Friday, April 19, 2024

Late Antique Wall Paintings from Porphyreon in the Sidon Hinterland


Polish Publications in Mediterranean Archaeology, 7

It all began on a spring day in 1975 on a beach in southern Lebanon - bulldozing works revealed blocks of stone with vivid wall paintings. This chance discovery led to full-scale excavation of a Late Antique settlement, identified later with ancient Porphyreon. Close to 300 fragments of wall paintings were uncovered: jeweled crosses, human figures, animals, plants, geometric motifs, and painted Greek inscriptions - an abundance of iconographic repertoire unmatched at any other Late Antique archaeological site in the Eastern Mediterranean. The vicissitudes of modern Lebanese history and the fragmentary condition of the assemblage led to this collection being undocumented, unstudied, unpublished, and virtually forgotten for nearly four decades.
The present volume is the outcome of a comprehensive study carried out in 2014-2019 within the frame of an archaeological expedition organized jointly by the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology (PCMA) of the University of Warsaw and the Lebanese Directorate General of Antiquities (DGA). The study addresses a wide range of issues, including the iconography of individual representations and the overall iconographic programs applied in the different architectural contexts (church and private houses), the style and artistic qualities, dating, execution techniques and materials employed. It also presents the current condition of the paintings and the conservation project that accompanied the author’s research.
The study on the wall paintings from the basilica and houses of Porphyreon is a major contribution to a sorely underexplored subject - the Late Antique wall paintings from the Eastern Mediterranean and the role they played as a link between Roman painting, which they were a successor of, and Byzantine art of which they were a forerunner.

This book is published open access. It can be downloaded here.

year: 2022
isbn: 9789042950566
e-isbn: 9789042950573
pages: XLII-541 p.


Divine Names on the Spot II: Exploring the Potentials of Names through Images and Narratives

Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis, 299

Names, images, and narratives are intimately related and frequently polysemous. As pieces of information on the gods, they convey fragments of knowledge and attempts to interpret the multifaceted complexity of the divine world. In what Robert Parker describes as an “archipelago”, images and narratives are like compasses used to approach the mapping of the gods. The different contributions collected in this volume, dealing with the Greek and the Semitic worlds (the two main areas of the “Mapping Ancient Polytheisms” project), explore connections but also discrepancies between these different semantics, in order to highlight specificities and commonalities in the onomastic and iconographic languages.

Les noms, les images et les récits sont intimement liés et volontiers polysémiques. En tant qu’éléments d’information sur les dieux, ils véhiculent des fragments de connaissance et constituent autant de tentatives d’interprétation de la complexité multiforme du monde divin. Dans ce que Robert Parker décrit comme un «archipel», les images et les récits sont comme des boussoles qui facilitent la cartographie des dieux. Les différentes contributions rassemblées dans ce volume, traitant des mondes grec et sémitique (les deux principaux domaines abordés dans le projet «Mapping Ancient Polytheisms»), explorent les connexions mais aussi les divergences existant entre ces différentes sémantiques, afin de mettre en évidence les spécificités et les points communs entre langage onomastique et langage iconographique.

This book is published open access. It can be downloaded here.

year: 2023
isbn: 9789042951617
e-isbn: 9789042951624
pages: VIII-333 p.




'Trinkt von dem Wein, den ich mischte!' 'Drink of the Wine which I have Mingled!': Festschrift für Silvia Schroer zum 65. Geburtstag

 Die in diesem Band versammelten Beiträge würdigen das vielfältige Wirken von Silvia Schroer in biblischer Exegese, Ikonographie, feministischer Kritik und der breiten Erforschung von Texten und Bildern des Alten Israel und seiner Nachbarkulturen. Weggefährt*innen, die verschiedenen Generationen von Forschenden angehören, schlagen in 35 Aufsätzen Brücken zwischen ihrer eigenen Forschung und Silvias Werk, indem sie in einer bunten Festschrift dessen Höhepunkte und vielfältige Anschlussmöglichkeiten markieren.

The contributions gathered in this volume honor the work of Silvia Schroer in biblical exegesis, iconography, feminist criticism, and the broad exploration of texts and images from Ancient Israel and neighboring cultures. Across 35 contributions, companions representing different generations of researchers relate their own work to Silvia’s scholarship, pointing to some of the latter’s highlights and connectivity in a colorful Festschrift.

This book is published open access. It can be downloaded here.

year: 2023
isbn: 9789042952638
e-isbn: 9789042952645
pages: XII-632 p.



Architecture, Iconography, and Text: New Studies on the Northwest Palace Reliefs of Ashurnasirpal II

Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis, 301

The papers published in this volume attempt to move scholarship forward in the interpretation of the Northwest Palace reliefs of Ashurnasirpal II, with particular focus on the intersection of their architectural setting, their loaded iconography, and the text of the so-called Standard Inscription incised across their faces. The papers deal with both the interpretation of the reliefs in their ancient setting and their modern reception and heuristic use across the boundaries of disciplines. They address direct and indirect interaction of iconography and text in physical space, the roles of scribes and artisans in the production of the architecture-iconography-text ensemble, along with its impact on ancient viewers. The ensemble’s impact on modern viewers, and particularly its reception in the nineteenth century, are also examined, as well as the application of its hermeneutic analysis to the study of Hebrew poetry.

