Conference: Wandering Myths

Wandering Myths
Transcultural Uses of Myth in the Ancient World
When: April 14th-16th, 2014
Where: Sommerville College, University of Oxford

From the organizers:

This interdisciplinary conference aims to explore the 
mechanisms by which myth was transmitted between ancient 
cultures and to examine how mythological narratives became 
adopted and adapted within different cultural spheres.

Continuing shifts in rule in Anatolia and the Near East, 
from the Persian Empire to the Hellenistic Kingdoms and the 
Roman Empire, entailed enormously rich and varied mythical 
landscapes in these areas. The Trojan War epic both formed a 
response and became a catalyst for cross-cultural 
reciprocity. As part of on-going processes narratives were 
re-configured in ways that had both local and universal 
resonances. The on-going imperatives of reception and 
innovation are equally apparent in the uses of myth attested 
in Italy, here tangible in mythological programmes found in 
Etruscan tombs and the temples of Magna Graecia as well as 
Roman historiography. The conference investigates both wider 
geographic circulations of mythical themes and local 
transformations of myth within individual regions.

 The conference panels are organised according 
to important geographical and cultural regions, with a 
particular focus on Anatolia, the Near East, and Italy. 
In addition, thematic approaches focusing upon figures such as 
Dionysus and Heracles are included to further a synthesis 
of the different areas. All panels will be interlinked by 
general questions towards an understanding of the mechanisms 
that guided the processes of reception and steered the facets 
of local interpretation.

Registration is free for all members of Oxford University. The conference fee is £50 for those outside the university (not including lunch or dinner).