Ancient History

At the Leibniz Universität, the subject area Ancient History is pursued as a nationally and internationally networked historical science of the ancient world guided by theory construction and method reflection as well as findings and recoveries. The subject has very different approaches to historical research, ranging from the history of political events and constitutional history to economic and social history to the new cultural history and institutional economics.

Research Focus of the Team

Gunnar Seelentag placed one of his main focuses on Greek archaic. He is interested in how and why institutions in the world of civil states were spread since around 700 BC. Above all in his analysis of legal inscriptions that sought to establish ways of containing conflicts, but also consolidated a stable power base for the elites, he sees perspectives for the question of the origins and driving forces of Greek civil statehood. In addition, he commits himself to questions of the political culture of the Roman Republic and the Imperial Era. For instance, he is interested in the rituals with which political orders staged their legitimacy and thus created meaning. Another focus of his teaching is the historical-comparative social history of the non-elite classes, such as slaves, freedmen and the rural population.

Elisabetta Lupi researches the cultural history of the archaic and classical times. The focus of her interest is the Magna Graecia. On the one hand, she examines the cultural relations between the Ionian and Aegean regions. In doing so, she can identify the development of a supra-regional community of values. On the other hand, she deals with ancient concepts of the past and of space, especially with regard to recurring narrative motifs and explanation patterns for historical processes. Among other things, the discourse about luxury in which consumer practices, ethical attitudes and the idea of ​​political order form a connection, plays a central role for her. Her teaching also focuses on forms of imperialism, the Attic theater and theories on the culture of remembrance.

Anne Vater placed one of her main focuses on Greek archaic. For this period and the transition to the Greek Classical period, she can retrace the development of various status groups and the relationship between a social and a legal status by using a variety of sources. In addition to the Cretan legal inscriptions and early Greek poetry, she also uses archaeological findings which are always significant to ancient historical research. Another of her focal points is the investigation of various legal systems from the early Greek societies through the Athenian Classical period to the Roman Empire with its differentiated legal corpora. She is also particularly interested in non-literary source genres such as the petitions of Roman Egypt preserved on papyri and various epigraphic evidence.    

To the Subject Area Ancient History