OCLA: Seminars & Events

Pusey glass
Hercules and the Ceryneian hind, 4th-century
gold-glass from Rome.(Ashmolean Museum)

Listed here are forthcoming academic events within the field of Late Antiquity (individual lectures, seminars, conferences, etc.) being held in Oxford, or being organised outside Oxford by OCLA Researchers. If you are looking for events in a specific area of Late Antiquity (e.g. within ‘Islam and the Islamic World’, or ‘The Post-Roman West’), visit that section of our site, where you will find only the relevant events listed

OCLA “booklet” of events for this term

PDF version, updated regularly
Last updated 18 January 2018

OCLA discussion to celebrate the publication of
James Moreton Wakeley, The Two Falls of Rome in Late Antiquity: The Arabian Conquests in Comparative Perspective

Monday 5 March 2018 at 5pm in the Sutro Room, Trinity College

The discussion of the book will be led by Phil Booth, James Howard-Johnston,
and Christian Sahner.

The event will close with a celebratory drink


Grinfield Lectures on the Septuagint

Giles Dorival
(Emeritus Professor of Greek Language and Literature at Aix-Marseille University):

The Reception of the Septuagint in Christian Tradition and the Catenae’

Three lectures (second series) in Week 5 of Hilary Term 2018:

Monday 12 February 2018, 5–6 pm
Venue: Examination Schools, High Street.
The Septuagint in the Biblical Catenae. 2: How the Catenae deal with the Septuagint

Tuesday 13 February, 5–6.30pm
Venue: Seminar in Jewish Studies in the Graeco-Roman Period, Hebrew Centre, Walton Street
Is the Septuagint the Old Testament of the Church Fathers?

Wednesday 14 February, 10.30am–12noon
Venue: Oxford Seminar in Advanced Jewish Studies, Hebrew Centre, Walton Street
Spiritual and Theological Use of Septuagint Vocabulary by the Fathers

Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar

Wednesdays at 5pm in Hilary Term 2018
The Ioannou Centre, 66 St Giles’

24 January (Week 2)
Dan Reynolds:
Anatomy of a murder: Patriarch John VII of Jerusalem († 966) and Melkite status in early Islamic Palestine

31 January (Week 3)
Nicholas Matheou:
Narrating the Eleventh-Century Crisis from Constantinople to Caucasia: Aristakes Lastivertsi and Michael Attaleiates Compared

7 February (Week 4)
Hanne Eckhof:
Historical corpus linguistics and digital editions – what can we do for each other

14 February (Week 5)
Constantin Zuckerman:
The accounting in the Book of Ceremonies

21 February (Week 6)
Emilio Bonfiglio:
Cultural Mobility in Late Antique Armenia

28 February (Week 7)
Luca Zavagno:
Beyond the periphery: the Byzantine Insular World between Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages (ca. 600–ca. 900)

7 March (Week 8)
Foteini Spingou:
What is Later Byzantium? Towards a New Periodization of Byzantine Cultural History

Conveners: Phil Booth and Ida Toth

Late Antique and Byzantine
Archaeology and Art Seminar

Thursdays, 11am–12:30pm in Hilary Term 2018
The Ioannou Centre, 66 St Giles’ (First-Floor Seminar Room)

25 January (Week 2)
Suna Çağaptay (Cambridge/Istanbul):
Water nymphs and the Kolymbos: The Laskarid Palace at Nymphaion revisited

1 February (Week 3)
Adam Bollok (Oxford):
Mortuary display and the burial of the rich in the late antique Eastern Mediterranean  

8 February (Week 4)
Panagiotis Doukelis (Athens):
Between ideology and utopia: urban space and landscape in Libanios’ Antiochikos

15 February (Week 5)
Łukasz Sokołowski (Warsaw):
Canon or dynamics? Some reflections on the origin and development of funerary portrait reliefs from Palmyra

22 February (Week 6)
Rachele Ricceri (Ghent):
See the beauty of these writings: visual elements of Byzantine book epigrams

1 March (Week 7)
Brigitte Pitarakis (Paris):
Religious and domestic rituals with water and copper alloy vessels

8 March (Week 8)
Nektarios Zarras (Münster):
Middle Byzantine dedicatory inscriptions from Macedonia. New insights into patronage: authority, identity and space

Conveners: Foteini Spingou and Ine Jacobs

The Cult of Saints in the First Millennium

Fridays, 5.00–7.00 pm in Weeks 1, 3, 5 and 7 of Hilary Term 2018
Trinity College, Sutro Room

Week 3 (2 February)
Mary Cunningham (Nottingham):
“Garden without Seed”: The Virginal Body of Mary, the Theotokos, in Byzantium

Week 5 (16 February)
Matthieu Pignot (Brussels):
Cult in Latin Martyrdom Accounts from Italy before 700. An Overview

Week 7 (2 March)
Raúl Villegas Marín (Barcelona):
Processus and Martinian: From African Montanist Martyrs to Roman Wardens of Peter and Paul

