Doctoral Project

  • Doctoral project:
    Pagan Education and Literary Culture in the 4th century AD. A Study of the Underworld Topos in Claudian’s De raptu Proserpinae between Classical paideia and Christian Setting
    (Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Ilinca Tanaseanu-Döbler, Prof. Dr. Peter Kuhlmann, and Prof. Dr. Heinz-Günther Nesselrath).

  • Based on a personal and scientific interest in Augustan and early imperial epics, Ms Ryser’s doctoral project pursues the question how these works relate to pagan and Christian epic poetry of Late Antiquity. Analysing Claudian’s late 4th century epic De raptu Proserpinae Ms Ryser would like to gain deeper insights into the interplay of the reception of classical literature – as a vital constituent of the traditional paideia – and late antique religiosity. By limiting the scope to the underworld topos in epic poetry, and hence the literary reflection of traditional, philosophical, and religious ideas and beliefs concerning the afterlife, it is possible to establish a set of texts from writers of different religious affiliations which can be compared to the De raptu Proserpinae. Thus, the results of a close study of Claudian’s practice are contextualized and may shed light on the possible tensions between education and religion in the literary culture of the 4th/5th century.