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Classics Speaker: Dr. Jody Cundy

When:
Thursday, January 30, 2020
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Where:
Kingston Hall
Room: 200
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Description:

Dr. Jody Cundy
University of Oxford

Narrating atrocity: rape, race and the sack of Aetolian Kallion in Pausanias’ "Description of Greece"
Pausanias provides the only textual source for the sack of Aetolian Kallion by Gallic forces in 279/8 BCE. His account presents a graphic description of the lethal martial rape of the Kallian women by Gallic forces under the command of Orestorius and Kombutis. This shocking narrative is largely ignored by both scholars of the Periegesis Hellados and Brennus' Gallic incursions, but preserves vital evidence for Hellenistic historiography. In this talk, I argue that the extra-lethal violence Pausanias vividly describes is better understood through the lens of psychological warfare (atrocity propaganda) than population ravaging warfare and the acquisition of subjugates (andrapodizing). Racial formation is a key operator in this passage, and Greek stereotypes about barbarian alterity are amplified, but Pausanias' centering of female agency and the trauma suffered by victims exemplifies a more inclusive perspective than surviving examples of Greek historiography generally admit.

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