This book is published open access. It can be downloaded here.

year: 2023
isbn: 9789042951518
e-isbn: 9789042951525
pages: VIII-191 p.



Thursday, April 18, 2024

Inner Affinity: Ovid, Titian, Philip of Spain

Studies in Iconology, 23

 The title of this little book is inspired by Erwin Panofsky’s remarks on the “inner affinity” between Ovid and Titian. But this inner affinity between the Latin poet and the Venetian painter also extends to Philip of Spain, for whom Titian painted the famous cycle of canvases that he referred to in his letters as the “Poesie”. To explore this kinship of spirit among the poet, the painter, and the king, this study examines the dynastic fecundity that results from the effects of works of art on the imagination, the soul and the body.

This book is published open access. It can be downloaded here.

year: 2023
isbn: 9789042951891
e-isbn: 9789042951907
pages: VIII-129 p.


Open Access Journal: Gaia: revue interdisciplinaire sur la Grèce Archaïque

 [First posted in AWOL 12 May 2013, updated 18 April 2024]

Gaia: revue interdisciplinaire sur la Grèce Archaïque
ISSN: 1262-3717
eISSN - 2275-4776 
Founded in 1996 by Françoise Létoublon along with André Hurst (Genova) and Franco Montanari (Geneva), Gaia is meant as a crossroads of discussions concerning Archaic Greece in an original manner. It publishes articles by authors coming from different but complementary fields (literature, linguistics, philology, history, anthropology, archeology, reception of antiquity). It is also open from a linguistic point of view (articles published up to now in French, English, Italian and German). The issues from 1997 à 2017 are available on Persée.

The current volumes are now hosted on Open Edition:

Sous la direction de Pascale Brillet-Dubois

Ce numéro de Gaia est consacré principalement à un dossier destiné à faire dialoguer des spécialistes de la poésie archaïque et des historiens de la pensée dite présocratique. Les articles rassemblés, écrits par P. Brillet‑Dubois, G. Cursaru, B. Folit‑Weinberg, F. Létoublon, A. Macé et É. Ménard, témoignent d’une part de la cristallisation du concept d’« être », dont on perçoit les prémisses chez Homère avant que Parménide ne forge un nom pour le désigner, et de l’importance des images, vecteurs sensibles de la pensée conceptuelle, chez des poètes-penseurs comme Hésiode et des penseurs-poètes comme Parménide et Empédocle. Ils montrent la continuité culturelle qui existe entre des poètes qui interrogent très consciemment le rapport entre le langage et le monde et des philosophes qui s’expriment dans une langue poétique, tout en soulignant la façon dont Parménide et Empédocle rompent avec la tradition pour affirmer leur projet singulier. Le numéro contient également un article synthétique de M. Briand sur la choralité dans les Olympiques de Pindare.


Dernier numéro en ligne
25 | 2022
L’antropologo «classico» entre bêtes et dieux. Omaggi a Ezio Pellizer (Vol. 2)

Sous la direction de Francesca Marzari, Alberto Cecon et Alberto Pavan

Ce numéro de Gaia accueille le second volet du dossier « L’antropologo “classico” entre bêtes et dieux. Omaggi a Ezio Pellizer » coordonné par Francesca Marzari, Alberto Cecon et Alberto Pavan (pour le premier volet, voir Gaia 24/2021). La mémoire d’Ezio Pellizer y est célébrée par ses collègues et amis à travers des contributions qui revisitent des thèmes qui lui étaient chers, entre poésie épique, théâtre, philologie, histoire, archéologie et anthropologie. Il est question de l’universalité intemporelle d’Ulysse, du paysage mythologique slovène, de la fortune de l’épisode du passage des Argonautes en Adriatique, de la réécriture de la mythologie grecque dans un poème didactique du XVIe siècle, de l’épitomé très personnelle de Conon par le byzantin Photius, du rapport entre Lucien et le Joueur de flûte de Hamelin, d’Aristophane et Alexandrie, de la figure légendaire de la matrone romaine Cornélia, mère des Gracques et fille de Scipion l’Africain.
Suivent trois articles hors dossier, sur la re-sémantisation en milieu étrusque des vases de banquet de production attique décorés avec des hybridités oculaires (Christian Mazet), le sens de la promesse dans la société iliadique (Anastasia Kefala) et la reprise des épopées homériques dans les dramaturgies du XXIe siècle (Anaïs Tillier). Avec ce numéro, nous inaugurons enfin une rubrique de notes de lecture qui sera alimentée au fil de l’eau tout au long de l’année.


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New Trends in the Research on the Apocryphal Acts of Thomas

 Much has been written on the Apocryphal Acts of Thomas since the work of Lipisus, Wright, and Bonnet. However, many of the crucial questions concerning the text remain still today open: When was the text composed? In which language was it written, Greek or Syriac? And most importantly, where in the ancient world did the text see the light? Also the nature and structure of the text remain in doubt: What is the nature of the text we have at our disposal? And how was it transmitted throughout the Middle Ages? The present volume intends to provide answers at least to some of these questions. Its title, New Trends in the Research on the Apocryphal Acts of Thomas, however, shows that it at the same time intends to break new ground in the analysis of the text, revising some old, vexed problems.

This book is published open access. It can be downloaded here.
year: 2024
isbn: 9789042951815
e-isbn: 9789042951822
pages: XVIII-210 p.