School of History, Classics & Archaeology

Rome Post Mortem: The Many Returns of Rutilius Namatianus

In 'Rome Post Mortem: The Many Returns of Rutilius Namatianus', Sigrid Schottenius Cullhed retraces the steps of the early fifth-century Gallo-Roman poet Rutilius Namatianus – from the pen of Edward Gibbon, who saw in Rutilius an archetypal image of the crumbling Empire, to French post-revolutionary intellectuals who perceived him as a romantic hero. Rutilius’ experiences were acutely relevant in the disasters that followed the Napoleonic Wars, but it was in the Italian nationalist and decadentist movements that his poem had its greatest political impact. Once integrated into the fascist movement, he became the voice of the lost Roman Empire that would now come alive again. More recently, he has become a poet of crisis and shock. No wonder that post-9/11 filmmakers or scholars have identified with Rutilius Namatianus and his reluctant journey away from the crumbling monuments of Rome after Alaric’s sack. The very lexicon of western civilization and its fear of “falling” because of non-western 'barbarian' aggression originates from the narrative of the Late Antique decline and fall of the Roman Empire.

Free but ticketed, please register for spaces at the Eventbrite link.

Mar 15 2017 -

Rome Post Mortem: The Many Returns of Rutilius Namatianus

Dr Sigrid Schottenius Cullhed, Research Fellow of the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities speaks as part of the Northern Scholars Lectures. (Published 8 March, 2017)

Meadows Lecture Theatre, Doorway 4 , Old Medical School, Teviot Place