Every week the Center for Ancient Studies sends a list of events related to the ancient world in the Philadelphia area to interested members.

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Rome in the History of Universal Empires
Friday, 21 April 2017
12:00 PM
Peter F. Bang, The Saxo Institute, University of Copenhagen
Scheide Caldwell House Room 209, Princeton University
Sponsored by: Program in the Ancient World, Princeton


The Domestication of the Dromedary and the Emergence of Overland Trade in the ancient Near East
Friday, 21 April 2017
12:00 PM
Peter Magee, Bryn Mawr College
Penn Museum Classroom 2, University of Pennsylvania
Sponsored by: Graduate Group in Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World, University of Pennsylvania


Violence and Mercy on the Ancient Frontier
Friday, 21 April 2017
4:00 PM
Noel Lenski, Yale University
Weaver Building Room 102, Penn State University
Sponsored by: Department of Classics & Ancient Mediterranean Studies, Penn State


'I’m Dionysos, the Son of Winejar': Allegorical Interpretations of the God of Wine
Friday, 21 April 2017
4:30 PM
Marco Antonio Santamaría Álvarez, University of Salamanca
Rhys Carpenter Library Room B21, Bryn Mawr College
Sponsored by: Department of Greek, Latin and Classical Studies, Bryn Mawr College


Excavating the Ancient City of Tenea
Friday, 21 April 2017
6:00 PM
Eleni Korka, General Directorate of Antiquities, Greece
ISAW ISAW Lecture Hall, NYC
The fall of Troy, according to myth, lead Aeneas to found the city of Rome. It also inspired Agamemnon to found the city of Tenea in the Corinthia by installing Trojan war-prisoners strategically on the passage near Tenea leading from Corinth to Argos and Mycenae. Tenea flourished by founding with Corinth the colony of Syracuse. Commerce brought great wealth to the city. Later on, during the Roman invasion in Corinthia, only Tenea was spared due to the mythic common descent of the inhabitants of Rome and Tenea. A systematic excavation carried out by Dr. Eleni Korka, Director General of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage, has brought to light findings from the Prehistoric to the Roman era. This presentation will provide the existing evidence for the remains of the on-going excavation, among which are an archaic cemetery with unique monuments and exquisite findings which offer insight into aspects of life and death by furnishing valuable information with regard to funeral customs; an ancient road, a Roman mausoleum and other buildings. Among the findings is a unique plastic clay lantern in the form of a reclining Seilinos, found for the very first time in its context, and clearly associated–as is the case with all Dionysian figures, which were intended to induce specific associations with certain places—with Roman religious beliefs and conceptions about death and the afterlife (Emphasis will be given to this find). The city of Tenea presents a tantalizing fragment from the long history of ancient Corinth and testifies to the supreme artistic achievements of the Greco-Roman civilization. Its remains and findings served many purposes, one of which was to create spaces that could be read simultaneously according to Greek and Roman cultural codes, spaces where seeing both would eventually make sense. Registration is required at isaw.nyu.edu/rsvp
Sponsored by: Institute for the Study of the Ancient World


Dan Ben-Amos: Fifty Years of Jewish Folklore at Penn
Sunday, 23 April 2017
9:00 AM
Houston Hall Hall of Flags, University of Pennsylvania
There will be an opening keynote from Prof. Eli Yassif (Tel Aviv University). In the middle will be a roundtable composed of five of Dan’s doctoral students: Prof. Simon Bronner (Penn State University, Harrisburg), Prof. Itzik Gottesman (University of Texas, Austin), Prof. Amy Horowitz (Indiana University, Bloomington), Prof. Chava Weissler (Lehigh University), and Prof. Yael Zerubavel (Rutgers University). The closing keynote will be from Prof. Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett (New York University, and the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews). The event is 9–12:30, followed by a lunch reception. To attend, please RSVP to jsp-info@sas.upenn.edu http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/jwst/events/2017/dan-ben-amos-fifty-years-jewish-folklore-penn
Sponsored by: Jewish Studies Program, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, University of Pennsylvania


Sick of race: How racism harms health and misleads medicine
Monday, 24 April 2017
12:00 PM
Clarence C. Gravlee, University of Florida
Penn Museum Room 345, University of Pennsylvania
Social scientists commonly assert that race is a cultural construct, not a biological reality. This refrain is correct in spirit, but it has proven to be an ineffective response to the persistence of racial-genetic determinism in medicine, science, and everyday life. What's more, it creates a blind spot: deflecting attention from the biological consequences of cultural constructs like race. In this talk, I show how hidden assumptions about race, genes, and biology infect contemporary medicine and how integrating methods from the social and biological sciences clarifies the health effects of systemic racism.
Sponsored by: Department of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania


