Literary Dimensions Seminar

Thursday, February 27, 2020
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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Dabney Hall 110 (Treasure Room)
The Melancholy of Living On Hildebert of Lavardin, Ferdinand Gregorovius and the Ruins of Rome
Aleksandra Prica, Assistant Professor of German Literature, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,

Abstract: The talk explores how the French theologian and bishop of Le Mans, Hildebert of Lavardin (1055-1133), and Rome's renowned melancholic chronicler, the 19th-century German historiographer Ferdinand Gregorovius, work through the trauma of the ruin of Rome and thereby establish new concepts of historical continuity.

Hildebert visited Rome at the beginning of the 12th century and witnessed the devastation that Robert Guiscard's pillaging troops had left behind in 1084. His poems Roma and Item de Roma process the experience with a look at the transition between ancient and Christian Rome. 750 years after Hildebert's Rome visit, Ferdinand Gregorovius includes Roma in his History of the City of Rome in the Middle Ages and takes it as a starting point to reflect on the significance of his own life time with respect to the continuation of history.

For more information, please contact Cecilia Lu by phone at 626-395-1724 or by email at cecilial@caltech.edu.