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Juan Manuel Martín Casado, University of Málaga

This Postgraduate-work-in-progress seminar will be held online via Zoom and in person in room 21A, Senate House.

Booking is required. 

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The doctoral thesis project on which I am carrying out my research aims to investigate the impact that environmental phenomena, from high intensity ones, such as earthquakes and tsunamis, to more progressive ones, such as climate change, may have had on the ancient communities of the Iberian Peninsula. As specific subject of study we consider the historical process of the Roman province of Baetica during the Late Antiquity, between the 3rd and 5th centuries AD, a historical juncture characterised by notable changes in various facets of political, social, economic, and symbolic life. We propose to tackle this historical problem by providing a multidisciplinary analysis aimed at a comprehensive assessment of the impact of these phenomena. As an expository theme, we consider it appropriate to approach the recent updating of the explanatory hypothesis that points to a causal link between environmental fluctuations and the historical process of disruption and crisis of the Roman imperial edifice. Taking the pulse of this debate allows us to combine the objectives proposed for this seminar, the historical process of the ancient world and the reception of Antiquity, and serves as a starting point for my theoretical and interpretative reflections. The proposals for the effects will be analysed, with special attention to the attempts to combine environmental and historical trends and the construction of multifactorial, dynamic explanatory models, far away from monocausal or deterministic postures. The current framework also offers possibilities for the adoption of reflections and theoretical tools with which to analyse past and future societies, such as the concept of resilience in relations with the environment and the abandonment of the notion of a line of progress.