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Vol. 9: Dominus and Tyrannos? Narratives of Slavery in the Political Discourse of Late Antiquity

Artikel-Nr.: ISBN 978-3-86893-384-0

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28 pages, paperback
14,8 x 21,0, 2021

Late Roman authors give us many examples of how firmly images of slavery were anchored in the minds of contemporaries, and how these images were incorporated into literary tradition and political discourse. Images from the world of slavery could be used in a great variety of ways: to criticize an emperor’s behavior, to illustrate his loss of authority, or to characterize the relationship between two emperors. The book will show how the presentation and perception of Late Roman emperors, such as Diocletian and his co-emperors, were influenced by narratives from the world of slavery. These narratives form part of a power discourse, a discourse on power relations. Or to speak with Hayden White, “And this raises the suspicion that narrative in general, from the folktale to the novel, from the annals to the fully realized ʻhistory’, has to do with the topics of law, legality, legitimacy, or, more generally, authority”.

The Author:

Andrea Binsfeld has been Associate Professor for Classics at the University of Luxemburg since 2011. From 2003–2011 she was a research associate with the project “Forschungen zur antiken Sklaverei” (“Research on Ancient Slavery”) at the Academy of Sciences and Literature in Mainz. She studied history, archaeology and classical philology at the University of Trier, where she received her PhD in 2002 (under the supervision of Heinz Heinen) on the topic of “The Graffiti in the early Christian Church of Trier”. Her fields of research are social history, especially ancient slavery; the history and archaeology of Roman Gaul; epigraphy and late antiquity. 

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