Professor Kai Broderson - 2015

Aspects of Antiquity - May 18

'How Caesar made Britain an island'

Kai Brodersen studied Classical Philology, Ancient History and Theology at Erlangen, Oxford and Munich, completing his PhD (1986) and Habilitation (1995) at the last of these universities. From 1996 he held the Chair of Ancient History at the University of Mannheim, where he also took on more senior administrative roles in the University. In 2008 he moved to Erfmi, where he became Professor of Ancient Cultures and simultaneously Rector (Vice-Chancellor) of the University, the latter post held until last year. Professor Brodersen has held visiting appointments in several countries, at the Universities of Newcastle upon Tyne (2000/01), St. Andrews (2001 /02), Royal Holloway, University of London (2006/07), Oxford (2007/08), Sibiu in Romania (2014), and currently holds the inaugural Margaret Brain fellowship at UWA in Perth.

His research interests range widely across the Greek and Roman world and include historiography, geography, epigraphy, oracles and miracle texts, and economic history. His numerous books have covered these and other areas, including the seven wonders of the ancient world, Appian, Herodotos, Roman Britain, and a translation of a recently rediscovered text of Galen the famous doctor of AD II. Among many other commitments, he is also the chief editor of Historia, one of the main international journals for Greek and Roman History.

Gaius Iulius Caesar led two expeditions to Britain, about which he himself writes in his commentarii. Unlike many of Caesar's military actions (veni, vidi, vici), these two did not lead to conquest. To understand this, we shall ask: What does Caesar tell us-and what does he omit? And why did it take three generations before a minute part of Britain was conquered?

Humanities Seminar Series - May 18

'Romans and barbarians in Pliny and his "ape" Solinus'

About AD 300 Solinus wrote a short collection of wonderful things on earth, which is so often based on Pliny the Elder's Natural History that Solinus has been dubbed Pliny's ape. A closer comparison, however, shows significant differences, especially when looking at the usage of the term "barbarus". What do they tell us about the changes in the perception of barbarians?