Workshop: The First Meeting of the Civilizational Periodization Working Group (CPWG) (hybrid)

July 21, 2022

Organizers: Marta Pallavidini and Ahmed H. al-Rahim

Conceptual terms such as ‘golden and dark ages’ or ‘the rise and decline’ of empires shape the way Western scholarship approaches the historical stages of cultural, religious, philosophical, intellectual, socioeconomic, and political developments of pre-modern polities. The Civilizational Periodization Working Group (CPWG) aims to re-examine the historical semantics of these conceptual terms (Begriffsgeschichte) and the associated historiography of civilizational periodization of the ancient and medieval Near East and Mediterranean world. With a view to how the interrelationship between past and present form temporal (and spatial) perspectives, the workshop addresses, among others, the following questions: how does modern historiography –the view from without – shape contemporaneous periodization of past civilizations? How does indigenous historiography – the view from within – inform how a particular civilization conceives of its own historical time and place, particularly in light of bygone civilizations and traditions? And how do these and other forms of historiography order historical time, societies, and eras – and for what reason? With this workshop, the organizers aim to bring together members of the Chronoi community to interrogate the semantics of periodizational historiography of civilizations. Creating new interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary synergies, the workshop seeks to contribute to and enrich the study of historical time.

Date: July 21st

Time: 2:00 pm - 6:30 pm


Freie Universität Berlin


R. 0.1063

Fabeckstraße 23/25

14195 Berlin

For on-site participation, prior registration is required at this address:

To attend the workshop online, please follow the link below:


14:00-14:10 | Marta Pallavidini and Ahmed H. al-Rahim (Einstein Center Chronoi)

Welcome and Workshop Opening

14:10-14:35 | Andreas Zimmermann (Universität zu Köln)

Cultural Cycles in Central Europe During the Holocene

14:35-15:00 | Eva Rosenstock (Universität Bonn)

The So-Called Early Chalcolthic in Anatolia: What Keeps the Zombie Going and How Can We Kill 


15:00-15:25 | Cinzia Pappi (Frei Universität Berlin)

Pots, Eponyms and Languages: Problems of Periodization in the Ancient Near East

15:25-15:55 | Discussion

15:55-16:25 | Coffee Break

16:25-16:50 | Marta Pallavidini (Freie Universität Berlin)

Periodizing Hittite History: Emic and Etic Perspectives

16:50-17:15 | Morgane Uberti (Université Bordeaux Montaigne)

Time of the Historian vs. Time of Inscription: Periodization at the Risk of Epigraphy and Vice Versa (Late Antique West) - Cancelled

17:15-18:05 | Pantelis Golitsis (University of Thessaloniki)

When did the Periodization of Greek Philosophy Start?

17:40-18:05 | Ahmed H. al-Rahim (University of Virginia)

Betwixt and Between: The Historiography of the Periodization of Islamic Civilization

18:05-18:35 | Discussion

For the event's program and flyer as pdf, please click here.