Workshop Late Antique Latin Autobiographies

Stefania Santelia on ‘Raccontarsi nei carmina: Sidonio e il tempo della ‘tenera giovinezza” is among the speakers of the upcoming workshop on Late Antique Latin Autobiographies, 13-14 June at the University of Siena.

This is an in-person only event. To attend, please email to filomena.giannotti AT by 13 May.

PROGRAMME (Source Classicists List)
Forms of Autobiography in Late Latin Literature

Thursday 13 June
15:00-15:15 Alessandro Fo (Siena University)
15:15-15:45 Filomena Giannotti (Siena University), Presentation of the Website LALAB – Late Antique Latin Autobiographies

15:45-16:15 Roy Gibson (Durham University), Autobiographical Elements in Printed Editions of Late Antique Latin Letter Collections


The Great Latin Fathers of the Church – chair Silvia Mattiacci
16:45-17:15 Daniele Di Rienzo (Federico II University of Naples), Lacrimaui ergo, fateor, etiam ego: elementi autobiografici nel De excessu fratris di Ambrogio
17:15-17:45 Leopoldo Gamberale (Sapienza University of Rome), Dal sogno alla realtà. Spunti di autobiografia intellettuale in Gerolamo
17:45-18:15 Fabio Gasti (Pavia University), Esperienza di sé e scrittura: le Retractationes di Agostino



Friday 14 June
Pagan Poetry – chair Leopoldo Gamberale
9:00-9:30 Angelo Luceri (Roma Tre University): Carmina sola loquor: Claudiano e l’autorappresentazione di sé come poeta
9:30-10:00 Silvia Mattiacci (Siena University): L’Ephemeris di Ausonio e l’autobiografia del quotidiano: riflessioni a partire da un’analisi del carme 1
10:00-10:30 Stefania Santelia (Bari University), Raccontarsi nei carmina: Sidonio e il tempo della ‘tenera giovinezza’


11:00-11:30 Rocco Schembra (Torino University), Gli Itineraria ad loca sancta di età tardoantica: un genere in costruzione tra resoconto di viaggio e autobiografia. Il caso di Egeria



Christian Poetry – chair Fabio Gasti
15:00-15:30 Francesco Lubian (Padova University), In te compositae mihi fixa sit anchora uitae: autobiografia (e agiografia) nei Natalicia di Paolino di Nola
15:30-16:00 Antonella Bruzzone (Sassari University): Lettere dal carcere. Spazi di autobiografia nella poesia di Draconzio
16:00-16:30 Silvia Condorelli (Messina University): Ego Fortunatus amore (Ven. Fort. carm. 2, 16, 165): autorappresentazione di Venanzio Fortunato, poeta elegiaco cristiano



Existential Trauma and Thanksgivings to God – chair Daniele Di Rienzo
17:30-18:30 Elena Castelnuovo (Trento University), Il caso dell’Eucharisticos di Paolino di Pella

Noelia Bernabeu Torreblanca (Salamanca University): Il caso della Confessio di Patrizio d’Irlanda

CLOSING REMARKS by the Organizers


Scientific and organizing Committee: Daniele Di Rienzo, Alessandro Fo, Filomena Giannotti, Silvia Mattiacci

Van Waarden on a New Allusion to Lucan

Joop van Waarden comes up with a new allusion to Pompey’s tomb in Lucan, shedding light on the death of Sidonius’ grandfather: ‘The Death and Public Rehabilitation of Apollinaris the Elder: Intertextuality with Lucan in Sidonius Apollinaris, Epist. 3.12’, CQ FirstView 30 April 2024.

Read here in open access

Roman Imperial Portraits Database

New online, RIPD, the Roman Imperial Portraits Database

Contents: Sam Heijnen and Olivier Hekster. Technical support: Thijs Hermsen.

Funding: Ammodo Science Award (2017) for the Humanities. Supported by NWO and Radboud University.


Our ideas on the physical characteristics of the Roman emperors too are changing as portraits that radically differ from the standardized image are re-examined, and new methods to recognize and identify images of Roman emperors such as facial recognition are now being tested. The field of Roman portrait studies is thus constantly in motion. In order to advance our knowledge on the functioning of imperial portraits and to gain an overview of the sources currently available, the RIPD has attempted to systematically bring together extant (i.e. published) portraits of the Roman emperors in a single dataset that can be used for further study.


To do so, the project has extracted and cross-referenced published portraits of the Roman emperors from the available record as well as (online) catalogues and recent archaeological reports. The aim of the project is not so much to provide alternative readings of the available data as it aims to allow researchers to introduce quantitative questions to the study of imperial portraiture. It is worth stressing that the dataset introduced here should not be considered as a “complete” overview. As mentioned above, new portraits are unearthed each year and the identities of existing portraits are constantly reconsidered on the basis of discussions in the field of ancient history and archaeology.

Corsi and Morvillez on Hospitality

Two articles on hospitality have been published:

Cristina Corsi, ‘”Strangers on the way”: hospitalité, identité et défis lors des voyages à la fin de l’Antiquité’, in: Fauchon-Claudon and Le Guennec 2002, 303-20.

Éric Morvillez, ‘Louer l’hospitalité des évêques dans l’Antiquité tardive en Gaule: entre traditions et nouvelles exigences chrétiennes’, in: Fauchon-Claudon and Le Guennec 2022, 87-103.

These items are included in the conference proceedings Hospitalité et régulation de l’altérité dans l’Antiquité méditerranéenne, edited by Claire Fauchon-Claudon and Marie-Adeline Le Guennec, Scripta Antiqua 156, Bordeaux: Ausonius, 2022.

Impact of Climate Change

An article on ‘The impact of climate change on the agriculture and the economy of Southern Gaul: New perspectives of agent-based modelling’ by Nicolas Bernigaud et al. was published online in PLoS One 2024, 19(3), e0298895. It tentatively confirms, among other things, the decline in agricultural profitability in Late Antiquity due to deteriorating climatic conditions.


What impact did the Roman Climate Optimum (RCO) and the Late Antique Little Ice Age (LALIA) have on the rise and fall of the Roman Empire? Our article presents an agent-based modelling (ABM) approach developed to evaluate the impact of climate change on the profitability of vineyards, olive groves, and grain farms in Southern Gaul, which were the main source of wealth in the roman period. This ABM simulates an agroecosystem model which processes potential agricultural yield values from paleoclimatic data. The model calculates the revenues made by agricultural exploitations from the sale of crops whose annual volumes vary according to climate and market prices. The potential profits made by the different agricultural exploitations are calculated by deducting from the income the operating and transportation costs. We conclude that the warm and wet climate of the Roman period may have had an extremely beneficial effect on the profitability of wine and olive farms between the 2nd century BCE and the 3rd century CE, but a more modest effect on grain production. Subsequently, there is a significant decrease in the potential profitability of farms during the Late Antique Little Ice Age (4th-7th century CE). Comparing the results of our model with archaeological data enables us to discuss the impact of these climatic fluctuations on the agricultural and economic growth, and then their subsequent recession in Southern Gaul from the beginning to the end of antiquity.