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Animating the Memorial Topography of Hellenism: The Heroes of Philostratus

Thursday Lecture Series, Animation

dateMarch 7, 2013 timeThursday, 12:15pm EST location The Heyman Center, Columbia University

For imperial-era visitors to the Troad—the legendary site of the Trojan War—the heroic burial mounds that dotted that landscape were part of a memorial topography that reflected a strong Homeric literary tradition. In this talk, Professor Downie presented several imperial Greek texts that reflect upon the value of these tumuli as places of memory and argued that Philostratus, in particular, saw the burial landscape of the Troad as offering a way to articulate contemporary Greeks’ relationship to the past. In his Life of Apollonius of Tyana and the dialogue On Heroes, Philostratus dramatizes the heroic anabiôsis—or “return to life”—to reflect upon the animation of the literary and cultural tradition to which he belongs.