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Institute for the Study of the Ancient World



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11/03/2016 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

Tenth Annual Leon Levy Lecture: A People Without a Name or, Who Were the Hittites?

Theo van den Hout

Whereas the civilizations of the Assyrians and Babylonians in Mesopotamia and that of Egypt never faded from memory, knowledge of the Hittites was almost fully erased after the collapse of their kingdom around 1200 BC. In the now one-hundred-year-old resurrection of Hittite culture and society that followed the decipherment of the Hittite language in 1915, they were largely cast in the image of Mesopotamian civilization, especially where Hittite sources remain less eloquent or even silent. But is this always justified? Are we at liberty to assume entire text genres and social systems just because others had them? What would Hittite society look like without them?
11/10/2016 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

Exhibition Lecture: Ancient Sundials

Art, Technology, and Culture

James Evans

Nearly six hundred sundials are preserved from ancient Greek and Roman times. This richly illustrated lecture will explore the styles, uses, and significance of ancient sundials and their relevance historically and in context to our modern understanding of time.
11/15/2016 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

Fruits of the Silk Road

The Spread of Agriculture through Central Asia

Robert Spengler

The Silk Road was the largest commerce network of the ancient world; it linked the disparate ends of the vast Eurasian supercontinent and in doing so connected the imperial centers of East and Southwest Asia. While organized trade, including military outposts and government taxation, along the Silk Road dates back to the Han dynasty in the second century B.C., the exchange of goods, ideas, cultural practice, and genes, through the thousands of kilometers of desert and mountainous expanses comprising this region dates back to the third millennium B.C. This flow of cultural traits through Central Asia during the past four and a half millennia was a major driving force in the development of cultures across the Old World and shaped cuisines around the globe.
11/29/2016 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

Late Antiquity in Early Modernity

Debating the End of the Roman World in the Centuries Before Gibbon

Frederic Clark

12/01/2016 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

Exhibition Lecture: Weeks, Months, and Years in Greek and Roman Calendars

Daryn Lehoux

This talk looks at how time was structured in Greek and Roman antiquity. How and why was the year divided into just this many units and not more or less? Where did the seven-day week come from? How was the division of the year into weeks, days, and months related to religious and political cycles and duties?
12/08/2016 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall
12/13/2016 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

A Cumulative Han Culture

Paradigms of Tradition and History in the Study of Early China

Yitzchak Jaffe

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.
02/27/2017 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall
04/06/2017 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

Exhibition Lecture: A Portable Cosmos

The Antikythera Mechanism

Alexander Jones

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