Send your Call or Congress to

CALL. 31.10.2017: Ambiguity in Antiquity - Tubingen (Germany)




LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: University of Tübingen (Tübingen, Germany)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Sonja Borchers ; Elisabeth Schedel ; Anna Schwetz

INFO: call -


The Research Training Group 1808: Ambiguity – Production and Perception is organising an interdisciplinary workshop on the topic of “Ambiguity in Antiquity” that is scheduled to take place on March 2-3, 2018 at the University of Tübingen. The two-day workshop will focus on exploring the role of ambiguity in ancient literature, that is to say in literary, philosophical, rhetorical or political works. This discussion will contribute to the advancement of the research field, since former research on the topic has not yet established a precise typology of the phenomenon of ambiguity in antiquity. In antiquity, the phenomenon of ambiguity (ἀμφιβολία, ambiguitas) is traditionally linked to a lack of clarity (ἀσαφήνεια, obscuritas). Although Cicero observes that ambiguity can be effectively and intentionally used in rhetorical disputes, rhetoricians and grammarians classify and define the phenomenon of multiple meaning as a stylistic defect or as a source of legal dispute, caused by a lack of clarity. Nevertheless, it can be observed that ancient Greek and Latin authors of various epochs and genres make use of the phenomenon of ambiguity in their works, e.g. to voice criticism of a more powerful person in the guise of praise (historiography and epic poetry in the Neronian and Flavian era), to illustrate the meaningful connection of two concepts that are both covered by the same word or to evoke contradictions in order to initiate new thinking processes (philosophy), to conceal true intentions and to create potential for conflict (tragedy) or to manipulate the addressee, so as to agree with the speaker’s real arguments (rhetoric). Therefore, we invite papers that investigate the phenomenon of ambiguity from a literary, linguistic, rhetorical or philosophical perspective. To ensure that a systematic analysis of the issue at hand is produced, it is suggested that the papers address some or all of the following questions:

Which features (e.g. on the textual and/or conceptual level) constitute ambiguity in ancient texts?

What role does the context and the communicative situation play in both creating and resolving ambiguity?

How can we distinguish between ambiguities that are caused by the distance of the modern reader to the ancient context and those that are stylistically functional and inherent to the workings of the text?

How do ambiguity and cognate phenomena (vagueness, indeterminacy, etc.) relate?

We welcome abstracts of up to 300 words for 20-minute papers. Each paper will be followed by 10 minutes of discussion. To submit a proposal, please send an abstract in English as an attachment to by October 31, 2017. A separate attachment may contain your personal details (name and surname, university / affiliation). The organisers will review all submissions anonymously and inform the submitters of their decision by the end of November 2017. The workshop will be held in English and German.

categorías / tags / categorie

Fasti Congressuum is licensed under a Creative Commons Reconocimiento-NoComercial-CompartirIgual 4.0 Internacional License
© 2014 by Fasti Congressuum. Proudly created by M. Cristina de la Escosura