The Fourth Biennial


"Travel, Communication, and Geography in Late Antiquity"

8-11 March 2001

With the usual apologies for cross postings, this will serve to announce that The Fourth Conference on Shifting Frontiers in Late Antiquity, "Travel, Communication, and Geography in Late Antiquity." will be held at the Downtown Center of San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California, on 8-11 March 2001. A copy of the Program is followed below by information on Registration and Housing.




Session 1: 2:00-3:15

1. Scott Bradbury, Smith College, "Libanius' Letters as Evidence for Epistolary Networks and Travel among Greek Elites in the Fourth Century."
2. Michele Renee Salzman, University of California, Riverside, "Travel and Communication in the Letters of Symmachus."
3. Hagith Sivan. University of Kansas, "Communicating Gothicness: Religious Identity and Social Discourse in Late Antiquity."

3:15-3:30: Coffee Break

Session 2: 3:30-4:45

1. Edward Watts, Yale University, "Travel to Educational Centers in Late Antiquity: What was the Attraction?"
2. Daniel James Thornton, University of Toronto, "The Travels of Rutilius Claudius Namatianus and the Struggle to Preserve Romanitas in the De Reditu Suo."
3. Danuta Shanzer, Cornell University, "Reconsidering Rutilius Namatianus' De Reditu Suo."

6:00: Reception


Refreshments at the Downtown Center: 8:00-8:20


Session 3: 8:20-10:00

1. R. W. B. Salway, University College, London, "Itineraries in Use."
2. Emily Albu, University of California, Davis, "The Peutinger Map: A Fourth-Century Itinerary Map?"
3. Jan Willem Drijvers, University of Groningen, "Geographical Digressions in Ammianus Marcellinus."
4. Ray Laurence, University of Reading (UK), "Milestones, Communications, and Political Change in Late Antiquity."

Coffee Break: 10:00-10:15

Session 4: 10:15- 11:55

1. Carolyn S. Snively, Gettysburg College, "Cities of the Via Egnatia: Monuments to Communication between East and West."
2. Ralph Mathisen, University of South Carolina, "Earthquakes, Fires, and Disoriented Wildlife: The Case for Volcanic Activity in Late Roman Gaul."
3. Hugh Elton, Florida International University, "Cilicia, Geography, and the Late Roman Empire."

Lunch: 11:55-1:00


Session 5: 1:00- 2:15

1. James Beresford, Keble College, Oxford University, "A Reassessment of the Sailing Season of Late Antiquity."
2. Michael Toch, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, "Between East and West: Travels and Migrations of Jews Across the Mediterranean in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages (5th to 8th Centuries)."
3. Tziona Grossmark, Tel Hai Academic College, Israel, "A 'Sindbad' Rabbi."

Coffee Break: 2:15-2:30


Session 6: 2:30-3:45

1. Maribel Dietz, Louisiana State University "Itinerant Spirituality and the Late-Antique Origins of Christian Pilgrimage."
2. Dennis Trout, University of Missouri, "Et sic vadis, deinde pervenies: Rome of the Pilgrims."
3. Chrisi Kotsifou, King's College London, "Travelers to Egypt in Late Antiquity: The Hagiographical Evidence."

(4:00-5:00: Society for Late Antiquity Board Meeting)

6:00: The Society for Late Antiquity Banquet Keynote Speaker: Wolf Liebschuetz, University of Nottingham, "Addressing Posterity: the Letters of Ambrose of Milan."


8:00-8:20: Refreshments at the Downtown Center


Session 7: 8:20-9:35

1. Daniel Caner, University of Connecticut, "Sinai Pilgrimage and Ascetic Romance in Late Antiquity."
2. Noel Lenski, University of Colorado, Boulder, "Empresses in the Holy Land: The Making of a Christian Utopia in the Fourth and Fifth Centuries."
3. Miriam Raub Vivian, California State University, Bakersfield, "The Role of the Monk in the Transformation of Rome in Late Antiquity: The Example of the Movement of St. Daniel the Stylite."

