Urbes clariores aliis

Conférence, Histoire, Roma/online

11.05.2023 H10:30-17:30
12.05.2023 H09:00-18:00
Entrance: via Liguria 20

Conférence, Histoire

11.05.2023 H10:30-17:30
12.05.2023 H09:00-18:00
Entrance: via Liguria 20

The two-day conference will be held in English and it can also be followed online.

Register here to attend in Rome on Thursday 11.05.2023.
Register here to attend in Rome on Friday 12.05.2023.

Register here to follow online on 11.05.2023.
Register here to follow online on 12.05.2023.

Istituto Svizzero
Via Liguria 20, Rome
Free entry

Urbes clariores aliis
Urban Transitions in Roman Egypt from the Third to the Fourth Century CE

Ancient writers testify to the renown and significance of Egyptian cities in the Roman Empire of the Fourth Century CE: thus, in his ethnographic digression on Egypt, Ammianus Marcellinus provides a list of such «cities more renowned than others» (urbes clariores) in the Thebaid or «largest cities» (urbes maximae) in «Egypt itself», i.e. the Delta and Middle Egypt. From literary sources, whether historiography, hagiography, or else, to archaeology, coins, and documentary texts, not least papyri, the multifaceted evidence from urban sites in Egypt suggests tremendous activity and, arguably, significant change from the third to the fourth century CE. Yet despite, or perhaps owing to, the wealth and complexity of these data, Egypt too often cuts a pale figure in the discussion of cities’ role in the transition to Late Antiquity. 

How did the cities of Egypt in the fourth century differ from those of the third, in relation to one another and individually? Which forces, political, cultural, or economic, did contribute most to refashion the urban landscape of Egypt? And, finally, did cities evolve along similar or different lines than other provinces in the Roman Empire? With these questions in mind, the international conference purports to demonstrate the relevance of Egyptian urbanism to the transition of the Roman world into Late Antiquity.

Prof. Dr. Sabine Huebner
Dr. François Gerardin
Dr. Stefania Alfarano 

Institute of Ancient History University of Basel (Switzerland).
With the support of Swiss National Science Foundation.
SNSF-Project: «Urban Biographies of the Roman and Late Antique Worlds: Antinoopolis and Heracleopolis in Egypt, c. 100 – c. 650 CE» 

The event may be photographed and/or video recorded for archival, educational, and related promotional purposes. By attending this event, you are giving your consent to be photographed and/or video recorded.


THURSDAY 11.05.2023

H10:30-11:00 ― Welcome and Coffee

Panel I: The Shape of the City
Chair: Sabine Hübner

H11:00-11:30 ― Lucas Weisser-Gericke (Basilea), Honorific Epithets and Interurban Competition in Roman and Late Antique Egypt: The Case of Herakleopolis Magna

H11:30-12:00 ― Stefania Alfarano (Basel), Shaping Cities: Building Investment and Urban Development in Late Antique Egypt

H12:00-12:30 ― Aaltje Hidding (Oslo), Walking through Hermopolis: The Changing Sacred Landscape of Hermopolis in Late Antiquity (Zoom)

H12:30-14:30 ― Break

H14:30-15:00 ― Nicola Barbagli (Naples), When Amun Was Gone: The city of Thebes between Diocletian and Constantine (AD 284 – 337)

H15:00-15:30 ― Krzysztof Jakubiak (Warsaw), Pelusium, the Urban Landscape of a City on the Eastern Delta Outskirts

H15:30-16:00 ― Coffee break

H16:00-16:30 ― Nicola Aravecchia (WashU), Churches, Burials, and the Built Environment of Late Antique Egypt: Archaeological Data from Fourth-Century Dakhla Oasis

H16:30-17:00 ― General discussion

H17:00-17:30 ― Keynote lecture by Noel Lenski (Yale), Egypt’s Cities and the Supply of the Eastern Capital

FRIDAY 12.05.2023

Panel II: Economy and Society
Chair: François Gerardin

H09:00-09:30 ― CarlLoris Raschel (Paris), Professional koina under Diocletian: Organizing Urban Population in Late Roman Egypt

H09:30-10:00 ― Irene Soto Marin (Harvard), Defining Urban Economies in Fourth Century Egypt: Continuity and Transitions

H10:00-10:30 ― Discussion

H10:30-11:00 ― Coffee break

Panel III: City and Administration
Chair: Sabine Hübner

H11:00-11:30 ― Colin Adams (Liverpool), Central and Local Government in Panopolis: The Evidence of the Chester Beatty Papyri

H11:30-12:00  Lucia Colella (Naples), The Metropolitan boulai in the Age of Diocletian and Constantine

H12:00-12:30 ― Matthias Stern (Munich), Shifting Balance(s): Conflict and Reform in City, Village, and Nome Administration(s) on the Eve of Late Antiquity

H12:30-14:00 ― Break

H14:00-14:30 ― Jose Luis Alonso (Zurich), Urban Notarial Institutions: The Fourth Century Disruption

H14:30-15:00 ― François Gerardin (Basel), ‘Metropolis of the Thebaid’: City Government and Imperial Administration at Antinoopolis from the Third to the Fourth Century CE

H15:00-15:30 ― Discussion

H15:30-16:00 ― Coffee break

Panel IV: Late Antique Culture and the City
Chair: Stefania Alfarano

H16:00-16:30 ― Paola Davoli (Lecce), Ruins and Landscape in Late Roman Egypt

H16:30-17:00 ― Alberto Camplani (Rome), The Network of Egyptian Bishoprics between the Third and the Fourth Centuries: Areas of Expansion, Urban Character of the Dioceses, the Relationship of the Bishops to the chora

H17:00-17:30 ― Alexander Free (Munich), Christian Hermopolis. Civic Representation of a Late Antique Town in Middle Egypt

H17:30-18:00 ― Final discussion