The Faces of the other

Otherness in the Greco-Roman World 2006-2010

Just published:

The Faces of the Other. Religious Rivalry and Ethnic Encounters in the Later Roman World, published by Brepols in the series Cursor Mundi (no. 10).




Researcher in charge:

  • Dr Academy research fellow Maijastina Kahlos (Classics, University of Helsinki)

Other members:

  • Lic. Phil. Päivi Kuosmanen (History, University of Turku)
  • PhD Markus Mertaniemi (History, University of Oulu)
  • PhD Marika Rauhala (History, University of Oulu)

The research project The Faces of the other – Otherness in the Greco-Roman world focuses on the perception of the otherness – other peoples or religions – in Greco-Roman antiquity. The research of attitudes and conceptions of the ancient Greeks and Romans aims to deepen the historical understanding of the depictions of otherness in modern Western culture. The project Faces traces the roots of the argumentation about religious or ethnic otherness within European civilization and, thus, it will take part in the on-going discussion on the conflict and dialogue between cultures as well as on tolerance and intolerance.

Moreover, the project Faces participates in the current discussion on Greek and Roman identities and the others of the Greco-Roman world. The major contribution of our project to the scholarship of the Greco-Roman antiquity will be the application of the historical research of images. The Faces also combines the modern scholarly discussions both on encounter between religions and on Greek and Roman encounters with other peoples: this is a considerable innovation in classical studies.

The Faces is an interdisciplinary research project consisting of three historians and one classicist/historian. It aims at achieving better and deeper understanding of the ancient history of ideas, concentrating on the Greek and Roman attitudes towards the otherness. The period covered by the project (from the classical Greeks to the late Romans) is extensive but the focus on perception of the otherness sharpens the perspective to reasonable limits. Moreover, this makes it possible to outline some major changes in the Greco-Roman history of attitudes and ideas.

The publications of the project in 2006-2009



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