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Erasure in Late Antiquity


Edited by Kay Boers, Becca Grose, Rebecca Usherwood, Guy Walker

Publication date: June, 2024

Pages: 293, colour

ISBN 978-615-6696-26-7                   Paperback, €46.00

ISBN 978-615-6696-25-0                   Hardcover, €79.00

eISBN 978-615-6696-27-4                  eBook, €46.00

For any unavailable copies on our website, please refer to our distributors: ISD LLC for North and South America and EUROSPAN for Europe and the rest of the world.

 This book is fully available in open access.





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Introduction by Kay Boers, Becca Grose, Rebecca Usherwood, Guy Walker

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CHAPTER 1. The Erasure of Humanity in Late Antique Christian Narratives of Punishment

Kelly Holob

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CHAPTER 2. Elision as Erasure: The Three Hebrews and the Magi on Fourth-Century Christian Sarcophagi

Miriam A. Hay

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CHAPTER 3. Contesting the Erasure of Paganism: Claudian and Christianization at the Court of Honorius

Benjamin Kybett

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CHAPTER 4. Epigraphic Erasures beyond Damnatio Memoriae: Iconoclasm and “Grammatoclasm” in Late Antiquity

Anna M. Sitz

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CHAPTER 5. Spolia and Epigraphical Erasure at the Church of Mary in Ephesus

Mali Skotheim

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CHAPTER 6. Erasing the Ethereal: Christian Attempts at Delegitimizing Ghosts

Ryan Denson

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CHAPTER 7. Conspicuous Absences in Late Antique Gallic Funerary Texts, VI-VII Centuries CE: Errors, Erasures, or Inscribing Uncertainty?

Becca Grose

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CHAPTER 8. Concluding Reflections: Erasures and Rewritings in Space and Time

Mark Humphries

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Notes on Contributors

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Data sheet

Kay Boers, Becca Grose, Rebecca Usherwood, Guy Walker
Trivent Medieval
Book series
Book series editor(s)
Mihail Mitrea
Publication date
June, 2024
Page numbers

Specific References

Erasure was, paradoxically, a conspicuous phenomenon in Late Antiquity. This is evidenced by the practices associated with so-called damnatio memoriae, changes in physical space, and broad processes of religious and cultural change. While the theme of erasure is attracting increased interest across a wide range of disciplines, there have been few attempts to consider erasure as a more general phenomenon, to study it from a multidisciplinary perspective and to ask what, if anything, was unique about erasure in Late Antiquity?

This volume, edited by Kay Boers, Becca Grose, Rebecca Usherwood, and Guy Walker, brings together eight essays, each reflecting on the phenomenon of erasure and the various methodologies used in its investigation. Taking a broad theoretical, chronological, and thematic scope, the contributions to this volume reflect on the processes of erasure, and the strategies, agencies, and authorities behind them. Collectively, the contributions seek to understand erasure as a flexible and diverse phenomenon that is identifiable in various discursive fields of late antique visual, material, and textual cultures.

Kay Boers is employed as Lecturer in Ancient and Medieval History at Utrecht University and is a board member of the Utrecht University Centre for Medieval Studies (UUCMS).  His PhD thesis focused on the rhetoricity of citizens and citizenship in seventh-century Hispania. His current research focuses on the global seventh century and investigates the political and religious debates of this period from a comparative and transregional perspective with a heavy emphasis on the relation between (inter)text and community.

Becca Grose is a social and cultural historian of Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages, with a particular interest in how the materiality of written texts can tell us more about the relationships and societies of the people who wrote them. She has held posts at Royal Holloway and York, and is currently a visiting fellow in the "Migration und Mobilität in Spätantike und Frühmittelalter" research group at the Universität Tübingen.

Rebecca Usherwood is Assistant Professor in Late Antique and Early Byzantine Studies in the Classics department of Trinity College Dublin. Her research is concerned with emperors in the third and fourth centuries CE, particularly local understandings and reactions to imperial power as conceived and communicated centrally. Her first monograph, Political Memory and the Constantinian Dynasty: Fashioning Disgrace, was published by Palgrave-Macmillan in 2022. She is also a series editor for Liverpool University Press’ Women in Ancient Cultures series. 

Guy Walker is a civil servant and independent researcher. He completed his PhD, funded by the Irish Research Council, at Trinity College Dublin in 2021. His thesis explores the influence of Neoplatonism on the Dionysiaca of Nonnus of Panopolis; in particular, how philosophical schemas from Homeric literary criticism were retooled and ‘remixed’ in order to generate new meanings. His research interests include the intersection of philosophy and poetry, ancient literary criticism, and Late Antique Greek poetry. 

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