Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Intermixti spiritus oris. The interface between rhetoric and poetry in Late Antiquity (from the Age of Diocletian until Arcadius), Gent, 12-13.06.09

The period between the reigns of Diocletian and Honorius was an important watershed both in the political and cultural evolution of the Roman Empire. In many ways this was a very dynamic period, full of creativity and vigour. One cultural domain that remained very vital indeed is the study of rhetoric, as is evidenced by the amount of theoretical reflection, and practical precepts, that has survived from the fourth century and its preceding and succeeding decades. The aim of this conference is to examine in what ways this major force within the literary field can help us to enhance our understanding of the literary and more specifically, the poetical production of this long century. Quite a bit of poetry was written but, some notable exceptions like Ausonius, Prudentius, Gregory Nazianzen or Claudian left aside, for the most part it remains a rarely studied, little understood and enigmatic body of work. We feel that the exploration of the poetical production of this period is often hampered by a priori conceptions that are seldom questioned, and by the fact that it is frequently studied exclusively as a part of social or religious history, using frameworks imported from other disciplines. Such approaches bring about various methodological difficulties. The aim of the conference is to investigate whether the interface between rhetoric and literary production might not prove to be a more promising and fruitful strategy. This approach, however, calls for reflection upon the function of rhetoric within the cultural field and the nature of its relation to literature and poetry. The main objective of this conference is to explore in depth this particular area. Source : Universiteit Gent

Programme (provisional)
As soon as the speakers are confirmed, new names will be added to the programme. If available, you can download abstracts by clicking on the links. 

Friday 12 June

9.30-10.00 Registration
10.00-10.15 Introduction
Yanick Maes (Universiteit Gent) : On reading, writing and culture in the 4th century 

10.15-12.30 Session 1 : Macrobius and literary culture
Gregor Vogt-Spira (Philipps-Universität Marburg) : Rhetorik und Poetik in Macrobius' Saturnalien
Anna Novokhatko (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg-im-Brisgau) : Macrobii Saturnaliorum libri 5 et 6 : on the use of rhetorical terminology [Abstract]
Christoph Pieper (universiteit Leiden) : Back to future ? Marcobius' Saturnalia and (literary) identity in early fifth-century Rome

12.30-14.00 lunch

14.00-17.15 Session 2 : Christian Poetry, rhetoric and the pagan tradition
Roger Green (University of Glasgow) : Rhetoric and Christian Teaching in the Evangeliorum Libri Quattuor of Juvencus [Abstract]
Michael Roberts (Wesleyan University) : Rhetoric and the Natalicia of Paulinus of Nola [Abstract]

15.30-16.00 Coffee break

Chiara O. Tommasi Moreschini (Università di Pisa) : Rhetoric in Stone : Reconsidering Damasus' Epigrams [Abstract]
Roger Rees (University of St Andrews) : Laudes Domini, a poem between two traditions [Abstract]

17.30 Round-up day 1 and discussion

Saturday 13 June 2009

9.30-10.00 Reception

10.00-12.30 Session 3 : Poetics and rhetoric, between theory and practice
Bert Selter (Universiteit Gent) : Fourth-century Latin poetry and the rethorical mindset 
Lucio Cristante (Università degli Studi Trieste) : Il Panegirico per il consolato di Mallio Teodoro di Claudiano : tra retorica e ideologia

11.30 Coffee break 

Kurt Smolak (Universität Wien) : Ethopoiia in Late Latin poetry [Abstract]

12.30-14.00 lunch

14.00-14.45 Ruth Webb (Birkbeck - University of London) : Libanios' use of subjects from poetry in his progymnasmata [Abstract]

14.45-15.30 Pannel discussion : Exploring new ways in reading fourth century poetry