All-embracing research – someday

Consular Diptych of Fl. Anatasius Probus

Consular Diptych of Fl. Anatasius Probus, 517, fr. Constantinople in BnF

Sometimes I joke that/feel like I am doing a PhD on everything — I have to know about and/or discuss ecclesiastical and political history in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages, canon law, christology-theology, palaeography, textual criticism, the early printed book, Jansenists (briefly), Latin, and a variety of satellite interests and subsections. But, really, it’s not a PhD on everything; it’s a PhD that touches on a wide range of subjects, is all.

Ultimately, my PhD is still a text-based piece of research.

Someday, when I’ve finished my thoroughgoing research into Leo (this will be in years, people), I think I’d like to engage in a project that ties together strands from various disciplines within Late Antiquity — and not just different kinds of literary/textual sources but something that ties in traditional, political history, theology/philosophy, art/material culture, and manuscripts.

(Can’t escape manuscripts.)

Somehow learning how, although trained primarily as a reader and interpreter of texts, to analyse the relationship between these different kinds of material from the ancient world and how they play off each other and produce a wider-ranging vision of a culture than any single kind of source can, but without the degrading of certain kinds as some people do.

I think it would be fun.

I think it would be a lot of work.

I think it would be worth it.


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