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Internationale Tagung


16. bis 18. Juni 2022


hosts the Cluster of Excellence “Beyond Slavery and Freedom”, which aims to overcome the binary opposition of “slavery versus freedom”. We approach the phenomenon of slavery and other types of strong asymmetrical dependency from methodologically and theoretically distinct perspectives. In the past, most studies on pre-Roman societies in Italy (1st millennium BCE) focused on the elites, their representation and cultural contacts. Recently, however, research on dependent and marginalized social groups has considerably increased. The aim of this conference is to look at these less visible social groups, which are often even difficult to define (slaves, servants, freedmen, peasants, mercenaries, captives, “foreigners”, athletes, women, children etc.). The methodological challenges connected to the study of such heterogeneous and scattered sources will be addressed. Is the evidence representative enough for defining different forms of dependencies? Can we rely on written and pictorial sources or do they only reflect Greek and Roman views and iconographic conventions? Which social groups can’t be traced in the literary and archaeological record? For the discussion of this topic, we will focus on the following sections: historical and epigraphical studies (Greek and Roman literary sources, local inscriptions), material culture studies (images, sanctuaries, settlements, necropoleis), anthropology and bioarchaeology (analysis of human skeletons using methods from the natural sciences).


Conference Organizers:

Martin Bentz , BCDSS, University of Bonn

Patrick Zeidler, BCDSS, University of Bonn

Jan Hörber, Event Coordinator [Email protection active, please enable JavaScript.] +49 228 73 62945

Please register for the conference by May 31, 2022 via [Email protection active, please enable JavaScript.].

For more information, please visit




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