Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Passages from Antiquity to the Middle Ages VI 6. – 8. August, 2015

Passages from Antiquity to the Middle Ages VI
6. – 8. August, 2015
On the Road. Travels, Pilgrimages and Social Interaction

The sixth international Passages from Antiquity to the Middle Ages 
conference will focus on social approaches to travelling, mobility, 
pilgrimages, and cultural exchange. Interaction between society and 
space has been a key interest of scholars after the ‘Spatial Turn’. 
Nevertheless, larger comparisons between eras and cultures are mainly 

The archetypal journey of Odysseys served as a metaphor and model for 
later narrations of travelling. In both Ancient and medieval worlds, 
religious reasons were significant motivations for travelling; these 
travels confront the traditional idea of these periods as eras of 
immobility. However, the challenges of setting out for a journey, as 
well as the dangers of the road, were not dependent on the incentive 
but rather on distance and other geographical settings, social status 
of the traveller, and political climate.

The conference aims at concentrating on social and cultural 
interaction before, during and after travelling. What kinds of 
motivations were there for ancient and medieval people to get on the 
road and what kind of negotiations and networks were inherent in 
travelling? We welcome papers, which have a sensitive approach to 
social differences: gender, age, health, and status. Actors, 
experiences and various levels of negotiations are of main interest, 
and our focus lies on society and the history of everyday life, on the 
differences and similarities between elite and popular culture, and on 
the expectations linked to gender and life cycle stage, visible in the 
practices and policies of travelling. We encourage proposals that 
integrate the theme of travelling into wider larger social and 
cultural contexts.

We aim at a broad coverage not only chronologically but also 
geographically and disciplinarily (all branches of Classical, 
Byzantine and Medieval Studies). Most preferable are contributions 
that have themselves a comparative and/or interdisciplinary viewpoint 
or focusing on a longue durée perspective. Keynote speakers are Ray 
Laurence (University of Kent) and Cecilia Caposchkin (Dartmouth 

If interested, please submit an abstract of 300 words (setting out 
thesis and conclusions) for a twenty-minute paper together with your 
contact details (with academic affiliation, address and e-mail) by 
e-mail attachment to the conference secretary, The 
deadline for abstracts is September 15th 2014, and the notification of 
paper acceptance will be made in November 2014.

Conference papers may also be presented in French, German or Italian, 
however, supplied with an English summary (as a hand-out) or 
translation if the language of presentation is not English. The 
sessions are formed on the basis of thematic coherence of the papers 
and comparisons between Antiquity and the Middle Ages, thus session 
proposals focusing on one period only will not be accepted.

The registration fee is 100 e (doctoral  students: 50 e). For further 
information, please visit or 
contact the organizers by sending an e-mail to The 
registration opens in November 2014 at 

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