Forced Movement in Late Antiquity

Konferenssimatkat jatkuvat. Tällä viikolla osallistun Lontoossa Saksan historiallisessa instituutissa konferensiin ”Forced Movement in Late Antiquity”. Sen järjestää Julia Hillnerin projekti ”The Migration of Faith: Clerical Exile in Late Antiquity”. Projektilla on muuten hieno kotisivu ja blogi täällä.

Konferenssin otsikon ’forced movement’ viittaa kaikenlaiseen pakotettuun liikkumiseen. Tämä voi tarkoittaa karkotuksia, sotavankeutta, orjuutta, sodan, nälänhädän ja muiden ahdinkojen aiheuttamaa pakolaisuutta sekä erikokoisten ryhmien pakkosiirtoja. Kaikkea tätä antiikissa tapahtui ja kaikesta tästä on ohjelmassa esitelmiä. Odotan innolla!

Oma esitelmäni käsittelee yhtä 300-luvun sotavankia, tyttöä nimeltä Bissula, joka tunnetaan roomalaisen runoilijan Ausoniuksen runosikermästä Bissula.

Abstract: Ausonius and Bissula – War booty and the Roman Gaze

Among the poems composed during his stay in Augusta Treverorum, Ausonius also wrote a small set of poems to his alumna Bissula. She was probably taken as captive during Valentinian I’s expedition in the Rhine region against the Alemanni in 368. Ausonius mentions Bissula as a spoil of war and of Suebian origin. Ausonius’ set of poems praise her as delicium, blanditiae, ludus, amor, voluptas (Aus. Biss. 4.1). Who was Bissula and what was her role in Ausonius’ household? Was she a foster child or a concubine? Interpretations on Bissula vary. Judith Evans Grubbs gives her as an example of a foster child in a late Roman family. Hagith Sivan understands her as the successor to Ausonius’ wife after Ausonius had widowed. In a number of literary historical analyses of Ausonius, the Bissula poems are interpreted as playful erotic pieces with intertextual references to earlier Latin literature.

I will approach the figure of Bissula from the perspective of forced movement, in this case, captivity of war. My aim is to set her destiny into the wider context of frontier wars and frontier life in the fourth century. I will compare the thin layer of evidence we get from Ausonius’ poems to other pieces of information on women and children as war booty in Late Antiquity.

The perspective to Bissula, the booty of war, is inescapably Ausonius’, the learned Roman aristocrat. Therefore, I will here discuss the colonial gaze in Late Antiquity. In his delight of the Suebian girl, Ausonius depicts her as better than Roman ones – with exotic colouring of Occidentalism. I will also analyse the poem from the viewpoint of Romanization: Bissula becomes ambigua, by her origin and looks Rheno genita, by her language – and, it is implied, the adopted culture – Latin.

Kategoria(t): Blogi. Lisää kestolinkki kirjanmerkkeihisi.

Kommentointi on suljettu.