Jan Stenger, "‘Other’ Spaces in Ancient Civilization – Christian Asceticism as Heterotopia", in: eTopoi. Journal for Ancient Studies, Volume 7 (2018) (2018), 66–84


This article discusses how classical studies can use the concept of heterotopia to analyze both physical and imagined spaces in ancient civilizations. Michel Foucault has adopted the notion of heterotopia to refer to spaces and places that exist in reality, but are strikingly different from the surrounding space and reflect, negate and invert it. First, Foucault’s criteria for such other spaces are presented, and the concept of heterotopia is critically discussed before applications in ancient studies are outlined. Finally it is shown, as an example, how Foucault’s approach can help to understand the ideology and practice of ascetic monasticism in the Greek East in Late Antiquity.

Published In

Gerd Graßhoff and Michael Meyer (Eds.), eTopoi. Journal for Ancient Studies, Volume 7 (2018) (2018), Berlin: Exzellenzcluster 264 Topoi