Conference: Roundtrip to Hades

Visits to the Underworld in the Eastern Mediterranean Tradition

Time: October 9-12, 2014

Venue: Uppsala University Main Hall, Sal IX and X

Visiting the underworld and returning alive is a subject that has fascinated human kind through all times and in many cultures. In the European tradition, the theme harks back to Homer's description of Ulysses' visit to Hades, a "katabasis" - descent - that echoes through literature and art alike. These journeys to the underworld, of which there are several, are reflected and serve as inspiration throughout Antiquity and Byzantian times, as well as in our modern society.

On October 9-12, 2014, an international conference is arranged at Uppsala University with the title ”Roundtrip to Hades: visits to the underworld in the eastern Mediterranean tradition". The aim of the conference is to explore the theme of underworld visits as broadly as possble, based on different kinds of written sources, iconography, material culture and music. Focusing mainly on Classical Greece and Byzantium, we also include predecessors in the Near Orient and Anatolia, especially post-Classical, medieval and modern renderings. What happens when a Classical subject is used, transferred and reformed over centuries, how is its core both preserved and reshaped, and how does this process reflect that which has been seen as important by people i different times and periods? In a wider perspective, the conference also aims to illuminate the Classical heritage in the formation of our common story. 


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More information: Gunnel Ekroth