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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Nomadic Empires in Inner Asia: A Comparative Approach
Tuesday, 27 January 2015
6:00 PM
Jan Bemmann, University of Bonn
ISAW ISAW Lecture Hall, 15 East 84th St. New York, NY
Established by nomadic groups, empires in the steppes of Inner Asia have lain outside the realms of critical and comparative academic discussions of complex polities. Furthermore, comparative archaeological debates on urban settings and early cities have more or less neglected the constructed centers of nomadic empires. Much of the relegation of nomadic polities may lie in the treatment by early historians of nomadic groups as "barbarians," as "non-civilized" peoples, an opinion that has been, until recently, widely accepted by the general public. In his lecture, ISAW Visiting Research Scholar Jan Bemmann will aim to liberate the nomadic steppe empires from old hackneyed cliches. He will present the results of his ongoing research, focusing on a comparative analysis of the archaeological evidence of the Turko-Mongol empires in Mongolia. --Reception to follow


Roman and Early Medieval Amulets: Science, Magic, and Practicality
Thursday, 29 January 2015
4:30 PM
Genevra Kornbluth, Independent Scholar
Thomas Library 224, Bryn Mawr College
Free and open to the public


Centaurs and the Uses of Hybridity
Thursday, 29 January 2015
4:30 PM
Jeremy McInerney, University of Pennsylvania
Cohen Hall 402, University of Pennsylvania
This paper is concerned with the figure of the centaur in the imagination of the Greeks. Beginning with the Lefkandi centaur, the Greeks manufactured centaur figures in a variety of media: terra cottas, pedimental sculpture, bronze figurines and vase paintings. The valence of these depictions, however, is not uniform. In some settings they clearly stand for unbridled male sexuality (as in the Olympia pediments.) Others, such as the early Red Figure depictions of Cheiron in himation with horse’s rump attached, or Pholos reclining at banquet seem almost parodies of the sympotic culture of the kaloi k’agathoi.


The New Excavations in the Necropolis of Himera
Thursday, 29 January 2015
6:00 PM
Stefano Vassallo, Superintendency of Palermo
Institute of Fine Arts Lecture Hall, 1 East 78th St. New York, NY
This lecture is free and open to the public, but an RSVP is required. [http://ancientstudies.fas.nyu.edu/page/events] Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.


Emergency Efforts to Protect Cultural Heritage in Crisis: The Safeguarding the Heritage of Syria and Iraq Project
Friday, 30 January 2015
12:30 PM
Brian Daniels, Penn Cultural Heritage Center
Penn Museum Classroom 2, University of Pennsylvania
How are we to respond to the current intentional destruction of heritage occurring in Syria and Iraq? The international regime of heritage protection rests upon the consensus of actors within the modern system of nation-states. But in the present crisis, one actor, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, rejects that system. Furthermore, in the case of Syria, UNESCO and other international preservation organizations find themselves locked into a structural situation where they are obliged to interact with the Assad government, which has been responsible for so much of the damage to historic sites. What alternatives might exist? Using the work of the Safeguarding the Heritage of Syria and Iraq Project as an example, this paper articulates an alternative model of intervention. While there may yet be hope under customary international law to address ultimate criminal culpability, in terms of practical interventions, focusing efforts on community activists and other heritage professionals outside of formal government structures may prove to be one of the few viable strategies available for effective emergency actions in the present conflict.


From Consular Accession to Cosmic Triumph: Reassessing the Basilica of Junius Bassu
Friday, 30 January 2015
3:30 PM
Stephanie Hagan, University of Pennsylvania
Jaffe Building 113, University of Pennsylvania


Excuses, Excuses: Racy Poetry from Catullus to Johannes Secundus
Friday, 30 January 2015
4:30 PM
Julia Gaisser, Bryn Mawr College
Rhys Carpenter Library B21, Bryn Mawr College


Ossuaries and the Burials of Jesus and James
Sunday, 1 February 2015
2:00 PM
Jodi Magness, UNC Chapel Hill
Penn Museum , University of Pennsylvania
In November 2002, the existence of a sensational archaeological artifact was announced to the world—a small stone box called an ossuary, inscribed with the name of James, the brother of Jesus. And in spring 2007, yet another sensational claim made headlines around the world—the supposed identification of Jesus' family tomb in Jerusalem's Talpiyot neighborhood. In this illustrated lecture, Dr. Jodi Magness, Professor of Religious Studies, UNC Chapel Hill, discusses these finds within the context of ancient Jewish tombs and burial customs in Jerusalem in the time of Jesus (late Second Temple Period). Dr. Magness explains why the so-called Talpiyot tomb could not have belonged to Jesus' family, and the so-called James Ossuary never contained the remains of Jesus' brother James the Just. Cosponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America. Free with Museum admission. For more information, call 215.898.2680.


Ovid the Outsider
Monday, 2 February 2015
4:00 PM
Laurel Fulkerson, Florida State University
Anderson Hall 542 , Temple University


SAMSON in STONE: New Discoveries in the Ancient Synagogue at Huqoq in Israel’s Galilee
Monday, 2 February 2015
5:00 PM
Jodi Magness, UNC Chapel Hill
Cohen Hall 402, University of Pennsylvania
Professor Jodi Magness’ excavations in the ancient village of Huqoq in Israel's Galilee have brought to light the remains of a monumental Late Roman (fifth century) synagogue building that is paved with stunning and unique mosaics, including depictions of the biblical hero Samson. In this slide-illustrated lecture, Prof. Magness describes exciting discoveries made up through the summer 2014 season.


Homer Meets the Chinese Classics: Prince Chong'er in Qi and Other Tales of Reluctant Wandering Heroes
Tuesday, 3 February 2015
4:30 PM
Mick Hunter, Yale University
Trotter Hall 301, Swarthmore College


Procopius of Caesarea and the Sasanian Empire
Thursday, 5 February 2015
4:30 PM
Henning Börm, University of Konstanz
East Pyne 010, Princeton University
Open to the public, reception to follow.


Classics Department Colloquium: Title TBD
Thursday, 5 February 2015
4:30 PM
Alan Shapiro, Johns Hopkins University
Cohen Hall 402, University of Pennsylvania


Monks and Cosmos in the Byzantine countryside: the view from Thrace
Friday, 6 February 2015
12:00 PM
George Makris, Dumbarton Oaks
Penn Museum Classroom 2, University of Pennsylvania


Seeing and Speaking a Roman Monument: Text and Image on the Arch of Constantine
Friday, 6 February 2015
3:30 PM
Ann Kuttner, University of Pennsylvania
Jaffe Building 113, University of Pennsylvania


Hephaestus, Poet of the Iliad
Friday, 6 February 2015
4:30 PM
Seemee Ali , Carthage College
Carpenter Library B21, Bryn Mawr College


Art in service of Philosophy in Plato’s Republic and Laws
Friday, 13 February 2015
4:30 PM
Zacharoula Petraki, University of Crete
Carpenter Library B21, Bryn Mawr College


The Grant of Universal Citizenship in AD 212: Evidence from Papyri
Friday, 20 February 2015
4:30 PM
Ari Bryen, West Virginia University
Carpenter Library B21, Bryn Mawr College


Isis at a Roman Wedding: Ritual and Ethnicity in Ovid’s Metamorphoses 9
Monday, 23 February 2015
4:00 PM
Vassiliki Panoussi, College of William and Mary
Anderson Hall 542 , Temple University