Thursday, March 26, 2009

Unclassical Traditions II : Alternatives to the Classical Past in Late Antiquity, Faculty of Classics, University of Cambridge, 16 - 17 April, 2009

Following on from the successful meeting held in April 2007, the University of Cambridge will be holding a second conference on the topic of late-antique responses to classical and unclassical pasts. A volume of papers from the first conference will be published later this year as a supplement to the Cambridge Classical Journal

Topics for discussion at the 2009 conference will include : the use of the biblical past in Christian writing and controversy ; the transformation of the late-antique city ; departures from the classical models of social organisation and interaction ; the negotiation of cultural norms between representatives of the Roman empire and its neighbours ; and the construction of non-classical identities for particular social, cultural and ethnic groupings throughout the Roman world. It is hoped that through the recognition of these dissonant voices a broader and richer image will emerge, providing a sense of the abundant possibilities available for the negotiation and definition of late-antique cultural identity. 

Thursday 16th April

9:30 a.m. Registration
9:50 a.m. Session 1
Claudia Rapp, University of California, Los Angeles
Teachers and Students, Fathers and Brothers : Monasticism and the Classroom
David Gwynn, Royal Holloway, London
Athanasius of Alexandria in Oriental Tradition
11:20 a.m. Coffee / Tea
11:40 a.m. Session 2
Richard Flower, University of Cambridge
Nobody Does It Better : Epiphanius of Salamis and Heresiological Expertise
Sergio Knipe, University of Cambridge
Sacrifice and Self-Transformation in the Alchemical Writings of Zosimus
1:00 p.m. Lunch
2:00 p.m. Session 3
Catherine Ware, National University of Ireland, Maynooth
Proserpina and the Martyrs : Christian Themes in Claudian's De Raptu Proserpinae
Fotini Hadjittofi, University of Cambridge
Nonno's Dionysiaca : An Unclassical Greek Epic ? 
3:20 p.m. Tea / Coffee
3:50 p.m. Session 4
Tom Kitchen, University of Cambridge
Italia and Graecia : West versus East in the Rhetoric of Ostrogothic Italy
Andy Merrills, University of Leicester
How to be a Vandal (without even trying)
7:00 p.m. Conference Dinner at Clare College

Friday 17th April

10:15 a.m. Session 5
Michael Williams, National University of Ireland, Maynooth
Who writes to the Patriarch ? New Problems of Protocol in Augustine's Africa
Sophie Dunn-Rockliffe, King's College, London
A Departure from damnatio memoriae : the Place of the Usurper Maximus in Pacatus' Panegyric of Theodosius
Julia Hillner, University of Sheffield
Punishment as Reform in (late) Roman Law
12:30 p.m. Lunch
1:30 p.m. Session 6
Claire Sotinel, Université François Rabelais, Tours
Mending the Past : The Construction of Papacy in the Roman Liber Pontificalis (5th and 6th centuries)
John Curran, Queen's University, Belfast
The Jewish Patriarchate : A State Within a State ? 
2:50 p.m. Conclusions and Closing Words
3:20 p.m. Tea / Coffee

Registration by email to Richard Flower ( The conference fee is £20, which includes lunches and refreshments on both days. Places are also available at a four-course conference dinner on the Thursday night at a cost of £35 per head (wine included). Registration and all papers will be held in Room 1.04. If you require further information, please email Richard Flower (