The Society for Late Antiquity is pleased to announce the thirteenth biennial meeting of Shifting Frontiers in Late Antiquity, to be held at Claremont McKenna College, in Claremont, California. Specialists in art and archeology, literature and philology, history and religious studies, working on topics from the 3rd to the 8th century CE, will present a series of papers examining the impact of disasters on late-antique communities, including their susceptibility to disaster, the means by which they coped, and factors that increased resilience and facilitated recovery from disasters. In order to foster the thematic breadth and interdisciplinary perspective for which Shifting Frontiers is well-known, the papers will consider the full range of traumatic events, and also long-term processes, that could distress communities: economic, environmental, political and religious. The aim of this conference is to move beyond the descriptive and stimulate analytical and theoretical approaches to understanding how distressed communities behaved in the short and long term. Local communities developed daily and seasonal rhythms to mitigate vulnerabilities and fragility. The dread of disaster shaped the late-antique psyche and, in some ways, the cultural landscape of communities. And disasters of various kinds had a wide range of impacts, depending upon severity and the nature of communal resilience. Therefore, presentations will query the extent to which the economic, cultural, political or religious resources of communities (or their lack) determined levels of susceptibility, impact, response or resilience. To what extent do late-antique sources acknowledge vulnerability and fragility? What mechanisms created durability and resilience? What were the emotional and intellectual responses to disaster? Does an awareness of the psychological impact of fragility and disaster alter our interpretation of various forms of evidence in Late Antiquity?
The new Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity (BEEC) focuses on the history of early Christianity, covering texts, authors, and ideas. The BEEC aims both to provide a critical review of the methods used in Early Christian Studies and also to update the history of scholarship.
The print publication consisting of six volumes is scheduled for early 2022. The content available already in advance of that date comes with the launch the online version of the BEEC (abbreviated EECO). This year some 300 articles will be published on Brill’s online platform and updates of the online version are envisaged on a regular basis.
Lucie Desbrosses has got her doctorate at the University of Besançon (supervisor Stéphane Ratti). The title of her thesis is: ‘Sidoine Apollinaire et la Gaule chrétienne au Ve siècle’.
Abstract: ‘This dissertation investigates how Sidonius Apollinaris’ poetry and letters shed light on the Christian identity of Gaul in Late Antiquity, and how the author takes part in defining it. It focuses on Christian reactions to traditional culture and the “pagan” background in particular, paying special attention to claims of renunciation and to actual comprises with past patterns. It first of all paints a picture of fifth-century Christianity in Gaul, studying how, and how deeply, the religio nova had penetrated the Gallic provinces, pointing out the remains of heterodox and “pagan” beliefs. It also examines the cultural (dis)continuity in the individual transition from lay status to conversio and clerical status, for which Sidonius, belonging to the lay social élite, and then to the clerical sphere, is a key figure. It pays special attention to writing poetry to enhance Christian identity, but also to express one’s nostalgic attachment to the ancient world, its literature, its culture, and its past pleasures.’