Conference Report: Marginalisation from Rome to Byzantium

Marginalisation from Rome to Byzantium – Methods, Patterns and Perspectives, 27 June 2018

On 27 June 2018 the British School at Rome hosted a conference examining patterns of marginalisation, focusing on the societies of Rome and Byzantium and, in particular, on aspects of continuity and change across these two cultures. By taking this approach we were able to include papers spanning topics from the 2nd century BCE to the 11th century CE, drawing attention to important areas of overlap, continuity, and self-reference between the societies. The event is the first in a projected series of conferences on forms of marginalisation in the pre-modern world.

The conference sought to bring together scholars from a distinctive range of research backgrounds and approaches, from the United Kingdom, Europe, and the United States. The various panels dealt with issues of social stigma and disreputable profession (Costas Panayotakis and Jack Lennon); the thorny issue of ethnic identity, prejudice and persecution (Brian Swain and Anthony Kaldellis); marginalisation within legal texts and processes (Simon Corcoran and Peter Sarris) and through public humiliation rituals (Maroula Perisanidi); scape-goating and conspiracy theories (Victoria Pagán); and marginalisation in poetry (Fabio Nolfo). The keynote lecture was delivered by Dr Peter Sarris (Cambridge) on ‘Defining the Orthodoxos Politeia: Justinian’s “Novels” and the Assertion of Imperial Authority at the End of Antiquity’.

The event was generously funded by the Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies and the Past & Present Society, along with support from the University of Leicester and the University of Leeds.

The organisers have begun preparations to produce an edited volume based around the various topics discussed during the conference.

Dr Jack Lennon (University of Leicester),
Dr Maroula Perisanidi (University of Leeds)

Conference website:

Conference participants