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Ancient World Seminar: Diederik Burgersdijk, 'Two Panegyrics on Constantine at the Milvian Bridge: an Archaeological and Historical Perspective on Roman Rhetoric'

When:Mo 18-02-2013 16:15 - 17:30
Where:Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies: Oude Boteringestraat 38, Room 130
Poster design: Marleen Termeer
Poster design: Marleen Termeer

Two laudatory speeches (XII (9) and IV (10) in the collection of Latin panegyrics addressed to the emperor Constantine the Great, have the battle at the Milvian Bridge as their subject. The speeches' value as a source for this momentous battle, in which Constantine defeated his adversary Maxentius (AD 312) is moderate, but the rhetorical implications apparent from the texts serve as a mirror of their time. Yet, despite their historical content, the speeches are quite unequal in their design. Not only did the historical circumstances differ in which the speeches were delivered (in Trier 313 and Rome 321 respectively), but also the aims and rhetorical strategies of the orators, who both tried to meet the needs of their times and the developments in Constantine’s ever turbulent reign. In this lecture, the speeches will be compared and their content will be explained from the perspectives of their authors.

Dr. Diederik Burgersdijk is connected to Radboud University Nijmegen as post-doc researcher and university lecturer; to the University of Amsterdam as guest researcher and to the University of Utrecht as guest lecturer. He also is the chairman of "Stichting Zenobia", which concentrates on the study of East-West relations from Antiquity onwards. Diederik Burgersdijk completed his PhD research on the Historia Augusta, a collection of Emperor-biographies from Late Antiquity, at the University of Amsterdam in 2010. He is currently working on his VENI-project, a commentary on Nazarius' speech for Constantine the Great from 321 AD. This research is part of an international project on the Panegyrici Latini.

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