Projects

All members of MARCUS are actively engaged in research into the medieval and ancient worlds. MARCUS aims to facilitate co-operation and collaboration within the field, and arranges round-table seminars to discuss potential bids for external research funding.

Here is a selection of externally-funded current and recent research projects.

Turbulent Priests 

One of the definitions of the Middle Ages is as a time when religion was not considered a separate category from other areas of life, before the invention of the secular in the Enlightenment. Yet ‘the secular’ is arguably a concept intrinsic to Christianity, and in fact people did distinguish between secular and religious in certain contexts. This AHRC project focuses on how this boundary was ‘performed’ in Europe c.600-1200, with particular attention to judicial practice

The Migration of Faith: Clerical Exile in Late Antiquity

This is an international and interdisciplinary research project between the Universities of Sheffield, Aarhus, Halle, and the Austrian Academy, funded by the AHRC, investigating how the banishment of hundreds of Christian clerics to a myriad of places all around the Mediterranean during the religious controversies of late antiquity shaped the institution of the Christian Church in this period and beyond.

Classical Heroism in War and Peace, 1914-24

The Ancient Greeks created the concept of the hero.  From the very beginning of the literary record – in Homer’s Iliad and Greek Tragedy – the hero is both paradigm and paradox. Born of the battlefield, the Greek hero stands between the beauty of the gods and the vulnerability of mortals in combat. Sacrificed to war and the demands of personal glory, he is bound to yet isolated from the community he seeks to defend. In his fragile balance of daimonic aggression and pity for his victims, the hero is elevated but conflicted. The paradoxes of heroic nature are further pressed in ancient thought by the courage of women. Ancient heroines emerge from sites of struggle removed from the fields of war yet fully implicated in them – in crises where family and political loyalties clash and where violent death is the only means of resolution. These ancient mythological paradigms of heroism are a persistent feature in European cultural attempts to process the trauma of World War I and its aftermath.

This Network explores reflections on male and female heroism and their expression in a range of media of the war and post-war period: political rhetoric, poetry, art, sculpture and public memorials.