Angelos Chaniotis#

Laudatio by Heikki Solin#

In the last 15 years, Professor Angelos Chaniotis has ascerted himself as one of the internationally leading historians of the Hellenistic world and especially of ancient Crete.

He started his academic career by publishing his Ph.D. Thesis "Historie und Historiker in den griechischen Inschriften". This excellent dissertation examines a branch of history which has taken a back seat to the study of major historical works of the great ancient writers, but is one which nonetheless must be taken into account in any thorough assessment of the place and purpose of history, historiography, and historians in ancient Greek life. This first monograph is revealing for his methodological approach: by joining historical facts with the analysis of epigraphic sources he reaches new insights to the history and culture of the Hellenistic world. In his more recent work, his methodological approach is still more developed: he seeks his questions not only with the Classics or well- known documents, but looks also in the modern cultural and social sciences for the models of which he makes use for his research. In this way, he is able to put like puzzles together texts, which might appear uninteresting for others, in order to recognize new connections.

His recent monographs bear witness to this. If his second monograph, "Die Vertrage zwischen kretischen Poleis in der hellenistischen Zeit" (1996), which examines treatises and agreements concluded between Cretan communities during the third and second centuries B.C, is still concentrated in political history, his subsequent monographs and major articles shed new light on many aspects of social and cultural life of ancient Greece. "From Minoan farmers to Roman traders" is a very positive step forward in producing a diachronic study of Crete and its economy. Ancient Crete has been the focus of intensive archaeological exploration during recent decades. What is lagging a little behind is a synthesis of the rich body of recent discoveries with the results of the labor of earlier generations of archeologists and, in the case of Doric Crete, with the epigraphic and literary evidence. This volume edited by Chaniotis attempts to remedy this gap in modern scholarship with particular emphasis on the economy of the island during the prehistoric and historical periods. The volume is in fact a significant contribution not only to the study of economy in antiquity but also to social and political history and archaeological theory and practice.

Similarly, his own contribution "Foreign Soldiers - Native Girls? Constructing and Crossing Boundaries in Hellenistic cities with Foreign Garrisons" in the collective volume "Army and Power in the Ancient World" (2002), edited by him and P. Ducrey, is a fascinating case study: Basing his arguments mainly on epigraphic evidence, he describes the fear of undisciplined soldiers but also the role the army may have played in the representation of monarchical ideology and the interactions of soldiers and citizens in religious observances. Although friendly relations are evident in actions such as civic benefactions by officers, one should not minimize the gulf between the soldiers and the locals. As to the wives of garrison soldiers, they seem typically not to have been locals and were often from the same areas that supplied the mercenaries in the garrisons.

Chaniotis' two most recent monographs are dedicated to war in the Hellenistic world (n.° 5), an excellent and fresh introduction to the subject, and to ancient Crete (n.° 6), also an excellent introduction to the history and culture of Crete from the 3rd millennium B.C. to late antiquity.

His recent articles are of the same high quality. Of them only four could be mentioned in the publication list, but many others (older and more recent) witness also his capacity to make the mute stones and other seemingly insignificant testimonies to uncover new aspects from the ancient world. So n.° 8 where, on ground of a syllable of an inscription, he has perhaps discovered an unknown Greek town in Caria in Asia minor, Syneta. And the n.°s 9 and 10 do not only represent important preparatory work to the long-awaited Corpus of the inscriptions of Aphrodisias (an important Greek city in Caria), but witness also his ability to combine epigraphic basic research and new methods of social and religious studies.

Angelos Chaniotis is an international man. He is a Greek, but has studied also in Germany and has held professorships both in the USA and Germany. Actually he is the Prorektor of his university responsible for foreign affairs. Moreover, he has at the moment several international projects on the way: in addition to the Aphrodisias project, the editorship of Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum (an annual bulletin of the promotion of Greek epigraphy) and Epigraphic Bulletin for Greek Religion can be mentioned. Let us finish with the following projects: Collective and Cultural Memory in the Hellenistic Cities; Festival, Celebration, and Spectacle in the Hellenistic World; Social and Cultural History of Hellenistic Wars.

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