Hellenes and Romans in Ancient China (240 BC – 1398 AD)

17th century map of China, by Johan Nieuhof (1618-1672)

In this article I have assembled elements from historical texts, archaeological discoveries and research from other scholars in order to establish the links between these civilizations.

Foundation Myths in Medieval and Renaissance Italy

Plaque of Regola, the VII rione of Rome. (Dailyphotostream.blogspot.com)

The 3 papers featured here looked at the development of the civic identities of Florence, Genoa and Rome through art, architecture and foundation legends.

Paying the Army in the Theodosian Period

late roman soldiers - photo by G.dallorto / Wikicommons

Calculating how much the army was paid during the Theodosian period is more difficult than calculating the army’s pay about a century earlier or later.

Katherine of Alexandria: Decline of an Empire

Katherine martyred on the wheel

According to hagiographers, (C)Katherine was a princess, the daughter of Roman governor named Constus. She was well educated, beautiful and highly intelligent. She converted to Christianity at the age of 13 or 14 and caught the eye of the Roman Emperor, Maxentius (278-318 AD).

10 Cool Facts about Saint Catherine

Caravaggio (1598) - Saint Catherine of Alexandria

Saint Catherine of Alexandria and her wheel have been well recognized symbols since the beginning of the Middle Ages. Here are 10 interesting tidbits about Saint Catherine:

A Created Enemy: ‘Barbarians’ in spite of Religious Conversion. Visigoths and Byzantines in 6th-Century Iberia

Capital from the Visigothic church of San Pedro de la Nave.

This study approaches the concept of resistance as a tool for historical analysis during Roman Late Antiquity, especially with respect to the identity construction and the creation of physical or mental borders between Byzantines and Barbarians.

The conversion of Constantine and the Christianisation of Europe

Constantine's conversion, as imagined by Rubens.

Historians have argued for centuries – in the face of contradictory primary sources – both about when and how the Roman Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity, and the nature and extent of his faith.

Unexpected Evidence concerning Gold Mining in Early Byzantium

Roman gold mine

One of the consequences of the decline of Roman imperial might was the shortage of slaves at state-run mines. Consequently, criminals were often sentenced to damnatio ad metallum. The need for gold especially soared when the gold solidus was introduced at the beginning of the fourth century.

Rose without Thorn, Eagle without Feathers: Nation and Power in Late Medieval England and Germany

Rupert King of Germany with his wife Elizabeth of Nuremberg

It is hard at times to take the Agincourt Carol entirely seriously. Patriotism of such brash exuberance seems more properly to belong in a brightly lit Laurence Olivier world of mid twentieth-century medievalism than amid the grim and tangled realities of fifteenth- century politics and war.

ARTICLES: The Deflation of the Medieval in Joyce’s Ulysses

Marilyn Monroe Reading Ulysses

For James Joyce, Irish nationalism, with its appeal to patriotic emotionality and promotion of interest in the archaic and medieval Irish past, was suspect.

A British legion stationed near Orléans c. 530?

Roman Legion soldier end of 3rd century - northern province

Several recent books lead the reader to believe that Vita sancti Dalmatii, written in c. 800, records a legio Britannica (a British army) stationed near Orléans in c. 530. As this paper demonstrates, the only correct detail of this purported record is the word legio, and this may well have a non-military connotation.

Christianity and the Latin tradition in early Medieval Ireland

Book of Ballymote - explaining Ogham script

The Christianity which arrived in Ireland with the fifth-century missionaries was more than just a literate religion; it was very much a religion of the book.

Hungary’s Conversion to Christianity: The Establishment of Hungarian Statehood and its Consequences to the Thirteenth Century

Mummified right hand of Stephen I of Hungary - canonized in 1083 A.D.

The Carpathian Basin occupies a peculiar place in history. It was the ground where Roman-Germanic world met that of the Slavs and mounted nomad peoples, where no group had achieved sustained unity before the state of Hungary was founded.

