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

This term's PDF “booklet” listing all events
(last updated 21 April 2015)

Causation and Creation in Late Antiquity

An Oxford Centre for Late Antiquity discussion to celebrate the publication of this book, edited by Anna Marmodoro and Brian Prince, and published by CUP

Friday 8 May 2015
Danson Room, Trinity College, at 5pm

The discussion of the book and its implications will be led by Richard Sorabji, Gillian Clark, and Neil McLynn The event will close with a drinks reception


The Saints Envisioned: Visual Representations
of Saints in the Fourth to Eighth Centuries

An Oxford Centre for Late Antiquity collaborative colloquium
between two Oxford-based research projects – ‘Empires of Faith’ and ‘Cult of Saints’

Friday 12 June 2015 at Ertegun House, 37a St Giles’, Oxford

The colloquium is free, but space is limited so registration is essential.
To book a place please write to kelly.dixon@ertegun.ox.ac.uk

Poster with full programme

Late Antique and Medieval Georgia

Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research and
Oxford Centre for Late Antiquity Colloquium

Friday 19 and Saturday 20 June 2015
at Ertegun House, 37a St Giles’, Oxford

The Colloquium is free, but those wishing to attend must book a place
by writing to Nikoloz Aleksidze at aleksidze@gmail.com

Poster with full programme

The Eastern Caucasus in Late Antiquity: Albanians, Khazars and Alans

One-day workshop
Saturday 6 June 2015

The event will be free, including lunch. Registration required:
email Leyla Najafzada <leylamasma@gmail.com>

Sponsored by the Nizami Ganjavi Program (based in the Oriental Institute)
in collaboration with the Oxford Centre for Late Antiquity

Local Connections in the Literature of Late Antiquity

International Society for Late Antique Literary Studies
3rd Annual Conference

1–2 July 2015 at the Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities

Wednesday, 1 July
9.30: Jesús Hernández Lobato (University of Oxford):
Decentring Rome: Ausonius’ Mosella as a Political and Epistemological Metaphor
10.00: Joshua Hartman (University of Washington):
Ausonius, Theon, and the Creation of a Gallic Literature

10.30: James Uden (Boston University):
Pharmacological Literature in Late Antiquity: Local Prescriptions, Global Poetics

11:00: Coffee
11.30: Lorenzo Focanti (Ghent University):
Looking for an identity. The
Patria and the Greek Cities between the Third and the Fourth Centuries AD
12.00: Roberta Berardi (University of Bari) and Martina Filosa (University of Cologne): Bilingual papyri containing fables: the relationship between Latin and Greek in Late Antique Egypt
12.30: Zachary Domach (Columbia University):
'Proverbial Communities’ in Late Antiquity: Literary Ties in Asia Minor and North Africa
13.00: Lunch
14.00: Mattias Gassman (University of Cambridge):
Local Religion and Roman Culture in Late Fourth-Century Africa (Augustine,
Epistulae 16-17)
14.30:  Richard Hillier (Yehudi Menuhin School):
Hoc state loco: Arator and the unorthodox other
15.00: Benjamin Wheaton (University of Toronto):
Expositio symboli of Venantius Fortunatus: Is it Aquileian or Gallic?
15.30: Coffee
16.00: Linda Jones Hall (St Mary’s College of Maryland):
‘Hiding in Plain Sight’: Concealing the Late Antique Writer’s Origins by Literary Conceits
16.30: Laura Miguélez Cavero (University of Oxford):
Nonnus’ Literary Career
17.00: Helen Kaufmann (University of Oxford):
Wandering poets in the West
17.30: End

Thursday, 2 July
10.00: André Carneiro and Cláudia Teixeira (University of Évora):
Space and Landscape in Lusitania: between text and material evidence
10.30: Lynton Boshoff (University of Oxford):
Repurposing Dracontius in Visigothic Spain
11.00: Coffee
11.30:  Alan Ross (University College Dublin):
Libanius’ Royal Discourse upon Constantius and Constans (Or. 59): Constructions of local identity in the fourth-century East
12.00:  Óscar Prieto Domínguez (University of Salamanca):
Greek Christian centos in 5th century local communities: A case study
12.30:  Dennis Trout (University of Missouri):
Monumental Verse Between Rome and Ravenna: Galla, Leo, and Neon