Lapidary Collections: The Museum Florentinum (1731ff) and the Material Texts of Antiquity
Monday, 24 April 2017
5:15 PM
Michael Suarez, University of Virginia
Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Class of 1978 Pavilion (6th Floor), University of Pennsylvania
This talk, part of a larger investigation into The Book as Museum in Eighteenth-Century Europe, considers volumes depicting collections of engraved gems from Antiquity and the Renaissance. This significant but largely neglected genre of deluxe publication was of no small consequence for the cultures of collecting, the Grand Tour, and antiquarian studies. The Museum Florentinum, representing the magnificent collection of the Medici, gave a new impetus to gem collecting, to the production of sumptuous volumes with plates portraying engraved gems, and to the revival of gem engraving in Italy, France, and England. The dactyliogic vogue among cultural elites also created a market for the reproduction of engraved gems (in paste, resin, or plaster) that were collected, studied, and displayed in the libraries of Grand Tourists such as Goethe. Seeking to understand the book as a cultural artifact that may productively be read in relation to other artifacts both old and new, this study attempts to re-situate the production, circulation, and consumption of texts among other social practices—and to understand those practices in relation to the word of print.
Sponsored by: Workshop in the History of Material Texts, Penn


To Detect and Conserve: New Research on the Science and History of Columbia's Ancient Manuscripts
Tuesday, 25 April 2017
4:30 PM
Butler Library Room 523, Columbia University
What happens when researchers in carbon nanotechnology encounter some of the oldest documents in existence? In 2012 scientists, papyrologists and conservators joined forces to study writing materials thousands of years old, and the Ancient Ink Laboratory was born. Based in the Columbia Nano Initiative, the team found an ideal source of study in the Columbia University Libraries' Papyri and Ostraca Collection, one of the largest holdings of ancient writings in the United States. This talk will describe the cross-disciplinary work of the Ancient Ink Lab and explain some of its surprising discoveries, including research that may lead to a new and non-destructive method for dating carbon inks from the ancient Mediterranean world. Alexis Hagadorn, Head of Conservation, Columbia University Libraries David M. Ratzan, Head Librarian, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University Sarah Goler, Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Columbia Nano Initiative Website: https://events.columbia.edu/cal/event/showEventMore.rdo;jsessionid=7D07FEB7043782A58389626F339A4F95
Sponsored by: Columbia University


Annette Reed’s Fallen Angels: A Conference in Honor of Annette Yoshiko Reed
Wednesday, 26 April 2017
4:00 PM
Cohen Hall Room 402, University of Pennsylvania
As many may already be aware, Professor Annette Yoshiko Reed will be leaving Penn’s Religious Studies Department to join the faculty at New York University this coming Fall. Her graduate students are organizing a small farewell conference on April 26 (4:00–7:00 PM, in room 402 of Cohen Hall on the Penn campus) in light of her immense service to the Penn community, which includes serving as a faculty member in the Religious Studies and Ancient History graduate groups, the Director of the Center for Ancient Studies, and a Faculty Director of Fisher Hassenfeld College House. This conference will feature presentations by Professor Reed’s graduate students and will be followed by a vegetarian reception. If you would like to attend, please RSVP to jaehhan@sas.upenn.edu by April 21. http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/psco/year54/2017-04-26.shtml


Kolb Spring Colloquium
Thursday, 27 April 2017
2:00 PM
Penn Museum Classroom 2, University of Pennsylvania
Lara Fabian (Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World), “Archaeological narratives of the Caspian zone: ‘nec in alia parte maior auctorum inconstantia’ (“about no other place is there greater inconsistency among the authors”)” Patricia Kim (History of Art), “Engendering Dynasty: Female Bodies and Figural Traditions in Lycian Sculptural Relief (5th-4th c BCE)” Bret Langendorfer (History of Art), “Achaemenid Syntax: Architecture, Metalware, and Modularity” Whittaker Schroder (Anthropology), "To Infiernito and Beyond: A Defensive Site and its Political Context in the Western Maya Lowlands"
Sponsored by: Louis J. Kolb Society of Fellows


Remaking the Saint: Antonius’ Life of Symeon the Elder and the Cult of Symeon the Younger
Thursday, 27 April 2017
4:30 PM
Dina Boero, Center for Hellenic Studies, Princeton
Scheide Caldwell House Room 103, Princeton University
The cults of Symeon the Elder (d. 459 CE) and Symeon the Younger (d. 592) were linked in the minds of many late antique Christians. People, objects, and stories moved fluidly between the two communities. This presentation explores connections between Antonius’ Life of Symeon the Stylite the Elder and the anonymous Life of Symeon the Stylite the Younger. It argues that Antonius made use of the Life of the younger stylite as well as other textual and archaeological material pertaining to Symeon the Younger’s cult. Whereas previous studies of Symeon the Younger have examined the influence of the elder stylite on the younger, this presentation shows that influence was not unidirectional. Symeon the Elders’s cult-keepers reshaped the saint and devotion to him in light of growing veneration to his successor. By examining these two cults from the perspective of collaboration rather than competition, this paper illuminates the multifaceted symbolic world of devotion to saints.
Sponsored by: Committee for the Study of Late Antiquity, Princeton


