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”

The Color of the Other: Importing Multi-colored Marble and Roman Constructions of the “Barbarian”

This week over at Hyperallergic, Sean Burrus and I published a co-written article on the use of variegated marbles (which have particolored and mottled veins that give it color) in order to orientalize and illustrate Roman ideas of the “barbarian.” As per usual, I like to take to my own blog to discuss new essays, since it isContinue reading “The Color of the Other: Importing Multi-colored Marble and Roman Constructions of the “Barbarian””

The Gospel of Unicode: Digital Love Letter(s) and Art Through Numbers

Over at Hyperallergic this week, I discuss the proposed release of over 2,000 Hieroglyphs into Unicode by 2020 or 2021.  If you are a classicist then you know how important the Unicode movement has been in standardizing the visualization of Greek texts in particular. But the non-profit Unicode Consortium encodes many other ancient and endangeredContinue reading “The Gospel of Unicode: Digital Love Letter(s) and Art Through Numbers”

Labeling Ancient and Modern Slavery within Museums

Over at Hyperallergic this week, I had an essay come out that was about four months in the making. It discusses how and why museums should use labels–those little tituli to the side–in order to engage with America’s history of slavery. The piece was inspired by a trip to the Worcester Art Museum (Worcester, MA) over the DecemberContinue reading “Labeling Ancient and Modern Slavery within Museums”

Before MAGA: Mithras, Phrygian Caps, and the Politics of Headwear

My latest piece for Hyperallergic addresses the long history of red caps as symbols of politics, ethnicity, and identity. From Mithras to the Smurfs, there is a rich history of using identifying hats. This article was also an opportunity for me to post some photos of Mithras I have taken over the years–and to include a fewContinue reading “Before MAGA: Mithras, Phrygian Caps, and the Politics of Headwear”

How Can Libraries and Digital Humanities Spaces Co-Exist?

Over at Hyperallergic, I have contributed a new article on the removal of books from the fine arts library at UT-Austin and the planned movement of books from the libraries at UW-Madison [Article Here]. The tales of these two libraries is an increasingly familiar one, wherein thousands of books are deaccessioned or moved into off-siteContinue reading “How Can Libraries and Digital Humanities Spaces Co-Exist?”

Purple, Indigo, And The Slave Labor That Produced Expensive Dyes

Those who read this blog are keenly aware of how much I think about and study color. This certainly extends to the production of ancient dyes used to paint frescoes, to dye wool and linen, and even those pigments used for makeup. And, yes, I do also think about what the absence of color says.Continue reading “Purple, Indigo, And The Slave Labor That Produced Expensive Dyes”