Conference organized at the Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium) by the Synoikismos Seminar and the Centre d’Étude des Mondes Antiques, the 4th May 2018, on “Fantastic Beasts in Antiquity”.

Not satisfied with what nature offered to them, Human beings tried – since the beginning – to overtake reality by inventing a parallel and fantastic world, inhabited by mysterious and intriguing creatures. Griffins, sirens, centaurs and satyrs, monsters and other hybrid creatures, fantastic beasts abound the imagination of many civilizations in all of Antiquity, both in Art and Literature. As the incarnation of men’s deepest fears, symbols or merely decorative motives, fantastic creatures are the reflection of the manner the Ancients perceived and conceived the world. In this optic, what made “fantastic” the animals was not their peculiarity but the manner they are perceived or represented.

This conference, organized by the “Synoikismos” inter-university Seminar, aims to explore the mysterious world of animals through human representations. By its transdisciplinary approach, at the intersection of Archaeology, History, Art History and Philology, applied to the whole Ancient World, this meeting will take the form of a workshop, open to discussion and debate. The objective are multiples and interesting and will allow to identify some lines of thought, for example concerning the mutual influences between different cultures at different times, the relations between text and images or, more simply, the view of the man on the world around him.

Anyone interested to present a paper should send his/her proposal with a title and a small abstract, before the 15th November to Sarah Béthume ([email protected]) or Paolo Tomassini ([email protected])