Event Title

Identity and Commerce along the Maritime Spice Route between Egypt and India

Presenter Information

Ryan Reynolds, Oberlin College

Location

Science Center, A254

Document Type

Presentation

Start Date

4-25-2014 4:00 PM

End Date

4-25-2014 5:15 PM

Abstract

This project studies the identities constructed by two merchants who traveled through Roman Egypt in the first few centuries CE: Sophon “The Indian” and Hermeros “The Adenite Red Sea Merchant.” Both men make dedicatory inscriptions to Greek gods, written in the Greek language, and even use Greek names to identify themselves, yet they still consciously identify as non-Greeks. Their self-representation, I argue, is an attempt to integrate into pre-existing economic institutions while at the same time negotiating with Greco-Roman perceptions of their homelands.

Notes

Session III, Panel 14 - Commerce, Action, Identity: Studies in the Politics of Economics
Moderator: James Dobbins, James H. Fairchild Professor of East Asian Studies

Major

Greek; Latin

Advisor(s)

Kirk Ormand, Classics

Project Mentor(s)

Drew Wilburn, Classics

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Apr 25th, 4:00 PM Apr 25th, 5:15 PM

Identity and Commerce along the Maritime Spice Route between Egypt and India

Science Center, A254

This project studies the identities constructed by two merchants who traveled through Roman Egypt in the first few centuries CE: Sophon “The Indian” and Hermeros “The Adenite Red Sea Merchant.” Both men make dedicatory inscriptions to Greek gods, written in the Greek language, and even use Greek names to identify themselves, yet they still consciously identify as non-Greeks. Their self-representation, I argue, is an attempt to integrate into pre-existing economic institutions while at the same time negotiating with Greco-Roman perceptions of their homelands.