Fluid Identities: Poetry and the Navigation of Mixed Ethnicities in Late Antique Gaul
This paper uses the work of Late Antique (4th-6th century) Latin poets to demonstrate the ways that pre-modern sources can be a part of scholarly discussions of the development of environmental imaginations and can usefully contribute to the development of the environmental humanities. The three poets (Ausonius, Sidonius Apollinaris, and Venantius Fortunatus) have many works that explore and describe nature; one theme that emerges is that they closely connected the rivers of Gaul to their concerns over political and cultural identity. Rivers, including the Rhone and the Mosel, were intricately woven into the daily life and cultural identities of 4th-6thcentury Gaul, and were both tangible and fluid political boundaries. These poems use rivers to confirm cultural identities, validate the Christian cultural experience, and express broader cultural and political concerns about cultural integration and hybridity.
Arnold, Ellen, "Fluid Identities: Poetry and the Navigation of Mixed Ethnicities in Late Antique Gaul" (2014). History Faculty Work. 2.
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