Research Project: North African Martyres. The Veneration of Saints and its Function
The PhD project „Christianus/a sum – Nordafrikas Märtyrer. Zur Funktion von Heiligenverehrung im frühen Christentum“ deals with the social and political function of the late antique veneration of saints in North Africa in a longue dureé perspective from the 2nd-6th century. Through a detailed analysis of the hagiographic narratives within the archaeological evidences – in particular epigraphical sources – it will be shown how and by whom influence on the martyr cults could be exerted and for what purposes they could be used. Thus, the work focuses on the embedding of the cults in society, but also on the political developments as well as transcultural aspects in North Africa. This is because the martyr cults were given political and social explosive power, which had to be dealt with in a specific local or regional way. The project aims to work out the ambivalent way in which the cults function and their integration in local and individual needs, by the community or especially by the clergy. Special attention should be paid to female martyrs and their representation. Central guiding questions of the work aiming therefore to explain the popularity of certain martyrs, saints and their cults, the role that the veneration of saints play for the cities and regions, and how they are staged and instrumentalized. Categories such as gender, expectation of salvation and miraculousness form important heuristic points of reference.
Nathalie Klinck studied History and Classical Archaeology of the Ancient Mediterranean at the University of Hamburg and the Trinity College Dublin with a focus on Ancient History and History of the Early Modern Period from 2010 to 2017. In 2015, she participated in an archaeological field school and subsequent teaching excavation in Segobriga (Spain) under the direction of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and in the summer school of the German Archaeological Institute (DHI) in Rome. In 2017 she graduated with a Master of Arts degree. Her final thesis "Egerias Reisebericht. Zur Wahrnehmung von Raum in der Spätantike" dealt with the investigation of the perception of space in late antiquity using sociological concepts. Since 2018 she is a PhD student at the University of Hamburg under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Sabine Panzram on the topic "Christianus/a sum – Nordafrikas Märtyrer. Zur Funktion von Heiligenverehrung im frühen Christentum". From 2018 to 2020 she was a holder of the doctoral scholarship of the University of Hamburg for the promotion of young scientists and artists. Since 2020 she is a Research Associate at the DFG Center for Advanced Study "RomanIslam - Center for Comparative Empire and Transcultural Studies. Between 2021 and 2022, she was a DAAD-Fellow and spent 9 months on a research stay in France (Paris/Aix-en-Provence). Her research focuses on Late Antique North Africa and early Christianity with special reference to Christian hagiography and veneration of (female) martyrs. The historical work is supplemented by approaches from Classical Archaeology as well as Sociology.
Klinck, Nathalie (2020), "Egeria’s travels to the Holy Land. Curiosity, Christianity and the perception of space in Late Antiquity", in: Manuel Albaladejo Vivero et alii (ed.), Non Sufficit Orbis. Geografía histórica y mítica en la antigüedad, Madrid 2020, 575-592.
Klinck, Nathalie (2018), "Tagungsbericht: Der Toposbegriff in der Alten Geschichte. Annährung an ein omnipräsentes Phänomen, 14.09.2018 – 15.09.2018 Hamburg", H-Soz-Kult, 30.10.2018, www.hsozkult.de/conferencereport/id/tagungsberichte-7905.