ONLINE: HelRAW: Dimitar Iliev 3.5.2021

The Helsinki Research on the Ancient World (HelRAW) is a monthly research seminar. HelRAW is organized by the SpaceLaw project together with the Digital Grammar of Greek Documentary Papyri (PapyGreek) project.

3.5.2021 at 17.15 (EEST)…
Meeting ID: 669 8285 1659
Passcode: 184718

Dimitar Iliev (St. Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia): Palladas, the last Hellene? Paganism and Christianity in 4.-c. Alexandria seen from the margins.

Little is known about the life of the epigrammatic poet Palladas of Alexandria, except his birthplace, his approximate floruit somewhere in the tumultuous 4th century AD and his self-identification as a schoolmaster (γραμματικός) and what we might call, in his case, a cultural traditionalist (Ἕλλην). A closer look at his poetry, however, shows a peculiar approach to both Christian faith and traditional Greek religion. A lot has been said by different researchers about Palladas’ characteristic attitude towards various cultural phenomena of his age. In the present talk, attention will be drawn to the popular, common-sense stance of his persona loquens putting him at almost equal distance from Christian monks as well as from the dedicated Platonists of the Serapaeum whose destruction he might have witnessed. In many of his poems, Palladas displays what may be seen as the eclectic traditionalism of the lower urban classes, a somewhat neutral common ground upon which the effects of philosophical or Christian conversion may be built. Implications from these observations are made concerning the way identities are constructed, applied and opposed against each other in Late Antiquity.

Dimitar Iliev has a PhD degree in Greek language and an MA degree in Humanities Computing and is currently a lecturer at the Deparment of Classics to the St. Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia. His main scholarly interest are Greek epic and epigram, Late antique literature and Digital Classics. He is the principal researcher in several project in the latter field, among which are a digital corpus of the ancient inscriptions in Greek from Bulgaria as well as a digital Latin-Bulgarian dictionary.