IMC 2015: Sessions

Session 526: Damnatio memoriae: Reform, Renewal, and Rhetorics of Legitimation in Late Antiquity

Tuesday 7 July 2015, 09.00-10.30

Sponsor:Centre for Antique, Medieval & Pre-Modern Studies (CAMPS), National University of Ireland, Galway
Organiser:Christopher Doyle, Department of History, National University of Ireland, Galway
Moderator/Chair:Mark Humphries, Department of History & Classics / Centre for Medieval & Early Modern Research, Swansea University
Paper 526-aAn Accidental Damnatio memoriae?: Concealed Imperial Standards from 4th-Century Rome
(Language: English)
Victoria Leonard, School of History, Archaeology & Religion, Cardiff University
Index terms: Archaeology - Artefacts, Numismatics, Politics and Diplomacy, Rhetoric
Paper 526-bFiguratio memoriae: Reading Exempla in Ammianus Marcellinus's Imperial Necrologies
(Language: English)
Richard Flower, Department of Classics & Ancient History, University of Exeter
Index terms: Archives and Sources, Political Thought, Politics and Diplomacy, Rhetoric
Paper 526-cDamnatio memoriae or Creatio memoriae?: Memory Sanctions as Creative Processes in the 4th Century
(Language: English)
Adrastos Omissi, Oriel College, University of Oxford
Index terms: Architecture - General, Art History - General, Politics and Diplomacy, Rhetoric
Paper 526-dObliterate, Reinsert, Repeat? Two Cases of Damnatio memoriae in Late Antiquity, 392-408
(Language: English)
Christopher Doyle, Department of History, National University of Ireland, Galway
Index terms: Architecture - General, Art History - General, Politics and Diplomacy, Rhetoric
Abstract

The Roman practice of damnatio memoriae, literally the condemnation or obliteration of memory, was a process by which individuals who were deemed state enemies (usually emperors or senior officials) suffered denigration of reputation, name erasure from public inscriptions, portraiture defacement or remodelling, or legal invalidation of their acts. Damnatio memoriae typically occurred in the aftermath of civil war or political upheaval. Ultimately, the process was designed to construct legitimacy for the victors of such conflicts.This session explores some of the diverse ways which damnatio memoriae was used for propagandist purposes (both negative and positive) by successive Late Roman imperial administrations in order to achieve political renewal, legitimacy, and reform.