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Seminar - Forum Antiquum Leiden - Greg Woolf

When:Th 29-02-2024 at 15:30
Where:Lipsius 028

Greg Woolf (UCLA), in collaboration with Kim Beerden, Ancient History.

Title: Losing the gods. How the Roman elite conquered the world, and lost control of the heavens

Summary: Roman public religion was intensively managed from at least the third century BCE. Festivals, temples, and the addition or exclusion of deities were matters of fierce debate and consumed significant material resources. But although the city of Rome never (has never) stopped accumulating new ritual forms and spaces, Roman religion in the sense of the collective cults of the Roman community seems more and more often to move on autopilot. It is tempting to blame all this on the inertia Caesarum, the emperors who dismantled more than they built. Instead,  I shall argue, these changes are just one manifestation of much wider shifts in the management of cultural project that can also be seen in the history of representative art, epic and many other spheres.

The speaker: Greg Woolf is among the most renowned and influential Roman ancient historians and archaeologists of our time. He teaches Ancient History at the University of California Los Angeles. Previously, he has been a professor at St Andrews and art th University of London, during which time he also served as the Director of the Institute of Classical Studies. He is currently man editor of the Journal of Roman Archaeology; previously he has been the editor of the Journal of Roman Studies. Among his major publication are Becoming Roman: the origins of provincial civilization in Gaul (CUP, 1998); Tales of the barbarians: ethnography and empire in the Roman West (Blackwell, 2011); Rome: an empire’s story (OUP, 2012) and The life and death of ancient cities: a natural history (OUP, 2020). Apart from the themes covered in these books, he has regularly worked on Roman religion and libraries.

Afterwards: Drinks in the coffee hall of the Huizinga Building