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Rome and Constantinople: Tales of Two Cities - 12-13-14-15-16/02/2018, Nijmegen (Netherlands)


“When Rome falls, the world shall fall”, wrote Venerable Bede in the early eighth century, thus highlighting the importance of the city of Rome in a material sense and the idea of Rome at the same time. In this Winter School we will address both aspects of Rome and the ‘new Rome’ (Nova Roma) built by the emperor Constantine on the Bosphorus in the early fourth century and named after himself: Constantinople.


The material and immaterial heritage of both cities has been coloured, even instrumentalized, in the course of time. ‘Rome’ still stands as a symbol of power, civilization, and religion, but ‘Rome’ has been challenged, negotiated, altered, disputed, or appropriated for various agendas as well, by both secular and religious forces. In this way, ever-changing narratives around controversial issues have been constructed, for which ‘Rome’ serves as an anchor: national or regional identities, religious (in)tolerance, power relations and the legitimacy of power, nation building and colonial ambitions.


We will analyze the narratives (in texts and pictures) that are (still) connected to Rome and Constantinople / Istanbul, the origins and objectives of such narratives, and finally address the question as to how these stories are still present in today’s culture in a broad sense, e.g. in popular culture, museums and tourism.


FECHA/DATE/DATA: 12-13-14-15-16/02/2018


LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Radboud University (Nijmegen, Netherlands)


INFO: web -




Fecha límite / deadline / scadenza: 31/12/2017


Inscripción online / registration online / registrazione online




Sunday February 11


Arrival of the participants


Welcome Dinner


Monday February 12


Theme: Tales, myths, and narratives. Founding and re-founding Rome and Constantinople


09.00-10.30 Seminar: Founding fathers, myths, and narratives of early Rome


11.00 12.30 Seminar: Re-founding Rome: Augustus’ legacy Lunch break


13.30-17.00 Seminar: Re-founding Rome on the Bosphorus


15.30-17.00 Seminar: Re-founding Rome: St. Peter and St. Paul


Tuesday February 13


Theme: Challenging Rome, replacing Rome


09.00 10.30 Seminar: The donatio Constantini


11.00 12.30 Seminar: Rome outside Rome: the power of relics Lunch break


13.30-15.00 Seminar: Rome from the East: Arabic perspectives


15.30-16.30 Seminar: Roman Soldiers on African shores. Italy’s Colonial ambitions in the early 20th century


16.30-17.00: Themes for 5-minute-talks (scheduled for Friday afternoon)


Wednesday February 14


Theme: The present past


09.00 10.30 Seminar: When in Rome…ancient sites & modern tourism


11.00 12.30 E-lab: Evoking the past: museums, virtual reality and websites Lunch break


13.30-15.00: Seminar: The digital past. Digital humanities I


15.30-17.00 Seminar: The digital past. Digital humanities II


Thursday February 15


Theme: Rome across the Alps: Charlemagne, Rome and Aachen


Excursion to Aachen (Germany)


City walk including visits to the Cathedral (Dom); Treasury; Town hall (Rathaus); Centre Charlemagne. Departure by bus from Nijmegen at 8.30 am (arrival at Aachen ca. 10.30);


Departure from Aachen at 5.00 pm (arrival at Nijmegen ca. 7.00 pm).


Friday February 16


Theme: Reflections of Rome and Constantinople


09.00-10.30 Preparation of 5-minute- talks


10.45 -11.30 Seminar: Roman pasts, masses and modernity in Fascist Italy


11.45 12.30 Seminar: the Byzantine heritage in modern Turkey Lunch break


14.00-15.30: 5-minute-talks; feedback


16.00-17.00: Conclusion of the Winter School: final discussion, presentation of the Radboud Winter School certificates, followed by drinks. Farewell Dinner Saturday


February 17




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