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CALL. 22.04.2016: Numbers and Numeracy in Classical Greece - Leiden (Netherlands)



LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Universiteit Leiden

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Robert Sing (University of Cambridge); Tazuko van Berkel (University of Leiden)



Numbers, quantification, and calculation are ubiquitous in the historical record of Classical Greece and exhibit a range of ideological and communicative meanings. This conference will bring together the growing number of scholars working on numbers in contexts of mass communication – both real (inscriptions, oratory, drama) and imagined (e.g. speeches in historiographical contexts), and those working on ancient numeracy. Our aim will be to explore the ideological meanings and communicative functions of numbers in classical Greece, and democratic Athens in particular.

To this end, we would welcome papers from both established researchers and graduate students dealing with any of the following questions:

- What communicative situation and communicative relationship does the use of numbers presuppose?

- What is the relationship between the presentation of numbers (whether as quantification or calculation) and their communicative function? Is the communication purely ‘utilitarian’ or are other values such as accountability, transparency, expertise, or objectivity being communicated?

- What is the relationship between the mass communication of numbers and numerical calculation in daily life (e.g. economic exchange, political organisation)?

Confirmed speakers include Serafina Cuomo (Birkbeck, London), Stephen Johnstone (University of Arizona), Lisa Kallet (Oxford), Athena Kirk (Cornell), Stephen Lambert (Cardiff), Robin Osborne (Cambridge), Catherine Rubincam (Toronto), and Richard Seaford (Exeter).

Abstracts should be no more than 350 words long and the deadline for submission is 1 April 2016. Abstracts should be sent to Robert Sing ( and accepted speakers will be notified by the end of April.

We ask that papers be 30 minutes long and in English. Each paper will be followed by approximately 15 minutes of discussion. It is intended that the refereed proceedings of the conference will be published in due course.

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