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Dustin McKenzie & Associate Professor Trevor Evans

By Departmental Research Seminar

Tuesday 27 August 2019 (Week 5), 2-3.30pm

The Department of Ancient History in conjunction with the Macquarie University Ancient History Association (MAHA) offers a research seminar series, intended to bring together those within Macquarie and outside who have an interest in the languages, histories, and cultures of the ancient world. View the schedule for the research seminar.

All are welcome! Please arrive on time and join us after the seminar for coffee, tea and biscuits!

Convenor: Dr Alexandra Woods Twitter


Dustin McKenzie | PhD Candidate, Macquarie University

Connect with Dustin on Twitter: Twitter

ἔνθα ἀντικορύσσεται Ἀδριακῷ Τυρρηνικόν ὕδωρ’: Investigating the epigraphic corpus on the boundary between Rome and Sicily

Across the Roman Empire, individuals and/or groups were able to balance a duality of selves, dependent on their circumstances, needs, and circles, resulting in uniquely localised versions of Roman identity. Moreover, the interconnectivity promoted by Rome’s hegemony facilitated the diffusion of peoples, ideas, and technologies, resulting in an Empire that was diverse and multicultural to its core. This paper, through a case-study of the epigraphic corpus of the Strait of Messana, seeks to demonstrate how individuals and groups developed ‘glocal’, ‘fragmented’, or ‘200%’ identities in response to the external influences of not only Rome, but the connections facilitated by secure trade routes and freedom of movement. This paper is drawn from my PhD thesis, which investigates the Strait of Messana as a geographical, political, and rhetorical space in the contexts of globalisation, interconnectivity, and identity studies.

Associate Professor Trevor Evans | Macquarie University

Not overstrong in his Greek: what linguistic details can tell us about ‘Egyptian’ Greek texts from the Zenon Archive

The Greek of ancient documentary papyri from Egypt has received an unenthusiastic or even disapproving response from many modern scholars. That of documents whose named authors are apparently indigenous Egyptians has endured an especially bad press. Their usage has commonly been viewed with suspicion and frequently identified, usually on the basis of extreme or poorly understood examples, as the worst of that ‘bad Greek’ classicists like to bemoan in documentary texts of the Hellenistic Age. This presentation will explore selected texts associated with Egyptian authors that turn up in the third century BCE assemblage known as the Zenon Archive. I will argue that such texts are far from a linguistically and stylistically uniform subset within the corpus and that some exhibit a level of Greek that essentially reflects the contemporary standard. I will discuss illustrative examples of this type, bearing in mind the essential fuzziness of the concept of ‘standard’ usage. My specific objectives are to demonstrate the unreliability of some modern judgements on their Greek usage and to cast fresh light on the complicated questions of authorship, the role of scribes, and the ethnicity of participants involved in the composition of the documents. My overarching purpose is to test the validity of the common distinction between ‘Greek’ and ‘Egyptian’ authorship of texts from lower social levels that are preserved in the Archive.

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Departmental Research Seminar

The Department of Ancient History in conjunction with the Macquarie University Ancient History Association (MAHA) offers a research seminar series, intended to bring together those within Macquarie and outside who have an interest in the languages, histories, and cultures of the ancient world.