The Celtic Classics Conference Panel “The Vandal Renaissance: Power, Identity, and Traditions in the Latin Literature of Post-Roman Africa (435-534CE)” will take place in Coimbra, Portugal, on July 11-13, 2023. The organizers are Assoc. Prof. Paul Roche (Sydney), Dr Michael Hanaghan (ACU)
Literature flourished under the Vandals; it was supported by a thriving economy, and political, religious and cultural patronage. The poetry of Vandal Africa reveals a cultured and literary world, celebrating art and society in ways that are both recognisably classical, and yet markedly different in tone, emphasis and content.
This panel focuses on three themes in the Latin literature of this important epoch: power, identity, and literary traditions. As Roman power waned in the fifth and sixth centuries, other regional centres, once peripheral, emerged as clear cultural and political rivals. The literature of the Vandal age variously reflected and exploited this rebalancing of power. It reimagined the North African subject, both individual and collective, relative to new centres of power, while subjecting the ethics of individual power and its abuses to close scrutiny. Commensurate with this rebalancing was the emergence of new cultural identities, manifest in the literature of Vandal North Africa, which reimagined how local North Africans thought about themselves and project their identity in the cultural melting pot of the Vandal kingdom. Both power and cultural identity made use of existing traditions, both local and imperial, to assert their legitimacy, drawing on Classical texts and motifs to reimagine their present as the logical and destined continuation of the imperial power.
Confirmed speakers include Professors Maria Jennifer Falcone (Pavia), Mark Tizzoni (Bates), Anna Maria Wasyl (Jagiellonian) and Etienne Wolff (Paris Nanterre).
Welcome are papers of either 20 or 40 minutes’ duration.
Expressions of interest are to be sent to the organisers by 31 January:
Paul Roche is lead investigator on the ARC funded Discovery Project (DP220100395) The Vandal Renaissance: Latin Literature in Post-Roman Africa (435-534CE) based at the University of Sydney. He works on the literature the Roman Empire and has published editions of Lucan and Dracontius, as well as edited volumes on politics in Latin Literature, Pliny the Younger and Lucan.
Michael Hanaghan is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry at the Australian Catholic University, Melbourne. He has published on epistolography, panegyric, and historiography with a particular focus on the Late Latin West, including on Sidonius Apollinaris, Ammianus Marcellinus, and Rufinus of Aquileia. He is a chief investigator on the ARC funded Discovery Project (DP220100395) The Vandal Renaissance: Latin Literature in Post-Roman Africa (435-534CE) based at the University of Sydney.