13.00: Lunch
14.00:  R.P.H. Green (University of Glasgow):
Two Gallic panegyrics in verse, by Sidonius Apollinaris

14.30: Brian Brennan (Macquarie University):
The poetic construction of Gallic identities and local connections in the poetry of Venantius Fortunatus
15.00:  Joseph Pucci (Brown University):
Local and Global in the Poetry of Venantius Fortunatus

15.30:    Coffee
16.00:  Hope Williard (University of Leeds):
Remembering St Hilary

16.30:  Sara Ehrling (University of Gothenburg):
Classical Roots and Local Connections in Late Antique Latin Epithalamia

17.00:  Cillian O’Hogan (The British Library):
Between local and universal: the martyr as hero in Prudentius’
17.30:  Closing remarks

The 2015 ISLALS conference is generously supported by the Oxford Faculty of Classics, the Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research, and the Oxford Centre for Late Antiquity.

To register to attend, please email Ian Fielding <ian.fielding@classics.ox.ac.uk> by Wednesday, 10 June. A delegate fee (covering the cost of catering) of £6 per day can be paid in cash on arrival at the conference.

After Rome Seminar: Aspects of the History and
Archaeology of the Fifth to Seventh Centuries

THURSDAYS in Trinity Term 2015
Danson Room, Trinity College, at 5pm

30 April (Week 1)
Mischa Meier (Tübingen University):
The failed assassination attempt against Attila (AD 449), and eastern Roman Hunnic policy

7 May (Week 2)
George Woudhuysen (All Souls College, Oxford):
Gibbon and the barbarians

14 May (Week 3)
James Howard-Johnston (Corpus Christi College, Oxford):
After the Last Great War of Antiquity

21 May (Week 4)
Bella Image (Harris Manchester College, Oxford):
Constantine and the conversion of the aristocracy

28 May (Week 5)
Gerda Heydemann (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna):
The Psalms in debate: Cassiodorus as an exegete between Italy and Constantinople

4 June (Week 6)
Graham Barrett (St John’s College, Oxford):
The last saint of the Roman West

11 June (Week 7)
Gesa Schenke (Oriental Institute and ‘Cult of Saints’ project, Oxford):
The healing shrines of St Phoibammon: Evidence of cult activity in Coptic legal documents

18 June (Week 8)
Alessandro Bausi (Hamburg University):
A late antique relic from the Ethiopian highlands: The Ethiopic version of the History of the Episcopate of Alexandria

Conveners: Phil Booth and Bryan Ward-Perkins

Patristic Seminar

Wednesdays in Trinity Term 2015
Lecture Room 2, Christ Church, 5.00–6.30 pm

29 April (Week 1)
Mark Edwards:
What is Antiochene Theology?

6 May (Week 2)
Bella Image:
The Date of Hilary’s Commentary on Matthew

13 May (Week 3)
Neil McLynn:
From Text to Performance and Back Again: Gregory Nazianzen in Action

20 May (Week 4)
Julia Konstantinovksy:
Patristic Apophasis as Eschatological Strategy

27 May (Week 5)
Matthew Twigg:
Religious Experience in Gnosticism

3 June (Week 6)
Arnaud Perrot:
Basilian Asceticism. Problems of Literary and Doctrinal Coherence

10 June (Week 7)
Carol Harrison:
Augustine on Music and the Affections

17 June (Week 8)
Jarred Mercer:
The Holy Innocents in Patristic Thought

Late Antique and Byzantine Archaeology
and Art Seminar

Thursdays in Trinity Term 2015
St John’s College, New Seminar Room (except for Week 4), 11am–12.30pm

30 April (Week 1)
Emanuele Intagliata (Edinburgh):
The inner city wall of Palmyra in late antiquity

7 May (Week 2)
Maria Lidova (Oxford):
Christian rulers at the Palatine. The earliest image of Maria Regina in S. Maria Antiqua

14 May (Week 3)
Vicky Manolopoulou (Newcastle):
The City as a church: litanies, troparia and the experience of the sacred in Constantinople

*21 May (Week 4)
Jane Chick (Norwich):
Gifting Jerusalem: Monza and Bobbio reconsidered
* Week 4 = in North Lecture Room

28 May (Week 5)
Christopher Lillington-Martin (Oxford):
Forts on frontiers (Dara/Mindouos and Can Blai) in 4th–6th and 21st centuries, facing ‘βάρβαροι’ and self-styled Islamic State

4 June (Week 6)
Bert Smith (Oxford):
The long lives of Roman statues: public monuments in late antique Aphrodisias

11 June (Week 7)
Jonathan Shepard (Oxford):
Persons, practices and things in circulation between Byzantium and the British Isles in the Viking Age: a role for slave trading?