Coffee Break: 9:35-9:50


Session 8: 9:50-11:30

1. Gillian Clark, University of Bristol, "Going Home: Soul Travel in Late Antiquity."
2. Laurent Terrade, Wolfson College, Cambridge University, "From Hagiography to Geography: Spiritual Journey, Competing Powers, and Representations of the World in the Lives of the Bishops of Arles (5th-6th Centuries)."
3. Allen E. Jones, Troy State University, "Is Britto in Hell? Travelers to (and from) the Infernal Regions in the Works of Gregory of Tours."
4. John C. Arnold, The William Paterson University, "'Around the Time of Cockcrow':The Apocalyptic Pilgrimage of Barontus."

Break 11:30-11:40

11:40-12:40: Keynote Speaker: Daniel Boyarin, University of California, Berkeley, "Pious Fictions: The Theodosian Code, The Letter of Bishop Severus. and the 'Curse of the Christians.'"

Lunch 12:40-1:30


Session 9: 1:30-3:10

1. Linda Jones Hall, St. Mary's College of Maryland, "'There is no Frigate like a Book':The Picture Poems of Publilius Optatianus Porfyrius Addressed to the Emperor Constantine."
2. Charles F. Pazdernik, "Cautionary Tales: Geographical, Cultural, and Ideological Distance in Procopius and Thucydides."
3. Elizabeth Pollard, Emory University, "Gallic Church Councils in the Fifth and Sixth Centuries C.E."
4. Claudia Rapp, University of California, Los Angeles, "The Language of Hagiography between East and West in Late Antiquity."

Coffee Break: 3:10-3:25

Session 10: 3:25-4:40

1. Carol Poster, University of Montana, " "Epistolary-Formulaic Composition: Letter Composition and Epistolary Style in Late Antiquity."
2. C. A. Grey, St John's College, Cambridge University, "Letters of Recommendation and Rural Labor in the Late Roman West."
3. Claire Sotinel, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Ausonius - Institut de Recherches sur l'Antiquite et le Moyen Age (Bordeaux), "How Were Bishops Informed? Information Across the Adriatic Sea in Late Antiquity."


8:00-8:30: Refreshments at the Downtown Center


Session 11: 8:30-10:10:10

1. R. Scott Moore, University of Dayton, "Interior to the Coast: Contact and Exchange on Cyprus in Late Antiquity."
2. Doron Bar, Hebrew University, "Palestine During Late Antiquity: The Struggle Between the Arable and Arid Land."
3. Mark W. Graham, Michigan State University, "'World(view) With Limits': News and Frontier Consciousness in Late Antiquity."
4. Giovanni Ruffini, Columbia University, "Egypt's Southern Frontier After the Diocletianic Retreat."

10:10-10:20: Break

10:20-11:20: Keynote Speaker, John Matthews, Yale University, "Enlarging the Mind in the Later Roman East - Two Fourth Century Travelers."

11:20: Gala Farewell Brunch


REGISTRATION: Advance registration begins on 15 December 2001. Those registering in advance will receive a printed copy of the final program listing participants, topics, and abstracts of papers as soon as it becomes available. Pre-registration ends on February 25, 2001. Persons wishing to register after that date must do so on the first day of the conference at San Francisco State University's Downtown Center. For late registrants attendance at the Society's banquet will be on a space available basis.

To register, send your name, address, academic affiliation, and a check or international money order payable in US dollars to "Society for Late Antiquity" to:

Professor Frank L. Kidner Department of History San Francisco State University 1600 Holloway Avenue San Francisco, CA 94132-4155

Non-Student Registration Fee: $85 Student Registration Fee: $40

The registration fee includes refreshments at the Conference Center, a reception, and the Society's banquet. Additional meals will be available nearby on a cash basis. If you plan to attend the Society's banquet and you are a vegetarian, please inform the conference organizers before February 25, 2001.

