2011 Annual Public Lecture
“A Continuing City” – Why Late Antiquity Matters
Speaker: Professor emerita Gillian Clark, Bristol
Time: Wednesday, 16 November 2011, 5.10pm
Venue: Arts and Social Studies Library, Lower Ground Floor (Wolfson Floor), Special Collections Reading Room (SCOLAR)
Visitors will be able to access the library for the lecture. There will be a drinks reception in the e-lounge located on the Lower Ground Floor from 4.15pm (all welcome)
There will be an exhibition of some of the works mentioned in the lecture including an incunabula of Augustine’s “City of God” from the Cardiff Rare Books and Music Collection.
Abstract: “Here we have no continuing city”. These words from the Letter to the Hebrews express a widespread view of Late Antiquity as “the Dark Ages”: the Classical city failed together with the Roman Empire. Many of the cultural treasures of Antiquity were lost, including books. But Late Antiquity was an age of books, which transmitted learning and reflection to later ages. Among these books, Augustine’s “City of God” is an enduring resource for reflection on human nature, culture and society, a text that challenges us, just as the age in which it was produced, to consider what matters most in human history.
A note on the speaker: Professor emerita Gillian Clark is a Senior Research Fellow in Ancient History at the University of Bristol. She is the author of many influential books on Late Antiquity including Women in Late Antiquity (1993) and Christianity and Roman Society (2004). Among her most recent publications is Late Antiquity: A Very Short Introduction (2011).