The ‘invention of myth’ in a Roman history

Published 03 March 2009

sallustAlexander Weiss, Junior Professor of Ancient History at the University of Leipzig in Germany, will present the first lecture for 2009 in the University of New England’s free public lecture series “Aspects of Antiquity”.

Professor Weiss, who is returning to Armidale to present his second “Aspects of Antiquity” lecture, will focus this time on some fascinating aspects of Roman historiography in examining the historian Sallust’s “excursus” on African prehistory in his account of the Jugurthine War. The lecture, titled “The invention of myth in Sallust: the African history account of King Hiempsal II of Numidia”, will be at 5.30 pm on Thursday 12 March in the Gallery at UNE’s Earle Page College.

The next day (Friday 13 March), Professor Weiss will give a research seminar for UNE’s School of Humanities at 9.15 am in Lecture Theatre A3 in the Arts Building. The topic: “The earliest Christian chronicle? A new Leipzig papyrus”. Everyone is welcome to these two talks.

Born in 1968, Alexander Weiss studied Ancient History, Classical Archaeology and Prehistory at the University of Bonn, where he completed his MA in 1996 and PhD in 2002. From 2003 he has held the post of Junior Professor in Ancient History at the University of Leipzig. There he directs a project on Roman rule in the Maghreb. Since 2004 he has also participated in a project on ancient slavery conducted under the auspices of the Mainz Academy.

Professor Weiss has been in Australia with his family for 18 months as Feodor Lynen Research Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and is based at Macquarie University in Sydney.

He has written a book on ancient slavery, and (together with his wife Maike) a book on women in early Christian groups. He has also edited a book on nomads in the Roman world that was published in 2008.

For more information on the talks by Professor Weiss at UNE, contact Professor Greg Horsley on 6773 2390, or Mrs Gina Butler on 6773 2555.