CONF: Shifting fluvial landscapes in the Roman world

Seen on the Classicists list:

We are pleased to announce the upcoming OXREP conference on environmental change and rivers in the Roman Empire:

Shifting Fluvial Landscapes in the Roman World:
New directions in the study of ancient rivers

The Old Library, All Souls College, Oxford, 26–27 June 2014

Often discussed merely as the passive settings of various historical events,
rivers are and were complex, ever-shifting features of the landscape which
affected settlement in innumerable ways. This conference highlights new and
diverse paths of research that broaden our understanding of how rivers
influenced life within the Roman Empire.

If we now understand that climatic fluctuation was widespread in antiquity,
we must also understand how these changes affected day-to-day life. How did
climatic and environmental change affect inter-annual variation in
hydrology? How did flood and drought cycles change along with these factors?
How did these changes affect those living along the rivers, and how did
human activity curb or encourage fluvial change? Moreover, how did changes
in fluvial landscapes affect the utilization of rivers for transportation
and communication? Was living alongside so many waterways always a blessing,
or was it also a curse?

Papers address different river systems across the Empire in order to bring
out regional and chronological variations. By uniting experts in
archaeology, ancient history, geomorphology, and climate this conference
will discuss new approaches to studying rivers in antiquity. Such an
interdisciplinary approach will help reveal the real-world realities of life
amongst the shifting fluvial landscapes of the Roman world.

There is no conference fee, but to help us estimate numbers for tea and
coffee those who wish to attend are asked to register by emailing Tyler
Franconi (tyler.franconi AT

Provisional Programme:

Thursday, 26 June

2:00–2:15 T. Franconi and A. Wilson (Oxford): Welcome and introduction.
2:15–3:00 B. Campbell (Queen’s Belfast): Watery perspectives.
3:00–3:45 J.-P. Bravard (Lyon): River adjustments to change at the watershed
scale and human adaptation during the Roman period: recent approaches and
perspectives for future studies.

3:45–4:15 Coffee break

4:15–5:00 C. Morhange (Aix), P. Carmona (Valencia), & N. Marriner
(Besançon): Geoarchaeology of fluvial Mediterranean harbours, from natural
environment to anthropogenic impacts.
5:00–5:45 A. Wilson (Oxford): Rivers, wadis and climate in North Africa:
torrents and drought.
5:45–6:30 M. McCormick (Harvard): Discussion.

6:30 Wine reception

Friday, 27 June

10:00–10:45 T. Franconi (Oxford): Pater Rhenus: the hydrological history of
Rome’s German frontier.
10:45–11:30 P. Leveau (Aix): Le Bas-Rhône: sites, fleuve et risque

11:30–12:00 Coffee break

12:00–12:45 J.-P. Goiran (Lyon) & F. Salomon (Southampton): Roman harbours
of Ostia and Portus: geoarchaeology and landscape evolution on the Tiber Delta.

12:45–2:15 Lunch

2:15–3:00 P. Niewöhner (Oxford): Miletus and the Maeander Estuary: the
maintenance of socio-economic structures in the face of a deteriorating
3:00–3:45 M. Whiting (Oxford): Gift of the Orontes: fluvial landscapes of
northwest Syria in Late Antiquity.

3:45–4:15 Coffee break

4:15–5:00 B. Haug (Michigan): From reclamation to abandonment: A longue
durée perspective on irrigation in Egypt’s Fayyum depression.
5:00–6:00 N. Purcell (Oxford): Concluding discussion.

6:00 Wine reception


Return to Tauris?

Brief item in the Greek Reporter, inter alia:

[...] According to the Russian newspaper “Izvestia,” far-right LDPR MP Mikhail Degtyarev proposed that the Peninsula should be renamed to Tauris or Taurica, which would bear more resemblance to the historic path of the region. [...]


CONF | Classics and Classicists in WWI: University of Leeds April 8th-10th 2014

Seen on the Classicists list:

Conference booking closes on Wednesday 2nd April.
To book, please use the Online Store:



APRIL 8TH-10TH 2014

Venue: The Brotherton Room, Special Collections, The Brotherton Library


Tuesday April 8th

1.00-2.00pm Registration, Parkinson Court, Parkinson Building, University of Leeds.

1pm onwards Conference exhibition open

The Brotherton Room, Special Collections, The Brotherton Library, University of Leeds.

2.00-2.10pm Welcome

2.10-3.10pm Keynote: Christopher Stray (Swansea/London)

‘Classical Scholars at War: Europe and America, 1800-1930’.

3.10-4.10pm Neville Morley (Bristol)

‘Thucydides and the Legitimization of War’.

4.10-4.30pm Tea

4.30pm-5.30pm Lynn Kozak and Miranda Hickman (McGill University in Montréal)

‘Poppies and Wild-Hyacinth: H.D.’s “Hellenic” Responses to the First World War’.

5.30pm-6.30pm Keynote: David Scourfield (National University of Ireland, Maynooth)

‘Classical In/stabilities: Virginia Woolf, Ford Madox Ford, and the Great War’.

Evening Conference Dinner, University House

Wednesday April 9th

9.00am-10.00am Alison Rosenblitt (Oxford)

‘“cast like Euridyce one brief look behind”: the classical underworld in E.E. Cummings and the idea of moving on’.

10.00am-10.30am Coffee

10.30-11.30am Ingrid Sharp (Leeds)

‘Pacifism in Werfel’s Trojan Women, Berlin 1916’.

11.30am-12.30pm Maarten De Pourcq (Nijmegen)

‘Tragedy in the Trenches: Classics and Cultural Politics in Flemish Theatre during WWI and its Aftermath’.

12.30pm-1.45pm Lunch

2.00-3.00pm Marian Makins (Pennsylvania)

‘Classical Landscapes and Storied Locations in the Battlefields of WWI’.

3.00-4.00pm Lorna Hardwick (Open University)

‘“Legacies and refractions” (David Reynolds, The Long Shadow, 2013): how ancient texts and their receptions both contribute to and challenge modern constructs of WW1’.

4.00pm-4.30pm Tea

4.30pm-5.30pm Keynote: Angela Hobbs (Sheffield)

‘Who Lied? Classical Heroism and WW1’.

5.30pm onwards Performance Events inspired by Euripides’ Trojan Women

Produced by Eleanor OKell (Leeds) and directed by George Rodosthenous (Leeds).

Parkinson Court, Parkinson Building, University of Leeds.

Thursday April 10th

10.00am-11.00am Moa Ekbom (Uppsala)

‘Hic primum Fortuna fidem mutate novavit: the Sortes Vergilianae in World War I’.

Respondents to Postgraduate papers: Lorna Hardwick (Open University) & Christopher Stray (Swansea/London)

11.00am-12.00pm Jasmine Hunter-Evans (Exeter)

‘Re-imagining Rome at the Fall of Western Civilization: David Jones and the Analogy of Decline’.

12.00pm-1.00pm Lunch

1.30pm-3.30pm Leeds Postgraduate Papers and Panel Discussion: Classical Scholarship in WWI.

Andrea Basso; Anthi Chrysanthou; Henry Clarke; Natalie Enright; Ben Greet; Philippa Read

Conference organized by Elizabeth Pender (Leeds) and Edmund Richardson (Durham).

For further information:

To book, please use the Online Store: