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Art & Art History Events

Spring 2020

A Lecture by Dr. Giovanni Ruffini March 3, 2020, 6PM Keller Critique Room K203, Visual Arts Building. 

Dr. Ruffini (Professor of Classical Studies at Fairfield University) will discuss the three great civilizations of the Nile Valley — Egypt, Nubia, and Ethiopia — since late antiquity, with particular emphasis on the so-called “medieval” period. We will discuss the problems inherent in thinking of this period as medieval. But more importantly, we will discuss the common features inherent in all three civilizations in this period. These features create a unity that transcends linguistic and geopolitical barriers. Specifically, the Christian communities of Egypt, Nubia, and Ethiopia have a shared sense of self that is more important than their local identities as Egyptians, Nubians, and Ethiopians. This shared sense of self is only partly related to their common faith. As important is their common political ideology, adopting an imperial vocabulary rooted in ancient Roman universalism. Medieval African civilization in the Nile Valley may be thought of more accurately as Christian and Roman imperial.