Wednesday, June 3, 2009

CONF: The Epigraphic Culture(s) of Late Antiquity, Internationales Wissenschaftsforum Heidelberg, 26-27.06.2009

Dates : Friday 26 - Saturday 27 June, 2009
Venue : Internationales Wissenschaftsforum Heidelberg, Hauptstrasse 242 Heidelberg. 

Recent decades have been marked by a profound re-evaluation of the history and archaeology of Late Antiquity. Archaeological excavations, the reinterpretation of texts, as well as a more vigorous engagement with theoretical and methodological debates, have greatly improved our knowledge of different aspects of the late antique world. These developments have led to important attempts at synthesis, proposing new interpretative models and frameworks, and contributing to a renewed debate about the very nature and specificity of the late antique world. Our knowledge of late antique epigraphy has also experienced important advances, from the enthusiastic adoption of new technologies to the incorporation of new questions and research agendas. Although these developments have made a significant contribution to the scholarly understanding of the period, there is still a need for a comprehensive assessment of their impact on our understanding of late antique epigraphy in itself, as a specific field of enquiry. 

The aim of this conference is to discuss, from an interdisciplinary perspective, the epigraphic culture(s) in Late Antiquity, considering the physical, historical, and cultural context of late antique inscriptions. The editing and publication of inscriptions is often concerned with one single monument or text, sometimes with a small group, and the issues raised by these documents do not usually lead to a broader perspective. This conference seeks to address the need for such a wider approach, from the point of view of epigraphists, historians, and archaeologists. Among the questions that will be considered in this conference are : the evolution of the epigraphic habit, from the "crisis" of the 3rd-c. to the Arab conquest, the impact of religious transformations on the practice and culture of inscribing ; and the social, political, and monumental context of inscriptions. The emphasis will be on the exploration of the late antique epigraphic culture, as distinctive from its early imperial counterpart, but will also focus on the diversity (regional, social, and religious) that characterizes late antique epigraphy. 

Friday, 26th of June, 2009
9.00 Christian Witschel / Carlos Machado, Welcome and Introduction

I - The Late Antique Epigraphic Habit in the Western and Eastern Parts of the Roman Empire - Quantitative and Qualitative Aspects
9.10 Christian Witschel (Heidelberg), Spätantike Inschriftenkulturen im Westen des Imperium Romanum - ein Überblick
10.10 Charlotte Roueché (London), Late Antique Inscriptions in the East : Evidence and Problems
11.10-11.30 Coffee break

II - Late Antique Inscriptions in their Social and Physical Context
11.30 Carlos Machado (Sao Paulo / Heidelberg), Dedicated to Eternity ? The Re-Use of Statue Bases in Late Antique Italy
12.30-14.00 Lunch break
14.00 Denis Feissel (Paris), Elites et magistratures municipales dans l'épigraphie protobyzantine
15.00 Silvia Orlandi and Mara Pontisso (Rome), Discorsi su pietra : oratoria ed epigrafia nel Tardo Impero
16.00-16.30 Coffee break
16.30 Rudolf Haensch (Munich), Zwei unterschiedliche epigraphische Praktiken : Kirchenbauinschriften in Italien und im Nahen Osten

III - Regional Studies
17.30 Judit Végh (Heidelberg), Inschriftenkultur(en) und Christentum im spätantiken Hispanien
18.30 Lennart Hildebrand (Heidelberg), Die Entwicklung der spätantiken Epigrapik Südgalliens - Inschriften als Indikator für gesellschaftliche Veränderungen ? 
Saturday, 27th  of June, 2009
9.00 Ignazio Tantillo (Rome), Some observations on the Evolution of the Epigraphic Habit in Late Roman Africa (with special reference to Tripolitania)
10.00 Stephen Mitchell (Exeter), The Epigraphy of Asia Minor in Late Antiquity
11.00-11.30 Coffee break
11.30 Leah Di Segni (Jerusalem), Late Antique Epigraphy in the Provinces of Palaestina and Arabia : Realities and Change
12.30-14.00 Lunch break

IV - The New World of Christian Epigraphy
14.00 Claire Sotinel (Paris), How Christian is Christian Epigraphy ? 
15.00 Lucy Grig (Edinburgh), Cultural Capital and Christianization : the Metrical Inscriptions of Late Antique Rome
16.00-16.30 Coffee break
16.30 Final remarks 

For further information, please contact Carlos Machado ( 
This workshop is organized by Christian Witschel and Carlos Machado, with the generous support of the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung and the University of Heidelberg.