This Week: Enslaved leadership in early Christianity, ancient literature as media matrix, hyperphilology, pedagogy, eschatological gentiles – and more!
My research contributes to a growing body of scholarship that takes as axiomatic the claim that understanding the media context of antiquity is an essential task for interpretation. It also opens further avenues for considering how narratives were composed and received in Second Temple Judaism, as well as the relationship between composition and reception.
Katherine Shaner’s book is a careful and rigorous examination of the extent of enslaved leadership in antiquity as well as the prevalence of scholarly erasure of that leadership.
This Week: Ancient Jewish graffiti, Animals and empire, medieval Enoch, Mesopotamian childhood, holy excrement – and more!
In my book, Apocalyptic Ecology, I utilize venationes as part of the Roman world against which John of Patmos reacted in writing the New Testament book of Revelation.
Jillian Stinchcomb reviews Karen Stern’s Writing on the Wall: “Stern’s work synthesizes archaeological and material histories across the Mediterranean, bringing together discussions of the lived realities of a Jews from socio-economic perspectives that are under-represented in rabbinic and other (elite) literary Jewish texts.”
This Week: Animality, panbabylonianism, Nero’s Domus Aurea, palimpsests, cultural heritage, genizah online – and more!
Scholars of animal studies unanimously reject anthropological exceptionalism. Much of the conversation in the field has turned on how to reject it and why we ought to do so. In the wake of this literature, I find myself all the more intrigued by the textual ecology of late antique Christianity, since these texts play an outsized role in shaping the shared topography of humanness and animality that we find ourselves inhabiting.
This Week: Codex Bezae as plunder, Syriac cultural heritage, Tiburtine Sibyl, digital archaeology, the Seleucid invention of time – and more!
These essays were part of a panel at the Society of Biblical Literature 2018 Annual Meeting titled, “Textual Objects and Material Philology,” inspired in part by the publication of Snapshots of Evolving Traditions (eds. Lied and Lundhaug).
Liv Ingeborg Lied’s Contribution to the Textual Objects and Material Philology forum.
Jennifer Wright Knust’s contribution to the Textual Objects forum.
This Week: The Song of Miriam, Dual Syriac/Uyghur prayerbooks, Syriac symposiums, Arshama’s Aramaic, the Doctrina Jacobi – and more!
Adam Bremer-McCollum’s contribution to the Textual Objects forum.
Hanna Tervanotko’s contribution to the Textual Objects forum.
This Week: Tura papyri, engraved gemstones, epigraphy resources, Byzantium, circumcision and gender – and more!
Blossom Stefaniw’s contribution to the Textual Objects and Material Philology Panel from SBL 2018.
Janet Spittler’s contribution to the Textual Objects and Material Philology Panel from SBL 2018.
This Week: Philo the Hebrew, Talmud as patchwork, scroll v. codex, Jesus the non-zombie, Punic masks, Syriac Stylites – and more!
Monika Amsler. “Effective Combinations of Words and Things: The Babylonian Talmud Gittin 67b-70b and the Literary Standards of Late Antiquity,” PhD Dissertation, University of Zurich, Switzerland, 2018.
Sheldon Steen reviews Jennifer Otto’s Philo of Alexandria and the Construction of Jewishness in Early Christian Writings: “The epithets he is given betray at once the utility and liability of Philo for Christian discourses of identity because of how he is depicted as never fully one of “us” nor one of “them.”"
This Week: Jewish and Christian figural art, Jewish mothers, endangered archives, Bible versus Classics, Byzantine Balkans – and much more!
Dr. Catherine Hezser introduces her book Bild und Kontext: Jüdische und christliche Ikonographie der Spätantike: “I examine exemplary biblical, mythological, and symbolic images in the context of Jewish, Christian, and Graeco-Roman literary sources to determine their possible uses and meanings within the multi-cultural realms of late antique society. I argue that the images were carefully chosen to engage in an ongoing visual discourse within the public sphere.”
Sari Fein reviews the edited volume, Mothers in the Jewish Cultural Imagination: “What other images of mothers exist in the Jewish cultural imagination? And, what do those images reveal about wider ideas of gender and family in Jewish culture?”
This Week: Imperialism and Christian knowledge, beeswax, bioarchaeology, biblical papyri, the Madaba Map – and more!
My book is about reading as world-building, because reading with a grammarian in antiquity meant reading in a pool of fragmentation, displacement, and homogenization to re-arrange time and re-align filiation.
In Acts of the Apostles and the Rhetoric of Roman Imperialism, Drew Billings places Emperor Trajan and the triumphal Column erected to honor his reign into conversation with the New Testament’s Acts of the Apostles.
This Week: Bible beyond “Old Testament,” midrash, Sogdians online, pigment in antiquity, amethyst-mining inscriptions – and more!
“One plus one plus one cannot equal one. Neither does the Old Testament equal the Tanakh. They are not one.”