This is an online event.
Classical Syracuse was a city of immigrants. Some came seeking work and high wages, others as refugees fleeing the Carthaginians’ advance across Sicily. But most arrived by force after being defeated by the Syracusans and dispossessed of their land. Since the late Archaic period, the Syracusans regularly forced the people they conquered to relocate to Syracusan territory as citizens and then gave away the land they left behind to people from outside of Syracusan society. In this talk, we will explore how the Syracusans competed with their rivals in the Classical period by forcing the people they conquered to become unwilling immigrants at Syracuse, a tumultuous history that saw the Syracusans rapidly uproot much of Magna Graecia. We will examine excavation assemblages from the ancient sites of Naxos, Leontinoi, and Syracuse to see what was so distinctive about Syracusan imperialism in the ancient world and what set them apart from their imperial contemporaries at Athens and Rome. Through it all, we will see how the Syracusans were on their way to constructing one of the Mediterranean’s first quasi-planned economies—an empire in a city.