Hellenistic Galatians: representation and self-presentation
This thesis explores Greek and Roman representations of the Hellenistic Galatians with a focus on how the concepts of the ‘barbarian’ and ‘Hellenisation’ influenced the creation, development and persistence of perceptions. Evidence for self-portrayals among the Galatian elite, and how an active approach to Hellenisation enabled greater integration into the political and cultural spheres of the Hellenistic and Roman worlds, are also addressed. Part One treats the place of the Galatians in previous scholarship and elucidates terminological issues related to their study. Part Two focuses on stereotypical responses to the Galatians in Greek and Roman sources and explores how the concept of the barbarian influenced the relationship between the Galatians and those behind the sources. Part Three explores evidence for more nuanced and less stereotypical perceptions of the Galatians in the sources and highlights the importance of the Hellenised Galatian elite in influencing these responses. Part Four puts the arguments and findings of the previous sections into practice to show how modern scholarship can be adversely affected when it fails to appreciate the intricacies behind the Galatians’ image. Underpinning each of these four sections is the argument that a new picture of the Galatians emerges from the sources when stereotypes are rejected and the complexity of Greek and Roman responses is acknowledged. Chapter 1 addresses the difficult question of ‘what is a Galatian?’ as well as other terminological issues. It provides a brief overview of the Celtic debate and locates the Galatians within this controversy. Chapter 2 explores the concepts of Hellenisation and ethnic identity and how these concepts will be employed throughout this present thesis. Chapters 3 and 4 focus on the image of barbarian that comes through in epigraphic and sculptural materials from the third century BC, while chapter 5 looks at how the Galatians have been presented in a stereotypical manner in textual sources from the first century BC onwards. Chapter 6 explores epigraphic, sculptural and textual sources that present a more complex view of the Galatians in a similar context to those sources discussed in Part Two. Chapters 7 and 8 then explore the characters of Deiotarus and Ortiagon; reveal how active Hellenisation enabled the Galatians to become more culturally and politically integrated into the Hellenistic and Roman worlds; and illustrate how the sources could be sensitive to such endeavours. Chapter 9 presents a case study which elucidates the issues discussed throughout this thesis. In modern scholarship, the Galatians have often been described as a nation of mercenaries due to a reliance on more stereotypical portrayals in select sources. Chapter 9 shows that when they are viewed as people with more agency, their activities can instead be interpreted as those of allies. It also addresses how approaches like this fit into current trends in ancient history, especially efforts to see peripheral and marginalised groups in a more sympathetic way.