Regional identity and state formation in the ancient world: the case of Epirus

Darwin College Humanities and Social Sciences Group
Ben Raynor, Darwin College
The Richard King Room, Darwin College
Tuesday, February 28, 2017 - 13:10 to 14:00

Recent work on the formation of regional identity in the ancient world has focused on the importance of 'bottom-up' factors, such as long-term collaboration and interchange between neighbouring population groups, or cooperation to resist external interference. While such work has produced important insights, it may underestimate the importance of 'top-down' factors, particularly in the monarchic states of the ancient world where autocrats had broad capabilities to intervene in the political and social geography of a region. This talk will investigate these issues in ancient Epirus, a region in the northwest of the Balkan peninsula around the modern Greece-Albania border. It will argue that royal policy played a crucial role in the formation of a regional identity in Epirus in the 4th and 3rd centuries BC.

Dr Ben D. Raynor is the Moses and Mary Finley Fellow at Darwin College, Cambridge.

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