Dr Adrastos Omissi

  • Lecturer (Classics)

Research interests

I am a specialist in the later Roman Empire (3rd-5th centuries AD), and my research has focussed on three key themes: the late Empire's civil wars, the corpus of late Roman panegyric, and the question of collective memory and of attempts to control or prohibit memorialisation (the so called damnatio memoriae).

My book Emperors and Usurpers: Civil war, panegyric, and the construction of legitimacy in the Later Roman Empire (Oxford Studies in Byzantium. Oxford: 2018), unites these three interests and constitutes an exploration of the civil wars of the Roman Empire, from the accession of the emperor Diocletian (284) until the death of the emperor Theodosius (395). The book approaches this work with an eye on the question of memory and memorialisation, and takes as its starting point the considerable problem that all Roman civil wars are described in sources written by the victors. Embracing this problem, rather than attempting to overcome it, the book explores how victorious regimes sought to blacken their defeated enemies and to control the way that the past was remembered and commemorated. I use panegyric as my primary source and not only provide the first comprehensive account of the late Empire's civil wars, but advance a detailed thesis for how legitimacy and imperial authority were conceived in the Roman Empire.

My interest in panegyric has also led me to co-edit a volume on panegyric in the later Roman Empire, Panegyric from Diocletian to Honorius (Liverpool University Press, 2020). This book, a collection of articles from an international body of leading scholars in the field of panegyric studies, unites this rather disparate field through its comparative approach, bringing together scholars working on every author and collection within the corpus of late Roman panegyric and exploring what was distinct about the medium in this period.

For the future, my work will explore the role of civil war in the unravelling of Roman imperial power in the western Mediterranean.

Publications

List by: Type | Date

Jump to: 2023 | 2020 | 2018 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014
Number of items: 12.

2023

Omissi, A. (2023) Hamstrung horses: dating Constantine’s departure from the court of Galerius. Journal of Late Antiquity, (Accepted for Publication)

2020

Omissi, A. (2020) Depth, what is it good for? The problem of the many ranks. Ancient Warfare, XIV(1), pp. 52-55.

Omissi, A. and Ross, A. J. (Eds.) (2020) Imperial Panegyric from Diocletian to Honorius. Series: Translated texts for historians. Liverpool University Press: Liverpool. ISBN 9781789621105

Omissi, A. (2020) Civil war and the late Roman panegyrical corpus. In: Omissi, A. and Ross, A. J. (eds.) Imperial Panegyric from Diocletian to Honorius. Series: Translated texts for historians. Liverpool University Press: Liverpool. ISBN 9781789621105

Omissi, A. and Ross, A. J. (2020) Imperial panegyric from Diocletian to Theodosius. In: Omissi, A. and Ross, A. J. (eds.) Imperial Panegyric from Diocletian to Honorius. Series: Translated texts for historians. Liverpool University Press: Liverpool. ISBN 9781789621105

Omissi, A. (2020) Rhetoric and power: how imperial panegyric allowed civilian elites to access power in the fourth century. In: Manders, E. and Slootjes, D. (eds.) Leadership, Ideology and Crowds in the Roman Empire of the 4th Century AD. Series: Heidelberger Althoistorische Beiträge und Epigraphische Studien (62). Franz Steiner Verlag: Stuttgart. ISBN 9783515124041

2018

Omissi, A. (2018) Emperors and Usurpers in the Later Roman Empire: Civil War, Panegyric, and the Construction of Legitimacy. Series: Oxford studies in Byzantium. Oxford University Press: Oxford. ISBN 9780198824824 (doi:10.1093/oso/9780198824824.001.0001)

2016

Omissi, A. (2016) Damnatio memoriae or creatio memoriae? Memory sanctions as creative processes in the Fourth Century AD. Cambridge Classical Journal, 62, pp. 170-199. (doi: 10.1017/S1750270516000038)

Omissi, A. (2016) The cap of liberty: Roman slavery, cultural memory, and magic mushrooms. Folklore, 127(3), pp. 270-285. (doi: 10.1080/0015587X.2016.1155371)

2015

Omissi, A. (2015) Johannes Wienand (ed.): Contested Monarchy. Sehepunkte, 15(11), [Book Review]

Omissi, A. (2015) Art as history by the first historian of art: Giorgio Vasari’s Ritratto di sei poeti toscani. Oxford Historian, 13, pp. 34-37.

2014

Omissi, A. (2014) Caput imperii, caput imperatoris: the display and mutilation of the bodies of emperors, in Rome and beyond; 296-416. In: Lau, M., Franchi, C., Di Rodi, M. and Frankopan, P. (eds.) Landscapes of Power: Selected Papers from the XV Oxford University Byzantine Society International Graduate Conference. Series: Byzantine and neohellenic studies (10). Peter Lang: Oxford ; New York. ISBN 9783034317511 (doi:10.3726/978-3-0353-0566-1)

This list was generated on Tue Sep 21 12:49:36 2021 BST.
Number of items: 12.

