Public Talk Hosted by Friends of the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens

Date & time

8pm 13 October 2016


Apollo Room, the Hellenic Club in Woden.


Fiona Sweet Formiatti, PhD Candidate, ANU Centre for Classical Studies
Adrienne White, PhD Candidate, ANU Centre for Classical Studies

Public talk.

Fiona Sweet Formiatti: 'Homer on refugees', and
Adrienne White: 'Images of violence and trauma on Greek pottery'
8pm, Thursday, 13 October. Apollo Room, the Hellenic Club in Woden.

Hosted by the Friends of the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens. Free. All welcome.

Fiona Sweet Formiatti was the ANU (Canberra) Friends of the AAIA biennial scholarship winner for 2015. She holds a B.A. Hons (French and German), a Grad. Dip. Hons (Classics), and an M.Phil. (Classics). A Ph.D. candidate at the ANU, Fiona’s thesis examines aspects of hospitality in Homeric epic.
Adrienne White also conducted research in Greece in 2015. This \ was funded by the ANU and the AAIA. Adrienne completed her Bachelor of Arts (Hons) and her Master of Classical Studies at the ANU. She is currently a PhD candidate, researching post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in ancient Greece.


Fiona will examine what Homer tells us about 'the exiled hero-warrior who – deprived of home, family support, living, identity, and status – must either gain acceptance into a new household elsewhere or lead a precarious existence as homeless outsider. The refugee-warrior’s experience permeates Homeric epic: for example, it has shaped the lives of Patroclus and Phoenix, important characters in the Iliad. In the Odyssey the seer Theoclymenus supplicates Telemachus for asylum, and this is a test for Odysseus’ son. The Homeric refugee-warrior’s integration into a new life occurs within the principal social unit in this world, the oikos (the household); and the framework by which he is "processed" and integrated into that new life is provided by the formalized interactions of hospitality.'

Adrienne White: 'In ancient Greek society, war was a perpetual fact of life, so it is not surprising that imagery of war appears so often in their art. What is surprising is that, alongside stock depictions of heroic battle, there are scenes of remarkable emotional intimacy. Examples include a woman distressed at the sight of violence between duelling men; a soldier carrying his wounded or dead comrade on his shoulders; and an elderly man lying dead on the battlefield. Through the images that I present in this talk we will see a more pragmatic view of war that co-existed in parallel with the Greeks’ glorification of battle.'

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