The Washington, D.C.-area Biblical Archaeology Society of Northern Virginia (BASONOVA) and Biblical Archaeology Forum (BAF) will be hosting the lectures “Theatrical Scenes in Roman Houses” (April 12, 2015) and “Extreme Violence Under the Neo-Assyrian Empire” (April 23, 2015) this month. Not in the D.C. area? The Biblical Archaeology Society offers a wide range of travel/study programs in the United States and across the globe.
On Sunday, April 12, at 3 pm, Georgetown University assistant professor of Classics Dr. Marden Nichols will deliver the lecture “Theatrical Scenes in Roman Houses.”
Home decor played an essential role in the self-presentation of the ancient Roman elite. This illustrated lecture explores brightly colored mosaics and wall paintings from Roman houses (1st. c. B.C.E.–1st c. C.E.) that evoke the theater, including images of masks and scenes of actors. Was the house a stage set for its occupants?
On Thursday, April 23, at 8 pm, Johns Hopkins University assistant professor of Assyriology Dr. Jacob Lauinger will deliver the lecture “Extreme Violence Under the Neo-Assyrian Empire.”
The Neo-Assyrians created an empire after which succeeding ancient empires modeled themselves, such as that of Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon or Cyrus and Darius of Persia. The most famous—or infamous—means by which Assyria expanded its territory and maintained control is evoked by the memorable phrase “calculated frightfulness.” The Assyrians may have done a cost/benefit analysis and determined that it was in their best interest to make a horrific example of one opponent if this violence would induce other adversaries to lay down their arms without a fight. Other scholars hold instead that Assyrians regarded their extreme violence as morally justified, as their victories were triumphant proof of their own goodness over the evil of their enemies—a worldview that is to our eyes perverse but unfortunately still recognizable in parts of the modern world.
Not in the D.C. area? The Biblical Archaeology Society offers a wide range of travel/study programs in the United States and across the globe.
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