In this episode, Chris Mielke speaks with Alan Cameron, Professor Emeritus at Columbia University, New York. The professor tells about his various books on the Late Antique world and the unexpected interconnections between paganism and Christianity.
In the first part, Alan Cameron focuses on the figure of Claudian, a Greek poet at the court of emperor Honorius in Rome. What could a pagan poet write about a Christian emperor? How does the poetry take part in imperial propaganda? Why did so many of his poems survive? And how the Christian world accepted the pagan allusions in the court poetry?
In the next part, the professor develops the topic of Greek mythology in the Late Antiquity. His research discovers how the myths were transmitted through generations and how Christians knew about the myths. Alan Cameron also speaks about the key differences between paganism and Christianity, which helped the latter fastly spread across the Mediterranean. The professor shares his thoughts on how the Christians and pagans lived together, when the real paganism died and why Early Christians were afraid of traces of paganism even after that.
Past Perfect! is CEU Medieval Radio’s show on medieval and early modern history and culture, where various issues from the crusades to archeo-zoology to medieval urine sampling are discussed. The discussions are made with the aim to popularize medieval and early modern studies with the help of experts such as early musicians, historians, philologists and archeologists.
This episode was recorded in 2013.