Macrocosms and Microcosms. From Late Antiquity to the Middle Ages is a virtual symposium co-hosted by the Faculties of English and Classics / University of Cambridge, with a keynote lecture by Dr. Renaud Gagné, which will be held via Zoom on September 24-26, 2021. A copy of the programme is accessible via the following link:

The symposium will explore the manifold depictions of the cosmos in literature and art from Late Antiquity through to the Middle Ages. Papers and discussion will focus on the ways in which ancient modes and traditions of representation were transformed and retooled as the rise of Christianity and Islam necessitated new ways of conceptualising and visualising the place of humankind in the universe. It will consider the complex semiotic relationships between the macrocosm and the various microcosms into which the space of the cosmos was compressed and transmuted — spanning metaphorical descriptions, schematic representations, narrative cosmographies, and beyond. The aim is to facilitate collaborative thinking about the origins, afterlives, and intersections of different cosmic imaginaries, and critical discussion about the nature of cosmographic representation itself.

The symposium will open with a keynote lecture by Dr. Renaud Gagné (Cambridge) from 12 – 1:30 PM (BST) on the 24th of September, entitled Sacrifice and Cosmography in Greece (2nd – 4th c. CE): Worlds and Altars.

All are welcome to attend, but you are required to register in advance with a valid email address in order to receive the Zoom link and password. Registration can be completed via the following link: