CONF: Andreas Alfoeldi in the Twenty-First Century

Seen on the Classicists list:

Andreas Alföldi in the Twenty-First Century

University of Wales Trinity Saint David

31 August – 2September, 2011

Professor Andreas Alföldi (1895-1981) was an eminent ancient historian, numismatist, archaeologist and epigraphist. His scholarly output was not only immense, it was also extremely diverse, covering archaic Rome, late Republican Rome, the provinces of the Roman Empire (especially the Danube region) and late antiquity. His work was marked by extraordinary erudition, an ability to draw upon all manner of evidence no matter how disparate, and also by great fertility and originality.

Alföldi’s successful academic career took him from Budapest to Debrecen, and then back to Budapest, where he taught until 1947. He subsequently went into exile on account of the political situation in Hungary. He first moved to Switzerland, where he held professorships at Berne and Basle; then, in 1956, he moved to the Institute of Advanced Study at Princeton, where he worked until his death. He maintained an impressive level of scholarly productivity until his final days, despite the trauma of exile and various health problems.

Alföldi died in 1981. 2011 seems the perfect year in which to revisit and reconsider the rich and diverse output of this extraordinary scholar, and also to consider the impact that his own times had on that output. Almost all of the most prominent ancient historians of the twentieth century have received comprehensive scholarly attention. Numerous conferences and publications have already engaged with the careers of other illustrious scholars, such as K. Beloch, A. Momigliano, E. Pais and R. Syme, and the work of G. De Sanctis and M. Rostovtzeff has almost become the object of a sub-discipline within the history of classical studies. While a few important works have appeared over the years (such as K. Christ, Neue Profile der Alten Geschichte, 1990, 8-62 and L. Borhy (ed.), “Von der Entstehung Roms bis zur Auflösung des Römerreiches”: Konferenz zum Gedenken des hundertsten Geburtstages von Andreas Alföldi (1895-1981), 1999), it remains fair to say that comparatively little attention, and almost none in the English-speaking world, has been paid to the no less important scholarship of Alföldi.

This conference aims to address this imbalance, to draw renewed attention to the importance of Alföldi’s work, to discuss the areas in which it made an impact and those in which it is now superseded, and to explore how the historical context in which any scholar works can sometimes be just as important as the historical context of the evidence with which s/he works. One of the main purposes of the conference is also to revisit some of the central problems with which Alföldi’s work engaged. While some of his conclusions may not have stood the test of time, his pioneering approach of drawing not only on the literary evidence, but also the archaeological and iconographic, has remained fundamental to subsequent scholarship.

List of confirmed speakers and provisional titles of papers:

· Géza Alföldy, University of Heidelberg: ‘Andreas Alföldi and the Crisis of the Third Century AD’.

· Lucretiu Birliba, University of Iasi: ‘Andreas Alföldi and the Dacians’.

· Anthony Birley, University of Düsseldorf and University of Newcastle: ‘Andreas Alföldi and the Historia Augusta’.

· Dominique Briquel, University of Paris-Sorbonne: ‘The origins of Lavinium before Aeneas’.

· Tim Cornell, University of Manchester: ‘Alföldi, Early Latium and the Latin League’.

· Attila Ferenczi, Eötvös Loránd University: ‘Andreas Alföldi in the history of classical scholarship in Hungary’.

· Peter Forisek, University of Debrecen: ‘Alföldi at the University of Debrecen’.

· Peter Franz Mittag, University of Cologne: ‘Andreas Alföldi and the Contorniates’.

· Mark Humphries, Swansea University: ‘Andreas Alföldi and Late Antiquity’.

· Frederic Hurlet, University of Nantes: ‘Andreas Alföldi et Auguste : une contribution à l’étude de la naissance du pouvoir impérial et de sa representation’.

· Frank Kolb, University of Tubingen: ‘Alföldi, Caesar und die Tradition der deutschen Caesar-Forschung’.

· Arnaldo Marcone, University of Rome III: ‘Alföldi and Rostovzeff’.

· Arpad Nagy, Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest and University of Pécs: ‘“Der iranische Weltriese”: Alföldi’s interpretation sixty years later’.

· James Richardson, University of Wales Trinity Saint David: ‘Andreas Alföldi and the adventure(s) of the Vibenna Brothers’.

· Federico Santangelo, University of Newcastle: ‘Saturnia regna revisited’.

· Peter Wiseman, University of Exeter: Title TBC.

The conference will take place on the Lampeter campus of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. For information on how to reach Lampeter, please visit:

A registration form will be available shortly. In the meantime, please direct any questions to the conference organisers:

James Richardson (University of Wales Trinity Saint David): j.richardson AT

Federico Santangelo (University of Newcastle): f.santangelo AT


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