Book Note: Robin Jensen, The Cross: History, Art, and Controversy (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2017)
Hardy: “In nine thematic, roughly diachronic chapters, Jensen highlights historical examples that show “how the Christian cross has been simultaneously a historical artifact, a symbol of a religion, an agent of miracles, a recipient of devotion, an infinitely reproducible image, and a narrator of its unique legend” (p. vii). While she primarily draws on evidence from the first through the sixteenth century, Jensen also touches upon modern examples. The resulting picture, perhaps like the cross itself, goes in multiple directions at once, far and wide, in image and in word, to places unexpected and familiar.”
July Forum: Response from Steven Fine
Fine: “In the end, mine is very much a book of Jewish history— the march, twists and oddities of time from the Bible to the present— repeatedly in the shadow of the Arch of Titus. It is about continuity and discontinuity— continuity when it feels discontiguous, and discontinuity when it seems that the past and the present are all the same. Throughout I deploy my then 13 year old son and research assistant to gently assert the stakes in my work as mediator of those who came before me to the wide range of readers who I hope will come after.”
BONUS: the complete July Forum, “Art and Religion in Antiquity,” now online at hub site.
Articles and News
Plenty of open access images available at the ISAW Ancient World Image Bank.
Funerary logistics in the form of mummy labels and inscribed shrouds by Luigi Prada.
Guy Halsall on the mechanics of migration.
Manar al-Athar images of the excavation site of the Dura Europos synagogue.
Martti Nissenen writes on prophecy, ecstasy, and performance.
Dumbarton Oaks online catalogue of Byzantine coins launched, with over 12,000 coins included.
Eleven new texts of the Rabbula Corpus added to the Digital Syriac Corpus.
James Palmer on time and its ends in the early medieval West.
Fascinating: good example of archaeology haunted by the old-school Classics “decline of Greek” assumption. Counterpoint: what if not everyone’s Greek - at any point in antiquity - was the polished atticizing product of elite education? https://t.co/nLDnefkGDs— Matthew Chalmers (@Matt_J_Chalmers) July 25, 2019
Do all academics have a school supply fetish?— Krista N. Dalton (@KristaNDalton) July 24, 2019