Congratulations to Carolyn La Rocco, who successfully defended her viva on 15 February!
Carolyn’s dissertation, “The ‘Christianisation’ of the Iberian Peninsula: Christian Space Creation by Late Roman and Visigothic Elites from the Fourth to the Eighth Century CE” analysed the Christianisation of the peninsula by focusing on the creation of Christian spaces over a long period of time. As she shows, whereas scholarship has focused exclusively on the role played by bishops in this process, there is ample literary, archaeological, and epigraphic evidence to show a much more complex picture, in which secular elites were deeply involved in the establishment of churches, chapels, baptistries, and monasteries. Carolyn’s work is an important contribution not only to our understanding of Iberian social at a time of profound social and political change, but also to one of the key developments in late antique history. Her thesis was examined by Alex Woolf (History) and Jamie Wood (Lincoln), who recommended it for publication.
Besides defending her viva, Carolyn was also recently awarded a postdoctoral fellowship at the RomanIslam centre at the University of Hamburg, to work with Professor Sabine Panzram, on architectural reuse in the churches of late antique Iberia and North Africa. We are delighted for the news, and wish her all the very best.