Maria Dell’Isola presents a working paper on ‚Monastic Space and Boundary Violation in Palladius, Lausiac History 33-34‘

The present paper attempts to discuss the relation between space, property and boundaries in Palladius, Lausiac History 33-34. More specifically, I will focus on a series of spatial details that prove how they are key factors in both the shaping of monastic territorial subdivision and definition of religious and social agency in men’s and women’s monasteries. The nexus between land/space ownership, physical borders and gender difference emerges as being particularly interesting because it sheds light on many relevant questions of late ancient Christianity, such as the economic organization of monastic communities and the gender-oriented structure of monasteries.

Chapters 33 and 34 of Palladius’ Lausiac History represent a significative case in this regard. The emphasis on a sharp separation between male and female monasteries, the liminality of gendered spaces, and the crossable boundaries between opposite areas are all factors that characterize the narrative of both chapters and contribute to the creation of a rigorously property-related monastic framework. Most importantly, the association between boundary violation and gender is functional to highlight the interplay between space restriction and limitation of freedom in terms of social and religious agency.

Kristine Iara presents a working paper on ‚Late antique Rome: space, people and gods‘

Based on the analysis of the archaeological, epigraphic and textual evidence and its critical assessment, my research explores topographic-urbanistic, social, and religious dimensions of the transformation of Rome’s sacral topography in Late Antiquity, a topic that still lacks a monographic study. My methodology can be subsumed under the term synopsis and includes: (1) studying the late antique period as intrinsic to Rome’s millennial history, without being biased by a teleological view on the outcome, that is, Rome as the capital of a Christian empire; (2) analyzing all cult places and all areas of the city, including the suburbium; (3) the combined consideration of the dimensions of space and time; and (4) examining connections and connectors between places (material, permanent ones, e.g. streets; ephemeral ones, e.g. processions; immaterial ones, e.g. visual axes). This synoptic analysis of the cityscape constitutes the essential step that leads not only to a quantitative increase of data, but will induce a qualitative shift in the research. Moreover, it will re-embed Rome’s sacral topography within its urban (‘general’) topography without the two being separated from one another. Rome’s sacral topography has not yet been analyzed with a similar approach, neither for Late Antiquity nor for earlier times.

Felipe Torres Navarro is going to present a working paper on ‚Technologies of Time‘

“Technologies are artificial, but… artificiality is natural to human beings. Technology, properly interiorized, does not degrade human life but on the contrary enhances it.” (Ong 2002:81) Following the same spirit that encourages all our research, we will address in this section the question, ‘How is time produced?’ in order to explore the new experiences and concepts of time generated by the interaction with digital technology. A virtual dimension that encompasses several spaces at the same time has overtaken space; the users are localized and reterritorialized by the technology in a temporal frame of simultaneity. Meanwhile, the expansion of the network transforms temporality, as a condensed flow, into an ever-expanding network and a unity of connected yet geographically dispersed movements in the present. Electronic communication has made it possible for simultaneous experiences. This has awakened not only economic interest in products and the sale of mass technologies, but also awareness of its potential political power.