Leverhulme Project

At the heart of our current research on mountains is a three-year project on ‘mountains in ancient literature and culture and their postclassical reception’. This project began on 1 July 2017 and is funded by the Leverhulme Trust Research Project Grant Scheme. The aim of this project is to provide a counter-narrative to traditional historical accounts which stereotype pre-modern responses to mountains as rooted solely in emotions of disgust and fear, and to consider the contexts and nuances of classical depictions of mountains on their own terms. Moreover, it seeks to explore the ongoing influence of classical understandings of mountains on later responses.

In so doing, this project puts forward two hypotheses: first, that ancient experience and representation of mountains were vastly more sophisticated and varied than we usually assume; and second, that the continuities between ancient and modern responses to mountains are more significant than is usually acknowledged. This project will result in the publication of multiple research articles and monographs.