Institute of Ancient History
International Conference: The End of the Roman Climate Optimum
This international conference will be the first that is specifically devoted to the notion of a Roman Climate Optimum and its impact on the fate of the Roman Empire. The conference will examine the implications of a Roman Climate Optimum for writing Roman environmental, political, social and economic history, and will bring climate scientists, ancient historians and environmental archaeologists around one table. We aim at papers that focus on regional studies and pursue a synthesis of the evidence from written, archaeological, and natural climate archives. Special emphasis will be placed on the challenges of a collaboration between ancient historians, archaeologists and palaeoclimatologists, the methodological difficulties in distinguishing between correlation and causality, and methods of assessing the impact of climatic variability or change on ancient societies without oversimplifying causal connections.
The event is part of the research project ‘The Roman Egypt Laboratory: Climate Change, Societal Transformations, and the Transition to Late Antiquity’ (PI: Sabine R. Huebner) and is sponsored by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), the Swiss Association of Classical Studies (SVAW/ASEA), and the Swiss Academic Society for Environmental Research and Ecology (SAGUF).
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