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Professor Susanna Elm (UC Berkeley), ‘Homeland - Salvian of Marseilles On the Governance of God.’

Seminar by Professor Susanna Elm (UC Berkeley) for Classics and Ancient History

Salvian of Marseilles composed his treatise On the Governance of God, more accurately on the present judgment of God, in the aftermath of the Vandal sack of Carthage in 439, to try to explain to his audience why God saw it fit to punish the Romans with such severity as he had evidently just done. In eight books that have come down to us in incomplete form, he chastised those who wished to listen for many failings and obvious injustices, arguing that the barbarians had been granted their victories justly. Social historians and those interested in the barbarian migrations have long since mined the work for important insights, but have rarely analyzed it as a cohesive whole, much less asking who exactly the Romans were Salvian had in mind, and what role exactly he assigned to Carthage and Africa.

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Building:One Bateman Lecture Theatre