Round Tables / Book presentations
Imperial Representation and Masculinity: Pacatus’s Praise of Theodosius, June 16, 2023
The Roman emperor Constantine the Great is usually considered the first Christian Roman emperor. It is certainly true that Constantine made Christianity a legal Roman religion, but the emperor who really laid the foundations of Christian sovereignty was the emperor Theodosius, also known as the Great, some sixty years later. Theodosius, like Constantine and most other Roman emperors before him, was considered most sacred and divine (sacratissimus divinus imperator). As divine ruler he embodied and represented the apex of virtue, of everything Romans considered essential in a man and leader; that is, he was the apex of elite manliness or vir-ness. Theodosius transformation of Roman imperial rule into Roman Christian rule has received a great deal of scholarly attention. However, scholars have not asked whether and if so how these changes affected notions of imperial vir-ness, with all the consequent implications for elite vir-ness and ideas of Roman imperium for which virtue and vir-ness stood paradigmatic. The lecture, which forms part of a forthcoming book, entitled The Emperors’s Eunuch: Civil War, Queer Masculinities, and Imperial Representation in the Early Theodosian Age, uses Pacatus's panegyric praising the emperor Theodosius’s victory over Magnus Maximus as a case study to suggest that Theodosius and his sons used capacious, fluid forms of vir-ness to signal clemency and unity in ways that significantly expanded earlier iterations of these concepts in line with Christian notions of “all the peoples
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Il secolo dei Vandali. Storia di un’integrazione fallita, July 13, 2022
Among recent studies on the Vandals - all of which are characterised by lively research debates - the book “Il secolo dei Vandali. Storia di un’identificazione fallita”, edited by Umberto Roberto in January 2021, certainly stands out, as Roberto's work is the first, complete publication on the history of the Vandals in Italian. Already through the concise title, the author reveals his main focus: On the one hand, the exact content of the book, the saeculum, the importance of which is carefully at various points in the work; on the other hand, the result of his investigations, that is, a failed integration of one of the most important Germanic tribe of the Late Antiquity. Prof. Dr. Javier Arce, Emeritus at Université de Lille, and our Academic Coordinator, Dr. Rocco Selvaggi, will publicly discuss and critically comment this book with Umberto Roberto and other authors. The event will take place online.
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A companion to North Africa in Antiquity, Oct. 11, 2022
In March 2022, a long-expected volume, "A Companion to North Africa in Antiquity“, edited by Bruce Hitchner, was published in the renowned Wiley-Blackwell series. This book gives an extensive and updated overview on ancient North Africa over the longue durée, spanning over a chronology of nearly two millennia. 24 chapters written by renowned international specialists in the field make this book an essential contribution to the history and archaeology of this important macro-region from Early Iron Age to the Arab conquest. Our Research Associate, Dr. Stefan Ardeleanu, will publicly discuss and critically comment this book with Bruce Hitchner and other authors. The event will take place online.
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