Visiting Fellow, Fall 2019
Elias Koulakiotis is Assistant Professor in Ancient Greek History at the University of Ioannina. He studied Classical Philology in Ioannina, and Anthropology of Ancient Greece at the EHESS, Paris. He received his PhD from the Freie Universität, Berlin, in 2001 and has spent time as a research fellow in Columbus, Ohio and at Birkbeck College, London. He is interested in political and cultural aspects of the Ancient Greek and Roman World. He is author of numerous articles and chapters on Alexander the Great’s history and afterlife, on ancient religion and on cultural memory. His publications include: Genese und Metamorphosen des Alexandermythos (2006), Marathon. The Day After (2013, ed. with K. Buraselis), Alexander the Great. His Expedition and Empire illustrated in 100 rare historical maps, the cartographical collection of P. Soucacos, (2017, ed.,), and Political Religions: Discourses, Practices and Images in the Greco-Roman World (2019, ed. with Ch. Dunn).
This study provided a fully new approach of the oldest Latin version of Alexander the Great’s Epistola Alexandri ad Aristotelem magistrum suum de itinere suo et de situ Indiae. This letter of the fifth century AD reveals the role of Alexander as a mediator of knowledge and culture and it should be examined as part of the monarchic ideology in the late Antiquity. The study focused on the history of the text, its structure, and its role as a vehicle of monarchic representation. My interpretation insisted on the political, religious and cultural aspects of this text and its impact on the different audiences it had in Antiquity and beyond. Its contextualisation in the European ‘orientalistic’ discourse of the modern ages (cf. the role of Indography in the eighteenth and nineteenth century expansion of the European colonial powers) was particularly discussed.