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Colloques, journées d'études


13th Trends in Classics International Conference
23.05.2019 - 26.05.2019 
Musée de la civilisation byzantine - Thessalonique
Colloques, journées d'études


Information signalée par Stavros Frangoulidis

13th Trends in Classics International Conference

Intended Ambiguity

Ambiguity in the sense of two or more possible meanings is considered to be a distinctive feature of modern art and literature. It characterizes the “open artwork” (Eco) and is generated by “disruptive tactics” (Wellershoff) and strategies to engender uncertainty. While ambiguity is seen as a “paradigm of modernity” (Bode), there is scepticism regarding its use in the pre-modern era. Older studies were dominated by the conviction that there was a lack of ambiguity in pre-modernity because, according to the rules of the “old rhetoric”, ambiguity was seen as an avoidable error (vitium) and a violation of the dictate of clarity (perspicuitas).

The aim of the conference is to re-examine the putative “absence of ambiguity” in the pre-modern era. Is it not possible to find in antiquity clear examples of deliberately employed (intended) ambiguity? Are the oracles and riddles, the Palinode of Stesichoros and Socrates (Phaedrus), the dissoi logoi of rhetoric, the ambiguities of the tragedies all exceptions or do they not indicate a distinct interest in the artistic use of ambiguity? The presentations of the conference, which will include scholars from various philologies, will combine a recourse to theoretical concepts of intended ambiguity (in rhetoric, philosophy and aesthetics) with exemplary analyses from the field of pre-modern art and literature.


Thursday 23 May, 2019

15.15 – 15.45 Registration
15.45 – 16.00 Welcome Speeches

Walter Stechel, German Consul General in Thessaloniki
Therese Fuhrer, Organizing Committee
Franco Montanari, Antonios Rengakos, General Editors of Trends in Classics

16.00 – 17.00 Chair: Irmgard Männlein-Robert

J. Knape (Tübingen), Seven Perspectives of Ambiguity

17.00 – 17.30 Coffee Break

17.30 – 19.00 Chair: John Hamilton

M. Vöhler (Thessaloniki), Introductory Remarks to Modern and Ancient Concepts of Ambiguity
M. Lüthy (Weimar), The Modern Perspective: Ambiguity, Artistic Self Reflection and the Autonomy of
M. Chrysanthopoulos (Thessaloniki), Multipliers of Ambiguity: The Use of Quotations in Cavafy's
Poems Concerning Emperor Julian

19.00 – 20.00 Chair: Michael Lüthy

F. Mehltretter (Munich), Ambivalent Allegories: Giambattista Marino's Adone (1623) between
Censorship and Hermeneutic Freedom
S. Reichlin (Munich), The Ambiguity of the Unambiguous. Figures of Death in Late Medieval Literature

20.00 –22.00 Reception

Friday 24 May, 2019

9.30 – 10.30 Chair: Evina Sistakou
J. Strauss Clay (Virginia), Traversing No-Man's Land: Outis in the Odyssey
J. Hamilton (Harvard), The Ambiguity of Wisdom: Mẽtis in the Odyssey

10.30 – 11.30 Chair: Panagiois Thanassas

C. Balla (Crete), Intended Ambiguity in Plato's Representation of Socrates in the Phaedo
P. Golitsis (Thessaloniki), Ambiguity in Aristotle

11.30 – 12.00 Coffee Break

12.00 – 13.30 Chair: Antje Wessels

E. Sistakou (Thessaloniki), Postmodernism in Alexandria? Modes of Ambiguity in Hellenistic Poetry
I. Männlein-Robert (Tübingen), Between Conversion and Madness: Sophisticated Ambiguity in
Lucian's Nigrinus
A. Lamari (Thessaloniki), Sympotic Sexuality: The Ambiguity of Seafood in Middle Comedy

13.30 – 15.30 Lunch Break

15.30 – 17.00 Chair: Richard F. Thomas

T. Fuhrer (Munich), Unsettling Effects and Disconcertment − Strategies of Enacting Interpretations
in Roman Historiography
S. Harrison (Oxford), Prophecy, Poetry and Politics in Vergil's Eclogue 4
J. Soldo (Swansea), ‘Vitae aut vocis ambigua': Seneca the Younger and Ambiguity

16.30 – 17.00 Coffee Break

17.00 – 18.30 Guided Tour of the Byzantine Museum

Saturday 25 May, 2019

9.30 – 11.00 Chair: Therese Fuhrer

L. Cordes (Munich), … ut Catonem, non me loqui existimem – Ambiguity and Gradual Convergence in
First Person Discourse
B. van der Velden (Leiden), The Latin Commentary Tradition on ‘Inclusive' Intended Ambiguity
M. Formisano (Gent), Legens. Ambiguity, Syllepsis and Allegory in Claudian's de raptu Proserpinae

11.00 – 11.30 Coffee Break

11.30 – 13.00 Chair: Theodore D. Papanghelis

R. Kirstein (Tübingen), Ambiguity as Provocation for Literary Studies. The Case of Ovid's
S. Alekou (Nicosia), The Ambiguity of simulatio in Ovidian ecphrasis
J. Fabre-Serris (Lille), Double Entendre, Unconscious Desire and Auctorial Intentionality in Some
Ovidian Speeches (Met. 3.279-92; 7.810-823, 10.364-66; 440-1)

13.00 – 15.00 Lunch Break

15.00 – 16.30 Chair: Stephen Harrison

R. F. Thomas (Harvard), Catullan Ambiguity
A. Wessels (Leiden), ‘Liber esto'– Wordplay and Ambiguity in Petronius' Satyricon
S. Frangoulidis (Thessaloniki), Friend or Foe? Ambiguity in Apuleius' Tale of Aristomenes (Met. 1.2-

16.30 – 17.00 Coffee Break

17.00 – 18.30 Guided Tour of the Archeological Museum

20.00 Conference Dinner

Sunday 26 May, 2019

9.00 – 13.00 Guided Tour: Thessaloniki through the ages

Organizing Committee

Therese Fuhrer Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
Martin Vöhler Aristotle University Thessaloniki
Stavros Frangoulidis Aristotle University Thessaloniki
Antonios Rengakos Aristotle University Thessaloniki

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the following sponsors: The Stavros Niarchos Foundation; The Social and Cultural Affairs Welfare Foundation (KIKPE), The German Consulate General in Thessaloniki; The Aristotle University Research Committee; The Museum of Byzantine Culture-Thessaloniki and The Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki.

Lieu de la manifestation : Auditorium ‘Stefanos Dragoumis' Museum of Byzantine Culture (2, Stratou Avenue, Thessaloniki 546 21)  
Organisation : Department of Classics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki - Department of Classics, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich
Contact : mvoehler[at]


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