Call for Papers – From Byzantium to Clontarf: Emotional, Intellectual and Spiritual Perceptions in the Construction and Reception of the Early Medieval Past

From Byzantium to Clontarf: Emotional, Intellectual and Spiritual Perceptions in the Construction and Reception of the Early Medieval Past
The 10th conference of the Australian Early Medieval Association (AEMA)
Macquarie University, Sydney
7–8 February, 2014


AEMA’s 10th conference spans the eight centuries from late antiquity through to the twelfth century, extending from the Byzantine capital of Constantinople in the East to Ireland in the West, and all areas in between. Impressions of the early medieval world over this period and region are based on sources that capture the emotional, intellectual, cultural or religious perceptions and biases of their creators.

2014 marks the 1000th anniversary of two important early medieval battles, Clontarf in the West and Kleidion in the East. Accounts of events, including battles like Clontarf and Kleidion are often highly subjective and emotionally charged, while modern cultural, intellectual, political, and religious sentiments can influence our reading of sources and our perceptions of events of the early medieval past. These events can then sometimes take on new meaning or symbolism for later audiences, just as perceptions of the battles of Clontarf and Kleidion and their aftermath have shifted over the last millennium.

This conference invites papers that address the emotional, intellectual, spiritual, or cultural aspects of written and non-written sources of the Late Antique and Early Medieval periods (c. 400–1150).  Priority will be given to papers which relate to the conference theme but submissions related to any aspect of the early medieval world will be considered. Papers on the reception of events of this period by non-contemporary writers and artists are also welcome, particularly the role played by emotion, intellect, politics, culture, or religion in framing the ways in which societies or individuals view their past.

Abstracts of 250-300 words for 20-minute papers should be sent to by 11 October 2013.

Limited financial assistance may be available for postgraduates and early career researchers travelling interstate for this conference and there will also be a prize for the Best Postgraduate/ECR paper at the conference (AEMA membership required).

For more information, see the conference website or contact the convenors, Janet Wade and Nicole Moffatt, at

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