CONF: Second Qumran Institute Symposium

Seen on Classicists (please send any responses to the people/institution mentioned in the post, not to rogueclassicism!)

Second Qumran Institute Symposium, 21-22 October 2010

Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Groningen, the Netherlands

The Jewish War against Rome (66-70/74): Interdisciplinary Perspectives

For more information on the conference, short abstracts and to register, please go to


Thursday, 21 October 2010

8.30 Coffee and tea

9.15-9.30 Opening

9.30-10.15 1. Steve Mason: History as Narrative or Argument? Using Josephus for the History of Roman Judaea
10.15-11.00 2. Jan Willem van Henten: Rebellion under Herod the Great and Archelaus: Analogies, Tropes and Josephus’ Reliability
11.00-11.30 Break

11.30-12.15 3. Julia Wilker: Josephus, the Herodians and the Jewish War
12.15-13.00 4. Daniel Schwartz: Josephus on Albinus: The Eve of Catastrophe in Changing Retrospect

14.30-15.15 5. Robert Deutsch: The Coinage of the First Jewish Revolt, 66–73 c.e.
15.15-16.00 6. Donald Ariel: Identifying the Mints, Minters and Meanings of the First Jewish Revolt Coins
16.00-16.30 Break
16.30-17.15 7. Jodi Magness: A Reconsideration of Josephus’ Testimony about Masada
17.15-18.00 8. Pieter van der Horst: Philosophia epeisaktos: Some Notes on Josephus, A.J. 18.9
18.00 Reception

19.30 Dinner

Friday, 22 October 2010

8.30 Coffee and tea

9.15-10.00 9. Andrea Berlin: Identity Politics in Early Roman Galilee

10.00-10.45 10. Jonathan Price: The Jewish Population of Jerusalem from the First Century b.c.e. to the Early Second Century c.e.
10.45-11.15 Break

11.15-12.00 11. Werner Eck: Die römischen Repräsentanten in Judaea: Provokateure oder Vertreter der römischen Macht?
12.00-12.45 12. Brian Schultz: Not Greeks but Romans: Changing Expectations for the Eschatological War in the War Texts from Qumran

14.30-15.15 13. George H. van Kooten: The Earliest Literary Witnesses to the Jewish War: Mark, 2 Thessalonians and the Revelation of John
15.15-16.00 14. James McLaren: Going to War against Rome: The Motivation of the Jewish Rebels
16.00-16.30 Break
16.30-17.15 15. Uriel Rappaport: Who Were the Sicarii: Terrorists? Urban Terrorists? A Suicidal Sect (Group)? Religiously Motivated? Dynastic? Messianic? Territorial?
17.15 Reception

19.00 Dinner

Scythian Burial from Kazakhstan

From Eurasianet:

Archeologists in Kazakhstan have discovered the grave of a gold-clad ancient Scythian warrior who has already earned himself a nickname: “The Sun Lord.” Researchers uncovered the find in a Scythian grave consisting of seven burial mounds in Karaganda Region east of the capital, Astana.

The opulence of the warrior’s burial indicates that he was a leader as well as a fighter, expedition leader Arman Beysenov explained. “He was probably a ruler and a warrior simultaneously,” Beysenov said in remarks quoted by the Kazinform news agency on July 16. “The person’s torso was entirely covered with gold. The figure of a leader like this was associated with the sun. He was a sort of ‘sun lord.’”

The warrior was likely buried in the 4th or 5th century BC in a grave that was actually discovered half a century ago, though excavation work only started last year.

Robbers had looted the grave in ancient times, Beysenov said, but it still contained quite a horde of ancient treasure. One of the burial mounds alone yielded 130 gold objects that included the figure of a feline predator, pendants and parts of sword belts. Archeologists also found hundreds of gold beads and 14 bronze arrowheads in the grave.

Inevitably, the archeological discovery is being trumpeted as comparable to that of the Golden Man, found in the Issyk burial mound just outside Kazakhstan’s commercial capital, Almaty, in 1969. The Golden Man, who’s believed to have been a young Scythian prince who lived in the 4th or 5th century BC, was interred wearing some 4,000 gold ornaments.

He has become a national symbol — the image of the Golden Man, with his trademark conical gold headdress, decorates the monument to independence on Almaty’s Republic Square, and in 2006 President Nursultan Nazarbayev unveiled a statue of him outside the Kazakh Embassy in Washington. The original is on display at Almaty’s Museum of Gold.

Archeologists are now hoping that their digs in eastern Kazakhstan will reveal more information about the glorious “Sun Lord,” the latest find from the Scythian past.

… no photos, alas, but here’s a photo of the monument in Almaty’s Republic Square if you need some imagination prodding …

This Day in Ancient History: ante diem xiii kalendas sextilias

NYC - Metropolitan Musuem of Art - Scenes from...
Image by wallyg via Flickr
ante diem xiii kalendas sextilias

  • ludi Victoriae Caesaris (day 1)
  • 1262 B.C. — based on the ‘Canicular Cycle’ (a.k.a. the Sothic cycle) of the Egyptians, this day is suggested for the foundation of the Pythian Games and the embarkation of Jason and the Argonauts (!)
  • 356 B.C. — birth of Alexander the Great (one suggested date)
  • 64 A.D. — the Great Fire of Rome (day 3)
  • 1304 — birth of Petrarch