CFP: Ruling an Empire in a Changing World. Studies on Origin, Impact, and Reception of the Notitia Dignitatum

In the late 4th and the first half of the 5th century, administrative lists were compiled, which have become known under the name of Notitia Dignitatum. This collection of lists offers us nowadays a unique insight in the administrative and military structures of the Roman Empire, in both its Western and its Eastern part. The number and quality of the illustrations in particular, as the whole composition and character of the document, point towards the assumption that the original version was no traditional administration manual. In research, the analysis of the transmission history has been of the same fundamental importance as the use of the Notitia Dignitatum as a historical source. The extant manuscripts are all tracked back to a Carolingian parchment codex from the library of the diocesan chapter of Speyer; a codex that was last mentioned in 1566 and is assumedly lost. Since more than 100 years, the mysteries of the lacunary transmission history and the variations in the manuscripts from the Late Medieval/Early Modern times have been fundamental for every scientific approach to this document. Due to these factors, the Notitia Dignitatum has remained until today an important, but at the same time very controversial part of numerous historical and archaeological studies.

Confirmed Keynote speakers:
Dr. Peter Brennan (University of Sydney);
Prof. Bernhard Palme (University of Vienna);
Dr. Jeroen W. P. Wijnendaele (Ghent University)

One of the aims of this international conference is to reflect, for the first time since the 1974 Oxford colloquium organised by R. Goodburn and Ph. Bartholomew, upon the considerable increase in knowledge about the Notitia Dignitatum which has occurred over the last decades. This has largely been due to new possibilities, for example offered by the digitalisation of the extant manuscripts. Furthermore, there remain older theories to be discussed at the conference, and space for new approaches shall be created equally. Until a few years ago, practically everyone conducting research on the Notitia Dignitatum was working with those manuscripts or older editions which were the most easily accessible. By now, however, digitalisation of all known manuscripts and fragments allows easy and unrestricted access so crucial for detailed studies based on source criticism. The Notitia Dignitatum demands, as hardly another antique source does, interdisciplinary approaches and collaboration between different historical and archaeological disciplines in order to address properly all the various aspects of this multi-faceted document. Consequently, colleagues from all the disciplines in question, Ancient History, Epigraphy, Papyrology, Provincial Roman Archaeology, Classical Archaeology, Art History, Medieval Studies, Palaeography, and related fields are invited to submit abstracts.

Applications in German, English, or French should include information about the following points:

Title of the presentation, abstract (250 words max), name, institution, postal address, mail address, short biography (150 words max). Presentations should not last longer than 20 min and will be followed by a discussion of 10 min. The successful applicants will be informed via mail by 30th November 2018.
We are planning to cover the travel costs for the participants. However, this cannot yet be confirmed as we are awaiting the outcome of funding applications for this conference.


Please submit your application to:
Application deadline:
18th November 2018

We are aiming to publish an anthology containing the text of selected lectures held at the conference. As for this, we shall be striving to represent all the different academic disciplines.

Published by thegrailquest

Anastasija Ropa holds a doctoral degree from Bangor University (North Wales), for a study in medieval and modern Arthurian literature. She has published a number of articles on medieval and modern Arthurian literature, focusing on its historical and artistic aspects. She is currently employed as guest lecturer at the Latvian Academy of Sport Education. Anastasija’s most recent research explores medieval equestrianism in English and French literary art and literature, and she is also engaged as part-time volunteer horse-trainer. In a nutshell: Lecturer at the Latvian Academy of Sport Education Graduate of the School of English, University of Wales, Bangor. Graduate of the University of Latvia Passionate about history, particularly the Middle Ages A horse-lover and horse-owner

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