Recent Events

11/19/2019 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

Speaking Truth to Power in Greece and Babylon:

Mythological Paradigms Compared

Johannes Haubold

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11/14/2019 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall
Inscribed black stone surface with cuneiform texts and a group of seven people engaged in ritual performance.

13th Annual Leon Levy Lecture:

Assyria and the Hebrew Bible: A Reassessment

Peter Machinist

Assyria, in its last or Neo-Assyrian phase of the first millennium BC, was the first universal empire in the ancient Near East. It was an imposing, indeed terrifying colossus to the many states and peoples that fell under its sway, two of which were ancient Israel and Judah. The Neo-Assyrian empire was a highly complicated and sophisticated entity, in which ruling elites and subjects interacted not simply in the military, political, and economic arenas, but, intertwined with them, in the cultural, especially the ideological, arena as well. In short, Assyria was more than a colossus of brute force; it imposed itself on its subjects as a powerful ideological system. The analysis of this system and its relationship to the other arenas of the empire has formed an important part of contemporary study of Neo-Assyria. In this study, scholars have drawn on the evidence, both written and non-written, of the Assyrian ruling elites themselves, but also of their various subject states and peoples. And from the latter, easily the most important evidence, because of its extent, variety, and depth of engagement with Assyria, has been the principal monument of ancient Israel and Judah, namely, the Hebrew Bible.
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11/12/2019 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

New York Aegean Bronze Age Colloquium: Mari and the Minoans

Karen Polinger Foster

The 20,000 cuneiform tablets found in the palace at Mari provide a wealth of evidence for the world of the 18th century B.C.E. This presentation focuses on the documents that shed light on the connections between Mari and Minoan Crete. Thanks to much recent Assyriological work, the corpus of relevant texts has nearly tripled since Aegean specialists last considered them. Two historical nuggets of considerable significance for Aegeanists emerge from my present study. In addition, I discuss for the first time what the Mariote scribes might have been looking at and attempting to describe when they made their inventories of Cretan goods.
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11/11/2019 09:00 AM ISAW Lecture Hall
Circular chart in rainbow colors showing migrations patterns across various parts of the world.

Melting Bowl or Salad Pot?: Identity Dynamics of Migrants to State/Imperial Heartlands Through the Ages

Conference organized by David Danzig (ISAW)

Human migration is and has always been an important component of settled life, impacting all sectors of society. Migration often occurs in the context of the exercise of power by large states and empires. While scholars of migration and ethnicity tend to focus on identity dynamics at the peripheries of such polities, the impact of migration on central heartland regions is potentially more ripe for exploration. Though expansionist actions directly impact borderlands, the resultant flow of migrants to heartlands creates an inter-ethnic hotbed. This phenomenon is problematized in the title of this conference via an intentional play on the terms “melting pot” and “salad bowl.” First used to describe social identity dynamics of migrants to the United States of America, the mixing of these metaphors accentuates the multiplicity of possible developments of identity that arise after immigration to the heartlands of powerful polities. Instead of insisting on a binary approach, this conference brings together expert scholars from multiple fields to explore the dynamics of ethnic identity in state and imperial heartlands in a variety of ancient, pre-modern, modern, and contemporary contexts, in order to investigate the gamut of historical and social developments that result from such migrations.
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10/30/2019 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

American Friends of the Jewish Museum of Greece Lecture: Συναγωγή των Εβραίων:

Jews and Judaism in the Aegean Basin in Roman Antiquity

Steven Fine

Note: We are now fully booked for this event and are only accepting names for the wait-list.
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10/24/2019 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall
Limestone blocks (from large columns) on a hill at an archaeological site in Egypt.

