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Climate Change in the Breadbasket of the Roman Empire: Reconstructing Nile Floods for the Roman Period

Dates:
23.01 - 24.01.2020  
Venue:
Rome, Italy
Contact person:
Sabine Huebner, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website:
https://ancientclimate.philhist....

The Institute of Ancient History at the Department of Ancient Civilizations at the University of Basel will host the international conference "Climate Change in the Breadbasket of the Roman Empire: Reconstructing Nile Floods for the Roman Period" from 23-24 January 2020 in Rome, Italy.

Venue

Istituto Svizzero di Roma Villa Maraini
Via Ludovisi 48
Rome

Background

This conference follows on from the success of the previous international conference "Climate Science & Ancient History: Decoding "Natural" and "Human" Archives" which was held from 27-28 November 2018 in Basel, Switzerland.

Description

The importance of the Nile for Egypt’s agriculture, society, culture and political history can hardly be overrated. Since rainfall is almost non-existent in Middle and Upper Egypt, any changes in the annual Nile flood must have triggered an immediate response in Egyptian society, economy and politics.

Moreover, the Nile River and its fertile flood plains did not only play a crucial role in the development of Egyptian civilization, but they also constituted one of the main pillars for the economic stability of the Roman Empire and helped to sustain its imperial expansion. The grain supply of the city of Rome and the Roman army was closely tied to the annual cycle of the Egyptian river.

Reconstructing annual changes in the quality of the flood of the Nile is thus important not only for studying the immediately adjacent Egyptian society, but it also has implications of a larger scale, for a series of below-average Nile floods must have had serious political and socio-economic consequences for the entire Roman Empire.

Featuring 12 contributions from the fields of ancient history, palaeoclimatology, dendrochronology and palaeohydrology, this linking of Ancient History with the Environmental and Climate Sciences explores the rich case study that is the River Nile.

Organized by Prof. Dr. Sabine R. Huebner, the Head of Institute, researchers from Switzerland, Germany, Italy, France, Canada, the UK and US bridge the traditional gap between the Humanities and the Natural Sciences.

Aims

The conference aims to provide a stepping stone to reconstructing Nile flood data for the Graeco-Roman period, and to develop collaborative methods of assessing the impact of climatic variability or change on ancient societies without oversimplifying their causal connection.

Program

Access the full program here: https://ancientclimate.philhist.unibas.ch/en/program/

Speakers

Access the list of speakers here: https://ancientclimate.philhist.unibas.ch/en/speakers/

Registration

To register free of charge, please send an email to Sabine Huebner: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Further information

For all information regarding location and program, go to: https://ancientclimate.philhist.unibas.ch