Medial (re)presentations – various messages

Medial (re)presentations – various messages: leadership, ideology and crowds in the Roman Empire of the 4th century AD, Göttingen, February 18–20, 2015

The fourth century AD was a dynamic period within Roman history. Various transformations in the imperial administrative structures, the position of the emperor(s), and the emerging dominance of Christianity induced the Roman Empire into the world of Late Antiquity. Instead of focusing on the ‘exceptional’ emperors ruling in the fourth century, that is mainly Constantine, Julian and Theodosius the Great, our workshop concentrates on the fourth century at large, with a particular focus on ideology (imperial and episcopal), and crowd behavior. The central question to this workshop is how leadership, both imperial and church leadership, functioned in the fourth century. How did leaders tie their subjects to them and in which ways could they mobilize their people? How do we catch sight of this relationship between leaders and subjects in the various types of sources? To which extent did this differ from earlier periods; what changed and what remained the same in this dynamic century that accommodated both old and new?

By focusing on imperial and episcopal ideology as well as on crowd behavior, we will deal with the perspectives of both leaders and subjects, the two opposite ends of the power specter. As recent studies have demonstrated the necessity of analyzing the different ancient media, such as coinage, inscriptions, monuments and literature, into their own context and medial discourse instead of ‘pick and mixing’ them, the methodological framework in which these two interrelated themes will be placed is that of systematic medium analysis.  We welcome papers on the following subjects:  

  • The different media that were used to send imperial and episcopal messages (coins, laws, architecture, literature, liturgy etc.)
  • Audience targeting and ideological differentiation
  • The roles of different actors in the creation of ideology (emperor, bishop, urban prefect, masses, etc.)
  • Visual evidence of the relationship between leadership and subjects (via for instance art, churches, but also via modern techniques such as Virtual Reality Technology)
  • Urban crowds and the ways in which these were controlled by both imperial and church leaders

Organizers: Erika Manders (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen) and Daniëlle Slootjes (Radboud University Nijmegen)

Abstracts, no more than 400 words, can be submitted to Erika Manders and Daniëlle Slootjes before the 15th of August, 2014.


Posted on Jul 7, 2014 in Calls for Papers



for Byzantine Arts and Culture

Founded in 2010 through a generous gift from the Jaharis Family Foundation, the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture is dedicated to the promotion and advancement of knowledge about the rich heritage of Byzantine art and culture.

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