Last week I was teaching in Budapest, in the summer course ”Luminosus Limes – Geographical, Ethnic, Social and Cultural Frontiers in Late Antiquity”.
This summer course was organised by Marianne Saghý (dept. of Medieval studies) in Central European University, the international university in Budapest.
Our summer course dealt with a mass of topics concerning different frontiers, not only the concrete frontiers of the Roman Empire, but also various conceptual frontiers such as cultural boundaries.
My own workshops were about the borderlines between Romans and the peoples that Romans called ”barbarians” and the encounter of different Christianities with local religions in Late Antiquity.
In addition to the workshops, we visited the Hungarian National museum that is filled with exciting Roman stuff, sarcophagi, inscriptions and reliefs, for example, this relief of Orpheus.

Orpheus, 2nd half of 2nd century CE

In the National Museum, there was this beautiful imitation of the Pantheon cupola:
We visited the remains of the Roman town Aquincum (including a museum and a reconstruction of a Roman house made for school children).
We also traced other ruins of Aquincum and its surrounding settlements in the so-called Old Buda (quite a long walk by the way). There one could also see a number of pretty eighteenth-century buildings still remaining in the middle of less attractive blocks:

I participated as a teacher but I had the feeling that it was also me who was learning all the time, from the excursions, other teachers’ workshops and, in particular, students’ comments and questions. I felt privileged to enjoy the company of the bright students. It will be exciting to follow what will become of them. May their future be as brilliant as the sun was in Budapest!


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