How to Globalize the Study of Late Antiquity

  • By engaging a community of scholars from around the world, not just Europe, North America, Australia, and New Zealand, but also East and South Asia, Central and South America, and Africa
  • By considering contact between people in different regions of the world during the period of Late Antiquity (e.g., the commercial exchanges between peoples in the Mediterranean or connecting those in the Mediterranean with peoples along the Silk Road or Indian Ocean)
  • By engaging in comparative history, comparing and contrasting similar issues in different regions of the world during Late Antiquity
  • By considering the reception of late ancient sources or artifacts–how people in later periods and places used, valued, or were influenced by them (e.g. the reception of Cicero’s Letters by Renaissance Humanists; etc.)

Panel Suggestions

  • The global economy in late antiquity; trade networks and the transmission of culture, religion, or political ideas along the central and south Asian “Silk Roads,” Indian Ocean networks,  and other trans-regional arteries. 
  • The legacy of late antique education (especially ideas about Others) and the shaping of attitudes toward race and ethnicity (e.g.,  what sorts of ideas about barbarism and civilization, “paganism” and Christian salvation, etc. did Spanish priests bring with them when they came to California in the 16th century?  How much did late antiquity shape the educational tradition of medieval and early modern Europe?)  
  • The legacy of late antique Roman law  in Africa, the Americas, or the Pacific (e.g. Roman law as a resource in the Spanish colonial Philippines)
  • Teaching Global Late Antiquity
  • “Global late antiquity” and issues of diversity in late ancient studies
  • Making Romans matter: late Roman models for buildings (e.g., basilica churches), crafts, or attire outside the late ancient Mediterranean; the relation of these things to the pre-existing material culture and its preservation or destruction
  • Models or methods for the study of a “global late antiquity” (e.g., Sanjay Subrahmanyam’s notion of “connected histories”; see his seminal 1997 article
  • Late Antiquity in the Library: Franciscan missionaries and the importation of Classical and Early Christian texts to the Americas

Reading List

  • Canepa, Matthew P. The Two Eyes of the Earth: Art and Ritual of Kingship between Rome and Sasanian Iran. UC, 2009.
  • Heng, Geraldine. The Global Middle Ages: An Introduction. Cambridge University Press, 2021.
  • Laird, Andrew and Nicola Miller, ed. Antiquities and Classical Traditions in Latin America. Wiley, 2018.
  • Lupher, David A. Romans in a New World: Classical Models in Sixteenth-Century Spanish America. University of Michigan, 2003.
  • MacCormack, Sabine. On the Wings of Time: Rome, the Incas, Spain and Peru. Princeton University Press, 2007.
  • Scheidel, Walter, ed. Rome and China: Comparative Perspectives on Ancient World Empires. NYU, 2009.
  • Tomes, Maya Feile, Adam J. Goldwyn, and Matthew Duquès. Brill’s Companion to Classics in the Early Americas. Brill, 2021.