Thursday, January 27, 2011

Peeing on Professorial Doors

Ok...I started laughing out loud when I saw this: Professor pees on another professor's door. Nothing like inner-departmental politics.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Moses on the Mount: Visions of the "Pattern" of the Tabernacle

Here's an announcement for a public presentation I will be giving next week at Illinois Wesleyan University. If there is anyone within driving distance who can make it, we'll have a good time!

Monday, Jan. 31, 4 p.m., CLA 205 -- Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion Jared Calaway will present the Religion Department Colloquium, "Moses on the Mount: Visions of the 'Pattern' of the Tabernacle in Jewish and Christian Literature."

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Gilgamesh on Stage

The earliest epic is now on stage at Bushwick Starr Theater in Brooklyn, NY:

The wooden staircase you climb to get to the Bushwick Starr theater has more character than some entire plays. You're rewarded for the climb—through January 30, anyway—with a strenuous, rewarding journey through the ancient Sumerian-Akkadian Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the earliest works of literature in history. Sumerian legends told of a semi-divine hero-king, Gilgamesh, who tyrannized his subjects in the city of Uruk until they pleaded with the gods for help. In response they created Enkidu, a primitive man of great strength who lived in the forest with the beasts until being seduced by a temple harlot into coming to Uruk to be a companion to Gilgamesh.

A different actor plays Gilgamesh in each "tablet," all ably, while Enkidu remains in the sure hands of the very physical actor who goes by the name of Eugene the Poogene. Cherrye J. Davis is notably authoritative as the jealous goddess Ishtar, and KT Peterson has a fabulous time with the role of Shamhat the temple priestess/prostitute. But the whole ensemble is strong, and despite Eugene's frequent key presence and consistent physicality—he even switches to another role late in the proceedings—and the numerous scenes with just a couple of characters, the whole thing has the flow of an ensemble piece.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Obituary for Robert Markus

The Guardian has an obituary for the eminent scholar of medieval Europe, Robert Markus, who, along with his intellectual sparring partner Peter Brown, established the idea of Late Antiquity as a period of intellectual and social effervescence.

Robert Markus, who has died of cancer at the age of 86, was among the finest historians of his generation. He helped establish the idea of Late Antiquity as a distinct and exceptionally creative period of European history, bridging the fall of the western Roman Empire and the early Middle Ages. He stressed the importance of Christianity's beliefs, but always had an eye to the material and social structures in which it was practised.

Ancient Codices Online: Aleppo

While prepping for my lecture on textual transmission and scribal practices, I came across a website that I had never seen before today.

I generally use the Codex Sinaiticus online to illustrate a few points (it is a fairly good hand, but still shows evidence of accidental scribal error; its shows students that ancient scribes didn't use spaces; its Gospel of John lacks 7:53-8:12, etc.), but I was very happy to see that there is a website where one can view the manuscript of the Aleppo Codex, which, along with the Leningrad Codex, are the two most important Hebrew witnesses to the Hebrew Bible. So check out the Aleppo Codex here, and I will add it to my sidebar.