Friday, January 30, 2015

Angels and Vasilopita

The Institute’s winter-spring lecture series begins next week with a lecture by Hara Papatheodorou (Emeritus Professor of Art History and the Visual Arts, The American College of Greece), who will give a talk entitled, Angels: The Bureaucracy of the Divine”. The event will take place in the Institute’s library on Wednesday February 4, starting at 19.30.

Professor Papatheodorou’s lecture will discuss the primary significance of angels, which lies not in who or what they are but in what they do – communicate God’s word to humankind.  Serving as heavenly messengers, guardians or intermediaries, angels represent the human belief in their power of meditating with the Divine – την ιερή μεσιτεία.

They observe a strict hierarchical system based on the dualism of good and evil, which brings the Cosmos into being. Tracing their origin to the Assyro-Babylonian sun cult lamassu (winged bulls), the Christian angel will retain similar elements and functions, such as the Cherubim and Seraphim with their six pairs of wings and many eyes, guarding the throne of the Pantokrator (Almighty God) painted on the dome of the Greek Orthodox churches, or depicted on the conches of the dome.

The Judaic angelolatry soon will be enhanced by the Platonic philosophy of ideal Beauty (Καλόν κι αγαθόν), and the angel will function as psycho pomp leading man to the Apotheosis and salvation of his soul. Hence the early representations of angels in art carry wreaths with Christ’s initial within, indicating worship of the Resurrection.

Then, the theological writings by Pseudo-Dionysios Areopagitis influenced by the Neo-Platonists (Plotinos and Proklos) will create a static universe, which will obey the One, who in his turn will illuminate the nine Celestial Hierarchies of angels as his functionaries. Thus, the order of Cosmos becomes an ideal ideology for a feudal society.

Using comparative works of art, the lecture will illuminate the various roles of the angels as functionaries of the Divine via works of art.

Following the lecture, we will have our annual cutting of the Institute’s Vasilopita. The individual who finds the flouri in their piece will have good luck for the year as well as a gouri. We look forward to seeing you on Wednesday evening!

Jonathan Tomlinson
Assistant Director

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Fred Winter Collection

Round Corinthian temple from the Forum Boarium at Rome. (Professor Fred Winter, 1988)

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Institute's Programme of Events for Winter-Spring 2015

We have now finalized our winter-spring programme. Between early February and late April we will host six lectures on a range of topics:

  • Wednesday 4 February: Angels: The Bureaucracy of the Divine” by Dr. Hara Papatheodorou (Emeritus Professor of Art History and the Visual Arts, The American College of Greece)
  • Wednesday 18 February: Ideology, Identity, and Power: Harbor-Agora Connectivity at Hellenistic Miletos” by Lana Radloff (Homer and Dorothy Thompson Fellow, The Canadian Institute in Greece; Ph.D. candidate, Department of Classics, University at Buffalo, S.U.N.Y.)
  • Wednesday 4 March: Grounded in Practice: Changing Bronze Age Subsistence at the Site of Mitrou, East Lokris” by Dr. Calla McNamee (Post-Doctoral Fellow, Wiener Laboratory for Archaeological Science, A.S.C.S.A.; Visiting Scholar, Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, University of Calgary)
  • Wednesday 18 March: “Η Μετά-Αλεξάνδρεια περίοδος στην πόλη των Θηβών μέσα από την μαρτυρία των νεκροταφείων της” by Δρ. Αλεξάνδρα Χαραμή (Προϊσταμένη της Εφορείας Αρχαιοτήτων Βοιωτίας, Υπ.Πο.Α.)
  • Wednesday 1 April: Νεώτερα αρχαιολογικά δεδομένα για τη Νάξο και τις Μικρές Κυκλάδες by Ειρήνη Λεγάκη (Αρχαιολόγος της Εφορείας Αρχαιοτήτων Κυκλάδων, Υπ.Πο.Α.)
  • Wednesday 29 April: “Competitive and Emulative Mortuary Behavior on Early Iron Age Cyprus” by Dr. Nicholas Blackwell (Assistant Director, The American School of Classical Studies at Athens)

All lectures will be held in the Institute’s library, starting at 7.30 pm. As usual, they will be followed by a question/discussion period and then refreshments. All are welcome!

A listing of these events and many others (organized by the other Foreign Archaeological Schools/Institutes and other cultural/archaeological bodies) can be found on the Calendar of Events on the Institute’s website:

Jonathan Tomlinson
Assistant Director

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Fred Winter Collection

A view of the podium of Venus Genetrix and some re-erected columns in the Forum Julium at Rome. (Professor Fred Winter, 1988)

Friday, January 16, 2015

Welcome, Tessa!