18 June (Week 8)
Lucy-Anne Hunt (Manchester):
Crusader palace decoration in the Levant between Byzantium and Islam in the 12th–13th centuries

Conveners: Ine Jacobs and Marlia Mango

Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar

Wednesdays in Trinity Term 2015
in the Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, 66 St Giles’, at 5pm

29 April (Week 1)
Nicky Tsougarakis (Liverpool):
A matter of perspective: the friary of St Francis of Candia (Crete) in Cretan and pilgrim sources

6 May (Week 2)
Andrew Small and others (Oxford):
The Serbian expedition

13th May (Week 3)
Mark Whittow (Oxford):
Gibbon and the Falls of the Roman Empire

29 May (Week 4)
Panagiotos Roilos (Harvard):
The Christianization of ancient Greek literature and rhetoric in
11th–12th-century Byzantium

27 May (Week 5)
Mark Janse (Ghent):
The principle of pairing. A cognitive approach to Byzantine versification

3 June (Week 6)
Paul Cobb (Pennsylvania):
On Charlemagne's Muslim Elephant: Animals, Kingship, and Monotheism

10 June (Week 7)
Kirsty Stewart (Oxford):
‘Amusing verses for one's merriment’: The Entertaining Tale of Quadrupeds and beast literature in Byzantium

17 June (Week 8)
Irina Shingiray (Oxford):
Title to be confirmed

Conveners: Marc Lauxtermann and Mark Whittow

Themistius Seminar: Historical and Philosophical Perspectives

Wednesdays in Trinity Term 2015
Seminar Room, Corpus Christi College, 5–6.30pm (followed by drinks)

Note different day and time in Week 3, and different room in Week 5

 28 April 2015 (Week 1)
Professor Richard Sorabji (University of Oxford):
Title to be confirmed

6 May 2015 (Week 2)
Professor Franz de Haas (Leiden University):
Why did Themistius disagree with Alexander on Intellect?

12 May 2015 (Week 3)
Note different day and time: Tuesday, 2.30–4.00pm
 Professor Michael Griffin (University of British Columbia):
Title to be confirmed

20 May 2015 (Week 4)
Professor Peter Heather (King’s College London):
Title to be confirmed

27 May 2015 (Week 5)
Dr Alberto Rigolio (University of Oxford):
At the Intersection of Rhetoric and Philosophy: the Syriac De Virtute
(This talk will take place in the Rainolds Room at Corpus)

3 June 2015 (Week 6): No seminar

10 June 2015 (Week 7)
Professor Riccardo Chiaradonna (Università degli Studi Roma Tre):
Julian’s Letter to Themistius and  the 4th-century Philosophical Debate

17 June 2015 (Week 8)
Professor Carlos Fraenkel (McGill University, Montreal / University of Oxford) and  Yoav Meyrav (University of Tel Aviv):
Themistius' Paraphrase of Metaphysics 12: Text, Ideas, Reception

This seminar is co-organised by Anna Marmodoro and Neil McLynn, and  is supported by the Oxford Centre for Late Antiquity and  the Power Structuralism in Ancient Ontologies Project.

Seminar on Jewish history and literature in the Graeco-Roman period

Tuesdays  of Weeks 1–4 at 2.30pm
Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Clarendon Institute, Walton Street.

