Spring Community Lecture: An Afro-Mediterranean World? Libyans, Egyptians, and Ethiopians in Greco-Roman History and Literature

Africans were an inextricable part of the Greco-Roman world. While the popularity of Greek culture and the longevity and innovations of the Roman empire tend to loom large in our understanding of the ancient Mediterranean world, the region was surprisingly culturally diverse.  As Greeks and Romans explored beyond their own cultural boundaries, they recorded their encounters with other peoples in their histories, literature, and art; their worlds were, in fact, multicultural, and the Greeks and Romans were willing to adopt customs, practices, religious figures, and economic partnerships from many places.  Africa and its peoples held a particular fascination for the Greeks and Romans, as it represented the edge of the known world and supported peoples who were at the same time foreign and familiar.  In this hour and a half presentation, we'll explore some encounters (both mythical and historical) between the Greeks and Romans and the Libyans, Egyptians, and Ethiopians, to better understand the presence of the African in their worlds and imaginations.

Monday, 10:30 am — noon
March 25
Holy Trinity Episcopal Church

Cost: No charge, but registration is requested

Omar H. Ali is Dean of Lloyd International Honors College and Professor of Comparative African Diaspora History at UNC Greensboro. A graduate of the London School of Economics and Political Science, he received his Ph.D. in History from Columbia University. The author of four books, his latest is entitled Malik Ambar: Power and Slavery across the Indian Ocean, published by Oxford University Press. He was named the 2016 Carnegie Foundation North Carolina Professor of the Year.

Rebecca Muich is Assistant Dean in Lloyd International Honors College and an affiliated faculty member of the Department of Classical Studies.   She received her Ph.D. in Classical Philology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.  She teaches courses in Greek and Roman literature and history for the Honors College and the Classical Studies Department, including "Ancient Warrior Women.” This summer, she will be co-directing the UNC Greensboro in Rome program and she is currently co-authoring Africans in the Greco-Roman World: Biographies in Mythology and History with Omar Ali for use in their team-taught Honors course.


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