In addition to delivering the Goldberg Lecture on January 21, archaeologist Margaret Miles, Professor of Art History and Classics, University of California, Irvine, will present a lunchtime talk entitled “Elymian Segesta: Trojans and Greeks in Western Sicily” on Friday, January 22, at 12:10 pm in 309 Cohen Hall. Miles will examine the history of Segesta, its temples and sanctuaries, and how the Trojan War was used by non-Greeks to form a link with the larger Hellenic past.
As a crossroads of civilizations in the Mediterranean, Sicily has always produced cultural innovators—from Stesichoros to Archimedes, Mithaikos to Giuseppe de Lampedusa. Garibaldi got his start in western Sicily and led the way to founding modern Italy. In Virgil’s Aeneid, Aeneas stops twice in Sicily, where he was welcomed by fellow Trojans, refugees from the war, and he founded the new cities of Segesta and Eryx—Virgil used ideas already in the air centuries earlier, well before Romans were powerful. But how did Segesta really get started?
New investigations of an Elymian sanctuary at Segesta support a picture of a city culturally linked to their sometime enemy and neighbor Selinous, a Greek city famous for its many temples. The people of Segesta, although Elymian, also made considerable investments in two large Doric Greek temples: an unfinished one on the tourist circuit today, and another, earlier and larger, and barely known but soon to be revealed.
Miles begins new fieldwork at Segesta in June. She recently served a six-year term as the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Classical Studies at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens.
Cosponsored by the Departments of Classical Studies and the History of Art, Vanderbilt University, the Archaeological Institute of America, and the Conservancy for the Parthenon and Centennial Park, her talk is free and open to the public. Parking is available in Lot 95 outside Cohen Hall, off 21st Avenue South on the Peabody campus and across from Medical Center East. For more information, call the History of Art department at 615.322.2831.
*View of east side of Doric temple at Segesta, Sicily