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Following the paths of itinerant professionals of the arts in the epigraphic sources of the Hellenistic period

Objective

Various reasons can inspire a travel. Travelling for art implies embracing new challenges, being prone to staying in the limelight and to taking risks, chasing glory, rewards, and money. Throughout the Hellenistic period and beyond, itinerant professionals of literacy and music travelled around Greece for all the above. The endeavours, paths, stories of the “poeti vaganti” -so called after the preliminary study by Guarducci (MAL 1927-1929)- are mainly documented by epigraphy, allowing us to envision a cultural and popular phenomenon that run parallel to court literature. Unknown artists and accomplished intellectuals showed off on all the renowned stages of the Hellenistic centres, delivering their performances at festivals, sacred celebrations, and occasions that gathered audience from the territory and abroad. Although the compositions of itinerant artists are sporadically preserved being mainly intended for oral use, epigraphy provides us a large spectrum of valuable elements leading through the reconstruction of the Hellenistic performative life. The study of inscriptions shows three main osmotic levels allowing us to interpret correctly the data and reach out the essence of the “movement” of itinerant professionals of the arts. The central point of this scenario is Travel, as the title of this project indicates: the expression from a Tanagra epigram (IG VII 530) “ptanois posin”, i.e. with winged feet, enshrines the essence of itinerant arts. Travel leads to disclose Performance, studied by typology and nature, and Travellers, traced in their stories and careers. This project, which obtained the Seal of Excellence in MSCA-IF-GF-2016 and also benefits from a digital version (to be developed with the CHS Harvard University partnership), investigates the “poeti vaganti” phenomenon that captures multiple glimpses of history, performative arts, and society of the Hellenism, while providing a reassessment of the ongoing discourse on cultural production of this period.
Leaflet | Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors, Credit: EC-GISCO, © EuroGeographics for the administrative boundaries

Coordinator

UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI ROMA LA SAPIENZA

Address

Piazzale Aldo Moro 5
00185 Roma

Italy

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 269 002,56

Partners (1)

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PRESIDENT AND FELLOWS OF HARVARD COLLEGE

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 843186

Status

Grant agreement signed

  • Start date

    1 April 2020

  • End date

    31 March 2023

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.3.2.

  • Overall budget:

    € 269 002,56

  • EU contribution

    € 269 002,56

Coordinated by:

UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI ROMA LA SAPIENZA

Italy