The Birth of the Monarchy out of Violent Death

Murder of Dagobert II - carving from the crypt at Stenay-sur-Meuse.

There were many motives for murdering a king.

Slaves, Money Lenders, and Prisoner Guards: The Jews and the Trade in Slaves and Captives in the Crimean Khanate

Jewish Slave Trader being presented to Boleslav of Bohemia

Trade in slaves and captives was one of the most important (if not the most important) sources of income of the Crimean Khanate in the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries.

Goths, Lombards, Romans, and Greeks: Creating Identity in Early Medieval Italy

Carved sarcophagus depicting a battle between Romans and Barbarians, Museo Nazionale Romano, Rome,

This essay explores how two different non-Roman historians represented the past to their peoples: the Gothic historian Jordanes’ sixth-century work, the Getica, and the eighth-century Lombard historian Paul the Deacons’ History of the Lombards.

Scandinavia and the Huns: an Interdisciplinary Approach to the Migration Era

Hunnish -Set of Horse Trappings

The aim of this paper is to discuss the early Migration period as a particular period of ‘short term history’ and its formative impact on the Scandinavian longue duree in the first millenium.

The transition between late antiquity and the early medieval period in north Etruria (400-900 AD)

Fall of the Roman Empire

Traditionally, the idea that the Roman empire ‘declined and fell’ was considered a historical fact, not a matter for debate. The beginning of the ‘decline’ was usually dated to the 3rd or 4th century AD.

The Medieval Life of the Colosseum

Colosseum

Archaeologist working on Rome’s Colosseum have discovered that the ancient landmark continued to be used throughout the Middle Ages, but not as a gladiatorial arena. Instead, it was used homes, workshops and even stables.

Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great: Tracing the Literary Zeitgeist from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance

Julius Caesar

My purpose here is to examine how English writers viewed and depicted these men in poetry, prose, and drama, beginning in medieval England and on through the Renaissance, in search of a pattern. In all ways, a society or culture is in a constant state of change.

Quid Tacitus . . . ? The Germania and the Study of Anglo-Saxon England

Wien-_Parlament-Tacitus

This paper considers the vexed historiography of Tacitus’s Germania and its reception history, first among German and other European historians and then among Anglo-Saxonists.

‘Protecting the non-combatant’: Chivalry, Codes and the Just War Theory

Medieval War - Royal 16 G VI f. 427v Civil war in England - image courtesy British Library

The concept of chivalry, a traditional code of conduct idealised by the knightly class relating to times of both peace and war, dominated the medieval period and many of the scholars who contributed to the principle of jus in bello were in fact writing about chivalry.

Making a difference in tenth-century politics: King Athelstan’s sisters and Frankish queenship

Eadgifu of England/Wessex

In the early years of the tenth century several Anglo-Saxon royal women, all daughters of King Edward the Elder of Wessex (899-924) and sisters (or half-sisters) of his son King Athelstan (924-39), were despatched across the Channel as brides for Frankish and Saxon rulers and aristocrats. This article addresses the fate of some of these women through an analysis of their political identities.

A Game of Power: Courtly influence on the decision-making of Emperor Theodosius II (r. 408-450)

Constantine Manasses Chronicle, 14 century: Emperor Theodosius II and Aelia Eudocia

The aim of this thesis is to uncover the workings and levels of courtly influence on Theodosius II’s (r. 408-450) decision-making, but also, through analysis of the material by using modern theories, to gain a deeper understanding of the courtly structures, power, and dynamics at play at his court in Constantinople.

The soldier’s life: martial virtues and hegemonic masculinity in the early Byzantine Empire

Armed-horseman - Late Roman Empire

This dissertation argues that martial virtues and images of the soldier’s life represented an essential aspect of early Byzantine masculine ideology. It contends that in many of the visual and literary sources from the fourth to the seventh centuries CE, conceptualisations of the soldier’s life and the ideal manly life were often the same.

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