New Work in Late Antique Paganism
The event is part of the New Work in the Humanities Series 2013–14: New Work on Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages.
The question of Christian-Pagan relations in Rome during the final centuries of empire has been a vexed one, with some positing a kind of pagan revival, intent on preserving the old religion in the face of Christian ascendency, while others have argued that the very notion of hard “Christian” and “Pagan” categories fails to describe the way late antique people identified themselves during this age of change. In this lecture duet, reknown scholar Alan Cameron, whose monumental recent book The Last Pagans of Rome offers the fullest assessment yet of pagan identity, discusses how the senator and alleged hard-core pagan Symmachus corresponded with Christian friends and colleagues. Archaeologist Kristine Iara takes up the problem from another angle, examining the small and subtle ways in which the Rome Forum continued to be a pagan sacred space in an increasing Christian city. This event is organized in collaboration with Incontri Tardoantichi a Roma (ITAR).
Alan Cameron (Columbia University/American Academy in Rome Scholar in Residence): Were Pagans Afraid to Speak their Mind in a Christian World: The Correspondence of Symmachus
Kristine Iara (American Academy in Rome): Sacralità ostinata: la persistenza della sacralità pagana nel Foro Romano tardo antico
The presentations will be held in English and Italian.