Maynooth University: ‘Reading Beauty in Late Antiquity’

The Department of Ancient Classics and the Arts and Humanities Institute at Maynooth University are delighted to announce the conference ‘Reading Beauty in Late Antiquity’, which will take place on the 26 of November 2021 at Maynooth University (via MS Teams).



Organiser: Cosetta Cadau (Maynooth University)


10:00- 10:15               Welcome and Introduction

Cosetta Cadau (Maynooth University)

10:15- 11:00               Keynote lecture: Representation and aesthetic evaluation of the barbarian body in Late ancient literature       

Valerio Neri  (Università di Bologna)

11:00-11:30                Kind eyes and pretty feet: evolving evaluation criteria in Late Antique epic beauty contests 

Cosetta Cadau  (Maynooth University)


11:30-11:50                Break


11:50-12:20                Look at this (fe)male: descriptive strategies for naked bodies in the Dionysiaca of Nonnus of Panopolis

Laura Miguélez Cavero (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)

12:20-12:50                Paulus Silentiarius Between Painting and Poetry

Stamatia Dova (Hellenic College, Brookline, MA)


12:50-2:00                  Lunch break


2:00-2:30                    Pagan Bodies of the Figurative Kind Finding Their Place in a Christian World

Paula James (The Open University)

2:30-3:00                    Whose Pleasure Should It Be? Some Observations on M. Valerius’ privata voluptas

Giovanni Trovato  (Università di Genova)

3:00-3:30                    Beauty and Art in Plotinus

Andrew Smith (University College Dublin)


3:30-3:40                    Break


3:40-4:10                    In the image of God and as a metaphor of the church: the human body in conciliar documents of the Christological controversy

Luise Marion Frenkel (University of São Paulo)

4:10-4:40                    The seeming beauty of Justinian and Theodora

Gioia Soldi (Università di Bologna)


4:40-5:10                    Concluding remarks

Round Table



For registration, please email [email protected].

For the Conference Programme and Abstracts of all papers, please visit the Department of Ancient Classics at Maynooth University.