Randolph Ford, Moreau Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Notre Dame: “Barbarians, Historians, and the Transformation of Empire: Classicizing Historiography in Roman Late Antiquity and Early Medieval China”

Tuesday, November 15, 2016 • 5:00PM - 6:30PM • 117 O'Shaughnessy

In the early centuries of our era, the empires of Rome and China experienced unprecedented foreign invasion and political fragmentation, a period that saw the loss of the western Roman empire and all of northern China to the "barbarians."  In examining the ways historians in both traditions represented the unprecedented situation of foreign peoples claiming to rule legitimately within the former bounds of the empire, this lecture will address the historical question of the first "great divergence" between China and the West: while the various kingdoms of Europe were never again to be reunited under Rome, a Chinese empire was eventually restored by the Sui and Tang dynasties, which would go on to rule a united China for centuries to come.