The library of the Other Antiquity

Reading Late Antiquity

Mats Malm and Sigrid Schottenius Cullhed (ed.), Heidelberg: Winter Verlag, 2018, 267 p.


The field of Late Antique studies has involved self-reflexion and criticism since its emergence in the late nineteenth century, but in recent years there has been a widespread desire to retrace our steps more systematically and to inquire into the millennial history of previous interpretations, historicization and uses of the end of the Greco-Roman world. This volume contributes to that enterprise. It emphasizes an aspect of Late Antiquity reception that ensues from its subordination to the Classical tradition, namely its tendency to slip in and out of western consciousness. Narratives and artifacts associated with this period have gained attention, often in times of crisis and change, and exercised influence only to disappear again. When later readers have turned to the same period and identified with what they perceive, they have tended to ascribe the feeling of relatedness to similar values and circumstances rather than to the formation of an unbroken tradition of appropriation.

(Text from the publisher)

Table of contents

Editors’ Introduction 7


James Uden Untimely Antiquity: Walter Pater and the Vigil of Venus 17

Marco Formisano Fragments, Allegory, and Anachronicity: Walter Benjamin and Claudian 33

Jesús Hernández Lobato Late Antique Foundations of Postmodern Theory: A Critical Overview 51


Olof Heilo Decline and Renascence: Re-reading the Late Antiquity of Jacob Burckhardt 73

Scott McGill Reading Against the Grain: Late Latin Literature in Huysmans’ À rebours . 85

Stefan Rebenich Late Antiquity, a Gentleman Scholar and the Decline of Cultures: Oswald Spengler and Der Untergang des Abendlandes  105

Sigrid Schottenius Cullhed Rome Post Mortem: The Many Returns of Rutilius Namatianus 121

Henriette Harich-Schwarzbauer Alma Johanna Koenig’s Der heilige Palast: The Rise and Fall of Theodora in the Belletrist of the Wiener Moderns  137

Chiara O. Tommasi A Byzantine Phaedra between Paganism, Heresy and Magic: The Tragic Fate of Silvana in La Fiamma by Ottorino Respighi and Claudio Guastalla (1934) 157


Ad Putter Versifications of the Book of Jonah: Late Antique to Late Medieval  183

David Westberg Literary mimesis and the Late Antique Layer in John Doukas’ (or Phokas’) Description of Palestine  205

Helena Bodin “I Sank through the Centuries”: Late Antiquity Inscribed in Göran Tunström’s Novel The Thief  225

Catherine Conybeare Mundus totus exsilium est: On Being Out of Place 243

Notes on Contributors 257

Index  261


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