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01/23/2018 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

NYU Shanghai Lecture: Fluid Fire

The Rise of Phlegm within the Chinese World

Natalie Köhle

Medical treatises of the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) make constant reference to phlegm (tan 痰) as both cause and consequence of disease. Phlegm figures as a central, indispensable concept in the Chinese imagination of the body and its pathologies. Curiously, however, the Huangdi neijing 黃帝內經 (first cent. B.C.), the earliest and foundational classic of Chinese medicine, does not mention it at all. The rise to prominence of the discourse of phlegm represents one of the most important changes in Chinese medical theory after the classical period. What does this transformation mean, and how did it occur?
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01/25/2018 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

ARCE Lecture: My Violent King

War and Violence in Non-Royal Sources

Niv Allon

Representations of violence abound in ancient Egyptian art and texts, where the figure of the smiting king is one of the longest enduring images. Trampling the nine bows with every step or recounting his victories in far away territories, the king is featured as a victorious conqueror who defeats Egypt’s enemies with vigor and violence. Many of these representations belong, however, to the royal sphere, and this paper will explore New Kingdom tomb art, autobiographical texts, stelae, and other objects to consider the image of the violent king among the elite and its own concepts of violence.
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01/30/2018 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

Cutting Rome Down To Size

The Gentle Art of the Historical Summary

David Levene

Three-quarters of the monumental work of the Roman historian Livy (59 B.C.-A.D.17) is lost. The single most important source to enable us to reconstruct the contents of the missing volumes is a summary known as the "Periochae," composed in (probably) the 4th century A.D. This summary, reducing each volume of Livy to a single paragraph, appears on its surface a mechanical exercise. However, this lecture will show that a comparison of the "Periochae" of the surviving books with Livy's original work reveals many subtle alterations and distortions, which reflect a distinctive historical outlook on the part of the summarizer. Armed with this knowledge of the summarizer's techniques, we gain a clearer picture of the missing books for which the "Periochae" provides us with our primary evidence, and can refine our knowledge of the events of Roman history that Livy described in the books now lost.
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02/08/2018 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

AIA Lecture: Greeks in the North

The Excavation and Survey of a Trading Port in Aegean Thrace

Nathan Arrington

Ancient Thrace was a land of opportunity, adventure, and trouble. This talk presents the results of a Greek-American archaeological expedition that has explored a large trading port on the Thracian sea, south of modern Komotini. Established by Greek colonists in the 7th or 6th cen. BC, the settlement participated in a north Aegean trade network. The talk will present the history of occupation at the site; the evidence for daily life in the Classical and Roman periods; and the site’s contributions to economic, political, and social history. Excavation and survey have uncovered important information on the settlement and its changing relationship to the wider landscape and to the environment.
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02/20/2018 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

Revisiting Harappan Iconography

Seals, Sealing and Tablets as Small Windows onto the Indus Valley Civilization

Marta Ameri

During the second half of the third millennium BC, the Harappan civilization covered an area of over one million square kilometers in South Asia, extending from the Afghan highlands to Western India. Excavations sites in modern-day India and Pakistan like Harappa, Mohenjo-daro, and Dholavira have shown that this impressive civilization was characterized by a shared material culture and extensive trade networks. A fascinating example of this shared material culture is the extensive corpus of miniature arts — seals, seal impressions and molded tablets — found at sites throughout the Greater Indus Valley. The iconography of the Harappan world embedded in these objects includes a number of iconic characters, scenes, and narratives. While there is no question that these images played an important role in the visual codification of Harappan culture, the fact that the Indus script remains undeciphered, paired with the lack of comparable iconography in contemporary or later contexts, poses significant challenges to their interpretation. This talk focuses on the role that seals, sealings and tablets play in codifying the visual vocabulary of the Harappan world and on how the imagery they bear may have conveyed information to an informed viewer.
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02/22/2018 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall
03/08/2018 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

ARCE Lecture: Dirty Pictures for a Dangerous Goddess

The Turin Erotic Papyrus

Ann Macy Roth

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03/20/2018 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall
03/28/2018 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

Savoring the Past

The Archaeology of Food and Foodways

Katheryn Twiss

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04/17/2018 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

What Do Barbarians Eat?

Food and Society at the Fringes of the Shang and Zhou World

Yitzchak Jaffe

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04/24/2018 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

Babylonians and Elamites in the Zagros

Where Did One World End and the Other Begin?

Daniel Potts

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