Betsey Robinson Organizes Symposium Held July 15-16 in Athens

fountainofpeireneWater Cult & Culture in the Mediterranean World of the First Millennium BCE, an international symposium coordinated by Betsey Robinson, associate professor of history of art, will be held July 15-16 at the American School of Classical Studies and the École française in Athens, Greece. The symposium is the first of several events sponsored by HYDRΩMED: Gestion des ressources en eau en Méditerranée pendant le 1er millénaire avant notre ère, an international research network funded by A*MIDEX, the Aix-Marseille University Foundation, and chaired by Sophie Bouffier, a professor of Greek history at Aix-Marseille University, Aix-en-Provence, France.

“Water is a precious and limited resource around the Mediterranean, and in antiquity it was carefully stewarded and its sources revered,” said Robinson. Symposium presentations on water in ancient cult will explore archaeological evidence of ritual practices at springs, the water-use in sanctuaries, and the role of water in the healing rites of Asklepios and early Greek medicine. Cultural topics include the representation of Nymphs in Greek art, the poetic use of water to articulate geography, ethnicity, and identity, and its propagandistic value in pan-Mediterranean politics.

Symposium participants:
A. Androvitsanea, Technische Universität Berlin
Hydraulic Installations at the Sanctuary of Amphiaraos
S. Barfoed, University of Kent / Danish Institute at Athens
The Nymph Nemea and Water Supply to the Archaic Sanctuary of Zeus
O. Belvedere and S. Vassallo, Università degli Studi di Palermo and Soprintendenza di Palermo
Le acque calde imeresi, tra mito e storia: da Himera a Thermai Himeraiai
ArethusaS. Bouffier, Aix-Marseille Université
Arethusa and Cyane, Nymphs and Springs in Syracuse: Between Greece and Sicily
O. Dakoura-Vogiatzoglou, First Ephorate of Athens
Searching the Water at the Sanctuaries of the Western Hills
M. Dourou, Ephorate of Athens
The Sanctuary of the Nymphs and Demos: Evidence of the Recent Research
I. Fumadó Ortega, Aix-Marseille Université
Flux et reflux religieux en Méditerranée phénicienne et punique: L’eau, instrument
de propagande idéologique et politique

J. Hopkins, Rice University
Shifting Currents: A Reflexive Etiology of Hydraulic Exploitation and Urban Cohesion in
Early Rome

T. Kopestonsky, University of Tennessee
Offerings and Ritual at Corinthian Springs
B. Robinson, Vanderbilt University
Places and Poetics, Figures and Narratives
A. Stewart, University of California, Berkeley
Bathing Beauties: An Early Hellenistic Bronze Case-Mirror from Elis
J. Wiseman, Boston University
A Greek-Period Bath and Fountain Complex at the Northern Edge of Corinth
B. Wickkiser, Wabash College
‘Water is Cold and Wet’—Some Reflections on Water in Early Greek Medicine & the Cult
of Asklepios

Vanderbilt’s Department of History of Art, the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, and the École française d’Athènes join A*MIDEX and Aix-Marseille University in hosting the Athens symposium. Subsequent HYDRΩMED gatherings will address geomorphology and hydrology, the engineering of water catchment and transport systems, and the history of water management around the Mediterranean before the Roman Imperial period.

For more information, see

*Images courtesy of HYDRΩMED: The Fountain of Peirene at Corinth (above) and The Spring of Arethusa at Syracuse (below)

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