Articles

Omissi, A. (2023) Hamstrung horses: dating Constantine’s departure from the court of Galerius. Journal of Late Antiquity, (Accepted for Publication)

Omissi, A. (2020) Depth, what is it good for? The problem of the many ranks. Ancient Warfare, XIV(1), pp. 52-55.

Omissi, A. (2016) Damnatio memoriae or creatio memoriae? Memory sanctions as creative processes in the Fourth Century AD. Cambridge Classical Journal, 62, pp. 170-199. (doi: 10.1017/S1750270516000038)

Omissi, A. (2016) The cap of liberty: Roman slavery, cultural memory, and magic mushrooms. Folklore, 127(3), pp. 270-285. (doi: 10.1080/0015587X.2016.1155371)

Omissi, A. (2015) Art as history by the first historian of art: Giorgio Vasari’s Ritratto di sei poeti toscani. Oxford Historian, 13, pp. 34-37.

Books

Omissi, A. (2018) Emperors and Usurpers in the Later Roman Empire: Civil War, Panegyric, and the Construction of Legitimacy. Series: Oxford studies in Byzantium. Oxford University Press: Oxford. ISBN 9780198824824 (doi:10.1093/oso/9780198824824.001.0001)

Book Sections

Omissi, A. (2020) Civil war and the late Roman panegyrical corpus. In: Omissi, A. and Ross, A. J. (eds.) Imperial Panegyric from Diocletian to Honorius. Series: Translated texts for historians. Liverpool University Press: Liverpool. ISBN 9781789621105

Omissi, A. and Ross, A. J. (2020) Imperial panegyric from Diocletian to Theodosius. In: Omissi, A. and Ross, A. J. (eds.) Imperial Panegyric from Diocletian to Honorius. Series: Translated texts for historians. Liverpool University Press: Liverpool. ISBN 9781789621105

Omissi, A. (2020) Rhetoric and power: how imperial panegyric allowed civilian elites to access power in the fourth century. In: Manders, E. and Slootjes, D. (eds.) Leadership, Ideology and Crowds in the Roman Empire of the 4th Century AD. Series: Heidelberger Althoistorische Beiträge und Epigraphische Studien (62). Franz Steiner Verlag: Stuttgart. ISBN 9783515124041

Omissi, A. (2014) Caput imperii, caput imperatoris: the display and mutilation of the bodies of emperors, in Rome and beyond; 296-416. In: Lau, M., Franchi, C., Di Rodi, M. and Frankopan, P. (eds.) Landscapes of Power: Selected Papers from the XV Oxford University Byzantine Society International Graduate Conference. Series: Byzantine and neohellenic studies (10). Peter Lang: Oxford ; New York. ISBN 9783034317511 (doi:10.3726/978-3-0353-0566-1)

Book Reviews

Omissi, A. (2015) Johannes Wienand (ed.): Contested Monarchy. Sehepunkte, 15(11), [Book Review]

Edited Books

Omissi, A. and Ross, A. J. (Eds.) (2020) Imperial Panegyric from Diocletian to Honorius. Series: Translated texts for historians. Liverpool University Press: Liverpool. ISBN 9781789621105

This list was generated on Tue Sep 21 12:49:36 2021 BST.

Grants

2020-21

British Academy Small Grant

 

2019

Principal’s Early Career Mobility Scheme, University of Glasgow

Institute of Classical Studies Public Engagment Grant

 

2014-2017

British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in History

 

Supervision

I would be very keen to supervise students working in any aspect of late Roman, Late Antique, or early Byzantine history, particularly students working on political culture, imperial representation, or the military establishment. My own future work will be exploring the emergence of Romano-Germanic culture and the interactions between Romans and barbarians, and I would likewise be particularly interested to support individuals looking to do research in these areas.

 

Current PhD topics:

  • The Suicide Taboo: The Emergence of Suicidal Shame in Christian Late Antiquity

 

Completed projects:

  • Rituals of Power: The Roman Imperial Admission from the Severans to the Fourth Century

Teaching

Classical Civilisation 1B (pre-honours)

Classical Civilisation 2B (pre-honours)

Latin Level 1 (pre-honours)

Latin Level 2 (pre-honours)

Roman Warfare (honours)

Ancient Warfare (honours)

The Later Roman Empire, 270-400 (honours)

Imperium Indivisum: The Collapse of the West Roman Empire in the Fifth Century AD (honours)