On Auctoritas and Antiquity

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 afterContinue reading “On Auctoritas and Antiquity”

Introducing Pasts Imperfect: New Spaces for Public Scholarship

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 the creation of a number of new spaces welcoming public writing focused on ancient pasts from a global perspective. These spaces underscore scholarship from diverse scholars as wellContinue reading “Introducing Pasts Imperfect: New Spaces for Public Scholarship”

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 articleContinue reading “Nefertiti and Digital Colonialism: A Short Bibliography”

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

On February 3, 326 CE, Constantine issued a legal clarification for Augustus’ Lex Julia de adulteriis, ruling that the wives of tavern owners (here labeled an uxor tabernarii) could be brought up on charges of adultery, but that the the barmaids working within the tavern could not be. Their lowly status as an ancilla orContinue reading “At the Copa: Women, Clothing, and Color Codes in Roman Taverns”

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. InContinue reading “Ancient 3D Models Before Digital Modeling”

Podcast #12: Thrown Together: Potters, Painters, and Ceramic Production with Sanchita Balachandran

Originally posted on Peopling the Past:
Sanchita Balachandran 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…

The Use and Abuse of History: A Syllabus

What follows is my syllabus for an undergraduate history majors course on the use and abuse of history. It is an attempt to use primary sources to teach students how to identify secondary misinformation, propaganda, omission, and weaponization of history. INTRODUCTION TO THE HISTORY MAJOR THE USE AND ABUSE OF HISTORY: MANIPULATING THE PAST TOContinue reading “The Use and Abuse of History: A Syllabus”

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 weContinue reading “The Story of the Black King Among The Magi”

“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 globalContinue reading ““A Global Antiquity”: The Association of Ancient Historians Meeting 2020″