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A Cumulative Han Culture
Paradigms of Tradition and History in the Study of Early China
In the field of Ancient China studies, scholars have often turned to the more recent past and its many textual sources, to aid them in their efforts of illuminating the deeper past. What has allowed this ‘free movement through time’ is the notion that Chinese civilization is monolithic and unchanging: a cumulative culture that adds to its solid core. The issue of continuity vs. change is certainly not unique to Chinese scholarship, and ways in which scholars choose to reconcile long term regional developments, historical projections, and archaeological data in their studies vary widely. This talk calls for the continued reevaluation of the ways in which we approach the past by focusing on the tension between traditional narratives of a unified Han center and the existence of regional cultures during the Western Zhou period (1046-771).
Exhibition Lecture: Geographical Portable Sundials
Reliable Instruments or Roman Fashion Statements?
This lecture considers one type of Roman sundial represented in the exhibition that has not been sufficiently appreciated from geographical, cultural, and social perspectives. These are the miniature bronze instruments fitted with adjustable rings to accommodate the changes of latitude liable to occur during long journeys. This lecture will explore the possibility that often they were valued not so much for practical use, but rather as prestige objects.
Brahmins, Monks and Their Astral Lore
The Origin, Development and Transmission of Greco-Indian Astral Science in South Asia and Beyond
Bill M. Mak
Described by the Indian scholar and Sanskritist P. V. Kane as “a problem not satisfactorily solved,” the introduction of a new form of astral science in India during the early centuries of the first millennium C.E. which resembles its Greco-Babylonian counterpart has been a heated topic in Indian historiography and history of science between Indian and Western scholars. Subsequent to the meticulous comparative analysis of David Pingree and his 1978 publication of a critical edition of the Yavanajātaka (“Genethliacal astrology of the Greeks”) dated to the second century C.E., a great number of questions concerning the origin and evolution of Greco-Indian astral science were clarified. However, with the recent discovery of new manuscripts and other materials, the issues appear to be far from being settled and some of Pingree’s widely accepted assertions now require serious reconsideration.
Exhibition Lecture: Time and Cosmos in Greco-Roman Astrology
This lecture will consist of a brief introduction to the historical
development and the main characteristics of Greco-Roman astrology, to be
followed by a survey of the theoretical and practical importance of
accurate time-measurement in the practice of horoscopy and other
Inscribing Multilingual Texts in Egyptian Temples of the Graeco-Roman Period
Anatolia Before Assyrians
New Perspectives on Urbanization and State Formation in Central Anatolia in the Light of Recently Excavated Early Bronze Age Monumental Structures at Kanesh
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