My current research interest is violence, including structural and environmental violence, which is measured by broad outcomes related to public health and the environment. In this paper, I shall limit my observations to the natural and environmental consequences of metallurgy, including the mining and smelting of ores, and artisanal production using metals. This paper employs macro, meso and micro level approaches to explore in turn: metallurgy and lead contamination in the late antique world; leaden art in the Levant and Britain, at two ends of the later Roman world; and some leaden objects in the collection of the Princeton University Art Museum. I shall attempt to connect these parts in a brief conclusion.

Paul Stephenson is author or editor of ten books, most recently The Serpent Column: a Cultural Biography, published by Oxford University Press in the Onassis Series in Hellenic Culture, and New Rome: the Roman Empire in the East, AD 395-c.700, forthcoming with Harvard University Press/Profile. He has held teaching and research posts at universities, museums and institutes in seven countries, including four professorial chairs (Wisconsin, Durham, Nijmegen, Lincoln). His research has been supported by the British Academy, Dumbarton Oaks, the Humboldt Stiftung, the National Hellenic Research Foundation, Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Onassis Foundation, and the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study.

Respondent: John Haldon, History and Hellenic Studies

Event Co-sponsor(s)
Committee for the Study of Late Antiquity