University of St Andrews
Deadline: 16 January 2020
The University of St Andrews is pleased to offer a full scholarship funded by St Leonard’s Postgraduate College, to support an exceptional student undertaking doctoral research in the following project: ‘Remembering the Dead on the Edge of Empire: Epitaphs and Social Change in Late Antique Italy (300-600 CE)’
This project will examine the transformations of north Italian society between 300 and 600 CE, analysing key developments in the relationship between memory, identity, and social power. Focusing on funerary inscriptions as part of the strategies for social promotion used by inhabitants of Italian cities – including both migrant and ‘indigenous’ groups – it will examine their contribution to the redefinition of the communities in which they lived. The resulting thesis will provide an original picture of late antique Italy, giving voice to new and often neglected social groups and identities. It will also focus directly on a relatively neglected, yet crucially important, set of Late Antique data – inscribed epitaphs. Scholars have recently paid great attention to funerary rites as a means of establishing social standing within a community. Our proposed project goes one step further, focusing on how this activity continued beyond death and burial – through the medium of inscribing words on stone. In doing this, it will represent an innovative and ground-breaking study in late antique studies, whether in terms of its interdisciplinary methodology, approach, and results.