Tuesday 14.5 at 6pm at Arkadia: ‘Giants, Drunkards, and Deviants? The whys and hows of the Roman image of northern barbarians’ by Antti Lampinen

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Dear friend of Arkadia,

You are invited to “Giants, Drunkards, and Deviants? The whys and hows of the Roman image of northern barbarians” by Antti Lampinen on Tuesday 14.5 at 6pm at Arkadia (Nervanderinkatu 11).

“Even nowadays, much of the mental imagery used in describing generalized ‘northerners’ tends to conform with long-standing stereotypes: elements such as great stature, irascibility, a certain grimness, and a tendency to drink heavily, are often invoked.

The earliest literary basis for these associations (found in a range of registers from common slurs to popular-culture references) is firmly lodged within the mental geography of Greeks and Romans, and influenced much of the Medieval and Early Modern imagination about inhabitants of the North. But why did it make epistemic sense for the Romans to use time-worn, mostly literary and inaccurate, often derogatory clichés when conceptualizing ‘the northern barbarians’, their ethos, and mode of life? This talk will take a look at what the Romans ‘thought they knew’ about the northerners, how they rationalized their prejudiced notions by theories available at the time, and how the ancient view of ‘northern barbarians’ has exercised a strong influence in subsequent European imagination.” Antti Lampinen

You are all very welcome.

Warm regards,


Entrance is free but a donation of €3 (or more!) to fund the event is suggested and would be most welcome.

Antti Lampinen holds an MA in Classics from the University of Turku, and has recently submitted his PhD (‘Characterizing Northern Barbarian Religiosity in the Graeco-Roman Literary Tradition’) to the same institution. In the course of his doctoral studies he has conducted classical research in Rome and Oxford, and now resides in Helsinki.

He has participated in two research groups: one at the Institutum Romanum Finlandiae examining ancient oracular sanctuaries (2006-13), and another one studying depictions of ‘otherness’ in Late Antiquity (2008-12), now published by Brepols (‘The Faces of the Other’, ed. Maijastina Kahlos). He has taught in the Universities of Turku and Helsinki, and acts currently as the vice president of the Finnish Society For Celtic Studies.”