Saturday, March 1, 2014
SLA Panel for APA 2015 Meeting, New Orleans Travel, Travelers, and Traveling in Late Antique Literary Culture
Travel, Travelers, and Traveling in Late Antique Literary Culture
Please note that the deadline for submitting abstracts for the following panel sponsored by the Society for Late Antiquity has been extended until 21 March 2014 (apologies for cross-posting).
Organizer: Cam Grey, University of Pennsylvania
Sponsored by the Society for Late Antiquity
The 2015 panel sponsored by the Society for Late Antiquity at the annual meeting of the American Philological Association on Jan. 8-11 in New Orleans, will explore aspects of travel and traveling in late antique literary culture. Narratives of travel can be found structuring devotional pilgrimage accounts and ethnographic treatises, and they constitute a crucial element in hagiographical texts, where the saint’s physical journey often functions as a metaphor and analog for his or her spiritual journey. These narratives are also enlisted for political and military purposes, such as the anonymously authored fourth-century Itinerarium Alexandri or accounts of travel contained in historiographical works. Meanwhile, the phenomenon of the imperial adventus acquired an unprecedented level of ceremony and ritual in the period, and envoys and ambassadors traveled extensively both within and beyond the boundaries of the empire, treating with domestic and foreign potentates. Aristocratic and ecclesiastical letter writers penned—and preserved in their collections—letters of recommendation for an extraordinary variety of individuals, who appear to have walked or rode the roads of the Roman with little regard for the apparent deterioration in safety and security that haunts a work like Rutilius Namatianus’ De Reditu Suo.