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01/26/2017 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

Exhibition Lecture: Geographical Portable Sundials

Reliable Instruments or Roman Fashion Statements?

Richard Talbert

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.
01/31/2017 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

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.
02/02/2017 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

ARCE Lecture: Enigmatic Sites and Headless Nubians

Exploring the Eastern Desert of Late Roman Egypt

Colleen M. Darnell

Scattered throughout the southeastern desert of Egypt are several late Roman sites, comprising clusters of dry-stone structures (often including more than a hundred separate buildings). Similarities in architecture and ceramic material reveal a connection between these settlements, all of which appear to have flourished between 400 and 600 CE. Often termed "enigmatic sites," the purpose or even the ethnic affiliations of their inhabitants remain sources of speculation. New archaeological work and survey over the past seven years has revealed not only new examples of these settlements, but also exciting information about why these sites were built, and who might have built them.
02/09/2017 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

Economic Complexity in the 7th Century AD

From Small Assemblage to Big History

Sebastian Heath

In this lecture Heath will describe his work on a mid-7th century AD group of amphoras and related objects - such as stoppers and funnels - found in 1976 at Kenchreai, the Aegean port of the ancient city of Corinth. This material is now being studied by the American Excavations at Kenchreai sponsored by Vanderbilt University by permit of the Greek Ministry of Culture. Most of the amphoras are regionally produced and Heath will show how these can be easily distinguished from the many imported forms, including examples from near Cyprus and regions within ancient Palestine. The local amphoras come in two sizes as do the amphora stoppers that may have sealed them. There are at least two forms of funnel. As with many late imperial historical contexts, the Seventh Century AD in the Mediterranean was a time of turmoil and a time of ongoing economic activity. The group of amphoras and other equipment to be discussed - along with the tablewares, lamps and glass that accompanied it - can illuminate the complex human behaviors that allowed regional exports to make it as far afield as Italy, Southern Gaul and Britain.
02/21/2017 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall
02/27/2017 09:30 AM ISAW Lecture Hall

Cosmos, East and West: Astral Sciences in South and East Asia and Their Interaction with the Greco-Roman World

Conference organized by Bill M. Mak (ISAW Visiting Research Scholar) and Lillian Tseng (ISAW)

The astral science was among the most developed bodies of knowledge in the ancient world. A complex and interrelated system of astronomical observation, astral rituals, divination and physiognomy was developed in Greece, India and China. While each civilization cultivated this knowledge along its own cultural trajectory and each system contained features unique to its own, there were moments when their paths crossed and ideas cross-fertilized and hybridized. This conference is concerned with the traditional lore of the cosmos and its evolution in South and East Asia, and how the astral knowledge of the “West” was received in the “East” in the pre-modern world.
02/27/2017 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

Exhibition Lecture: Time and Cosmos in Greco-Roman Astrology

Stephan Heilen

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 astrological applications.
02/28/2017 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

Reclaimed Spaces

Inscribing Multilingual Texts in Egyptian Temples of the Graeco-Roman Period

Emily Cole

03/09/2017 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

Medicine and the Humanities from Ancient to Modern

The Varied Fortunes of Galen

Claire Bubb

03/20/2017 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

Globalising the Mediterranean's Iron Age

Tamar Hodos

The Mediterranean’s Iron Age – roughly 1200-600 BCE – may be regarded as one of its most dynamic periods of history. Although it is not its first era in which people across the sea exchanged goods, ideas, values, customs, practices, and technologies, the difference is the scale to which this occurred. The interactions that resurged from the tenth century onwards eclipsed their Bronze Age antecedents in geographical, material and ideological scope. The period is characterized perhaps most of all by the movement of peoples from their homeland to areas far away on an unprecedented scale, notably the settlement of Greeks and Phoenicians in the central and western Mediterranean, which began in the ninth and eighth centuries.
03/22/2017 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

Rostovtzeff Lecture Series: Egyptian versus Greek in Late Antique Egypt: The Struggle of Coptic for an Official Status, I

An Egyptian Exception?

Jean-Luc Fournet

During the first three centuries of its history, Coptic, the final stage of the Egyptian language written with Greek letters, was only used for literary purposes and private correspondence but not for contracts between individuals, documents sent by individuals to the authorities, or internal administrative communication—areas in which the Greek language had a monopoly. This situation is unique in comparison with what is observed in other provinces of the Roman Empire and cannot be explained by a legal prohibition.
03/28/2017 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

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

Fikri Kulakoglu

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