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Colloquium: Alexandria of Egypt: a glimpse to the Eternal Cosmopolis of the ancient world, based on archaeological evidence.

Event Details:

  • Date: 18 February 2016, Begins 16:00
  • Location:The Cyprus Institute - GOB, Seminar Room, 1st Floor, Athalassa Campus


*The colloquium will be in English, the event is open to the public, light refreshments will be served after the talk


Alexandria of Egypt is often hailed as having been a quintessential metropolis of the ancient times, serving, amongst other things, as: the capital of the longest lasting Hellenistic kingdom with imperial potential, ruled by the highly ambitious Ptolemaic dynasty; a “beacon of knowledge” in the ancient world, home of the Great Library and the Mouseion; and the most important harbour and commercial centre in the Mediterranean. Despite these well-attested attributes, this presentation would rather focus on another major characteristic of the city, which identifies her not only as the greatest metropolis but also as the first true cosmopolis. Alexandria developed as a unique multicultural assemblage where different cultures and their representatives, particularly Greek and Egyptian, coexisted and interacted with each other, resulting in a highly elaborate multicultural fabric that can only be described as uniquely “Alexandrian”; and although its political role as capital of the Ptolemaic kingdom ended in 30 BC, Alexandria’s cultural dynamics within the Roman Empire remained vivid for many more centuries. Therefore, based on a wide range of material evidence, this presentation will deal with both the public and private spheres of life, such as expressions of ideology and identity as well as religious activities.

About the speaker

Kyriakos SavvopoulosKyriakos Savvopoulos began his studies in history and archaeology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki before receiving his Masters in Egyptian Archaeology at University College London, and a PhD in Archaeology at Leiden University in the Netherlands. His PhD thesis dealt with the role of the Egyptian tradition in Alexandria of the Hellenistic and Roman periods (ideology, identity and further public life). In 2009, Kyriakos moved to Alexandria, Egypt, where he worked until December 2013, as a researcher at the Alexandria and Mediterranean Research Center, and a lecturer in archaeology and history at the Alexandria Center for Hellenistic Studies, both affiliated to the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt.

He taught courses in Hellenistic architecture, topography of Alexandria, Ptolemaic history, Graeco-Egyptian interaction, epigraphy and coinage. He also worked on several publications either as author or editor, including a new series of catalogues for the Graeco-Roman Museum of Alexandria, based on the Museum’s digitized archive; he worked as scientific advisor to the two recently inaugurated Archaeological Museums of the Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria, respectively in Alexandria and Cairo; he participated in excavations in Greece and Egypt, including Dion, Central Macedonia, (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki) and the submerged coastline of Alexandria, (Hellenic Institute of Ancient and Mediaeval Alexandrian Studies). In January 2014, he moved to Oxford University, where he now works as researcher on the Corpus of Ptolemaic Inscriptions from Egypt (CPI) project, based in the Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents.


Additional Info

  • Time: 16:00
  • Speaker: Dr Kyriakos Savvopoulos, Research fellow, Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents, Faculty of Classics, Oxford University.
  • Venue: The Cyprus Institute - GOB, Seminar Room, 1st Floor, Athalassa Campus