Convener: Efthymios Rizos

Late Roman Seminar

Thursdays in Hilary Term 2018 at 2pm [note change of time]
Seminar Room, Corpus Christi College

25 January (Week 2)
Ulriika Vihervalli (Cardiff):
Sexual (Sur)Realism in Salvian of Marseilles

1 February (Week 3)
Efthymios Rizos (Oxford):
The Army and the Cities in the Late Roman Balkans

8 February (Week 4)
Dave Addison (Oxford):
Ascetics and aesthetics in late antique Hispania: the devotional worlds of Prudentius and Priscillian

15 February (Week 5)
Erin Dailey (Leeds):
Christian Clergy and the Emergence of Trial by Ordeal in the Post-Roman West

22 February (Week 6)
Silvia Orlandi (Rome):
A new inscription of Iunius Pomponius Ammonius and the praefecti annonae in Late-Antique Rome and Ostia

1 March (Week 7)
Pawel Nowakowski (Oxford):
Constantine and the translation of relics to Constantinople: further remarks on a recently published inscription from Ephesos

8 March (Week 8)
Jennifer Chaloner (Oxford):
A Reflection of the Heart: Speech, Silence, and Caesarius of Arles's Convent of St. John

Conveners: Conrad Leyser and Neil McLynn

Lecture series: Mosaics and Society in Late Antiquity

Tuesdays at 9 am at the Ioannou Centre for Classical & Byzantine Studies, 66 St Giles’ (First Floor Seminar Room)

23 January (Week 2)
Jane Chick (UEA):
Mosaics in context: A sixth-century mosaic pavement at Qasr el-Lebia in Cyrenaica

30 January (Week 3)
Ine Jacobs:
Mosaics in 8th-century Palestine: damage and reuse

6 February (Week 4)
Susan Walker:
The King and the Philosopher: a reconsideration of the principal mosiacs of the House of Venus, Volubilis

13 February (Week 5)
Efthymios Rizos:
The martyrs in the mosaics of Thessalonike

20 February (Week 6)
Stefanie Lenk:
Merely decorative? How mosaics in baptisteries shape the ritual

27 February (Week 7)
Ine Jacobs:
Text and image in late antique mosaics

6 March (Week 8)
Grace Stafford:
Muscular women and beautiful men: gender and identity at the Piazza Armerina

Convener: Ine Jacobs

Medieval Archaeology Seminar

Mondays at 3pm in Hilary Term 2018
Institute of Archaeology Lecture Room

The following seminar is relevant to Late Antiquity:

19 February (Week 6) 
Matt Austin:
Anglo-Saxon ‘Great Hall Complexes’: Elite residences and landscapes of power in early England, c. AD 550–700

Conveners: L. Ten Harkel and J. Kershaw

Medieval Church and Culture Seminar

Tuesdays at 5.15pm (refreshments from 5pm) in Hilary Term 2018
at Harris Manchester College (Charles Wellbeloved Room)

The following seminars are relevant to Late Antiquity:

30 January (Week 3)
Irene Bavuso (Institute of Historical Research):
Merovingian frontiers: the Scheldt–Lower Meuse area in the 7th–8th centuries

13 February (Week 5)
Christian Sahner (St Cross College):
The first iconoclasm in Islam and the edict of Yazid III (AD 723)

Conveners: Sumner Braund (St John’s), Anna Boeles Rowland (Merton), Lorenzo Caravaggi (Balliol), Margaret Coombe (Harris Manchester College) and Lesley Smith (Harris Manchester College)

Early Medieval Britain Seminar

Thursdays of Weeks 2, 4, 6, and 8 at 5pm in Hilary Term 2018
at Wadham College (LSK A Seminar Room)

The following seminars are relevant to Late Antiquity:

25 January (Week 2)
Sarah Foot (Christ Church – Theology):
Putting Bede in his place
Jane Kershaw (School of Archaeology):
Emerging archaeological evidence for Viking settlement in Northumbria

8 February (Week 4)
Katherine Cross (Wolfson – Empires of Faith):
Barbarians at the British Museum and Anglo-Saxons at the Ashmolean
Colleen Curran (Corpus Christi – English):
Continental scripts in ninth-century England: Exploring Bischoff’s Kanalküste Group

Conveners: Robert Gallagher and Benjamin Savill

Celtic Seminar

Thursdays at 5pm in Jesus College (tea and biscuits from 4.30pm)

The seminar in 1st week is in the Ship Street Lecture Theatre;
on all other dates it is in the Memorial Room

The following seminars in this series are relevant to late antiquity:

1 February(Week 3)
Dr Ben Guy (Robinson College, Cambridge):
Brut Ieuan Brechfa: A Welsh Poet Writes the Early Middle Ages

8 February (Week 4)
Dr Elizabeth Boyle (National University of Ireland, Maynooth):
“In this the Egypt of our island”: Reflecting Jewish History in Medieval Ireland

