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

PDF “booklet” showing
all the term's events

(last updated 16 October 2014)

A Central Asian Trade Hub: Khwarazm in the Late Antique and Early Islamic period

Public lecture: Irina Arzhantseva (Moscow): The fortress of Por-Bajin
Friday 28 November 2014, 5–6.30pm in the Leonard Wolfson Auditorium at Wolfson College: All welcome

Workshop to be held in the Buttery, Wolfson College on Saturday 29 November from 9am–6.15pm, followed by drinks: registration essential, contact Paul Wordsworth. Participants will be charged £15 (Students and Wolfson £10) for catering

Poster with more details

Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar

Wednesdays in Michaelmas Term 2014
in the Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, 66 St Giles’, at 5pm

26 Novemer (Week 7)
Aslıhan Akışık (Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies, Princeton NJ):
Laonikos Chalkokondyles and the early Ottoman Historians: A Herodotean Approach to Source Material

3 December (Week 8)
Fanny Bessard (SOAS, London) :
Merchants and Markets in early Islam

Conveners: Marc Lauxtermann and Mark Whittow

Late Antique and Byzantine Archaeology
and Art Seminar

Thursdays in Michaelmas Term 2014
St John’s College, New Seminar Room, 11am–12.30pm

27 November (Week 7)
Dr Troels Myrup Kristensen (Aarhus University, andWolfson):
Meriamlik and Seleukeia: the spatial politics of city and saint

4 December (Week 8)
Dr Luke Treadwell and Dr Marek Jankowiak (Khalili Research Centre):
Update on the ‘Dirhems for Slaves’ project

Conveners: Dr Marlia Mango (St John’s) and Dr Georgi Parpulov (Wolfson)

Late Roman Seminar

Thursdays in Michaelmas Term 2014
Danson Room, Trinity College at 5pm
unless otherwise stated (see Wk 8)

27 November (Week 7)
Glenn McDorman (Princeton):
Remembering and Commemorating War in the Post-Imperial West

4 December (Week 8) Starting at 5.30pm
Ian Wood (Leeds):
The ancient and modern creation of Columbanian monasticism

Conveners: Conrad Leyser and  Bryan Ward-Perkins 

Power Structuralism in Ancient Ontologies

Tuesdays in Michaelmas Term 2014
Fraenkel Room, All College, 2.30–4.00pm

The following seminar in the programme are relevant to Late Antiquity:

2 December 2014 (Week 8)
Vladimir Mikes
(Czech Academy of Sciences) :
[Title to be confirmed]

Khalili Research Centre Seminar

Tuesdays in Michaelmas Term 2014
Lecture Room, Khalili Research Centre, 3 St John Street, 2.00–4.00pm

The following items on the programme are relevant to Late Antiquity:

25 November (Week 7)
Dr Seth Priestman (University of Edinburgh):
Indian Ocean ceramic exchange

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.

In Michaelmas this will take place in the first-floor seminar room of the Ioannou Centre in Weeks 2–8: T.

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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