Moore Auditorium, Royal Holloway, University of London, 18:15-20:15, 6 March 2019
Climate, Disease, and the End of Rome? New findings and old debates in the environmental history of Late Antiquity by Dr. Johannes Preiser-Kapeller from the Institute for Medieval Research/Division of Byzantine Research, Austrian Academy of Sciences (member of the “Climate Change and History Research Initiative” – CCHRI/Princeton)
Environmental change always played a significant role in the discussions on the causes for the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in modern scholarship. This has become even more true against the background of the debate on present-day climate change, as also reflected in the recent bestselling monograph of Kyle Harper (“The Fate of Rome. Climate, Disease, and the End of an Empire”, Princeton 2017). The book, however, has found rather mixed reception within the community of environmental historians of Late Antiquity, which has emerged on the basis of a new cooperation between humanities and natural sciences during the last years.
The presentation will provide an overview of the state of the debate and the underlying methods and data across disciplines, covering the “Long Late Antiquity” from the crisis of the 3rd century CE to the 9th century CE within the Mediterranean and beyond. Besides climatic changes, epidemiological phenomena (such as the “Justinianic Plague”), “short-term catastrophic events” (such as earthquakes or floods) and the reactions of past societies to these challenges will be discussed.
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Seventeenth Annual Hellenic Lecture, by Revd Dr Richard Price
Moore Building Auditorium, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX, 6.15pm, 7 March 2019
Did Jewish Christianity and Greek culture have much in common? Or was Christianity the product of a distinctively Jewish culture, which, on entering the Greco-Roman world, had to be translated into the concepts of Greek paideia (education and culture)? If so, does it need to be ‘de-hellenized’ in order to speak to our own post-classical world? This debate has died down in the context of contemporary eclecticism, which views the Hellenic inheritance as something to be plundered, or ignored, at will. Is the study of ancient Greek culture an aid, a distraction, or a hindrance in the quest for a Christianity at once faithful to its biblical roots and relevant in today’s world? These questions will be explored by Revd Dr Richard Price, Professor Emeritus of the History of Christianity, Heythrop College, University of London, and RHUL Honorary Research Fellow.
The lecture will be followed by drinks in the Moore Building Foyer. All welcome, free admission but booking essential at email@example.com
For travel to the College, visit royalholloway.ac.uk/about-us/more/how-to-find-us/