The Organizing Committe of the panel “Cherchez la femme: Women in Hellenistic History, Historiography and Reception” welcomes further abstracts on topics related to the history and historiography of Hellenistic women.

The panel is part of the 12th Celtic Conference in Classics, University of Coimbra, Portugal, 26-29 June 2019.

The growing role of women exercising power—or at least having agency—is considerably evident in descriptions of the political upheavals in the broad Greek-speaking world after Alexander, as compared with previous periods. Seemingly, they were no longer the passive players in the internal and international sphere, as often found in myths, or in the stock – and half earnest – explanations for the causes of wars. Hellenistic queens have been a subject of research. Yet, this panel seeks to address this role of women in the political scene both as a historical phenomenon at large and as a historiographical or literary topos.

The panel attempts to tackle the question of whether this was a truly significant historical change, and if so, whether it stemmed from real political and structural developments that the societies of newly formed kingdoms underwent. The panel will also focus on the historiographical tradition that began to take shape in the Hellenistic period – roughly from the Alexander era until the dominance of Rome in the Mediterranean. This literary tradition included references to men and women of the new courts, allotting them roles that were known to exist till then in barbaric environs, like the Persian court. As the Hellenistic tradition is in the roots of our modern approaches, mixed with contemporary influences, biases and commonplaces, we are also interested in the portrayal of women in the Hellenistic era in modern reception (in literature and other media).

Confirmed Speakers:

Altay Coskun (University of Waterloo)

Maria Dolores Mirón Pérez (University of Granada)

Tim Howe (St. Olaf College)


Eran Almagor ([email protected])

Marc Mendoza ([email protected])

Borja Antela-Bernárdez ([email protected])

Topics suggested for this panel include, but not exclusively, the following questions:

– The powers of Hellenistic queens.

– Power, agency and sexuality in the Hellenistic period.

– Women in the propaganda wars of the Hellenistic period.

– Women at the crossroads of Greek and non-Greek traditions in the Seleucid and Ptolemaic monarchies.

– Hellenistic queens and Roman politics.

– Queens in the Hellenistic minor kingdoms.

– Women in Hellenistic historiography: the formation of new themes and agendas.

– Depictions of non-royal women and their agency in Hellenistic historiography.

– The relationship between depictions of women agency in historiographical writing and literature or visual arts during the Hellenistic period.

– Modern reception of the image of Hellenistic Queens in historiography.

– Modern reception of the image of Hellenistic Queens in literature and other media.

This panel is not limited to Hellenistic historians, but rather seeks to add different perspectives coming from genre studies or modern reception studies, among others, joining well-established scholars together with young scholars. The duration of the presentations should be about 30 minutes with time for discussion at the end of every session.

Prospective speakers are invited to send a short abstract (no more than 300 words) to [email protected] no later than 28/02/2019.

Acceptance of the papers will be communicated in the following weeks.