Power and Legitimacy in Rome and Byzantium: An Interdisciplinary Workshop

Call for Papers

3 August 2019, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

Sponsored by the Australasian Society for Classical Studies (TBC), the Australasian Association for Byzantine Studies, the Friends of Antiquity at the University of Queensland, and the Queensland Friends of the Australian Archaeological Institute of Athens


The fields of Roman and Byzantine studies have developed as largely separate fields. Historians and classicists have typically treated Rome and Byzantium as two distinct empires, and rarely do the two fields intersect. Nevertheless, the subjects of study for both fields, from the early Republic to the last years of the Palaiologan Dynasty considered themselves to be first and foremost Romans, part of a polity stretching back to the mythical age of kings, and their leaders considered themselves to be the successors of emperors dating back to Augustus and relied on similar methods to secure their legitimacy. Whether gaining the support of the military, employing popular religion, using numismatic iconography and statuary, or employing rhetoric and panegyric, the tools used by Roman and Byzantine leaders to acquire and maintain authority changed very little in form over time.

This workshop seeks to bring together established scholars and students of any field examining the topics of Roman and Byzantine legitimacy, broadly conceived, to share ideas and promote cooperation.

Possible topics may include but are not limited to: The use of imperial cult, church and state relations, relationship between the emperor and the military, the emperor and the people, imperial ritual, coinage, statuary and monuments, identity, succession and usurpation, social networking, rhetoric, panegyric and propaganda, etc.

Registration Fees:

$A 40 – Waged participants

$A 20 – Unwaged

Free for Students

Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors a limited number of competitive stipends are available to defray travel expenses for postgraduates travelling from outside of Queensland or Australia to present papers.

Postgraduate attendees are invited to participate in a special session with the keynote speakers. Selected postgraduate students will be provided with pre-circulated papers and invited to prepare questions in advance for the speakers. Spaces are limited. Postgraduates may participate in the session even if they are not presenting.

Questions and Abstracts of 250 words or less should be sent to r.strickler@uq.edu.au by 19 July 2019. Abstracts should include email and affiliation. Postgraduates whether they wish to participate in the masterclass, and whether they wish to be considered for a stipend (please include a CV if so).

Keynote Speakers:

Dr. Gwynaeth McIntyre (University of Otago), “All in the Family: Legitimisation and the coins of Caligula”

Prof. David Olster (University of Kentucky), “The Something or Other that Occurred in the Trullan Hall in 691-692: The Legitimacy of the So-Called ‘Quintisext Council’”

Prof. Bronwen Neil (Macquarie University), “Byzantine Leadership in an Age of Crisis (500-750 CE): Managing the Impending Apocalypse”\

Download the flyer.

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