The bimillennium of Augustus’ death on 19th August 2014 commemorates the end of his life and the beginning of a rich posthumous reception history. Running over the date of the bimillennium itself, the Commemorating Augustus conference will undertake a focused, comparative exploration of this history of responses, from AD 14 to 2014.

Already in his lifetime, Augustus was a man of many images. Since his death, he has served in one context as a model of ideal rule and another as a tyrant, while playing a key role in narratives about the emergence of Christianity, the foundation of Europe and the relationship between politics and the arts. His reception history is a vivid exemplum of historical relativism in action, demonstrating the scope of the source material to support utterly conflicting interpretations. Yet to date it has been studied only sporadically. The Commemorating Augustus conference aims to address the full range of Augustus’ reception history, to trace its evolution, to explore its connections and disjunctions, to understand its impact on contemporary perspectives, and to put us in a better position to articulate what Augustus means to us in the 21st century.

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Karl Galinsky (Austin, Texas).

OTHER INVITED SPEAKERS: Mary Harlow (Leicester), Ray Laurence (Kent), Valerie Hope (Open University), Alison Cooley (Warwick), Steven Green (UCL), Shaun Tougher (Cardiff), Martin Lindner (Göttingen).

TOPICS COVERED: Augustus’ old age and death; worship and deification; Tiberius, Nero and the Flavians; Seneca, Tacitus and Suetonius; posthumous provincial responses; coinage and the visual arts; late antique responses; Byzantine politics and literature; early Christianity; medieval history and literature; European literature; European politics and power; Augustus in novels and on screen; Augustus between the wars; Historiography and scholarship; monuments and architecture.

Birgitta Hoffmann (Liverpool) – Belisarius’ triumph and Justinian’s Equestrian statue – Justinian as a new Augustus?
Kosta Simic (Brisbane) – The Byzantine Augustus: Examples from Chronicles – Homiletics and Hymnography
Elizabeth Fisher (George Washington University) – The “Essential” Augustus in the Excerpta of Constantine Porphyrogenitus

FURTHER DETAILS: A full programme, abstracts and details of how to register are available at: Registration closes on 1st August 2014, and a late fee will apply to bookings made after 17th July 2014.

For any queries, pleased contact

The conference venue is Devonshire Hall, a self-contained University of Leeds residence in the style of an Oxbridge college.

The conference is generously supported by the Classical Association, the Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies and the Augustus Collection.