Imagery and Aesthetics of Cityscapes in Late Antiquity
This symposium will be organized within the framework of Procopius and the Language of Buildings, a DFG funded project led jointly by Professors Horster and Brands. The project bridges traditional chronological and disciplinary divisions to grasp 6th-century building activities in the empire and their literary representation. Marking almost the halfway point of the project, this symposium aims to shed light especially on the cities of the empire, as they figure much more prominently in the written record. Recent scholarship of the past twenty years has seen the emergence of a more sophisticated vision of late antique urbanism throwing light on the distinctiveness of Late Antiquity and breaking from a simplistic narrative of decline. We would like to build on this by exploring representations of cityscapes in the literature of the period across all genres and languages, as well as taking into account material culture as appropriate. Here are some of the topics that will be covered: the aesthetics of cityscape representations in literature and art, the evolution of city ideals in relationship with imperial ideology, how competing elites shape the imagery of cityscapes, the role of urban poles in the perception of space.
The full programme will be put online at the end of the year. Guests are welcome to join the event yet should announce their coming at eturquoi(at)uni-mainz.de .