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Open Seminar: Metaphors for Political Power from the Sumerian to the Seleucids
Open Seminar: Metaphors for Political Power from the Sumerian to the Seleucids
06.04.2017 19.00 h
The Ithacan Philanthropic Society - Melbourne


Lecturer: Dr Eva Anagnostou-Laoutides
Entry: FREE


Dr Eva Anagnostou-Laoutides' presentation will discuss the appropriation of eastern cults by Seleucus I Nicator and his son Antiochus in their struggle to establish their dynasty. She will examine the roles of Zeus and Apollo, the foremost divine protectors of the Seleucids, against near eastern royal traditions.

Dr Anagnostou-Laoutides will argue that the founding members of the dynasty had an intimate knowledge of Babylonian traditions that celebrated Šamaš, the Sun god, as protector of royal legitimacy and Marduk as warrantor of military supremacy and that they employed these traditions meticulously in order to promote their claim to kingship.

By encouraging the identification of Marduk and Nabû with Zeus and Apollo respectively, Seleucus and Antiochus mirrored the father-son relationship of the gods. Dr Eva will also examine the importance of royal gardens under the Seleucids in connection with “sacred marriage” and akītu (New Year) ceremonies which the Hellenistic kings embraced enthusiastically.


Eva Anagnostou-Laoutides is a senior lecturer in Classical Studies at Monash. She holds degrees in Classical Studies from Aristotle University, the University of Leeds and the University of Kent at Canterbury as well as in Ancient History from Macquarie University.

She has published extensively on various aspects of ancient mythology and religion and their appropriation in ancient political agendas. Her most recent book is In the Garden of the Gods: Models of Kingship from the Sumerians to the Seleucids (London and New York: Routledge, 2017). Recently she was awarded an ARC Future Fellowship on a project that examines Platonic inebriation and its reception in late antiquity and the Middle Ages.


We'd like to thank the following donors: 'In mem. of Toula Eleftheriou'.

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The Ithacan Philanthropic Society   -   Website
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In October 1916, the Ithacan migrants of Melbourne established the ITHACAN PHILANTHROPIC SOCIETY "The Ulysses", with an inaugural membership of some 153 members. This was in response to pleas for aid from their loved ones in Ithaca who were suffering deprivation during the First World War.

Over the years, however, the Society has been much more than just a philanthropic institution. It has been a constant in the lives of the early Ithacan migrants replacing the homeland which they had left.

The Society takes an active role in the cultural, social, educational and quality of life interests of the Ithacan Community. The Society, as part of its philanthropic role, also makes many monetary contributions to worthy causes, including those outside the immediate Ithacan community. The Society celebrated its 90th Anniversary in 2006.

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