Department of Classics

Edward Watts, UC-San Diego: "Elites, Monks, and the Making of Christian Counterculture in the 370s"

Tue, February 4, 2014 | Texas Union (UNB) 4.206

5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

The generation of Romans who came of age after the tetrarchic and Constantinian administrative reforms entered a world in which governmental positions were far more numerous and lucrative than ever before.  The Roman educational system opened the doors to these opportunities and socialized students to take best advantage of them by developing social networks.  In the 360s, 370s, and early 380s, however, we begin to see a movement in which educated elites turn against both their education and the careers for which it prepared them.  Intriguingly, part of what makes their rejection of elite social norms and aspirations possible are the networks of friends their education helped them to develop.

Edward Watts is the Alkiviadis Vassiliadis Chair and Professor of History at the University of California, San Diego.  He received his PhD in History from Yale University in 2002 and taught for ten years at Indiana University before coming to UCSD. He is the author of two published monographs, City and School in Late Antique Athens and Alexandria (University of California Press, 2006), and Riot in Alexandria: Historical Debate in Pagan and Christian Communities (University of California Press, 2010), as well as a forthcoming monograph entitled The Last Pagan Generation (University of California Press).

Sponsored by: Seminar on Late Antiquity

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