B 1. Transforming the Mediterranean: the Creation of New Identities

The last decade has witnessed increased interest in the study of cross-cultural interactions in the ancient world, often focusing on the meetings of cultures facilitated by trade, migration, and war. While these studies of cultural contact have illuminated the interconnectedness of the Mediterranean world, they have utilized mostly models of binary opposition between the self and others to understand multiethnic interactions. Cultural exchange, however, did not only create boundaries between groups, it also led to the articulation of new individual and collective identities.

The papers of this panel explore how meetings between cultures led to the creation of new identities in the Mediterranean. The first paper discusses how the formation of a strong island identity on Cyprus in the Late Bronze Age facilitated the absorption of the Greek and Phoenician immigrants. The second paper explores the changing identity of Artemis and her role in the emergence of collective identities in trading posts in Iberia. The third paper examines the influence of Persian luxury on elite Athenian identity. The fourth paper examines how the cult of Asklepios changed when it was transferred to Rome, giving a new identity to the god. The last paper conceptualizes cross-cultural interactions as a Mediterranean network.


  1. Maria Iacovou (University of Cyprus)

Interpreting the Cyprus Phenomenon: Ten Kingdoms, Three Languages, One Cultural Identity

  1. Denise Demetriou (Michigan State University)

Close Encounters: Artemis and Collective Identities from Ionia to Iberia

  1. Alan Shapiro (Johns Hopkins University)

Persian Luxury and Élite Identity in Late Classical Athens

  1. Bronwen Wickkiser (Vanderbilt University)

Negotiating Cult(ural) Identity: Epidaurian Asklepios at Rome

  1. Jennifer Ledig (Harvard University)

Reliving the Sack of Troy in the House of the Menander at Pompeii: Wall Painting, the Trojan War, and Roman Identity

  1. Angela Ziskowski (Bryn Mawr College)

Cultural Connections in Corinth: Exploring Identity inthe Archaic Period