28 April (Week 1)
Maureen Attali (La Sorbonne):
Jewish feasts in Egypt during the Hellenistic era: a case-study of inter religious meal-sharing

5 May (Week 2)
David Friedman (Wolfson College, Oxford):
Liberty in Josephus

12 May (Week 3)
Dr Laliv Clenman (Leo Baeck College):
Virginity Claims in Massekhet Ketubot

19 May (Week 4)
Esther Schneidenbach, (LMU, München):
Revisiting the Jewish epitaphs from the City of Rome

Convener: Professor Tessa Rajak

Medieval Economic and Social History Seminar

Wednesdays at 5pm in Trinity Term
Harris Seminar Room, Oriel College. All welcome

The following three seminars in the programme relate to Late Antiquity:

29 April (Week 1)
Arietta Papaconstantinou (University of Reading):
Credit, debt, and the evolution of rural society from Justinian to the Abbasids in Egypt and Southern Palestine

13 May (Week 3)
Nicholas Evans (Wadham College):
Adornments and currencies of trade in early medieval north Caucasian funerary contexts

17 June (Week 8)
Gabor Thomas (University of Reading)
Places of power and the making of Anglo-Saxon kingdoms: new archaeological perspectives from Lyminge, Kent

Conveners: John Blair (Queen’s) and Ian Forrest (Oriel)

Roman Discussion Forum

Wednesdays at 1pm in Trinity Term 2015
Institute of Archaeology, Beaumont Street, Lecture Room. All welcome

The following seminars relate to Late Antiquity

13 May (Week 3)
Galatea Klapakis (Greek Archaeological Service):
A late Roman cemetery excavated in Pallene, Attica: The transition from paganism to Christianity in the hinterland of Athens

27 May (Week 5)
Jerome Mairat (University of Oxford):
Iconography of the coinage of the Gallic empire

Organisers: Andrew Wilson, Maggie Burr, and Jelena Jaric, with the support of the Faculty of Classics, the School of Archaeology, and All Souls College

Nonnus’ Dionysiaca Reading Group

The group will read two books per week during term for the duration of the 2014–15 academic year, on Fridays 1–2 pm.

These sessions are a joint event with a parallel Nonnus reading group in Cambridge (through Skype). Each week two books will be covered in English translation, while focusing in on selected passages in Greek.

All are welcome; for more information contact: Laura Miguélez-Cavero and Pavlos Avlamis

The Dark Ages’ Dirty Secret? Medieval slavery from the British Isles to the Eurasian steppes and the Mediterranean world

This seminar will be held on Tuesdays at 5 pm in the Khalili Research Centre, 3 St John’s Street

28 April (Week 1)
Jeremy Johns (Oxford):
Eunuchs and slaves in the court of Norman Sicily

5 May (Week 2)
Janel Fontaine (King’s College London):
The archaeology of slavery: comparing methods in the British Isles and Slavic East Central Europe

12 May (Week 3)
David Wyatt (Cardiff):
An enslaved Irish princess in Norway – sagas, historiography and the traffic in women in the northern world c. 950–1200

19 May (Week 4)
James Howard-Johnston (Oxford):
Trading in fur in the early middle ages

26 May (Week 5)
Günter Prinzing (Mainz):
Slavery in Byzantium: the legal frame work, with some observations on life as lived by slaves c.641–1204

2 June (Week 6)
Ahmad Khan (Oxford):
Slavery in early Islamic law: a brief survey

9 June (Week 7)
Marie Favereau and Irina Shingiray (Oxford):
The captive, the currency, and the gift in the Khazar and Golden Horde empires

16 June (Week 8)
Andrew Roach (Glasgow):
The dynamics of the drug trade: a template for medieval slavery?

Conveners: Jonathan Shepard and Marek Jankowiak

Legal Pluralism Workshop

Monday15 and 16 June 2015 at the Maison Française, Norham Road

Monday 15 June

9.00     Welcome and introduction
Legal Pluralism in the Provinces and ex-Provinces of the Roman Empire
9.30     C. Humfress (Birkbeck University of London): Introduction:
Rethinking forum shopping in the context of ancient law
9.40     Discussion
10.00   Jakub Urbanik (University of Warsaw):
Legal Pluralism in Roman Egypt: It is best to declare law for them upon the law of the Egyptians
11.00   Coffee break
11.30   Jose Luis Alonso (The University of the Basque Country):
Legal Pluralism in Roman Egypt: the ‘Laws of the Egyptians’ and the Roman Jurisdiction

12.30   Lunch

Asia Minor
13.30   G. Kantor (St John’s College Oxford):
Legal pluralism in Roman Asia Minor
The West
14.30   S. Kerneis (Université Paris Ouest Nanterre – MFO):
Legal pluralism in the Western Roman Empire – Popular legal sources and legal history

15.30   Coffee break

16.00   Marie Roux (Université Paris Ouest Nanterre):
Title to be arranged
17.00   Carlos Lévy (Université Paris Sorbonne):
Cicero and the Barbarian Laws: A Philosophical Problem? 

Tuesday, 16 June

Legal Pluralism: the case of Judea/Palestine
9.00     Hannah Cotton (Hebrew University of Jerusalem):
Back to the application of ‘Private International Law’ to Jurisdiction in the Roman Empire
10.00   Kimberley Czajkowski (University of Münster):
Law made Local: The Babatha Archive

11.00   Coffee break

11.30   Katell Berthelot (CNRS, Aix-en-Provence) :
Roman Laws and the Roman Legal System in Jewish Literary Sources

12.30   Lunch

13.30   Yair Furstenberg (Ben Gurion University of the Negev):
The Custom of the State’: The Shifting Status of Foreign Legal Practices in Early Rabbinic Law
14.30   Ron Naiweld (CNRS, Paris):
The judge as a sovereign. The rabbinic invention of the beit-din in its historical and hermeneutical context
15.30   Jill Harries (University of St Andrews):

Conveners: Katell Berthelot (Aix), Catherine Darbo (MFO) and Martin Goodman (Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies)

Classical Archaeology Seminar:
‘Euboeans’ at Oxford: from proto-history to the medieval period

Mondays at 5pm in Trinity Term 2015
Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies

The following two seminars in this series will touch on Late Antiquity:

11 May (Week 3)
Dr Dimitrios Christodoulou (Department of Antiquities, Chalkis, Euboea);
Roman Chalkis

18 May (Week 4)
Dr Pari Kalamara (Department of Antiquities, Chalkis, Euboea):
The medieval settlements of Euboea: the state of current knowledge and some new suggestions

Convener: Irene Lemos

Late Antique and Byzantine Studies Theory Reading Group

Tuesdays at 7pm–8:30pm in weeks 2, 4 and 6

Conveners: Andrew Small and Matthew Kinloch

This reading group aims to offer an opportunity for those who wish to deepen their familiarity on theoretical topics with a view to their application in the field of Late Antique and Byzantine Studies in a friendly, relaxed and informal atmosphere. All are welcome.

Anybody who wishes to attend should contact either: 
Andrew Small (andrew.small@kellogg.ox.ac.uk) or
Matthew Kinloch (matthew.kinloch@univ.ox.ac.uk)
for more details and to ensure the circulation of reading lists.

Essence, Power, and Activity in Classical and Late Antiquity

Tuesday 8 and Wednesday 9 September 2015

At the Faculty of Philosophy, Oxford

Invited speakers include:

Riccardo Chiaradonna (Università di Roma Tre):
Essence, Being, and Activity in Early Neoplatonism: The Anonymous Commentary on Plato’s Parmenides
Discussant: Adrien Lecerf

Mark Edwards (University of Oxford):
Dunamis in Christian Theology of the Fourth Century
Discussant: Eirini-Foteini Viltanioti

Laurent Lavaud (Université Paris 1):
What is the Difference between Energeia and Kinesis? A Neoplatonic Controversy
Discussant: Ghislain Casas

Jan Opsomer (KU Leuven):
Essence, Power and Activity in Proclus’ Philosophy of Nature
Discussant: Philippe Hoffmann

David Sedley (University of Cambridge) (to be confirmed):
The Metaphysics of the Phaedo
Discussant: Anna Marmodoro

Maria Michela Sassi (Università di Pisa):
Ancient Reflections on the Power of Colour of Being Perceived
Discussant: Anna Marmodoro

This conference is financially supported by The Power Structuralism in Ancient Ontologies Project (funded by the European Research Council), the École Pratique des Hautes Études - Laboratoire d'Études sur les Monothéismes, and the Craven Committee of the Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies.  

For up-to-date details, see:

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