Beware ‘Biblical’ Christianity

Meanwhile, over at the Guardian, Kate Cooper sets today’s debate on women bishops into a wider context: Female Bishops: Be wary of crude interpretations of Biblical Christianity (just to clarify: Kate did not write the headline, and therefore can’t answer questions about what it actually means – but she quite likes the idea that it is the female bishops who are supposed to be wary!)


Epigraphy Skills Workshop: Corbridge, June 2014

British Epigraphy Society

Practical Epigraphy Workshop


24-26 June 2014

The British Epigraphy Society will hold its sixth Practical Epigraphy Workshop this summer from 24 to 26 June at Corbridge, Northumberland. The workshop is aimed primarily at graduates wishing to develop hands-on skills in working with epigraphic material, though we also welcome applications from those at any stage in their career who would like to acquire a greater sensitivity to the gathering of epigraphic evidence. With expert tuition, participants will gain direct experience of the practical elements of how to record and study inscriptions. The programme will include the making of squeezes, photographing and measuring inscribed stones, and the production of transcriptions, translations and commentaries. Participants may choose to work on Latin or Greek texts, and the workshop will be open to those either with or without epigraphic training. The course fee will be £90 for this three-day event.

Please direct enquiries about the workshop to Peter Haarer:

Application Forms can be obtained from Maggy Sasanow:

Historians, Invisible Women and the World of Stories

TORCH launch imageEvent: Historians, Invisible Women, and the World of Stories, Weds 6 November @12:30

A roundtable discussion with Prof Kate Cooper (Ancient History), Dr Bettany Hughes (Historian and TV presenter), Dr Selina Todd (Modern British History) and Prof Tim Whitmarsh (Classics) to mark the publication of Kate Cooper’s Band of Angels.

In Band of Angels: The Forgotten World of Early Christian Women, ancient historian Kate Cooper considers how modern theories of lived religion, the power of networks, and viral sharing can shed light on the nature and purpose of early Christian story-telling – and on what we know about the ‘hidden people’ of the ancient world. Drawing on what ancient historians have discovered about women’s situation in the Roman provinces of the first centuries CE to illuminate the context and significance of early Christian narratives by, for, and about women, Cooper argues that the nature of early Christianity – and the place of women in it – has been deeply, but not irretrievably, misunderstood.

A New Christian Amulet


Dr Roberta Mazza with P.Ryl Add 1166

Tomorrow, the first public presentation of the new amulet:

Roberta Mazza (Manchester), A new Christian amulet from the John Rylands ‘Greek Additional’ papyri
THURSDAY 17.10.2013, 1 PM, Garstang Museum of Archaeology

Abstract: P.Ryl Add 1166 (provenance unknown, 5th/6th century AD) is a Christian amulet written on the recycled  back of a Byzantine document. It presents an interesting, unparalleled combination of lines from Psalms, Gospels and other Christian texts that seem to be cited by heart rather than copied. This presentation will discuss the material aspect of the amulet, including the results of multispectral imaging of the back, and will address wider issues concerning Christians’ attitudes to their Scriptures and the relationship between religion and magic in Late Antiquity.

Property and Power in Late Antiquity

Property and Power in Late Antiquity – New York, June 2014: Call For Papers

The next academic meeting of the International Late Antiquity Network (ILAN) will be held from 11-14 June 2014 on the theme of Property and Power in Late Antiquity, hosted by Professor Roger Bagnall, Director of New York University’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World.

Call for Papers

For most of the 20th century, the distribution of land and other wealth has been central to scholarly discussion of late antique societies, not least in assessing the causes of the fall of the Roman Empire. While the pace of scholarly discussion slowed down towards the end of the century, in recent years a new interest in the economic history of Late Antiquity has emerged. Much of this renewed interest has focussed on assessing the wealth and the power of secular elites, such as the influential contributions of Jairus Banaji on the social impact of the gold currency (2001) or the relevant sections in Chris Wickham’s Framing the Early Middle Ages (2005), among others. Renewed interest has also emerged in related areas such as the history of the household, with work such as Kyle Harper’s 2011 study of slavery, and the history of Christianity, with, for example, Peter Brown’s monumental study of the issue of wealth in the rise of ecclesiastical institutions (2012).

In light of these developments, a cross-disciplinary stock-taking seems more than welcome. ILAN 2014, Property and Power in Late Antiquity, will offer an opportunity to exchange ideas with colleagues from numerous disciplines and as many countries.

Paper proposals are invited from all the disciplines of Late Antiquity – from the material cultures of archaeology, architecture, epigraphy, and papyrology to the diverse textual cultures of the Greek, Latin, and Semitic world – spanning the period from ca. 200 to ca. 700 CE. Discussion will include, but not be limited to, the following questions:

• The distribution of property in the late antique world and impact of political, institutional, and religious developments across Late Antiquity

• The social impact of property in local and regional societies and in supra-regional networks

• Property, power and material culture in late antique societies

• Decoration, display, and the culture of prestige

• Relations of property, power, status, and exploitation in the household (slavery, gender, patria potestas)

• Property and politics in the Later Roman Empire and beyond

• Concepts of and Discourses about wealth and poverty

• Wealth and the power of institutions, including but not limited to the Church(es)

Graduate students presenting a paper may apply for financial support to the organizers.

The deadline for proposals is 31 October 2013. Please e-mail a short (ca. 200-250-word) proposal to