Committee for the Study of Late Antiquity

The Committee for the Study of Late Antiquity (CSLA) fosters interdisciplinary discussion and cooperation among University members who study the period extending from 200 to 800 CE in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

Comprised of specialists in history, classics, religion, art and archaeology, and Near Eastern studies, the CSLA provides a forum for discussion among students, faculty, visiting scholars, and members of the Institute for Advanced Study and Princeton Theological Seminary. The committee also organizes a program of public lectures, often in collaboration with other departments and programs.

The CSLA is under the aegis of the Council of the Humanities.

Upcoming Events

Lecture: Lisa Kaaren Bailey, "Divine Grace, Free Will, and ‘Unavoidable’ Sex: Women in Service in the Late Antique West"
Wed, Sep 18, 2024, 4:30 pm6:00 pm

This talk grapples with the impact of Christian ideas about grace and free will on the sexual exploitation and experiences of women in service in the late antique West. Theological debates in this period shaped how Christians thought about both freedom and sexual consent. What were the implications for women in service, who were sometimes faced…

Conference: “Ordinary People, Everyday Lives"
Sat, Oct 26, 2024, 9:00 am5:00 pm

2024 Medieval Studies Graduate Student Conference

Keynote Lecture: "Ordinary Things: People and their Possessions in Conversations with the Medieval State" by Anne E. Lester, Johns Hopkins University


Lecture: Michael Beshay, Pennsylvania State University
Tue, Oct 29, 2024, 4:30 pm6:00 pm
Lecture: Kristina Sessa, "Explaining Disasters in Late Antiquity (ca. 300-700 CE)"
Wed, Nov 6, 2024, 4:30 pm6:00 pm

This paper will toggle between modern and late ancient explanatory frameworks for material disasters, with the goal of gaining further insight into how late Roman authors interpreted how, why, and for what reasons ruinous events like earthquakes, plagues, and urban sieges damaged and disrupted their communities.  Among other interventions,…

Lecture: Scott Bruce, Fordham University
Thu, Feb 6, 2025, 4:30 pm6:00 pm


Peter R. Brown Prize

Applications are now Open. 

We would like to invite applications for this year’s Peter R. Brown Prize.
The Committee for the Study of Late Antiquity sponsors the annual Peter R. Brown Prize for the best graduate student essay on any…

Peter R. Brown Prize 2023

Emily Chesley, a graduate student in the Department of History, won the prize for her paper "Gendered Responses to Military Violence in Late Antique Mesopotamia: A View from Syriac Sermons". The prize is given annually to the best graduate student essay on any subject relating to the study of Late Antiquity.

“A Hidden World Revealed: The Palimpsests of Saint Catherine’s Monastery on Mount Sinai” synaxis and workshops cosponsored by the Seeger Center 

 Twelve hundred years ago, a scribe in a secluded monastery took a piece of parchment laboriously inscribed with a religious text—and erased it.

Parchment was scarce in the Egyptian desert during the medieval era, prompting the erasure and reuse of manuscripts.

Beneath the new writing, however, traces of the original…