"Romans, Barbarians, and the

Transformation of the Roman World"


The University of Illinois -- Urbana/Champaign


17-20 March 2005



















The conference will take an interdisciplinary look at new ways of understanding interactions between Romans and barbarians and at the fate of the Roman world during the fourth through the seventh centuries AD. It will provide a forum for the discussion of the most up-to-date research and thought on the fate of the Roman world in the context of Roman and barbarian relations. As in the past, we will bring together scholars who represent different methodological, disciplinary, geographical, and chronological perspectives. Contributions will deal with topics related to (1) The creation/evolution of barbarian and/or Roman identity; (2) The nature of the interaction between the Roman and barbarian cultural worlds (e.g. language, literature, religion, material culture); (3) The interpretation of the evidence of both literature and material culture; (4) Issues of continuity/change with regard to social, political, and religious institutions; (5) the historiography of perceptions of Romans and barbarians and its significance for the modern world; and (6) Theoretical models that help to interpret the nature of barbarian-Roman interactions.




In conjunction with the conference, the university’s Spurlock Museum will be mounting an exbibit of the museum’s extensive collection of Merovingian artifacts, one of the best such collections in the country. Several conference presentations will be devoted to discussion of the Merovingian collection.




The Conference sessions will be held in the Illini Union on the University of Illinois -- Urbana/Champaign . Sessions will run from mid afternoon on Thursday, March 17, thorough the morning of Sunday, March 20. All sessions will be plenary, and paperswill be aproximately 20 minutes each. There will be regular breaks, with refreshments, allowing ample time for discussion and personal interaction among the registrants.




Champaign/Urbana is easily accessible by plane, train, or car. Those coming by air will arrive in Urbana/Champaign at Willard Airport (CMI), which is served by Delta, United, and Northwest Airlines. Shuttle service from the airport will be available for registrants who make known their arrival and departure times. For those looking for budget flights, there are a many airports within about 130 miles, including Chicago (O’Hare and Midway), Indianapolis, Bloomington (IL), Springfield, and Peoria – for those flying into any  of these, it might prove more convenient to rent a car at the airport. By land, Champaign/Urbana is easily accessible by I-57 from Chicago and St. Louis, I-74 from Indianapolis, and I-72 from Springfield. The Amtrack “City of New Orleahs” train delivers passengers from the north (Chicago) and south (Memphis) and stops in downtown Champaign.





A block of rooms has been reserved at the Hampton Inn, 1200 West University Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801, Phone:  (217) 337-1100 (voice)   Fax:  (217) 337-1143, at a special conference rate of $65 per night for a single and $70 for a double. This is a very good rate! Reservations must be made by March 1, 2005. When booking rooms, be sure to mention either “Shifting Frontiers” or “Code SFC.” The Hampton Inn is a short 5-block walk from the Illini Union, where most of the sessions will be held. Additional guest rooms are available in the Illini Union itself, with rates ranging from $75 for a single to $100 for a four-person room (which works out to $25 each!). Reservations may be made at, and information may be consulted at who would like to arrange shared rooms should contact the organizers who will put you in touch with like-minded persons. Parking is available at both the Hampton and the Union for guests who have rooms.




Registration for the Conference is $100 ($50 for students), and will include the abstract booklet, two continental breakfasts, a lunch, the Sunday morning farewell brunch, five refreshment breaks, two evening receptions with hors d’ouevres, and a Saturday evening dinner dance [This is a real bargain! How many other conferences does one attend where all one gets for $100 is a nametag?]. Students also may register at a reduced rate of $20 to attend the sessions only. Seating space is be limited, so registration as early as possible is encouraged.




For further information, please contact Ralph Mathisen at (Department of History, Univ. of Illinois B Urbana/ Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA: 217-244-5249) or Danuta Shanzer, (Department of Classics, Univ. of Illinois B Urbana/ Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA: 217-333-1009).








Edward Watts (Indiana Univ.) "Pope Leo the Antichrist and the Fall of the Western Roman Empire"


Mary Williams (San Mateo) "Polybius and Ammianus on Barbarians"


Cristiana Sogno (Cornell University) "Barbarians as Spectacle: An Interpretation of Symm. Or. 2.10-12"


Jason Moralee (Illinois Wesleyan Univ.) "'The Barbarous-Sounding Enemy': Commemorating the Defeat of Barbarians in a Recently Discovered Epigram from Late Roman Petra"


Yuval Shahar (Tel Aviv University (Israel)) "Unifying or dividing the barbarians? Diocletian, the Jews and the Samaritans"


Andrew W. White (Univ. of Maryland--College Park) "Proper Care and Feeding of the Wild Mime: A Study in Domestication from Late Antiquity"


Jeremy Schott (Duke Univ.) "Porphyry's Allegorical Interpretations of Barbarian Religion and Philosophy and the Construction of Identity in the Later Roman Empire"


