Nicholas O Streidas.
Forgan Smith (building 1), The University of Queensland, St Lucia
Venue: Forgan Smith (building 1), The University of Queensland, St Lucia.

Non-members are welcome. A donation of $10 per person includes entry in the lucky door prize and afternoon tea.

Seafaring Saviours of the Ancient Mediterranean

From Aphrodite to St Nicholas: Seafaring Saviours of the Ancient Mediterranean. The 2012 Adrian Heyworth-Smith Memorial Lecture.

Seafaring gods and saints like Aphrodite or Saint Nicholas were carried abroad to fulfill specific roles by all those who traveled, and sought a safe reception and return: merchants, sailors, travellers, fishermen and itinerant holy men. Despite intensive study of the iconography of ancient gods and saints, the actual means by which their images and stories spread around the Mediterranean's shores remain poorly understood. Though it is clear that transmission happened primarily by sea between, for example, Greece, Sicily and Rome, the specific agents of that transmission are often mysterious. Certain gods and saints became very widely-observed throughout the Mediterranean, however, while others retained only local importance. Dr Brown will suggest that the gods and saints credited with salvation at sea would be among the first candidates for widespread carriage. Thus archaeological and literary evidence for Aphrodite travels from Phoenicia to Corinth and then Sicily, while Saint Nicholas as a saviour of seafarers spreads from southern Anatolia first to Constantinople and then to Alexandria, Rome and southern Russia. The rapid translation of iconographic types and texts between east and west, north and south suggest unexpected levels of communication and trade across the Mediterranean even in the 'Dark Ages' of ancient history.

Following Dr Brown's lecture there will be a launch, arranged by Friends of Antiquity, of the book "The Statue of Zeus at Olympia: New Approaches" edited by Drs J McWilliam, S Puttock, T Stevenson, R Taraporewalla.