The period from Diocletian to Theodosius I. (284-395 AD) is an era sui generis in the history of the Roman Empire. A wide range of political, social, and cultural processes of internal disintegration were intensified by severe structural weaknesses along the frontiers. The stability of the empire depended on the emperor's mobility, on collegial rule, and on the military resolution of internal political crises. At the same time, religious changes modified the premises of political interaction and symbolic communication between the emperor and his subjects. These circumstances generated social and political cleavages that undermined the stability of the Roman monarchy and necessitated intense endeavors on the part of the ruler to integrate and legitimise the monarchic regime.
The conference focuses on the measures taken by the Roman emperor to counterbalance the various structural deficits of his rule - to cushion, bridge, or camouflage the notorious areas of conflict - and seeks to analyse the characteristic interplay between the imperial administration, the emperor's religious policy and the performances of monarchic leadership. The multifaceted approach of the conference aims to provide the opportunity to reappraise the wide-ranging and lasting transformation of the Roman monarchy in the late 3rd and 4th centuries AD along these distinctive lines of development.
Papers of 30 minutes (plus 30 minutes discussion) may be given in German and English. All participants will be invited to submit their papers for publication in the peer-reviewed conference proceedings.
The conference is organised in three major thematic sections, specified by the corresponding keywords. Proposed papers should explore one or more areas of interest with regard to the research objectives outlined in the abstract.
A. Administering the Empire
Collegial Rule / Imperial Dynasties / Integrating the Elites / Imperial Residences / The Imperial Court / The Emperor and the Cities / Waging Wars
B. Balancing Religious Change
Religious Conflict / Social Disorder / Military Religion / The Emperor and the Bishops / The Christian Emperor/ Religious Policy / The Imperial Cult
C. Performing the Monarchy
Imperial Representation / Rituals of Royalty / Court Ceremonial / Triumphal Rulership and Triumphal Performances / The Emperor's Adventus / Approaching the Emperor / Imperial Building Policy
The conference is meant to bring together European and American scholars, both established and junior, in the field of Late Antiquity. So far, the following scholars have agreed to give a talk at the conference :
Bruno Bleckmann / Steffen Diefenbach / Malcolm Errington / Mark Humphries / Michael Kulikowski / Noel Lenski / Hartmut Leppin / Christian Ronning / Sebastian Schmidt-Hofner / John Weisweiler / Hans-Ulrich Wiemer / Johannes Wienand / Christian Witschel
Further European and American scholars have been invited.
The city of Constance lies on the shores of Lake Constance in Southern Germany, on the border with Switzerland. It is easily accessible via Zurich Airport (Switzerland) and Bodensee-Airport Friedrichshafen, or by train. The conference will be held in the early modern council chamber ("Ratssaal") in the historic city centre. Invited Speakers will be accomodated in the nearby Hotel Barbarossa.
The conference is part of the DFG-funded SFB 485 (Collaborative Research Centre) "Norm and Symbol. The Cultural Dimension of Social and Political Integration" and will be held in cooperation with the SFB 485 research group "Precarious Rule. The Roman Monarchy and its Communicative Contexts" and in cooperation with the international network "Between Tyranny and Divine Right. Ancient Monarchies in Intercultural Perspective", which is part of the DFG-funded EXC 16 (Center of Excellence) "Cultural Foundations of Integration" at the University of Constance.
Johannes Wienand, M.A.