CRC 1266 - Scales of Transformation

E3: Transformations in the Interrelation between Humans and Landscape between the 7th and 1st Centuries BCE in the Eastern Mediterranean

The subproject E3 investigates the transformations in the interrelation between humans and landscape between the Archaic and Hellenistic periods (7th to 1st centuries BCE) in the Eastern Mediterranean (especially Greece, lower Italy, and Asia Minor). Whereas the subproject so far has focused on the role of architecture and, taking selected Hellenistic period sanctuaries as case studies, its relation to landscape, the next phase will, in lockstep with building upon the insights achieved so far, broaden the perspective with regard to (a) region and time; and (b) the theoretical dimension, both from an emic intracultural and an etic extracultural perspective.

In concrete terms, the subproject will investigate the conceptualization, manipulation, and shaping of landscape via ancient theoretical and especially mathematical means, as well as include urbanism and the establishment of settlement planning as a field of application and frame-setting for urban development.

Three work packages will contribute to this goal:

  1. By investigating the relation of mathematical optics to performance of ritual and, in concrete terms, between spectator and architecture, it has been shown that there was a transformation of Greek culture from an object-driven culture of the collective to a subject-driven culture of the individual. In the second phase, these insights shall be broadened by an in-depth investigation of Euclid’s Optics in its history of science, philosophical, history of medicine, literary, and wider contexts. In particular, this study shall address history of mathematics aspects and provide an edition of the mathematical diagrams.
  2. With the exploration of urban foundations in the Hellenistic period from an archaeological perspective on the basis of the compilation of published sites and area data from Hellenistic city foundations within the realm of the Hellenistic kingdoms one of the most prominent areas of human-environment interaction in Greek culture will be taken into focus, especially with a view on which role applied geometry and mathematics at large played in these processes.
  3. An interpretative synthesis of the results of the two other work packages will aim at situating them in the large-scale transformations Greek culture experienced at large, in particular in the cultural, religious, political and societal dimensions.


Research activities 2020-2024



Prof. Dr. Lutz Käppel

Institute of Classics

Leibnizstraße 8, R. 525
Phone: +49 431 880-2237
Telefax: +49 431 880-2286

Subproject E3

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