famous book edited by Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger and is still highly influential. Taking stock of its current (theoretical) understandings and focusing on the Roman world, this workshop aims to explore the concept as a means to understand processes of cultural change in the Roman West in particular. Four case studies from different periods and regions around the world will open the discussion and serve as theoretical introductions to analyze how “the invention of tradition” works as a cultural process. On the basis of rich archaeological and literary evidence, the program will zoom in on the Roman oikumene subsequently. Three lectures will provide an overview of how processes of “inventing traditions” were played out in the Roman present with regard to the Greek, Near Eastern and Egyptian pasts. This will set the scene for the final group of five lectures that will explore difficult and important questions about the indigenous pasts in the “Roman” present in Northwestern Europe. Why were some traditions forgotten, others invented and some (just) continuing?
Reinventing "The invention of tradition"? Indigenous pasts and the Roman present
Michael Zelle (Detmold): Arminius - Cheruskerfürst und deutscher Held. Zur Rezeptionsgeschichte einer antiken Figur in der Neuzeit
Andreas Niehaus (Gent): The political dimension of performing "Japanese tradition"
Hartmut Leppin (Frankfurt): From traditions to trandition: The invention of the church history
Katja Sporn (Athen): Vergangenheit in der Gegenwart Spurensuche in der griechischen Antike
Miguel John Versluys (Leiden): Haunting traditions. The material presence of Egypt in the Roman world
Michel Sommer (Oldenburg): Through the looking glass - Zenobia and 'Orientalism'
Onno van Nijf (Groningen): Re-inventing agoistic traditions: Greek festival culture under Rome
Alexandra W. Busch (Rom): Back to the roots? Indigenous pasts and the Roman present in north-western Europe
Peter S. Wells (Minneapolis/St. Pauli): Indigenous forms, styles, and practices in procinvial Roman Europe: continuity, resistance, or revention?
David Fontijn (Leiden): Im Westen nichts Neues? Cultural attitudes towars prehistoric ritual sites in the Roman West
Sabine Rieckhoff (Leipzig): Macht - Kommunikation - Identität: Gallische Heiligtümer von frühkeltischer bis in spätrömische Zeit
Hella Eckardt (Reading): Indigenous and migrant identities in Britain - memories of home and Roman disporas?