The Natural World: Pagans and Christians – Animal and Vegetable, Thomas Spencer Jerome Lectures Series, lecture by Robin Lane Fox (University of Oxford), British School at Rome, November 8, 2018, 6:00 pm
The Thomas Spencer Jerome Lectures Series is among the most prestigious international platforms for the presentation of new work on Roman history and culture. They are presented at both the American Academy in Rome and the University of Michigan. In 2018, the forty-fifth year of the lecture series, Robin Lane Fox, a noted scholar of ancient history, will discuss the natural world in pagan and Christian Rome.
The lectures will explore the differing approaches to the natural world by pagans and the early Christians, from Paul and the Gospels to circa 500 CE. They will bring out differing emphases in their respective writings and art and will ask what practical effects such different ways of seeing had on contemporary life.
In the second lecture, “Animal and Vegetable,” Lane Fox will address the hierarchy and symbolism of animals and plants in pagan and Christian art. The impact of these views on both groups’ experience, including martyrs and Christian holy men in isolated settings, will be considered.
An additional lecture will take place on November 12, 2018.
Robin Lane Fox is an ancient historian and gardening writer best known for his works on Alexander the Great. He is an emeritus fellow of New College, Oxford, and a reader in ancient history at the University of Oxford. A fellow and tutor in ancient history at New College from 1977 to 2014, Fox now serves as garden master and as extraordinary lecturer in ancient history for both New and Exeter Colleges. His major publications, for which he has won literary prizes, include studies of Alexander the Great and ancient Macedon, Christianity and Paganism, and the Greek Dark Ages. His most recent book, published in 2015, concerns the patristic author Augustine of Hippo. Lane Fox is also the gardening correspondent of the Financial Times.