Fall 2020 LAMAR Seminar: “The Late Antique World: Transitions and Transformations Between Classical and Medieval”

Published: June 15, 2020

CL 250 “The Late Antique World: Transitions and Transformations between Classical and Medieval”

This course, taught by Professor Sarah Beckmann from the Department of Classics, is an interdisciplinary seminar focusing on late antiquity as a historical period and scholarly construct.  Using primary evidence (art, artifact, literature), modern scholarship, and varied methodological approaches, this course examines the origins and consequences of late antique transformations in the Mediterranean world, ca. 3rd – 7th c. CE. To synthesize, and problematize, how late antique phenomena respond and react to the classical, and prefigure and provoke the medieval, we will consider late antique texts and material culture in dialogue with earlier and later historical witnesses.

Each seminar meeting focuses on a particular late antique theme or problem. Topoi include but are not limited to: the decline of the Roman Empire; the division of East and West; the rise of the Christian church; paideia and the persistence of Greco-Roman intellectual traditions; the advent of new late antique aesthetics; and demographic change precipitated by the arrival of social minorities and ethnic and cultural outsiders in Roman institutions and territories.

The course will be taught in English with a selection of texts available in the primary language. The outside speakers have not yet been finalized.

Image: Mosaic from the ambulatory of Santa Costanza (Rome, 4th c. CE)