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The Damned Despot:

Rethinking Domitian and the Flavian World

Rome, 18-21 January 2023

Call for Papers

Dear all,

Newcastle and Radboud Universities, in collaboration with the Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali, the National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden, and the Flavian Literature and Culture Network are pleased to issue the call for papers for the conference The Damned Despot: Rethinking Domitian and the Flavian World, which will be held in Rome at the Capitoline Museums, the Royal Netherlands Institute (KNIR) and the British School (BSR) from 18th-21st January 2023.

The conference takes place concurrently with the exhibition Domiziano Imperatore. Odio e Amore (13 July 2022-29 January 2023) on show at the Capitoline Museums, Villa Caffarelli, and follows the exhibition Emperor Domitian. God on Earth/Keizer Domitianus. God op aarde at the National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden (17 December 2021-22 May 2022).

In this conference, we aim to build on recent studies of Domitian and his reign, shedding light on this elusive emperor, whose memory has been largely forgotten, but whose impact on Rome’s cityscape is still visible to this day and whose influence on the later development of the Roman Empire cannot be ignored. We would welcome papers from all areas of research (historical, archaeological, literary and cultural studies etc.) that focus on different aspects of Domitian’s reign. By taking in consideration different aspects of Domitian’s world, we hope to be able to ignite a broader discussion on this historical figure and paint a more comprehensive picture of his reign and his times.

Interested individuals should send their proposals (max. 300 words) for a 25-30 minutes paper to the conference email address ( by Friday, October 7. Conference papers should be in English or Italian (the official languages of the conference.) We will inform participants whose proposals are accepted by Tuesday, October 21 at the latest.

Keynote speakers for this conference include Prof. Katharina Lorenz (Justus-Liebig-University of Giessen) and Dr. Virginia Closs (University of Massachusetts Amherst). Funding for the conference has generously been supplied by the Anchoring Innovation Project (Gravitation Grant research agenda of OIKOS, the National Research School in Classical Studies, the Netherlands, financially supported by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science) and the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome. We hope to provide some financial assistance to early career researchers in terms of a travel bursary and accommodation thus warmly encourage to apply all those who fall under this category (if you would like to be considered for this, please let us know when you submit your proposal).

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the organisers at

Please circulate this call of papers among your colleagues and those you think might be interested.

With thanks and all best wishes, the organizing committee:

Antony Augoustakis, Emma Buckley, Nathalie de Haan, Eric Moormann, Maria Paola del Moro, Massimiliano Munzi, Claudio Parisi Presicce, Aurora Raimondi Cominesi, and Claire Stocks