Late Antiquity Summer School in Aarhus

The Department of Classical Archaeology at the University of Aarhus is organizing an international summer school in 2008 on the topic of “Constantine the Great and the Making of Late Antiquity” (website still under construction). It will be held between 25 and 30 August.

The week-long summer school in English will be taught by a group of international and Danish specialists on Late Antiquity, including Professor Lea Stirling (Manitoba), Professor Niels Hannestad (Aarhus), Professor Siri Sande (Oslo/Rome), Arja Karivieri (Stockholm), Curators Mette Moltesen and Jan Stubbe Østergaard (Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen), Curator John Lund (National Museum, Copenhagen), Birte Poulsen (Aarhus), and Rubina Raja (Aarhus). More names will be announced later.

The summer school is part of the research programme “Art and Social Identities in Late Antiquity”, based in the Department of Classical Archaeology. The following is a description of the thematic range of the summer school:

The reign of Constantine the Great, the first Christian Roman Emperor (AD 312-337), is traditionally considered to be the start of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. The 4th-6th centuries AD – often called Late Antiquity – form a vacuum between Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Politically, the period is marked by the disintegration of the Roman Empire; in the West, new barbarian kingdoms emerge, in the East, the Byzantine world takes its beginning. It is also a period of religious change, characterized by the triumph of Christianity and the disappearance of the ancient pagan cults. However, it has become evident that Late Antiquity is to be characterized as a transitional and highly tolerant period in which pagans and Christians lived side by side, mostly in peace. Changes occurred slowly and the classical tradition with widespread pagan elements continued to be visible in various arts such as mythological and portrait sculpture, sarcophagi, mosaics and silverware.

The course will include themes like the urban images of Rome and Constantinople, the early Church, as well as material culture such as sculpture, mosaics and architecture as expressions of social status, identity, and power. The course also includes ‘hands-on’ workshops with artifacts in museum collections including the Museum of Ancient Art at the University of Aarhus. A full-day excursion to the museums and collections in Copenhagen will be arranged.

Please visit the summer school website for information on how to apply etc.

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