University of Leicester
2021GeorgopoulosPPhD.pdf (3.49 MB)

Unsettling grounds historiography and archaeology in Greek ‘colonization’

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posted on 2021-11-12, 14:05 authored by Panagiotis Georgopoulos
The present research responds to the long discussion about the nature of Greek colonization which is characterized by an uninspiring progress in international scholarship, and remarkable divergences in national scholarships.
This study aims to unlock the debates concerning the approach to Greek ‘colonization’. By examining the course of historiography and archaeology related to Greek ‘colonization’ during the 20th century, it presents and explains our modern divergent stances towards the phenomenon as being influenced by wider intellectual trends, disciplinary methodologies and national politics: factors that influence our general view of antiquity. Until today, different paths are followed by both international scholarship and national traditions, in such a way that they perpetuate this ancient phenomenon and make it difficult to comprehend it. The scholarship about Greek ‘colonization’ is thus fragmented and characterized by numerous and different voices.
This thesis advocates that multivocality be embraced as the medium for a fuller understanding of Greek ‘colonization’. Employing contemporary models from the disciplines of ancient history and art history – John Ma’s ‘Black Hunter variations’ and Richard Brilliant’s My Laocoön – this thesis asserts that a combinative approach provides a more thorough understanding of ancient interaction in the Greek ‘colonies’.
The Aristonothos Krater and the Iron Age settlement of Smyrna will be the case studies. I have chosen these examples so that I can offer two different scales of analysis: from the micro (a single object) to the macro (an entire site). For each case study, I will offer a series of different readings/interpretations focused on what each example tells us about cultural interaction, based on the different national schools and approaches. By showcasing the diverse interpretations alongside each other, I will demonstrate the fundamental subjectivity of cultural interaction in the Greek ‘colonies’ as well as showing that insight can be gained by combining different perspectives.



Naoíse Mac Sweeney; Andrew Merrills

Date of award


Author affiliation

School of Archaeology and Ancient History

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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