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Numbers and Numeracy in Classical Greece - 02-03-04/09/2016, Leiden (Netherlands)

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:

- 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).

FECHA /DATE/DATA: 02-03-04/09/2016

LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Universiteit Leiden

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




Friday, 2nd September - Gravensteen Building

09:30 - 10:00 Registration & Refreshments

10:00 - 10:15 Tazuko van Berkel & Robert SingOpening Remarks

Session 1: Law and Epigraphy I

10:15 - 11:00 Lisa Kallet - A Counting People: Valuing Numeracy in Democratic Athens

11:0 - 11:45 Steven Johnstone - Punishing and Valuing in Ancient Greek Laws

11:45 - 13:00 Lunch

Session 2: Law and Epigraphy II

13:00 - 13:45 Robin Osborne - The Appearance of Numbers

13:45 - 14:30 Athena Kirk - Counting the Infinite in Homer and Attic Inventories

14:30 - 15:00 Afternoon Tea

Session 3: Oratory

15:00 - 15:45 Robert Sing - Numbers in the Inheritance Lawsuits of Lysias

15:45 - 16:30 Elisabete Cação - Demosthenes' Proposals in the First Philippic: Political Numeracy


17:00 - 18:00S erafina Cuomo - Numbers, Numeracy and Democracy

18:00 Drinks Reception

20:00 Conference Dinner at Porto Pino restaurant - tickets on sale throughout the day

Saturday, 3rd September - Lipsius Building

Session 4: Literature

09:00 - 09:45 Kai Brodersen - Jokes on Numbers and Numeracy in the Philogelos

09:45 - 10:30 Richard Seaford - On the Metaphysics of the Number in the Archaic and Classical polis

10:30 - 11:00 Morning Tea

Session 5: Counting and Accounting

11:00 - 11:45 Daniel Sicka - Creative Accounting? Strategies of Enumeration in Epinician Texts

11:45 - 12:30 Tazuko van Berkel - The Act and Agency of Counting

12:30 - 13:30 Lunch

Session 6: Historiography

13:30 - 14:15 Catherine Rubincam - Numeric Communication in the Greek Historians: Quantification and Qualification

14:15 - 15:00 Valeria Sergueenkova - Seeing Numbers in Herodotus' Histories

15:00 - 15:30 Afternoon Tea

Session 7: Philosophy and Mathematics

15:30 - 16:15 Eunsoo Lee - Ancient Greek Geometry without Numbers: Ambivalent Value in Numbers in Classical Greece

16:15 - 17:00 Florin Calian - From one to One: Plato and the Origin of Numbers

17:00 - 17:15 Tazuko van Berkel & Robert Sing - Concluding Remarks

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