Post id tempus auctoritate omnibus praestiti, potestatis autem nihilo amplius habui quam ceteri qui mihi quoque in magistratu conlegae fuerunt. After that time, I exceeded all persons in auctoritas; however, I had no greater potestas than the others who were colleagues with me in each magistracy. Res Gestae 34.10-12. In his Res Gestae, Augustus noted that after... Continue Reading →
Introducing Pasts Imperfect: New Spaces for Public Scholarship
Theseus escapes King Minos’ labyrinth on Crete (it is a metaphor), opus vermiculatum mosaic, Roman, 200-250 CE, Carthage (Image taken by Sarah E. Bond at the Penn Museum; CC0). Pasts Imperfect is a weekly newsletter amplifying and supporting public writing focused on a global antiquity. Subscribe here: https://pastsimperfect.substack.com/ For our first newsletter, we wanted to signal boost... Continue Reading →
Nefertiti and Digital Colonialism: A Short Bibliography
I am not an Egyptologist. My specialities are digital humanities, epigraphy, and the laws of the late Roman Empire. The beauty of academia and of journalism is that far more brilliant people than you can allow exploration of intellectual terrain through their research, writing, and excavation. This is certainly the case for my new article... Continue Reading →
A Red Letter Way: Color, Writing, and Reading in Antiquity and the Middle Ages
Within most medieval books of hours, there were ecclesiastical calendars that had important holy days printed in red. This was a type of textual highlighting used to call attention to important festivals; a visual language that had long indicated significant textual features, paragraph organization, and wordplay (e.g. acrostics). The Latin word for red ochre and red coloring in general was rubrīca. As such, making a text red is called "rubrication" and influenced the original use for the word "rubric." The practice of coloring significant dates in red is perhaps best known through the English idiom of a "red letter day."
At the Copa: Women, Clothing, and Color Codes in Roman Taverns
Fresco from the Bar of Salvius, Pompeii. In it, a bar maid holds a jug in one hand and a cup in another. One customer shouts “over here!”while another says “no, it’s mine!” The exasperated barmaid replies “whoever wants it should take it. Oceanus come here and drink”. (Caption and Image by Dr. Sophie Hay... Continue Reading →
Ancient 3D Models Before Digital Modeling
Last week, my interview with Abydos Archaeology’s Matthew Douglas Adams was published at Hyperallergic. The article focused on the discovery of an industrial royal brewery dating to 3100-2900 BCE at the Egyptian site of Abydos, where Adams co-directs the excavation with Deborah Vischak, as part of fieldwork supported by New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts and Princeton University. In... Continue Reading →
Podcast #12: Thrown Together: Potters, Painters, and Ceramic Production with Sanchita Balachandran
An amazing podcast episode from Peopling the Past. Listen to and explore the whole season [here].
On episode 12 of the Peopling the Past Podcast, we are joined by Sanchita Balachandran, Associate Director of the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum and founder of the non-profit Untold Stories. Sanchita Balachandran earned her Master’s in Art History with an advanced certificate in Art Conservation at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University and is currently pursuing a PhD in Preservation Studies at the University of Delaware.
Listen in, as she speaks to us about the sensory experience of ancient potters and painters, her experimental archaeology project at Johns Hopkins, and the underdrawings on Greek painted pottery.
Interested in learning more? Check out this related article by Sanchita Balachandran:
Bringing Back the (Ancient) Bodies: The Potters’ Sensory Experiences and the Firing of Red, Black and Purple Greek Vases
Looking for a transcript of this episode? Click here.
Additional Resources Related to this Episode
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The Use and Abuse of History: A Syllabus
Album of "The Führer's Trip to Italy": Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini following archaeologist & art historian Ranuccio Bianchi Bandinelli. here showing a fragment depicting Saturnia Tellus, a detail of the Ara Pacis. Henrich Himmler, Joseph Goebbels and Joachim von Ribbentrop are visible in the group. The work was reconstructed in 1938 in celebration of bi-millenium... Continue Reading →
The Story of the Black King Among The Magi
The Christian liturgical calendar reserves January 6 as Epiphany––the day when the Magi allegedly visited Jesus as recounted in the Gospel of Matthew. I have written before about the origins of frankincense and myrrh, but about a year ago, I began discussing the magus (the Latin plural is magi) named Balthazar with Nyasha Junior. As we... Continue Reading →
“A Global Antiquity”: The Association of Ancient Historians Meeting 2020
After many months of preparation, we have released the CFP for the AAH 2020 meeting in Iowa City, which will be held from April 23-25, 2020. The theme is "A Global Antiquity" and it is asking ancient historians to think beyond the traditional bounds of Greece and Rome in order to see a more global... Continue Reading →