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Regional identity and state formation in the ancient world: the case of Epirus

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Recent work on the formation of regional identity in the ancient world has focused on the importance of ‘bottom-up’ factors, such as long-term collaboration and interchange between neighbouring population groups, or cooperation to resist external interference. While such work has produced important insights, it may underestimate the importance of ‘top-down’ factors, particularly in the monarchic states of the ancient world where autocrats had broad capabilities to intervene in the political and social geography of a region. This talk will investigate these issues in ancient Epirus, a region in the northwest of the Balkan peninsula around the modern Greece-Albania border. It will argue that royal policy played a crucial role in the formation of a regional identity in Epirus in the 4th and 3rd centuries BC.

Dr Ben D. Raynor is the Moses and Mary Finley Fellow at Darwin College, Cambridge.

This talk is part of the Darwin College Humanities and Social Sciences Group series.

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