Meet Madame Silsila: An Introduction and Updates from Gebel el Silsila
Thursday, 27 April 2017
6:00 PM
Tricia Coletto, Field Archaeologist, Gebel el Silsila Project
ISAW ISAW Lecture Hall, NYC
Gebel el Silsila, meaning 'Mountain of the Chain' in Arabic, is located in Upper Egypt between Kom Ombo and Edfu. Most visitors to Egypt have only experienced Gebel el Silsila from the deck of a ship while cruising the Nile between Aswan and Luxor. However Madam Silsila, as she is affectionately known to the Gebel el Silsila team, is so much more. The massive site encompasses approximately 30 square kilometers and is known for its many New Kingdom stelae, Nile cenotaphs, shrines, and rock cut temple, the so-called Speos of Horemheb. Arguably Silsila's predominant features are her cavernous, cathedral-like quarries. Numbering 104, these quarries produced much of the quality sandstone used to construct some of the most famed temples in Egypt. This talk will introduce you to wondrous Madam Silsila with an overview of her most renowned aspects, present those which are lesser known, and reveal some of the latest news from the field. Registration is required at isaw.nyu.edu/rsvp
Sponsored by: Institute for the Study of the Ancient World


The Wondrous Journey of Cicero's Head to Sardis: Hellenic Identity and Biculturalism in a Greek Imperial Epigram
Thursday, 27 April 2017
6:15 PM
Regina Höschele, University of Toronto
Silver Center for Arts and Science Room 503, New York University
Sponsored by: Department of Classics, New York University


Vulnerability in the Middle Ages
Friday, 28 April 2017
9:30 AM
Aaron Burr Hall Room 219, Princeton University
Graduate Student Conference in Medieval Studies https://medievalstudies.princeton.edu/event/spring-graduate-medieval-conference/
Sponsored by: Department of Medieval Studies, Princeton


The Core of a New Age: Northern Mesopotamia and Syria in the Late Bronze Age
Friday, 28 April 2017
9:30 AM
ISAW ISAW Lecture Hall, NYC
During the Late Bronze Age Northern Mesopotamia consists of two major regions that highly differ in political trajectories: East of the Euphrates, two major powers grew prominent, one after the other, and became major players in what is known as the Age of Diplomacy: one is the kingdom of Mitanni, the other is Assyria. West of the Euphrates, instead, we see a fragmented political landscape with local kingdoms wavering between the major powers. The two regions, however, strongly interacted from early times in history; with the Late Bronze Age, the expansion of the kingdom of Mitanni and of Assyria to the West promoted and intensified the interaction between local interests and external hegemonic pursuits in the administrative, political, cultural, and economic spheres. The workshop aims at reflecting on the conceptualization, organization, and cultural expressions of power, as well as circulations of people, goods, and knowledge in Northern Mesopotamia and Syria. The central question to be explored is how and in which contexts we can observe some kind of common ideology reflecting the multiple intersections of political, economic, and social frameworks of the Club of the Great Powers. Simultaneously, the focus will be on the peculiarities of the local dynamics shaping the relations East and West of the Euphrates during the Late Bronze Age. Schedule: http://isaw.nyu.edu/events/core-of-a-new-age Registration is required at isaw.nyu.edu/rsvp
Sponsored by: Institute for the Study of the Ancient World


Suicide in the Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East
Friday, 28 April 2017
11:00 AM
Jan Dietrich, Aarhus University
Italian Academy 5th Floor Conference Room, Columbia University
Suicide raises questions about the meaning and purpose of human life, and the different ways society deals with it are currently being debated not only in society but in different fields of research as well. However, an extensive study of suicide in ancient Israel and its neighbouring cultures of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia has been missing, and it is the aim of the book presented to close this research gap. In my paper, building upon my book, I do not view suicide from medical or dogmatic-theological perspectives, which regard suicide as an act of mental illness or sinful deed. Instead, it is viewed from a historico-cultural and sociological perspective and focuses on the motives and meanings behind suicidal acts. By examining suicidal act from this angle, they are interpreted as attempts to solve basic problems of life, and the historical material available is categorised into three basic forms: escapist suicides, aggressive suicides, and suicides of passage and sacrifice.
Sponsored by: Center for the Ancient Mediterranean, Columbia


Contact, Colony, and Community in the Black Sea Region: The First Two Seasons of Excavations at the Kale of Sinop, Turkey
Friday, 28 April 2017
4:30 PM
Alexander Bauer, Queens College, CUNY
Rhys Carpenter Library Room B21, Bryn Mawr College
Sponsored by: Department of Greek, Latin and Classical Studies, Bryn Mawr College


Subjects of Empire: Political and Cultural Exchange in Imperial Rome. A Conference in Honor of Brent Shaw
Friday, 12 May 2017
1:00 PM
Aaron Burr Hall Room 219, Princeton University
Schedule: http://www.princeton.edu/classics/conference-in-honor-of-brent-shaw/ May 12: 1–6:30 May 13: 8:45–6:30
Sponsored by: Department of Classics at Princeton University