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Martin Dorka Moreno (né Schwemmer)

martin schwemmer

 Academic Résumé

  • 2006-2012: studied Classical Archaeology, Ancient History and Italian Literature and Linguistics at Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz and Heidelberg University
  • October-December 2010: visiting student at the University of California, Berkeley (USA)
  • Winter Semester 2011/2012: tutor at the Institute for Classical Archaeology, Heidelberg University
  • 2012: received his M.A. from the Heidelberg University
  • Participation in the excavation of the Roman Theater in Mainz (2009) and at the Agora in Athens (2010, 2012)
  • Since July 2012: doctoral student in the Collaborative Research Center SFB 948 “Helden – Heroisierungen – Heroismen” at the University of Freiburg, research associate in Project B1



  • Überlegungen zur Spiegelpraxis von Kato Zakros, in: Propylaeum-DOK, Digital Repository Classical Studies, Heidelberg 2010 (
  • Herakles, nicht Alexander! imitatio Alexandri oder 'Konvergenzerscheinungen' im Herrscher- und Heroenbild?, in: R. Storli (Hrsg.), Darstellungsformen des Individuums, Kolloquium, The Norwegian Institute at Athens, Athen 2012 (eingereicht, im Druck)

Literary Reviews


  • Alexander oder Helios?, Text zum Titelbild des Archäologischen Kalenders 2014, Philipp von Zabern (Darmstadt – Mainz 2013)

Dissertation Project: imitatio Alexandri in God and Hero Image from Greco-Roman Antiquity

Alexander the Great stylized himself in his visual representations following the example set for certain gods and heroes. He negated the aristocratically defined, patriarchal ruler image which was the generally accepted model in the late 4th century BC and instead produced a heroically charged image whose fundamental components included youthfulness, vitality and charisma. On its own this heroically connoted ruler model became a standard for portrayals of gods and heroes. For the first time ever, this dissertation project will comprehensively investigate the assimilation and transformation of Alexander iconography in the images of gods and heroes from the Hellenistic period and in the time of the Roman Empire.

Those god and hero images which are clearly identified and show an evident connection to Alexander iconography will initially serve as the material corpus. Among these, individual images of Helios/Sol, Heracles, Achilles, the Dioscuri and Dionysus are especially appropriate for the corpus.
Once the mechanisms and categories of Alexander assimilation have been heuristically confirmed through the case studies, in the next stage images will be examined for which the designation as Alexander, god or hero is not possible due to a lack of an historical account. These images will be examined as parts of a discourse, in other words as components of a complex system that serves to establish knowledge and realities (A. Landwehr, Historische Diskursanalyse 2nd Ed. [Frankfurt – New York 2009], 15). Moreover, in the course of such a discourse analysis the possibility presents itself to study images which have not been able to be clearly identified even since Antiquity. This examination will focus on the medial potential of such images and systematize them based on the conditions specific to the visual genre. The ambiguity of the images is therefore regarded as part of the visualization of the phenomenon. As an example, the Heracles images on the tetradrachmas of Alexander the Great lack an accompanying text clarifying the identity of the one portrayed.

Finally, the results derived from the indubitable god and hero representations will need to be reexamined as to whether or not they must be modified in light of the uncertain and ambivalent cases.

Clarifying the effectual mechanisms of heroic and authoritative image motifs is the focus of this dissertation project. In addition to precisely documenting the image intrinsic processes in such imitationes Alexandri, answering the question as to the religious and historical interpretation of the phenomenon is also one of the central goals of the project. What iconographic characteristics, types of portraiture and modes of portrayal for Alexander are used in order to make the reference to him clear and how? To what extent were the Alexander-like god and hero images re-semanticized through the iconographical reference to him? Had the established iconographies of the gods and heroes in question lost their credibility and did they need to be newly legitimated by the reference to Alexander? In what way did rulers and other elites utilize the imitatio Alexandri intentionally for legitimating purposes?