The Jewish Colosseum: Revising the Memory of Rome’s Flavian Amphitheater

Originally known as the Flavian Amphitheater, the Roman Colosseum is oftentimes directly associated with the death of Christians; however, as Keith Hopkins and Mary Beard point to in The Colosseum, there is no authentic evidence from the first century to support the notion that Christians were ever martyred within it: The fact is that there are noContinue reading “The Jewish Colosseum: Revising the Memory of Rome’s Flavian Amphitheater”

Building the Iron Gates of Alexander: The Migrant Caravan & Geographies of Fear

Thousands of refugees are currently standing at the US-Mexico border. In their 2,500 mile journey from Central America, these women, children, and men from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador have endured much in order to petition for a grant of asylum within the United States. As I have written about before, the concept of theContinue reading “Building the Iron Gates of Alexander: The Migrant Caravan & Geographies of Fear”

Were Pagan Temples All Smashed Or Just Converted Into Christian Churches?

This week over at the Forbes column [access it here], I discuss an article in the new volume of the Journal of Late Antiquity (10.1) It is a great piece of scholarship written by ancient historian Feyo L. Schuddeboom and is called “The Conversion of Temples in Rome.” The article effectively uses archaeological evidence for temple conversion within the cityContinue reading “Were Pagan Temples All Smashed Or Just Converted Into Christian Churches?”

A Short History of Demons, Exorcism, And Possessed Women

Since last’s week accusation by Alex Jones that Hillary Clinton and President Obama were demons that smelled of sulfur, I had begun to think about the role of demons, exorcism, and demoniacs in early Christian texts. Over on the Forbes blog, I discuss how the subject of demons has a rich past in the religion, butContinue reading “A Short History of Demons, Exorcism, And Possessed Women”

Tattoo Taboo? Exploring The History Of Religious Ink And Facial Tattoos

Over on my Forbes blog, I explore the history of religious tattoos. This post stems from my interest in the use of various stigmas–legal, social, and even corporal–against marginalized individuals. Tattoos in Greco-Roman antiquity were often linked to servility, but could also advertise one’s religious convictions. I spoke with tattoo historian Anna Felicity Friedman about pilgrimage tattoos inContinue reading “Tattoo Taboo? Exploring The History Of Religious Ink And Facial Tattoos”

Recovering the Invisible Women of Ben-Hur (1880-2016)

Over on the Forbes blog, I discuss the new version of Ben-Hur released last week. Rather than dissecting the film in terms of historical accuracy, I chose to take a look at the women who contributed to the story since its publication in 1880. Despite a lack of strong female characters in the plot, there were someContinue reading “Recovering the Invisible Women of Ben-Hur (1880-2016)”

CFP: Shifting Frontiers in Late Antiquity XI

The Transformation of Poverty, Philanthropy, and Healthcare in Late Antiquity The Society for Late Antiquity announces that the eleventh biennial Shifting Frontiers in Late Antiquity conference will take place at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, IA, March 26-29, 2015. The period of Late Antiquity (A.D. 200-700) witnessed great changes in respect to attitudes towardsContinue reading “CFP: Shifting Frontiers in Late Antiquity XI”