Nils Klim-symposium: "Travel and Religion in the Ancient Mediterranean"

Elisa Katariina Uusimäki received thye Nils Klim Prize in 2022. On 1 December, 2023, she will organize the symposium "Travel and Religion in the Ancient Mediterranean".

The purpose of this symposium is to gather a group of scholars from different academic fields such as classics, biblical studies, history, and archaeology to explore the intersections of travel and religion in the ancient eastern Mediterranean world. Pilgrimage has received a fair amount of attention in recent studies on antiquity, which has greatly added to our understanding of visits people made to oracles, sanctuaries, and temples. Yet the connections between travel and religion in the human past are not exhausted by pilgrimage, and there is more work to be done on this phenomenon as well. The aim of this symposium is to go beyond the study of religious practice as the purpose of travel, and to highlight the manifold ways in which religion was an important aspect or function of all travel in antiquity.


08.50-10.30    Session 1: Travel and Transitions

08.50-09.00    Opening Remarks and Welcome

09.00-10.30    Georgia Petridou (University of Liverpool): Dying to See: Death and Pilgrimage Experience in Aelius Aristides’ Sacred Discourses (Hieroi Logoi)

09.45-10.30    Gillian Glass (Aarhus University): Heavenly Schoolrooms and Divine Homework: The Importance of Locations and Cosmic Content in Enoch, Er, and Scipio’s Learning

10.30-10.45    Break

10.45-12.15    Session 2: Travel and Trouble

10.45-11.30    Marianne Bjelland Kartzow (University of Oslo): Travelling Thomas: Slave Trade and Missionary Travel in The Acts of Thomas

11.30-12.15    Mark Letteney (University of Washington): Travel and Incarceration: Evidence from the Papyri

12.15-13.45    Lunch & Concert “On the Move”

13.45-15.15    Session 3: Travel and Sensory Experience

13.45-14.30    Laura Nissin (AIAS): Keeping the Home Fires Burning: Sensescapes of Pompeian Shrines

14.30-15.15    Elpiniki Meimaroglou (University of Cambridge): Travelling Colours: Charicleia’s Ecphraseis in Heliodorus’ Aethiopica

15.15-15.45    Break

15.45-17.15    Session 4: Travel Texts in Conversation

15.45-16.30    Pieter B. Hartog (PThU Groningen): The Journey Continues: The Ending of Travel Narratives and the Making of Worldview

16.30-17.15    Elisa Uusimäki (Aarhus University): Travel, Intercultural Contact and the Fear of God(s) in the Ancient Mediterranean


For more information and registration, please see the Aarhus University website.


to 17:40, CET.
Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies, Aarhus University
Practical information
For more information and registration, please see the Aarhus University website: