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

A Central Asian trade hub:
Syriac Intellectual Culture in Late Antiquity: Translation, Transmission, and Influence

30–31 January 2015 at Ertegun House, Oxford


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

Tuesdays in Hilary Term 2015

Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Clarendon Institute Building, Walton Street, 2.30–4 pm

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

24 February (Week 6)
Dr Katharina Keim (Manchester):
The exposition of scripture in Pirqei deRabbi Eliezer

3 March (Week 7)
Professor Nicholas de Lange (Cambridge):
Greek Jewish bible translations in medieval Judaism: the ancient roots of the medieval translations [Grinfield Lecture]

10 March (Week 8)
Dr Alexander Panayotov (Aarhus):
Jewish everyday life in the late-Roman and early Byzantine Balkans

Convener: Professor Martin Goodman

Medieval Archaeology Seminar

Mondays at 3pm in Hilary Term 2015
Institute of Archaeology Lecture Room

The following seminar is relevant to Late Antiquity:

9 February (Week 4)
Helena Hamerow:
Furnished Female Burial in Seventh-Century England: Gender and Sacral Authority in the Conversion Period'

Convener: Helen Hamerow

The rest of next term's events will be listed here as soon as details become available

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

Call for papers: Syriac Intellectual Culture in Late Antiquity: Translation, Transmission, and Influence

30–31 January 2015 at Ertegun House, Oxford

This conference explores the intellectual cultures of Syriac-language literary and scholarly communities of the late antique (c.3rd–9th century) Near and Middle East. It will also provide an opportunity for postgraduate and emerging scholars in the fields of biblical studies, theology and religion, late antique and Byzantine studies, near eastern studies, and rabbinics to present their work on Syriac literature within the University of Oxford’s vibrant late antique studies community.

The conference welcomes proposals for papers on the following and related topics:

1.    The reception and revision of Syriac biblical translations, especially works such as the Harklean and Syrohexaplaric versions and Jacob of Edessa’s Old Testament revision. How did Syriac authors navigate the diversity of translation options available to them? How were later translations and revisions received in both exegetical and liturgical contexts? Which textual variants were employed by exegetes, and in what contexts?

2.    What role do translations of Greek patristic literature, such as the works of Gregory Nazianzen and Theodore of Mopsuestia, play in the context of Syriac literature? How is material from Greek historiography, such as the ecclesiastical histories of Eusebius, Socrates, and Theodoret, translated and transmitted by Syriac chroniclers?

3.    What factors played a part in the development of literary canons and exegetical traditions in Syriac? How did different communities determine which texts to elevate to canonical status? When and why were authors from rival communities read and utilized? How did Greek-language authors, such as Severus of Antioch, undergo a process of ‘Syriacization’? Which authors survived the decline of spoken Syriac and were translated into Christian Arabic, and how?

4.    What forms did Syriac intellectual life take over the course of the period, in monastic, scholarly, and church communities? How did Syriac culture react to and interact with influences such as Aristotelian and neo-Platonist thought, rabbinic scholarship, and other vernacular literatures? What role did Syriac scholars play in the early development of Arabic-language intellectual culture, and how did this role affect or change their own traditions?
Keynote papers will be given by Jack Tannous (Princeton University) and Timothy Michael Law (Universität Götttingen/University of St Andrews). Publication of selected conference papers is anticipated.

Those wishing to present a twenty-minute paper may submit a brief abstract (250 words or less) and academic biography to oxfordsyriac2015@gmail.com. The deadline for submissions is Monday, 17 November 2014.

For more information please see the conference website


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