School of Social Sciences Brown Bag Lecture Series

Join us for another School of Social Sciences Brown Bag lecture on Monday, February 15th at 12 pm with Sam Cohen, Assistant Professor of History, who will be discussing his recent research, Rhetoric and Local Responses to Disaster in Late Antiquity: Rome in the Sixth Century.

Scholars have traditionally described Rome at the end of the sixth century as a depopulated and devastated husk ground down by decades of war, surrounded by hostile barbarians, abandoned by its imperial protectors, and tormented by famine, flood, and plague. Particularly shocking was the Lombard invasion of Italy in 568, which inaugurated another period of warfare that would continue until 605. But this image of ‘Dark Age’ Rome is principally from the letters and tractates of Gregory I (bishop of Rome, 590-604). These texts were not dispassionate reports of events, but rather carefully crafted pieces of writing intended to do specific rhetorical work. In his Brown Bag talk, Dr. Cohen will discuss how Gregory mobilized (exaggerated?) Rome’s suffering, especially at the hands of the Lombards, in order to achieve various diplomatic and religious ends.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020-2021 Brown Bag Series will take place via Zoom. Please join us:

The School of Social Sciences Brown Bag Series is always free, open to faculty, staff, students, and the public, and provides a congenial interdisciplinary forum for the discussion of recent research by School of Social Sciences faculty. 

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Dates Times
March 29, 2021 12:00pm to 1:00pm