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New Book on the Antithesis East-West

Feb 24, 2014

A new book on the origins of the antithesis east-west was published by Dr. Nicolas Zenzen, Prof. Dr. Tonio Hölscher and Prof. Dr. Kai Trampedach from the completed Cluster project D6.

The book’s comprehensive subject is the idea of an antithesis of east and west, constructed in Greek antiquity in the period from the 6th to the 2nd century BC. The editors understand this antithesis as a complex field of tension, consisting of dynamic interactions of political, social, and cultural structures and stimuli by a variety of agents. Each paper focuses on one particular aspect of culture, like religion, sciences, world perception, economy, architecture or lifestyle. Different authors consider each of these topics from both a western and an eastern point of view. Due to this comparative approach, convergences and divergences of the various contexts come to light quite distinctly. The result is a balanced and flexible dialogue which helps to break down the dominance of the western perspective and the monolithic character of the resulting concept of ‘the Orient’ versus ‘the Occident’, without denying the momentous power of these concepts in history. The volume contains the proceedings of a conference held at the Karl Jaspers Centre in 2010. The conference was organised by the Cluster’s project “The Origins of the Antithesis EAST-WEST Before and After Alexander the Great.”




The book “Aneigung und Abgrenzung. Wechselnde Perspektiven auf die Antithese von ‘Ost’ and ‘West’ in der griechischen Antike“ is available at the publishing house Verlag Antike. It is part of the series “Oikumene Studien zur antiken Weltgeschichte.” Amongst others, the volume contains articles by Cluster members Prof. Dr. Stefan Maul, Prof. Dr. Joachim Quack and Dr. Bjørn Paarmann.


Prof. Dr. Tonio Hölscher is emeritus professor for Classical Archaeology at Heidelberg University and the Cluster’s ombudsman. Prof. Dr. Kai Trampedach is professor for Ancient History at Heidelberg University. Dr. Nicolas Zenzen is research associate at the Institute for Classical Archaeology of Heidelberg University.


The project “The Origins of the Antithesis EAST-WEST Before and After Alexander the Great” aimed at exploring the 'eternal' antithetical concept of "East" vs. "West by a new, comprehensive approach, investigating the multiple, often divergent and even contradictory ideologies and attitudes that prevailed in the various fields of interaction. The project analysed the fundamental ambivalence, discrepancy and 'shifting asymmetries' that are inherent in the ideological fabrication of 'Asia' and 'Europe'.


Table of Contents.pdf71 K