Isaiah Berlin Lectures:
Political Theology: a risky Subject in History

Wednesdays in Weeks 1–5 of Hilary Term 2018
Lecture Room at the Radcliffe Humanities Building at 5pm

György Geréby (Central European University) will deliver the lectures

24 January (Week 2)
Theocracy and the Kingdom of God. Biblical and early Christian polities

31 January (Week 3)
Christianity for and against the empire. Eusebius or Augustine?

7 February (Week 4)
‘No church without an emperor.’ The Byzantine symphony

14 February (Week 5)
Two swords and two luminaries. The conflict in the Latin West

Seminar on Jewish History and Literature in the Graeco-Roman Period

Tuesdays, 5 to 6.30pm
Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Clarendon Institute, Walton Street

The following seminars in this series are relevant to Late Antiquity:

30 January (Week 3)
Professor Sarit Kattan Gribbetz (Fordham):
‘On which days are both Jews and gentiles happy?’ Roman and rabbinic timescapes from the Mishnah to the Talmud

13 February (Week 5)
Professor Gilles Dorival (Aix-Marseille):
Is the Septuagint the Old Testament of the Church Fathers?~
[Grinfield Lecture: see above]

27 February (Week 7)
Professor Gideon Bohak (Tel Aviv):
A Palestinian Jewish Aramaic mythological hemerologion from the Cairo Genizah in the Bodleian Library

Convener: Professor Martin Goodman

Khalili Research Seminar:
Islamic Art and Archaeology today: Theories in Practice

Thursdays at 2pm in the Khalili Research Centre Lecture Room

The following seminars in this series are relevant to Late Antiquity:

8 March (Week 8)
Professor Yuhan Sohrab-Dinshaw Vevaina (Wolfson College):
Defleshing the dead: Zoroastrian excarnation then and now

Imagining the Divine: Art and the Rise of World Religions

Continuing to 18 February 2018 at the Ashmolean Museum
(closed Mondays; open 10am to 5pm Tuesday to Sunday, and Bank Holidays)

In partnership with the British Museum and the University of Oxford

Exploring Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism,
this major exhibition will be the first to look at the art of the five world
religions as they spread across continents in the first millennium AD

Further details, and information on purchasing tickets:

Talking Religion

Talks at the “Imagining the Divine” exhibition. Please note: these talks will require a valid ticket for the exhibition; free to Oxford University students

Ashmolean Museum, Gallery 58

The doctoral students of Talking Religion, part of the Empires of Faith research project, present a series of interdisciplinary talks

Talking religion: https://empiresoffaith.com/student-outreach-talking-religion/

Word as Image, Image as God
Andy Doll (History) & Ilenia Scerra (Ashmolean Museum)
Wednesday 24 January 2018, 12:15–13:00
What do pages of the Quran, an ivory plaque from the court of Charlemagne, and a map tell us about God? Andy and Ilenia look at how God was manifested in word and image across diverse cultures

Wandering Images: Envisioning the Buddha and Christ
Sylvia Alvares-Correa (History of Art) & Hugo Shakeshaft (Classical Archaeology)
Saturday 27 January 2018, 12:15–13:00
The image of Christ and of the Buddha combine artistic influences from more than one religion. Sylvia and Hugo trace the fascinating developments through two sculptures of these most important of religious figures

Hallowed Ground: Marking Sacred Spaces in Early Christian Britain
Penny Coombe (Classical Archaeology) & Kristýna Syrova (History)
Wednesday 31 January 2018, 12:15–13:00
What do we think of as sacred space? From the image of Christ on a Roman floor, to a standing stone in the Welsh valleys, Penny and Kristýna explore how images and objects make space sacred

Deities and Daemons
Hugh Jeffery (Late Antique Archaeology) & Sajda van der Leeuw (History of Art)
Saturday 3 February 2018, 12:15–13:00
Incantation bowls and amulets of all shapes and sizes sit on the fringes of religion and magic. Hugh and Sajda draw together remarkable pieces from the Mediterranean to Afghanistan, to think about what they share

“Those Who Follow”

Continues to March 2018
10am to 4.30pm, Mon–Fri and on certain weekends

Ioannou Centre for Classical & Byzantine Studies,
66 St Giles’, Oxford

Empires of Faith is hosting Those Who Follow, a photographic journey across Oxford’s modern religious spaces by photographer Arturo Soto. The exhibition is in part an artistic response to Imagining the Divine, bringing the incredible histories of art and religious material culture into the present day and showcasing the diversity of the Oxford community.

The Exhibition confronts us with buildings we might pass every day, that are part of our lives but that we don’t often pause to consider – affording us the opportunity to reflect on those that by contrast are prominent, distinctive, and immediately communicate ideas about faith. The exhibition goes behind the facades to explore how these buildings work for their communities from inside and out, both as spaces of worship and as places of the community.

For further details about the exhibition,
the vision behind the photographs, and on
free events running around Those Who Follow,
see the link below:


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