The ANHIMA Research Center (UMR 8210, Anthropologie et Histoire des Mondes Antiques - Anthropology and History of the Ancient World), founded on Jan. 1, 2010, is the product of the fusion of three teams: the Centre Louis Gernet: Comparative Researches on Ancient Societies (formerly UMR 8567, CNRS-EHESS), the Centre Gustave Glotz: The Researches on Hellenistic and Roman Worlds (formerly UMR 8585, CNRS-EPHE-University of Paris 1-University of Paris 4), and Phéacie: Cultural Practices in Greek and Roman Societies (formerly EA 6163, University of Paris 1-University of Paris 7). The term “fusion” accurately conveys that the new entity is not merely an umbrella organization over its constituent parts, but rather the result of a long-term process of unification. The first decisive step in this direction was taken in 2004, when the three team centers moved into a common area, at the premises of the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art, centered around the Gernet-Glotz Library, which was created by merging the libraries of the Centre Gernet and the Centre Glotz. The second phase of the creation of the ANHIMA Center was the joint development of a new scholarly agenda and mode of operating over the years 2006-2009, which completely redesigned the programs and policies of each founding center.
The new research center is thus anchored in the complementary institutional ties, and inherited varied research traditions. The diversity of its institutional partners has been maintained under the joint supervision of the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS), the École Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE), the University of Paris 1-Panthéon Sorbonne, and the University of Paris 7-Diderot. The respective focuses of the founding centers are complementary: one on Archaic and Classical Greece (the Centre Gernet), another on the Hellenistic and Roman world (the Centre Glotz), and the Phéacie center at their crossing. Yet and more fundamentally, their complementarity is the result of well-established intellectual legacies. The Centre Gernet promoted an approach to Antiquity based on historical and comparative anthropology, prioritizing the study of social and religious practices and representations. The Centre Gustave Glotz focused primarily on institutional, political, economic, social, and religious history. The Phéacie center, founded more recently, shed new light on cultural identities, gender history, and political anthropology. Their fusion led to new growth developments and interaction between several diverse fields of interest, methodologies, and lines of research.
With 76 full members (49 teacher/researchers and CNRS researchers, and 13 ITA and BIATSS), the ANHIMA Center covers the study of ancient Mediterranean societies very broadly. This study includes territorial and political organization, material environment, belief systems and practices, cultures, and knowledge and traditions, where text and images intersect. Our research combines the technical expertise of firsthand work on ancient sources with broader historical and anthropological approaches. This combination reflects our openness to the social sciences and comparative studies, so as to understand ancient cultures from within, on their own terms, and with respect to their cultural uniqueness. The ANHIMA Center thus also welcomes specialists on societies other than Greece and Rome (the Jewish world, Ancient India, and more).