Third Eye Blind: The Cyclops in Late Antiquity

Born around the year 490 CE in the city of Philadelphia, John the Lydian had a lot to say about Roman corruption and civil servants. His book, On the Magistracies of the Roman State, provides insight into the sausage factory that was late antique bureaucracy. Though living in Constantinople at the time, he addressed a story from his hometown (3.59):... Continue Reading →

What’s in a Name: Visual Puns and Epigraphy

I am teaching a Petronius and Suetonius class this semester, two favorites that both discussed puns. In particular, Petronius' boorish freedman, Trimalchio, liked to name his slaves using puns. Thus he had a butcher named Carpus that he liked to order to 'Carpe, inquit' (Sat. 36.6). By naming him Carpus, he could both call his name and order him... Continue Reading →

Monograms and Inscribed Power

This past week, I listened to stellar papers at the ILAN conference held at NYU's Institute for the Study of the Ancient World. One of my favorites was also the last: Fabian Stroth (Heidelberg) delved eloquently into the complex monograms on the capitals in Justinian's Hagia Sophia. I hadn't really thought very much about monograms generally,... Continue Reading →

CFP: Shifting Frontiers in Late Antiquity XI

The Transformation of Poverty, Philanthropy, and Healthcare in Late AntiquityThe Society for Late Antiquity announces that the eleventh biennial Shifting Frontiers in Late Antiquity conference will take place at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, IA, March 26-29, 2015. The period of Late Antiquity (A.D. 200-700) witnessed great changes in respect to attitudes towards poverty,... Continue Reading →

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