Introduction: Collective Historical Nostalgia in 2nd-century Achaea

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Book Chapter

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In the 2nd century, the Greek past became a site of competition in which cities attempted to surpass each other for prestige and honors, both from imperial as well as local and supra-local elites. The foundation of the Panhellenion by Hadrian in the early 130s was instrumental in augmenting the preoccupation with the Greek past on a collective, civic level in Achaea and in other Greek provinces, a fixation which certain elite Romans also shared. For the populations of Achaea and other Greek provinces, the past was closely linked to identity – personal, collective, and civic. Importantly, it also served as cultural capital for disbursement in the Roman present. The emperor’s manner of public veneration included performing rituals and sacrifices at the gravesites of famous personages from “old Greece” and, in the cases of all but Alcibiades, composing epigrams for them.


ISBN 9781003178828 (ebook); 9781032014852 (hardcover).



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