Zakład Historii Starożytnej Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego serdecznie zaprasza na wykład The End of Ancient Civilisation? Arab East and Germanic West Compared, który wygłosi Bryan Ward-Perkins (Oxford). Wykład odbędzie się ramach seminarium późnoantycznego UW, w czwartek 10 maja 2012 r., o godz. 16.45 w Sali 125 Instytutu Historycznego UW.


My talk highlights a contrast and a paradox at the end of the Ancient World. The western half of the Roman empire was conquered by the Germanic peoples in the fifth century, while its south-eastern provinces fell to Arab invasion in the first half of the seventh century – but with very different results. In the West, many aspects of Roman 'civilisation’ disappeared or became severely attenuated, while under Arab rule there is considerable evidence of the continuity of complex features such as a sophisticated economy, a taxing state, and a multi-faceted literary culture. However, it is in the West that people continued to see themselves as in a direct line of continuity from Roman times; while in the newly Muslim world the seventh century came to be seen as a dramatic break with the past and as a new beginning. Concrete 'reality’, and the world of the mind and of religion, took different parts of the former Roman world in very different directions at the end of Antiquity.


Bryan Ward-Perkins teaches History at Oxford University and is a Fellow of Trinity College; he is also the Chair of the 'Oxford Centre for Late Antiquity’. His area of specialisation is the end of the Roman empire, and the transformations that followed it, viewed from both textual and archaeological evidence. He has excavated a number of sites in Italy, in particular sixth-century houses in the Byzantine city of Luna, and much of his work is aimed at presenting material evidence within the context of broad historical change. He was a joint editor of the Cambridge Ancient History, Volume XIV (2000), and is the author of two monographs: From Classical Antiquity to the Middle Ages: Urban Public Building in Northern and Central Italy AD 300-850 (OUP 1984), and The Fall of Rome and the End of Civilization (OUP 2005), which won the Hessell-Tiltman prize for History in 2006. He is currently co-ordinating (jointly with Bert Smith) a project on 'The Last Statues of Antiquity’, which will provide a searchable on-line catalogue of the evidence for over 2,500 new statues erected empire-wide in the period between c. 280 and c. 650, and which will also discuss how statues were used in this period.