CONFERENCE CAPACITY: The conference room at the University's Downtown Center has a maximum capacity of 120 persons.

CONFERENCE ORGANIZERS: Professor Linda Ellis, Department of Classics and Museum Studies, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, California 94132 (Telephone: 415-338-1612; e-mail:, and Professor Frank L. Kidner, Department of History, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, California 94132 (Telephone: 415-338-7563; email: For questions regarding program or local arrangements please contact BOTH conference organizers by email.

LODGING: Participants are encouraged to make reservations at the Ramada Plaza Hotel, where preferred room rates have been established for us. The Ramada Plaza Hotel is located near San Francisco's Civic Center on Market Street at Eighth Street, a short distance from San Francisco State's Downtown Center at 425 Market Street (corner of Fremont Street), 26th Floor. For room reservations contact the Ramada Plaza directly, noting our group affiliation, "San Francisco State University (SFSU)." The Ramada Plaza is now ready to accept your room reservations. To ensure guest room availability at preferred rates, the Ramada Plaza requests that reservations be made prior to 15 February 2001. The Ramada Plaza is ADA compliant. Persons with special needs should notify the hotel one month prior to arrival. Single or double occupancy, $139 per diem, plus a hotel occupancy tax currently at 14.045%. Most rooms can accommodate three persons with a roll-away bed for $15 extra per night. The hotel has made a limited number of rooms available for conference presenters and attendees from overseas beginning on the evening of Wednesday, March 7 at preferred rates. The Ramada Plaza Hotel, 1231 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 9410. For reservations call: 1-800-227-4747. When making reservations hotel guests will be required to provide a credit card number to hold their rooms until arrival.

If you wish to share a room, but do not have a confirmed roommate, the conference organizers will be happy to assist you. Contact Christine Fogarty at 415-405-0599 or email her at and send a copy of the message to Linda Ellis ( Once roommates have agreed to share a room, it will be their responsibility to contact the hotel to make reservations.

In addition to the rooms reserved at the Ramada Plaza Hotel, there may be rooms available at a nearby hostel, however we have made no group arrangements there for rooms at a discount:

New Central Hotel & Hostel 1412 Market Street (opposite the Ramada Plaza Hotel)

Types of rooms available: 1) 4 bed male/female/coed dormitory rooms 2) double rooms 3) private (one person) rooms with and without bathrooms. For rooms without private bathrooms, hallway bathrooms are available:
dorm room: $15/day
private room: $25/day
private room w/bath: $45/day + 14.045% tax

No curfew Passport or other ID required Free linens, free coffee Full kitchen TV rooms Locker & Safety deposit boxes Laundry facilities 24 hr. reception/phone card available VISA/MC/AMEX/DC/TC

For reservations, call 415-703-9988 or FAX 415-703-9986 The New Central recommends booking reservations no later than one month before arrival.


A local van service, SuperShuttle, can be arranged on the upper level of the San Francisco International Airport. One way fare from the airport to downtown is currently $1.50. Travelling time is approximately 25 minutes.

For low-cost travel options to and from S.F. International Airport:

SamTrans (San Mateo County public bus service; white buses with blue and red stripes):
#292 $1.10 from airport; $2.20 to airport [allows luggage]. Travelling time is approximately one hour.
#KX $3.00 express [no luggage allowed]. Travelling time is approximately 35 minutes.

From San Francisco International Airport for either bus get off on Mission Street at 9th Street, walk one block up 9th Street to Market Street and you will see the Ramada Plaza Hotel and the New Central Hotel & Hostel.

For additional information on the Society for Late Antiquity and for subsequent conference information, see the SLA webpage:

Additional queries regarding the Web Site of the Society for Late Antiquity can be forwarded to:
Ralph W. Mathisen
Dept. of History
Univ. of South Carolina
Columbia, SC 29208