CFP: Celts, Romans, Greeks – Language & cultural contacts in the Roman Empire & associated areas, Heidelberg, Sept 2014

Closing date for proposals: 15th February 2014

Celts, Romans, Greeks – Language and cultural contacts in the Roman Empire and associated areas,
Internationales Wissenschaftsforum (IWF), Heidelberg,
18th-21st September 2014.


Celts, Romans, Greeks – Language and cultural contacts in the Roman Empire and associated areas

Celtic perhaps reached its widest extent in (Central) Europe around the time of Christ’s birth. In Antiquity Celts had settled far and wide, not only in western Europe from Britain and Ireland to Spain, but also in south-central and south-eastern Europe and into Anatolia. The expansion of the Roman Empire had brought practically the entire area of Celtic language and culture under its sway. Celtic lost its leading position to Latin. This process of displacement has lasted right down to the present, whereby the area of Celtic speech is now confined to north-western Europe, as a result of which Celtic has lost ground to a Latin daughter-language and a Germanic language heavily influenced by the same.

The proposed Symposium aims to look further into the multiple language and cultural contacts resulting from initial Celtic expansion to its later displacement. The main empha¬sis will concentrate on the contacts between the Celtic languages and their Latin / Romance and Greek counterparts, which are to be seen rather as mutual influences than as one-sided dominance. In addition, contact with other relevant languages of the period (e.g. Celtic-Germanic language contact, Italo-Celtic contacts, possible hamito-semitic influence on the toponomy in the area of Britain and Ireland, etc.) would also be brought in.

Possible ideas for papers may include:

  • Celtic loanwords in Latin from the time of the Roman Republic onwards.
  • Celtic influence on Roman politicians / Latin authors, whose familiesoriginally derive from Celtic areas (e.g. Cisalpine and Transalpine Gaul,Spain. etc.) and who exercised con¬siderable influence in Rome. Perhaps there are traces of Celtic influence to be seen in their works?
  • Traces of Celtic elements in personal and place-names deriving from Antiquity.
  • Substrate influences from the Celtic languages in (Vulgar) Latin and various phenomena still to be seen in some modern Romance languages.
  • Influences from Latin in the syntax particularly of the Insular Celtic languages, which – differently from Continental Celtic – survived Antiquity and which may still be spoken to day.
  • Contact between Greek and Celtic in southern Gaul and Galatia, etc.

The Symposium will be organised by Prof. Dr. Gerrit Kloss (University of Heidelberg) and Prof. Dr. George Broderick (University of Mannheim), to take place in the Internationales Wissenschaftsforum (IWF) in Heidelberg from Thursday evening to Sunday lunchtime, 18-21 September 2014, to which Celticists, Classicists, and other interested parties, comprising language, literature and cultural specialists, etc., are cordially invited. In this context we look forward to discussions between colleagues representing diverse areas of research and speciality within the framework of the Symposium, who ordinarily perhaps for reasons of opportunity, etc, would not normally come into contact, with a view to a mutual enrichment of ideas and
understanding and closer coming-together of Celtic and Classical Studies.

Proposals for papers and abstracts should be sent to: celtoromania@skph.uni-heidelberg.de by 15 February 2014.

Please supply: Title of Paper, Abstract (150-300 words). Papers to last 30 min. max.
Further information will be sent from 1 April 2014 onwards.

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