ARCE Lecture: The Mystery of the “White Walls”:

The New Discoveries at Memphis

Galina Belova

The Russian Academy of Sciences recently established in Egypt an institution for studying the ancient history of Egypt – the Institute of Egyptology of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The Institute was allowed to select a monument among those not yet investigated. The Institute selected the site of the Palace Apries on Kom Tuman.
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10/21/2019 10:30 AM ISAW - 15 East 84th Street

Prospective Student Open House

ISAW's open house for prospective doctoral students will include coffee with ISAW students, faculty, and scholars; an information session about our academic program; a tour of ISAW and the ISAW Library; a Q&A session with current students; and sessions on archaeology, digital humanities, & exhibitions at ISAW.
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10/15/2019 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall
10/04/2019 09:00 AM ISAW Lecture Hall
Illuminated manuscript images of two men reading from books.

DAY TWO: Medicine and the Law under the Roman Empire: Professionalism, Intellectual Pursuit, Entertainment, and Socio-Political Competition

Ancient Roman medicine and ancient Roman law have traditionally been viewed by scholars as highly specialized and are, therefore, often studied in isolation. This conference will juxtapose the two fields and place them, as a pair, back into their wider ancient context. The first day of the conference will delimit this wider context, probing the topics of competition, rhetoric, professionalism, and literature in the period of the Roman Empire. The second day will highlight the uniquely interesting affinities between the fields, which are nevertheless squarely apiece with the trends of their time. Please note that separate registration is required for DAY ONE (10/3/19) and DAY TWO (10/4/19), and please note that DAY ONE will take place NYU Kimmel/Global Center and DAY TWO will take place at ISAW.
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10/03/2019 02:00 PM NYU Kimmel/Global Center, 60 Washington Square South, Room 905/907
Illuminated manuscript images of two men reading from books.

DAY ONE: Medicine and the Law under the Roman Empire: Professionalism, Intellectual Pursuit, Entertainment, and Socio-Political Competition

Conference organized by Claire Bubb (ISAW) and Michael Peachin (NYU Classics)

Ancient Roman medicine and ancient Roman law have traditionally been viewed by scholars as highly specialized and are, therefore, often studied in isolation. This conference will juxtapose the two fields and place them, as a pair, back into their wider ancient context. The first day of the conference will delimit this wider context, probing the topics of competition, rhetoric, professionalism, and literature in the period of the Roman Empire. The second day will highlight the uniquely interesting affinities between the fields, which are nevertheless squarely apiece with the trends of their time. Please note that separate registration is required for DAY ONE (10/3/19) and DAY TWO (10/4/19), and please note that DAY ONE will take place NYU Kimmel/Global Center and DAY TWO will take place at ISAW.
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09/26/2019 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

The Fictitious Construction of Presence:

Evoking the Image in Art and Writing in Ancient Mesopotamia

Beate Pongratz-Leisten

The phenomenon of literary description of the artwork, known as ekphrasis, generally has been ascribed to the Greeks, where it was part of the curriculum of rhetorical training, a rhetorical technique of persuasion. Rather than being a literary genre – something that modern art history, literary theory, and anthropology have turned it into, and rather than mimesis, it was a poetic device intended to free the image of its three-dimensional habitat and transform it, so that it could become a powerful tool to spark emotions in the audience. A close look at the literary production in Mesopotamia reveals that such a rhetorical technique was already present in royal inscriptions including hymns celebrating the building of a temple as well as in historical inscriptions.
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09/24/2019 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

AIA Lecture: Crete, the Aegean, and the Near East in the Early 1st Millennium BCE

Antonis Kotsonas

Note: we are now fully booked for this event, and we are no longer accepting names for the wait-list. The dense and complex networks of interaction connecting the prehistoric Aegean and the Near East were severely dismantled ca. 1200 BCE. In the course of the early 1st millennium BCE new and very different networks of interaction emerged through the agency of people from both regions, and by the 7th century BCE Greek culture was strongly Orientalizing. Crete was once taken to hold a key role in this process and to be the cradle of the Greek Orientalizing culture, as the intellectual tradition of Pan-Cretism had it. More recently, however, the island has been seen as a passive periphery and a cultural backwater in this period. My paper offers a corrective approach to these contrasting interpretations.
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