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The conference investigates the multiple sides of corruption in Graeco-Roman antiquity. Often when we think about corruption, we tend to focus on the high crimes of corporate finance or the cronyism of politicians, and on cases of bribery and embezzlement. But, as history tells us, corruption’s definition is slippery – we may all be complicit in it as part of our everyday lives. In other words, corruption has both a moral and a legal significance. One of the ideas that underpins corruption as a concept is that an act has taken place which causes one individual or group to benefit at the expense of another. Corruption is thus a common practice that affects various fields of human interaction, and also concerns the ethical behaviour of individuals in the private sphere. Moving away from a purely legalistic definition of corruption that frequently fails to capture its complexity, this conference will explore how transfers of material and immaterial wealth are constructed in discourse as “twisted”, and therefore as morally wrong, by actors and observers. This event springs from the research of the international AHRC-DFG project Twisted Transfers, which looks at comparative historical and cross-disciplinary approaches to corruption that help us better understand the concept as a human practice that concerns societies in both the past and the present.


This event is co-hosted by Durham University and the Institute of Classical Studies. It is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. 

Attendance free. Registration link: 

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