Elizabeth Digeser (Univ. of California-Santa Barbara) "Hellenes, Barbarians, and Christians: Religion and Identity Politics in Diocletian's Rome"


Young Kim (Univ. of Michigan) "A Theological and Historical Definition of Barbarism in the Panarion of Epiphanius of Cyprus"


Moshe Fischer (Tel Aviv. Univ.) "Assimilation, Acculturation, Barbarization: The Corinthian Capital in the Eastern Mediterranean as an Example"


Johanna K. Sandrock (LSU) "Cernunnos ego sum: The Myth of Actaeon on Provincial Roman Funerary Reliefs"


Katharine C. Hunvald (Univ. of Missouri--Columbia) "Breaching a Seventh-century Artistic Frontier: The Warnebertus Reliquary"


Scott de Brestian (Univ. of Missouri-Columbia ) "Vascones and Visigoths: Creation and Transformation of Identity in Northern Spain"


Linda Ellis (San Francisco State Univ.) "To Be or Not To Be Roman: Geographic Approaches to Analyzing Human Relatedness in the Lower Danube Region (2nd-7th Centuries)"


Michael Jones (Bates College) "Text, Artifact and Genome: The Disputed Nature of the Anglo-Saxon Migration into Britain"


Greg Fisher (McGill Univ. (Canada)) "The Transformation of romanitas: Creating a New Identity for Post-Roman Britain"


David Klingle (FSU) "Romano-British vs. Anglo-Saxon Identity in England: The Evidence of Burials"


Gillian Clark (Univ. of Bristol (England)) "Augustine and the Merciful Barbarians"


Kevin Uhalde (Ohio Univ.) "Barbarian Traffic, Demon Oaths, and Christian Scruples: Aug. Ep. 46-47"


David Riggs (Indiana Wesleyan Univ.) "Vandal Contributions to the Christianization of North Africa"


Salim Faraji (Claremont Graduate University) "Rome and Kush: Cultural Encounter on the Egyptian Southern Frontier"


Scott John McDonough (UCLA) "Were the Sasanians Barbarians? Roman Writers on the 'Empire of the Persians'"


Jan Willem Drijvers (Univ. of Groningen (Netherlands)) "Rome's Image of the 'Barbarian' Sassanians"


Kimberly Kagan (Yale Univ.) "Spies Like Us: Treason and Identity in the Later Roman Empire"


Michele Renee Salzman (Univ. of California--Riverside) "Symmachus and the 'Barbarian' Generals"


Edward James (University College, Dublin (Ireland)) "Rex Francorum, Rex Romanorum Revisited"


Steve Fanning (Univ. of Illinois--Chicago) "Reguli in the Later Roman Empire and the Germanic Kingdoms"


Amelia Robertson Brown (Univ. of California-- Berkeley) "The Overthrow of the Temples and the Ruin of the Whole of Greece: Rhetoric and Archaeology in Barbarian Invasions of Late Roman Greece"


David T. Fletcher (Indiana Univ.) "Constantine III and the Barbarian Invasion of Gaul"


Walter Goffart (Yale Univ.) "The Three Meanings of 'Migragion Age'"


Ekaterina Nechaeva (Univ. of Sienna (Italy)) "The Problem of Deserters in Roman-Barbarian Diplomatic Relations in Late Antique "


Noel Lenski (Univ. of Colorado) "Slavery, Captivity, and Romano-Barbarian Interchange"


Hartmut Ziche (Univ. of Antilles and Guyana) "Barbarian Raiders and Barbarian Peasants: Models of Ideological and Economic Integration"


Cam Grey (Univ. of Chicago) "The ius colonatus as a model for the settlement of barbarian prisoners-of-war in the late Roman Empire?"


Andreas Schwarcz (Univ. of Vienna) "Visigothic Settlement, Hospitalitas and Army Payment Reconsidered"


Dmitry Starostin (Univ. of Toronto (Canada)) "Barbarians and/or Romans: Discourses of Justice in Merovingian Court Verdicts and Narrative Sources"


Bailey Young (Eastern Illinois Univ.)/Patrick Périn (Directeur du Musée des Antiquités nationales, France), Plenary Lecture: "The Importance of Merovingian Archaeology"










"Romans, Barbarians, and the Transformation of the Roman World"


The University of Illinois -- Urbana/Champaign


17-20 March 2005





Affiliation/Place of Residence:_____________________________________________


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Phone: Office ___________________ Home _________________________


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Arriving on _______________ airline at __________ (time) on __________ (date)


Registration Fee


The full registration fee of $100 includes  conference banquet. Students may register for $50 for all events or $20 to attend sessions only.


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Please make checks/money orders payable in U.S. dollars to: “Late Antiquity Conference”


And mail to: Ralph W. Mathisen, Dept. of History, 309 Gregory Hall, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL  61800, USA