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The Black Sea, known to the Greeks as Pontos Euxeinos or the 'Hospitable Sea', is the focus of this interdisciplinary research centre, which is concerned with ethnic relations, cultural interaction, and economic interdependence in the Black Sea region in the period c. 700 BC-AD 325, but with a main focus on the years ca. 400 BC-100 AD. Although the Black Sea region is viewed as a whole, particular attention is being paid to the north and south coasts of the Black Sea region, i.e. of modern Russia, Ukraine, and Turkey. All projects devote special attention to centre-periphery relations, to cultural interaction as an expression of ethnic and cultural strategies, and the projects all base their analyses on a long-term view of the Black Sea region as a link between Asia and Europe.

The research activities proposed by the Centre are grouped under the following seven headings:

The Black Sea region has witnessed great political, economic and social upheavals over two and a half millennia, from Greek colonization to the dissolution of the Soviet Union, which decisively altered the political map of the area, but also opened new opportunities for research co-operation between East and West. The Centre consequently also targets the following secondary objectives as a supplement to the above-mentioned research activities:

  • to exploit and demonstrate the synergetic potential of joint East-West research projects in the social and historical sciences

  • to serve as a training ground for the younger generation of researchers

  • to increase awareness of the importance of the Black Sea region for the early history of Europe and the Middle East


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