Organised by Sara Fascione, the international conference Concatenantur sibi epistulae nostrae took place online on 23-24 September. Its proceedings will be published in the near future.
Sara summarised the results as follows:
“Leitmotif of the conference has been the attempt to understand to what extent arrangement criteria are a relevant element to consider when reading a letter collection.
We saw that the concept of a letter collection itself is very fluid and that the types of arrangement criteria are numerous, and cannot always be classified. The fact that over half of the extant letter collections has no single and largely stable order in the manuscript tradition should always be considered when trying to find ordering patterns. Another element to take into account, as has emerged from the discussion, is the reader’s involvement in creating meaning when approaching a text. Any reading aiming at identifying an internal narrative, a logic in the progression of the letters, has a certain degree of subjectivity.
Nevertheless, the authors, or the editors, of the collections under consideration clearly evince the effort of creating consistency through different strategies. I think we have shown in the last two days that, even if the concepts of intentionality or authoriality still challenge scholars dealing with epistolography, arrangement in any form is used by authors or editors to make the collections into consistent wholes. Letters are really interlaced, as Ambrose’s statement on the ‘concatenatio’ lets infer; it is our task, as modern readers, to understand how.“
Lo specchio del modello: Orizzonti intertestuali e Fortleben di Sidonio Apollinare is in print. Edited by Anita Di Stefano and Marco Onorato, it brings together the papers given at the homonymous conference, 4-5 October 2018 at the University of Messina.
Authors include Silvia Condorelli, Franca Ela Consolino, Anita Di Stefano, Maria Jennifer Falcone, Luciana Furbetta, Jesús Hernández Lobato, Marco Onorato, Aaron Pelttari, Stefania Santelia, Rosa Santoro, Joop van Waarden, Étienne Wolff, and Matthijs Zoeter.
Edited by Jan Willem Drijvers and Noel Lenski, The Fifth Century: Age of Transformation. Proceedings of the 12th Biennial Shifting Frontiers in Late Antiquity Conference, has come out (catalogue Bari: Edipuglia).
The fifth century CE represents a turning point in ancient history. Before 400 the Roman Empire stood largely intact and coherent, a massive and powerful testament to traditions of state power stretching back for the previous 600 years. By 500 the empire had fragmented as state power retreated rapidly and the political and social forces that would usher in the Middle Ages be-came cemented into place. This volume explores this crucial period in the six broad areas of natural science, archaeology and material culture, barbarian and Roman relations, law and power, religious authority, and literary constructions. Assembling the papers of the twelfth biennial Shifting Frontiers in Late Antiquity Conference, The Fifth Century: Age of Transformation offers a comprehensive overview of recent research on this pivotal century in all of its ramifications.
Featuring, among other pieces: Veronika Egetenmeyer, ‘”Barbarians” Transformed: The Construction of Identity in the Epistles of Sidonius Apollinaris’ (mentioned on Academia), and Ralph Mathisen, ‘The End of the Western Roman Empire in the Fifth Century CE: Barbarian Auxiliaries, Independent Military Contractors, and Civil Wars’ (download from Academia).
Luciana Furbetta and Marisa Squillante have contributed essays on Sidonius to the new volume of conference proceedings Ausone en 2015: Bilan et nouvelles perspectives, edited by Étienne Wolff.
See the Bibliography page, tab 2018