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Institute for the Study of the Ancient World



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12/12/2017 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

NYU Shanghai Lecture: Dreaming in Common

China ca. 300 BCE – 700 CE

Robert Campany

Around 500 BCE, the Ionian thinker Heraclitus is supposed to have said: “For those who are awake there is a single, common universe, whereas in sleep each person turns away into his own, private one.” This fragment captures what seems to be an uncontroversial, common-sense observation and a view of dreaming that is dominant in modernity. What I will argue in this talk is that views of dreaming recorded or implied in a wide variety of texts in early and medieval China offer a strong contrast to this view of dreaming as private. There, the very experience of dreaming itself was understood as an encounter with someone or something other than oneself.
12/14/2017 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

ARCE Lecture: Tricks of the Trade

Scribal Creativity in Ancient Egypt

Emily Cole

While working in the per-ankh or "house of life" where vast repositories of manuscripts were kept, Egyptian scribes made every effort to transmit ancient knowledge through Egyptian history. Over the course of several millennia, these individuals were confronted with damaged papyri, misinterpreted passages, and language difficulties. In this talk, I will look at the tools that were developed by those ancient intellectuals to overcome those problems and preserve Egyptian cultural materials even in the face of foreign rule in the first millenniums BCE and CE.
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