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The Benefits of Office. Privilege and Loyalty in the Ancient Mediterranean World - 30-31/05/2017, Am

Office holding, with all its privileges and burdens, is an important aspect for the creation of stability in ancient states. During this multidisciplinary workshop we want to explore how rulers in patrimonial societies secured the loyalty of an existing elite by confirming or increasing their status, or, in case the existing elite proved problematic, how they established new elites. The papers will address the often fuzzy borders between official and private, to what extend private gains from public office were permitted, and when office holders were punished for abuse.

FECHA/DATE/DATA: 30-31/05/2017

LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: The Vidi project “A Fiscal History of the Achaemenid Empire” under the direction of Dr. Kristin Kleber (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

INFO: web -

INSCRIPCIÓN/REGISTRATION/REGISTRAZIONE: Gratis /free/ gratuito Deadline: 15/05/2017

Se ruega enviar un email a /please contact /sono pregati di inviare una e-mail a Pieter Alkemade (


Tuesday, 30 May 2017

9.30 – 9.50 Kristin Kleber (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) “The benefits of office. Privilege and loyalty in ancient Near Eastern empires and beyond” 9.50 – 10.30 Lynn-Salammbô Zimmermann (Oxford University) “The letters of Kassite officials and the intersection of activities carried out in office and in private” 10.30-11.10 Reinhard Pirngruber (Universität Wien) “The king paid no heed to any of the words we sent before. Patterns of negotiation between the Assyrian king and Babylonian notables” 11.10-11.30 Coffee Break 11.30-12.10 Cornelia Wunsch (Dresden) “Serving for prestige. The office of royal judge” 12.10-12.50 Yuval Levavi (Bar Ilan University, Tel Aviv): “Business and office. Personal interaction between Neo-Babylonian bureaucrats” 12.50-14.00 Lunch break 14.00-14.40 Bastian Still (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) “The checks and balances of leading political elites in local Babylonian society” 14.40-15.20 Damien Agut-Labordere (CNRS, Paris) “Rehabilitating the deprecated. The second career of Udjahorresnet of Sais under the first Persian kings.” 15.20-15.40 Coffee break 15.40-16.20 Paola Corò (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice) "Benefit or imposition? Prebendaries and real estate holders in Hellenistic Uruk” 16.20-17.00 Rolf Strootman (Universiteit Utrecht) “In and out of office in the Hellenistic Empires: The notorious case of Theodotus, the Aitolian turncoat” Wednesday, 31 May 2017 9.30-10.10 Rens Tacoma (Universiteit Leiden) “The benefits of competition. Roman political culture from Late Republic to the Early Principate” 10.10-10.50 Martijn Icks (Universiteit van Amsterdam) “Secluded emperors, excluded senators. Traditional elites and the imperial court in late antiquity” 10.50-11.15 Coffee break 11.15-11.55 Petra Sijpesteijn (Universiteit Leiden) “Estate-holders vs. bureaucrats. Building loyalty to the state in early Islamic Egypt” 11.55-12.35 Jeroen Duindam (Universiteit Leiden) “Benefits of office. An early modernist’s comparative comments” 12.35-13.00 Plenary discussion Meeting of the Neo-Babylonian Network Initiative On the afternoon before the “Benefits of Office” conference, on Monday, the 29th of May, a meeting of the Neo-Babylonian Network Initiative takes place at the VU Amsterdam. The initiative aims at connecting younger scholars who write a PhD on a first millennium topic with more advanced scholars who provide feedback on their presentations. Programme: 4.30 Welcome & Coffee 14.45-15.15 Uzume Wijnsma (Universiteit Leiden) “Political legitimacy in the Persian Empire: the cases of Egypt and Babylonia” Response: Paola Corò (Università Ca' Foscari, Venezia) 15.15-15.45 Aurelie Paci (Université Paris-Sorbonne) “Local authorities in Upper Mesopotamia: composition, organization and administration of the Middle and Neo-Assyrian Empire, 16th-8th centuries” Response: Melanie Groß (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) 15.45-16.15 Louise Neuville (Université Paris-Sorbonne) “The constitution of the libraries through the transfer of their collections in Mesopotamia from the Middle-Assyrian Period to the beginning of the Achaemenid Period” Response: Caroline Waerzeggers (Universiteit Leiden) 16.15-16.40 Coffee break 16.40-17.00 Ludovica Cecilia (Sapienza, Università di Roma) “An unusual hymn to Nergal” 17.00-17.30 Michèle Meijer (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) “Lost or not found? The absence of the gala/kalû’s third gender characteristics in first-millennium sources” Response: Kathleen Abraham (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) 17.30-18.00 Pieter Alkemade (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) “Entrepreneurship in the Achaemenid period: the business aspirations of an Egibi in a village near Babylon” Response: Cornelia Wunsch (Dresden)

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