Friday, March 19, 2010

Day 5: Myth and the Classical World


Prof. Dr. Delfim Ferreira Leão gave the lecture ‘The Myth of Autochthony and Athenian Democratic Ideology’, exploring the correlation between autochthony and democracy and how both these concepts were employed in order to emphasize the superiority of the Greeks. The battles of Marathon and Salamis were used as examples of threats against early Athenian democracy, and as basis for an analysis of how both autochthony and democracy were used as a means to stimulate the Greeks to defend their land against the Persians.


Prof. Dr. Enrica Salvatori gave the lecture, ‘The Myth of Rome and the Roman World in the Experience of the First Medieval Communes in Central-Northern Italy and in Southern France’, analyzing how the myths of Rome were used during the medieval period. ‘Myths’ in this case, refers to the Roman heritage, both tangible and intangible. The main example discussed was the Cathedral of Pisa, and how substantial amounts of marble from Rome and Ostia were used in the construction of the church. Prof. Dr. Salvatori analyzed the practical, as well as political reasons behind the use of the Roman materials, and emphasized how Pisa was glorified as a second Rome, deserving of all the distinction of the latter, as well as of political autonomy.

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