Eleni Oikonomou

Eleni Oikonomou

Oraingo lanpostua / Puesto actual

PhD position in UPV/EHU in the research domain of classical studies, under the supervision of Prof. María Teresa Muñoz García de Iturrospe.

Topic of research: “Christian Latin Verse Inscriptions. Rhetorical Analysis of the Picture of Children”

Nire Europako proiektua / Mi proyecto europeo

CARMEN. The project focus on the commemoration of children in the Carmina Latina Epigraphica. It combines religious (Christian) with social (child) identities. Even before Christianity dominated public life from the fourth century CE onward, Christians were present in the social life of the Roman Empire. Epigraphy, including verse epitaphs, documents their vital societal presence. High infant mortality had deep effects on Greek and Roman societies and shaped the emotional distance towards children. Literary-styled upper class mourning of a beloved son or daughter was the exception and not the rule. By contrast, children had a special role in the theology of the early Church. To date, there are no studies to examine whether this had any impact on the formulaic epitaphs for Christian children.

The project will establish a complete catalogue of Christian funerary inscriptions concerning children in order to study this corpus as a means of representation and to explore the differences between Pagan and Christian poetical expressions related to infancy and loss. The research will apply a rhetorical analysis and make use of current research approaches in the study of emotion and social interaction. Moreover, it will compare the formulae of the established corpus with the respective consolatory texts (especially from Christian authors). With its innovative viewpoint, this study challenges the research on emotional performance and expressions.

Formakuntza eta ikerketa-ibilbidea/Formación académica y trayectoria investigadora

I acquired my BA in Classics from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. I continued my studies at the same institution, obtaining a MA in Latin Philology. My thesis, titled “A feminist reading of Vergil’s Dido”, gave me the chance to delve into issues regarding gender and feminist literary criticism, in particular. During my studies and for about four years, I have been teaching Latin, Ancient Greek and Modern Greek. Recently, I was given the opportunity, in the context of the CARMEN ITN project, to investigate the intriguing research domain of the commemoration of children in Christian Latin verse inscriptions at Universidad del País Vasco. Undoubtedly, I consider the next three years as a challenging as well as an exciting milestone in my academic journey.

Ikerketan aritzeko motibazioa/Mi motivación para dedicarme a la investigación

What I find most inspiring is the process of uncovering all the potential that a text has, from either a historic or cultural, social or even religious point of view. Interpreting Latin texts and literature for that matter fascinates me and I am always looking for opportunities to discover new literary, social and historical aspects that could derive from a text and could be further discussed to an academic level. I am confident that my passion will be proven fruitful in some if not many other kinds of perspectives.

Aritzen naizen taldea eta ikerketa-lerroak/Grupo y líneas de investigación que desarrollo

The “CARMEN” project, a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Innovative Training Network (ITN) funded within the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (Horizon 2020), explores Roman verse inscriptions as an important manifestation of communal art in Roman literary and visual culture. Carmina Latina Epigraphica, a corpus of some 4000 inscribed poems and poetic texts, were inscribed on publicly exposed monuments or objects used in public or private contexts. Exposed on lasting material such as stone, these poems accompanied the Roman Empire in its ever-changing configurations from the early third century BCE to Late Antiquity in an unbroken tradition that continues into the early Middle Ages and beyond.

Nire ikerketa-ibilbidean aipatzen dut…/En mi trayectoria investigadora destaco…

Studying poetry in the epigraphic Roman tradition will help to regain an eminent body of European folk art tradition that could be produced and consumed by everybody, even semi-literates, perhaps even illiterates. Additionally, our innovative reconceptualization of Roman carmina will be an important step to democratise contemporary perceptions of art and to unlock the potential for understanding the heterogeneity of social and cultural performance.

Etorkizunari begira/Mirando al futuro

My main goal is to stay active and keep looking for new opportunities to grow. That is to say that I am eager to familiarize myself even more with theoretical approaches regarding Classic Texts and see what I have to offer to the research domain, as well. I am, in fact, interested in achieving personal growth through my studies, as well as in teaching classic languages.