Christian belief and practice in the Alps (250-600 CE)

Archéologie, Science, Table ronde, Roma

Entrance: via Liguria 20
By signing-up

Archéologie, Science, Table ronde

Entrance: via Liguria 20
By signing-up

In search of a topography of faith

In past decades, numerous studies were dedicated to the ways in which Christianities arrived and disseminated in the area of the Alps. Drawing on textual and archaeological sources, these scholarly efforts indicate that the new religion spread following the Roman network of settlements and, in particular, the commercial routes across the Alps. This overlapping invited associations with the earlier process of Romanisation, which had also been shaped by the topography that directed human presence towards specific alpine passes and valleys. This conference brings together historians, archeologists, and art historians to discuss the latest finds regarding the spread of the new religion in the Alpine area, inviting them to consider how the natural component influenced the process. By placing the topography at the basis of the phenomenon, the present initiative changes the approach usually taken in past decades, which saw scholars document the process by province. Thus, the religion’s spread in Ticino, Trentino-Alto Adige, Lombardy, and Piedmont was studied separately, despite the fact that these considerations were often published in volumes that announced a panoptic view of the process. In order to take a step forward, towards a comprehensive understanding of the phenomenon, researchers working on the specific areas are here invited to identify and discuss the relevance of recurrent patterns.


H09:00 – WelcomeAdrian Brändli, Istituto Svizzero
H09:10 – Introduction, Roberto Leggero, USI


Section I

H09:30   Silvia Giorcelli Bersani, Università degli Studi di Torino: L’impero in quota. Raccontare e vivere le Alpi in età romana

H10:10   Eric Chevalley, Université de Lausanne: Saint Maurice d’Agaune and the Christianisation of the dioceses of Octodurus and Geneva

H10:50   Coffee Break


Section II

H11:10   Rossana Cardani Vergani, Ufficio dei Beni culturali, Cantone Ticino and Maria Isabella Angelino, Ufficio dei Beni culturali, Cantone Ticino: Cristianizzazione in area alpina. Testimonianze in Cantone Ticino. Stato degli studi  

H12:10   Elena Costa, PhD candidate, Universität Zürich & Romeo Dell’Era, PhD candidate, Université de Lausanne and La Sapienza, Roma: Circolazione di modelli epigrafici in area alpina tra I e VII secolo d.C

H12:50   Vladimir Ivanovici, Accademia di architettura di Mendrisio, USI and Masaryk University, Brno: Lombardy, Ticino, Piedmont: Recurrent patterns of dissemination

H13:30  Break

Section III

H14:40   Francesco Massa, Université de Fribourg: Late paganism in the area of the Alps: some methodological remarks

H15:20   Round table discussion

Organized by:

Roberto Leggero, LabiSAlp – Laboratorio di Storia delle Alpi, Accademia di architettura di Mendrisio, Università della Svizzera italiana

Vladimir Ivanovici, Accademia di architettura di Mendrisio, Università della Svizzera italiana & Masaryk University, Brno


The event has limited capacity and it will be held both in Italian and English. It can be followed in presentia o via web, registration required.

For in praesentia participation please send an email to prenotazioni@istitutosvizzero.it.
For online participation (no questions allowed), visit the zoom link: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_5JBoVex7QS6T30vFVq7Ikg

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