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ONLINE VIA ZOOM: ‘Slavery’ and ‘dependency’ as interpretative tools for analysing Roman mutiny narratives

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Joseph C. Miller Memorial Lecture Series: Lecture by Hans Kopp, Ruhr-Universität Bochum

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What
  • Lecture
When Apr 26, 2021
from 16:00 to 18:00
Contact Name Jan Hörber
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Contact Phone +49 228 73 62945
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Abstract: At first glance, mutinies in Roman antiquity hardly touch upon the issues of slavery or ‘asymmetrical dependency’, not least because slaves were not part of the Roman legions on a regular basis and were mostly employed only in times of crisis or severe shortages of manpower. Roman accounts of mutiny, however, sometimes make use of the conceptual models of ‘slavery’ and ‘dependency’ as a kind of toolkit for explaining military unrest. In this talk, I will highlight several ways in which Roman accounts of mutinies link the genesis of military revolts to economic dependency (such as indebtedness and its social and legal consequences) or to politically charged notions of the ‘slavery’ of the non-elite groups in Roman society. I will also analyse how such models were used by Roman authors to frame military unrest not only as chaotic revolts against established authority but also as a (perhaps even justified) struggle against dependency.

Hans Kopp holds a Dr. phil. in Ancient History from Freie Universität Berlin (2016), where he subsequently spent three years as a post-doctoral researcher and coordinator of a research-group; he is currently employed as a researcher (wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter) at Ruhr-Universität Bochum’s Department of History. Kopp is the author of the monograph Das Meer als Versprechen. Bedeutung und Funktion von Seeherrschaft bei Thukydides (2017) and has published papers in edited volumes and journals on a wide range of topics, from Greek historiography to modern receptions of classical antiquity.

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