Tracking Religious Conversion through Onomastics in Late Antiquity and Beyond
This test topic uses the workshop format to explore conversion in Late Antiquity. The central research question is the extent to which the study of proper names can provide a basis for conclusions about religious conversion, and particularly conversion to Christianity and Islam.
The aim of this workshop is to discuss the theoretical and practical problems surrounding tracking religious change based on onomastic data. The main focus will be on the Mediterranean in Late Antiquity (ca. 300–800 AD), especially on conversion to Christianity and Islam, but comparative examples from other regions and periods will also be presented. The workshop will scrutinise methodological questions: how shall we understand and define conversion? When does a name bear a religious significance? How to deal with ambiguities in this respect, such as names common in all Abrahamic religions? What kind of sources can be fruitfully used to track religious changes through onomastics? How to deal with datasets, especially in the context of digital humanities? What kind of statistical methods are the most helpful to analyse them? What kind of evidence and which methodologies can help to move beyond pure statistics and assess the social context of religious conversion? An important aim of the workshop is to induce a dialogue between experts of various fields dealing with this topic. The workshop is generously financed by the Berliner Antike-Kolleg in the framework of the Test Topics 2020 program.
The conference will take place online via Zoom on 10–12 December 2020.
Please register at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Join Zoom Meeting: https://hu-berlin.zoom.us/j/81398800686
10 December (Thursday)
Lajos Berkes (Berlin): Introduction
Cilliers Breytenbach (Berlin/Stellenbosch): Names for Christians in Lycaonia and Attica. The value of comparison
Dan Dana (Lyon): Onomastics of the soldiers of the late Roman army in the Balkano-Danubian provinces
Christian C. Sahner (Oxford): Using name change to study phases of conversion to Islam in rural areas
Lajos Berkes (Berlin): Identifying converts to Islam in the papyrological record of 7th–8th-century Egypt
11 December (Friday)
Mark Depauw (Leuven): Trismegistos People and a quantitative approach to societal changes
David Frankfurter (Boston): Onomastic change and the dynamics of Christianization
Stephen Mitchell (Berlin): Semitic names and religious affiliation in Roman and late Roman Phrygia
Korshi Dosoo (Würzburg): Magical names: Tracing religious changes in magical texts
12 December (Saturday)
Grzegorz Ochała (Leiden): Who is who in medieval Nubia: recognising identities in indigenous Nubian written sources
Arnaud Lestremau: Imponant nomina christianorum. Converting men, converting names in Anglo-Saxon England
Georgios C. Liakopoulos (Jena):The incorporation of local Christian dignitaries of Balkan origin in the Ottoman administration. An anthroponymic study of the Ottoman taxation cadastres
Time & Location
Dec 10, 2020 - Dec 12, 2020
Online via Zoom