In the course of writing Ravenna. Capital of Empire, Crucible of Europe, I realised that the concept of Late Antiquity was inadequate. It looked backwards to the past, rather than forward to a newly Christianized universe, manifested by the inhabitants of fifth-seventh century Ravenna. Investigating the role of the Goths and the writing of a Cosmographia that sets Ravenna at the centre of the known world, this paper will position the city within the development of Early Christendom.
Judith Herrin was educated at the universities of Cambridge and Birmingham, and received additional training in Paris, Munich and Athens. In 1991 she took up the Stanley J. Seeger Professorship in Byzantine History at Princeton University, and then moved to King’s College London where she remains Professor Emerita and Constantine Leventis Senior Research Fellow attached to the Classics Department. Her major books include The Formation of Christendom (Princeton University Press, 1987, republished as a Princeton Classic, 2021); Byzantium. The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire (Penguin/Princeton, 2007), and Ravenna. Capital of Empire, Crucible of Europe (Penguin/Princeton, 2020), which was awarded the Duff Cooper/Pol Roger Prize for History 2020. In 2002 she was awarded the Gold Cross of Honour by the Hellenic Republic, and in 2016 she won the Heineken Prize for History.
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