Ad Limina Orientis – EN

Ad limina orientis
Oriental Christianities on the Silk Roads during the Long Late Antiquity. Languages, Texts, Objects, Images

31st of October – 6th of November 2022

University of Lille
HALMA: Histoire, Archéologie et Littérature des Mondes Anciens – UMR 8164

Teaching: on-site & zoom
Studying: on-site (possibilities of online attending should be discussed on an individual basis)
Target audience: PhD, Master and last year undergraduate students
Teaching languages: French & English
Registration: free but obligatory

Scholarships covering accommodation expenses at the Eklo Lille hotel will be offered, depending on the number of applications and the available budget.

The School adheres to the values of peace, freedom, and independence of thought. Its faculty includes scholars from Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, UK, Ukraine, and USA, revealing the spirit of international scientific collaboration overcoming the divisions.


The 1-st Autumn School of the EX-PATRIA Project Ad limina orientis will offer an introduction as well as in-depth insights into the history of Eurasian Late Antiquity. It will provide students with a unique opportunity to acquire and consolidate their knowledge of the Late Antique Christian East and its interrelated cultures.

The School is aimed at the research of contact and interaction of the Christian cultures along the Silk Road during the ‘long’ Late Antiquity. This was the main formative epoch for the cultural heyday that followed in the medieval period (Pre- as well as Early Islamic).
The religious landscape of Late Antique East was highly diverse yet closely interconnected. The Syriac culture (literature, philosophy, theology) has long served as an intermediary between East and West. Georgia and Armenia under Iranian and Roman influence developed their highly original Christian identities within the Eurasian continuum. The religiously diverse world of Late Antique Iran had a huge impact on the formation of Oriental Christianities, which reached Central Asia following the many ways of communication and exchange along the Silk Roads.

The School will have a twofold format: introductory language classes in the morning (3 hours/day), followed by lectures in the afternoon (4 hours/day).
A Round Table will mark the end of the School

Introduction to Languages and Documents of Oriental Christianities

Introductory language courses accompanied by orientation sessions (principal sources, major editions, manuscripts, library/archive collections, dictionaries, periodicals) and exercise sessions in calligraphy.

(Hyperlinks in the list of languages link to the corresponding professors)

* Prior basic knowledge of Standard Arabic is desirable for taking the Middle (Christian) Arabic course.

Two language initiation classes will take place in parallel each day. It will be possible to follow either two major courses (7,5 hours) or one major (7,5 hours) and two minor courses (4,5 hours each).
Additional workshops in calligraphy (1,5 hours each) will accompany courses in Classical Syriac (Eastern), Old Georgian, and Middle (Christian) Arabic.

Thematic Lecture Sessions

Lectures on key aspects of the interconnected Christian cultures of Eurasian Late Antiquity.

Round Table
Conflicting and Merging: Construction of Christian Identities in the Persianate Worlds of Late Antiquity

Total expected hours of work for students, including homework and after School essay: approximately 60h
Students will receive certificates confirming their participation

The School is organised by Ekaterina Nechaeva in scientific collaboration with Alexey Muraviev.