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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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