Multitudo: a multisensory, multilayered and multidirectional approach to classical studies


Saturday 21st November 2015, 9.30am-6pm at Roehampton University

Organisers: Alessandra Abbattista (Roehampton) and Eleanor Betts (OU):

This one-day workshop brings together postgraduate students and early career researchers interested in taking a multidisciplinary approach to sensory studies of Greek and Roman societies. We welcome a participative audience and with the support of the Classical Association are pleased to be able to offer a small number of student bursaries to eligible presenters and participants. If you would like to be considered for a bursary, please send a request to the organisers, indicating your status and the cost of your travel and/or accommodation expenses, when you register for the workshop.

The objective of the workshop is to explore the value of applying sensory approaches to the material and literary evidence of the ancient world, and to illustrate how they complement and/or contradict each other. In particular, the workshop will demonstrate a range of methodologies and approaches which may be applied to different literary and archaeological contexts, with a focus on how empirical sensory data may combine, or at times conflict, with that of ancient sources.


9.30-10 Registration and coffee

10-10.10 Introduction: Alessandra Abbattista & Eleanor Betts

Panel 1: Embodied Performance

Chair: Eleanor Betts


Alessandra Abbattista & Giacomo Savani

The Multisensory Metamorphosis of a Thracian King

Metamorphosis – ancient Greek tragedy – funeral mourning – myth of Procne

Fabio Lo Piparo

Blowing Through the Gorgon Mask: a Reading of the Cassandra Episode in Aeschylus’ Agamemnon.

Aeschylus’ Agamemnon – Cassandra – aulos – Gorgon mask – Tony Harrison’s Oresteia 


Helen Slaney

Kinaesthesia as Methodology

dance – sculpture – movement – aesthetics – reception – cognition – enactment – embodiment – haptic – tactility – interactive

Anna Trostnikova

Multisensory Experience of Audiences at Roman Religious Festivals. Spectators or Participants?

theatre – collective experience – ritual vs performance – lex iulia theatralis – crowd behaviour – production of space

11.30-11.40 Coffee

Panel 2: Smell, Taste and Touch

Chair: Giacomo Savani


Catherine Hoggarth

Crossing the Multisensory Bridge

bridges – urban – rural – multisensory – multidisciplinary – risk – comparative approaches – value – reconstruction – methodologies.

Stuart McKie

Practical Magic: How, Where and When to Curse a Thief in Roman Britain

magic – Roman Britain – curse tablets – ritual – experimental archaeology – movement – gesture


Marta Garcia-Morcillo

Feeling the Market in Ancient Rome

smell – hearing – product recognition – competition – social status – performance – interaction – atmosphere – daily life

Patty Baker

Tasting Roman Food: Experimental Archaeology

taste – senses – reenactment – experimental archaeology – recipes – environmental remains

1.00-1.40 Lunch

Panel 3: Sights and Sounds

Chair: Alessandra Abbattista


Orestis Mitintzis

Visual Aspects in the Experience of Pilgrimage in the Ancient Greek World

pilgrimage – pilgrim – sight – nature – sanctuary – buildings – votives – cult statue – Classical and Hellenistic world

Matteo Olivieri

The Song of the Maidens of Delos: Homage to the Identities of the Pilgrims of Apollo?

Delos – sanctuary – religious festival – cult – regional sanctuary – Apollo, Artemis and Leto – Delian Maidens – Homeric hymn to Apollo – choral lyric – mimetic performance – dance – ethnic identity – polis identity – Ionian – Cyclades islands – Aegean sea – Greek language & dialects


Francesca Berlinzani

An Acoustic Problem of the Ps. Aristot. ΠΕΡΙ ΦΩΝΗΣ. Between Auditive and Visuospatial Perception

ancient acoustics – Aristotle – formants – echo – resonance – sound perception

Jeff Veitch

Hearing Architecture: Sound Samples in Architectural Context

aural architecture – acoustics – sound perception – Roman buildings – sound samples


Jasmine Parker & Eleanor Betts

A Phenomenology of Visual Perception

3.30-3.40 Coffee

Panel 4: Theorising the Senses

Chair: Jeff Veitch


John Harrison

The Stourhead Temple of the Nymph: a Multisensory Experience

grotto – Stourhead – nymphaeum – multisensory – synaesthesia – kinaesthesia – vision – audition – olfaction – thermoception

Hannah Platts

Sensing and Feeling at Home: Multisensory Approaches to the Roman Domestic Realm

multisensory – insula – domestic – home – status – identity (belonging) – Roman


Kelli Rudolph

Method and Theory in Ancient Sensory Studies

ancient methodologies: analogy – polarity – inference – theoretical positions: status of qualities – the relations between contraries – notions of elements; understanding of ancient approaches to study of the senses

Emma-Jayne Graham

Objective Senses and Sensory Objectives in the Graeco-Roman World

objective/subjective senses – texts/materials – metaphor/experience – perception/description

5.00-5.20 Closing discussion

5.20-6.00 Drinks reception

Register here

For further information please do not hesitate to contact us: Alessandra Abbattista ( or Eleanor Betts (

See also—Humanities/Workshop—Multitudo–a-multisensory,-multilayered-and-multidirectional-approach-to-classical-studies/



  1. The workshop which you are offering seems to be very interesting to me. I am sure that I will learn a lot of stuff with your presentations and pick up more facts about the Classical world. Unfortunately, I cannot attend your workshop, because I live in Canada. I cannot be flying to the U.K all the time, when a workshop takes place. It is very expensive to travel all the time.


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