Ancient History

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lupa_startseiteThe Department of Ancient History at the LMU is part of several large research groups and accommodates numerous projects funded by other institutions, especially the Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation. A particular focus of this research is on the Digital Humanities and the provision of easily accessible text corpora that will facilitate study of the Ancient Near East. A large number of individual projects, including numerous dissertation and habilitation projects, are also in progress and available on the German version. Please refer to the project pages below for details.

  • Chora of Pergamon

    Stadtmauer von Atarneus

    Project directed by Prof. Dr. Martin Zimmermann as part of the SPP "Hellenistic Polis". The project's aim is to study the rural settlement structure around Pergamon in the Hellenistic period. To do so, settlement patterns and interrelations are to be reconstructed and their historical development assessed. Particular interest is due to the relationship between the central city and its neighbours. more

  • Colour and World Organisation in Antiquity


    The colour terms of the Graeco-Roman world are not only culturally specific, but also embedded into symbolic systems and semantic contexts that cannot be simply transposed into modern categories of world organisation. The habilitation project aims to study ancient classifications of colour and their roots in order to gain an appreciation of their cultural specificity. more

  • DFG Priority Programme "The Hellenistic Polis as a Living Space" (concluded)


    The Department of Ancient History at the LMU plays a leading role in the Priority Programme "The Hellenistic Polis as a Living Space", funded by the DFG. more

  • The Development of Exile and Banishment from the Roman Republic to the Early Empire


    The option of going into exile "voluntarily" was a significant element of the Roman Republican political system. In the Imperial period, on the other hand, this phenomenon is virtually unknown and exile comes to be seen as a severe punishment. Christian Reitzenstein-Ronning's habilitation project seeks to understand how and why this transformation occurred. more

  • Harbour Towns in Lycia

    Heroon Lykien

    Studying historical processes of acculturation presupposes clearly delimited cultural groups. The region of Lycia in Asia Minor offers good preconditions for an analysis of ancient processes of acculturation since the epichoric Lycian culture can be reconstructed relatively well. In the study of these processes, harbour towns play particularly important role. more

  • Identity and Competition - The Development of Hermupolis Magna during the Roman Empire (Working title)


    A dedicated historical study of Hermupolis Magna would fill a substantial gap in the study of Graeco-Roman Egypt, but also in the study of the ancient city in general. The habilitation project conducted by Dr. Alexander Free aims to produce such a history of the city that incorporates all the new source material. more

  • History of Late Antiquity

    Tetrarchen Teaser

    The history of Late Antiquity is a long-standing research interest of Prof. Dr. Jens-Uwe Krause. It is pursued here with a particular focus on social history, especially on the history of the family, of Christianity, and of violence and crime.
    Photo: Nino Barbieri more

  • History of the Death Penalty under the Roman Empire (2. – 6. cent. CE)


    This project aims to revise the established consensus on the death penalty in the Roman Empire by conducting a far fuller review of the source material than ever before. more

  • Legal Norms and Practices in the Cultures of Asia Minor and Northern Syria from the late Bronze Age to the early Hellenistic period

    This project is concerned with legal norms and practices in various societies that existed in Asia Minor and Northern Syria during the 2nd and 1st millennium BC. The focus is on the cuneiform documents of the Hittite Empire and the Lycian epichoric inscriptions. The thematic focus is on legal procedures and the institutional framework used to assert claims and sanction illegal action. more

  • Research Network "Norm and Narration in Ancient Societies"

    Minos und Rhadamanthys

    The research network "Norm and Narration in Ancient Societies" organises researchers from a broad range of disciplines from the field of Ancient Studies, including Oriental Philology, Egyptology, Coptology, Ancient History, Classical Philology, Bible Studies, Patrology, as well as Jewish and Islam Studies. The network's central concern is with issues of norm establishment, tradition and criticism in and by narrative texts. more

  • Peshdar Plain Project: Exploring a Neo-Assyrian Border March to Iran

    The Peshdar Plain is situated in the Kurdish Autonomous Region of Iraq, directly at the Iranian border. Our research sheds light on a hitherto little known frontier region of the Assyrian Empire, specifically the Border March of the Place Herald at the border to the kingdom of Mannea. more

  • Publishing Dur-Katlimmu, a Neo-Assyrian Provincial Centre


    The long-term excavation project in Tell Sheikh Hamad, begun in 1978 and ended by the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011, is currently being published by PD Dr. Janoscha Kreppner as part of the research portfolio of the Alexander von Humboldt-Professorship in the Ancient History of the Near and Middle East. more

  • Settlement History and Landscape Reconstruction of the Northwestern Nile Delta (Egypt)

    This research project, launched by Stephan J. Seidlmayer and Robert Schiestl under the auspices of the German Archaeological Institute Cairo and in collaboration with the Egyptian Antiquities Authority, investigates the northern part of the western central delta. The low lying northern fringes of the delta have hardly been visited by archaeologists, let alone been scientifically studied. This survey is the first systematic study of this region. more

  • The Ancient Near East and the Rise of Democracy in Athens

    Cross-cultural studies have already shed light on the multifarious interactions between the Ancient Near East and Greece in the areas of religion, literature and myth. Based on these results the project will examine whether there was also an exchange of political ideas between East and West that had an impact on the emergence of the Athenian Democracy. more

  • The Family in the Roman Empire (2. cent. BCE – 6. cent. CE)


    A synthetic overview on the Roman family that reflects the current state of research and also includes Late Antiquity is a major desideratum and currently in progress. more

  • The Munich Open-access Cuneiform Corpus Initiative (MOCCI)


    A key objective of the newly established Chair for the Ancient History of the Near and Middle East is the promotion of easily accessible open-access source databases. Our aim is to make many of the rich primary sources of Assyria, Babylonia, and their contemporaries available online for free in a fully searchable and richly annotated (lemmatized) format. more

  • Violence in Antiquity

    Zimmermann, Gewalt in der Antike

    Physical violence is a universal cultural feature and in evidence throughout history. Surveying the history of mankind reveals no improvement. Nonetheless, the forms and extent of violence are subject to historical change. The project aims to understand the ways in which extreme forms of violence are prohibited and permitted, as well as thematised in media, in order to reveal very specific cultural rules and patterns of organisation. more

  • Xanthiaca. Poleis, Sanctuaries and Territories in the Xanthos Valley during the Graeco-Roman Period


    A German and French team directed by Prof. Dr. Martin Zimmermann (LMU Munich) and Prof. Jacques des Courtils (University of Bordeaux) is conducting a cooperative study of the settlement history of Lycia, with particular emphasis of the Xanthos valley. The project is funded by DFG and ANR with around one million euros. more