Our next session in the Research Conversations series will be taking place at 1pm on Tuesday 5 June 2018 in the Spalding Room at the Oriental Institute.
Dr Christian Sahner will be in conversation with Dr David Taylor about Christian's forthcoming book on the Christian "neomartyrs" of the early Islamic period. They will discuss how the medieval Middle East transformed from a majority-Christian world to a majority-Muslim world and the role that violence played in the process. They will also discuss how Christian communities composed hagiographic texts to memorialize this violence, and the role these sources played in shaping Christian identity across the early Muslim empire.
Dr Frances Reynolds will be in conversation with Professor Jan Joosten about her research on an Akkadian calendar treatise attested on cuneiform tablets from Hellenistic Babylon. The treatise recycles temple rituals by interpreting them as essential procedures to prevent Babylonia’s invasion, especially by an enemy called Elam. The research conversation will explore how the treatise justifies this through an amalgam of astrological omens portending invasion, past invasions as historical parallels, mythological battles representing human warfare, and sophisticated hermeneutics. We can identify the treatise’s aim as the promotion of Marduk’s temple Esagil in the context of wider imperial interests. Dr Reynolds’ monograph publishing this treatise is in press with OUP.
All are welcome to attend.