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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Professor Ilaria Ramelli

COFUND Senior Research Fellow at Ustinov College, Durham University (January – March 2013)

Professor Ramelli has been Professor of History of the Roman Near East, and Assistant of History of Ancient Philosophy since 2003 at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan. She is internationally recognised as one of the foremost scholars of classic and early Christian literature and thought. As well as holding a number of senior visiting positions, including Senior Visiting Professor in Greek Thought (classical and Patristic) at NYU and Harvard, Ramelli is also scientific Consultant, member of directive and scientific boards of scholarly series and journals, and the Director of a number of international projects, including Director of the international Oxford Workshop on “The Soul in the Origenian Tradition”.

Nominated by Prof. George Boys-Stones (Classics and Ancient History) during her visit to Durham Prof. Ramelli plans to investigate how pre-Christian and non-Christian philosophers (esp. Stoics and, even more, Platonists) conceived of Apokatastasis: in the cosmological (Stoic) sense, this designates a cyclical restoration of the cosmos after its destruction and resolution into the Logos i.e. the supreme deity, Zeus. In the metaphysical and psychological (Platonic) sense, Apokatastasis indicates the restoration of the soul and its salvation. One big question within Platonism is whether this restoration will ultimately be universal or not. This is an important theme in imperial and late antique Platonism and Ramelli plans to investigate this and how this relates to the Christian doctrine of Apokatastasis.


“A great impact. It was a great time for intensive research and some meetings with colleagues, as well as assiduous reading of highly relevant materials from the library.”

Professor Ilaria Ramelli, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan