Fictions of Antiquity: the biblical and classical past of the nineteenth-century novel

6 November 2014

CRASSH, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, CB3 9DT

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How did nineteenth-century novels re-articulate, interrogate, and revise the biblical and classical past?

In what ways did contemporary approaches to biblical interpretation and classical scholarship influence the development of the novel as a form?

Our speakers will investigate how novelists explored contemporary developments in archaeology, textual scholarship, philosophy, and overseas travel; the impact of fiction on approaches to the Bible and classical texts; and the problems of redrafting the bible and ancient history as fiction. 


  • Professor Norman Vance (Sussex)
  • Dr Brian Murray (CRASSH)
  • Dr Victoria Mills (Cambridge)
  • Dr Jan-Melissa Schramm (Cambridge)


Administrative assistance: 

We are unable to arrange or book accommodation for delegates (other than the invited speakers), however, the following websites may be of help:

Visit Cambridge

Cambridge Rooms

University of Cambridge Accommodation

​This event is supported by funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013)/ ERC grant agreement no 295463


Thursday 6th November 2014

9.30 - 10.00


10.00 - 11.15

Brian Murray (CRASSH)

'Apocryphal tales: martyrology and the Victorian novel'

Response: Elizabeth Ludlow (Anglia Ruskin)

11.15 - 11.45

Coffee break

11.45 - 13.00

Jan-Melissa Schramm (Cambridge)

'The Theological work of the nineteenth-century novel: from justice to mercy'

Response: Alison Wood (Cambridge)

13.00 - 13.45


13.45 - 15.00

Victoria Mills (Cambridge)

Fiction, illustration and the classical past: Hypatia in the 1890s

Response: Kate Nichols (CRASSH)

15.00 - 15.30

Coffee break

15.30 - 16.45

Norman Vance (Sussex)

'Myth, religion and the truth of fiction'

Response: Simon Goldhill (CRASSH)

16.45 - 18.00

Reception in Atrium