In 413 BC, the Athenian Empire had its hopes of conquering Sicily dashed by Syracuse and, with it, any attempt to expand its empire into the western Mediterranean. Later, by 264 BC--one hundred and fifty years on--Syracuse tacitly acknowledged its secondary place in western Mediterranean empire-building by allying itself with Rome on the eve of the First Punic War. After such a promising start, why did Syracuse not become the main empire in the western Mediterranean? Why did Rome? This talk, part of a larger book project, attempts to answer this question and lay out a comparative cross-cultural methodology that focuses on contemporary organizational and institutional differences between societies. In doing so, it sets up a new, more realistic historical context for understanding the Roman Empire’s creation.
When: 4.3.2024, at 17:15 Helsinki time.
Where: Information will be updated.
About our speaker:
Franco De Angelis is Core Fellow and Research Director at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies during the 2023-2024 academic year. He is on sabbatical leave from the University of British Columbia (Vancouver), where he is Full Professor and Distinguished University Scholar in the Department of Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Studies. In his teaching and research, he has developed cross-cultural, interdisciplinary methodologies that employ all types of evidence and various theoretical tools to help interpret them. His research has focused on expanding the narrow story we have traditionally told about the ancient Greeks by addressing their overlooked migrations, especially to Italy.