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

Published: August 24, 2020

For Fall 2020, Professor Sarah Beckmann (Classics) presents the CMRS/LAMAR Seminar “The Late Antique World: Transitions and Transformations Between Classical and Medieval” (CLASSIC 250), an interdisciplinary seminar focusing on late antiquity as an 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.

Taught in English with a selection of texts available in the primary language.

The outside speakers will be:

  • “Early Christian Storyworlds”
    C. Michael Chin, Associate Professor of Classics, UC Davis
    Monday October 19, 2020 | Open to the Public | 3–6 pm | via Zoom
  • “Augustine’s Divjak Letters 10* and 24*: Slavery, Captivity, Status and Original Sin”
    Susanna Elm, Sidney H. Ehrman Professor of European History, UC Berkeley
    Monday, November 9, 2020 | Open to the Public | 9:00 am | via Zoom
  • Rita Copeland, Sheli Z. and Burton X. Rosenberg Professor of the Humanities, Professor of Classical Studies, English, and Comparative Literature, University of Pennsylvania
    Monday, November 23, 2020


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