Tessa Little is the Institute's new intern in Athens, and will be with us until early April. She has already begun an inventory of the Institute's library holdings of books and monographs, and she will be correcting and updating the electronic catalogue also.

Tessa is a recent graduate of Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario, with a Master’s degree in Classical text and culture.  As an undergraduate, she received a Bachelor’s degree in history and a Bachelor’s degree in Greek and Latin.  As a Master’s candidate, she focused her research interests on ancient history and languages.  Although she has broadly studied many areas within ancient Greek and Roman civilization, she is particularly interested in Roman social and cultural history in the late Republican and early Imperial periods.  Within this framework, she is specifically concerned with exploring human/animal relationships in the Roman Empire, particularly in spectacle.

In the Summer of 2013, Tessa participated in the Burgaz Harbor Project on the Datça Peninsula in Turkey.  Through her participation in the project, Tessa was able to expand her connections by meeting students from Texas A&M, the University of Pennsylvania, and Stanford University.  Additionally, the project’s focus on harbor construction and function allowed Tessa to better understand some of the challenges concerning the discovery of evidence underwater.  Tessa published a guest blog post on the Institute of Nautical Archaeology’s website describing some of these challenges, particularly as they relate to finding evidence of animals.  This past summer, Tessa completed her Major Research Project on animals in Plutarch, for which she won the Jack M. Miller excellence in research award, and graduated from the Master’s program at Brock. 

Following the completion of her Master’s degree, Tessa gained a position at Marion Technical College as an adjunct faculty member.  In addition to teaching, Tessa has been continuing her research on animals in ancient Roman society and hopes to obtain her PhD.

Welcome, Tessa! We look forward to working with you!

Jonathan Tomlinson
Assistant Director

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Friday, January 9, 2015

Xronia Polla! Canadian Lecture Tour; The Parthenon's Past Revealed

Jonathan, Lana and I send you all our best and warmest wishes for a productive, healthy and felicitous New Year in 2015! As of Monday we have been open for business with our normal hours.

Jonathan and I have finalized the Institute Lecture Program and the Association of Friends' Program for the winter and early spring. At our first event on February 4th we will cut the Institute’s vasilopita. We will send out the programs shortly.

This weekend Tessa Little will arrive from Canada. She will be our graduate intern from Brock University for three months.

Canadian Lecture Tour

This coming Wednesday, the 14th, my wife, Dr. Metaxia Tsipopoulou and I will depart for Canada for a lecture tour. I will give lectures about the Institute and its fieldwork in Winnipeg on Sunday the 18th, in Edmonton on Thursday the 22nd (with the AIA), in Calgary on Friday the 23rd, in Vancouver on Monday the 26th to PHAROS, and in Victoria on Thursday the 29th to CAVI.  Metaxia will give a lecture on her excavations and research at the Minoan palace, settlement and cemetery at Petras (Siteia, Crete) in Winnipeg on the 19th and in Vancouver on the 27th to the AIA. The time and location of these lectures have been/will be advertised at each venue. We look forward to large and enthusiastic audiences. When I get back my next blog will provide an overview of this full winter adventure.

This lecture tour was made possible by the generosity of Ambassador Peck, the Institutional members of the Institute in each city and Cinespace Film Studios.  Sas efkharistoume para para poly!!!

We hope to see old friends and colleagues and make new friends along the way. The current deep freeze in western Canada will test our stamina for the cold that is for sure!

The Parthenon’s Past Revealed

The Parthenon on the Akropolis is the icon of Athens and visible from many places in the city. Many visitors and residents alike frequently have the idea that this monument, built in the third quarter of the 5th century BC, was a static structure until it was severely damaged when the Ottoman power magazine inside was blown up by a mortar fired by the besieging forces of the Venetian Captain General Morosini in 1687. This is far from the complex and long history of this Classical temple.

On Monday January 12th at 18:30 Lena Lambrinou from the conservation services of the monuments of the Akropolis will give a lecture in Greek entitled «Κτηριακές πληροφορίες για τον Παρθενώνα μέσω αρχειακών τεκμηρίωνκείμενα και απεικονίσεις». Lambrinou’s lecture will present information from historical and archival sources which correct as well as enhance our knowledge of both the structure’s ancient form as well as the many changes to it over the subsequent centuries. What other Greek temple was also a church, a mosque and a powder magazine?

The lecture is sponsored by the Συλλογος Φιλων Του Ιστορικου Αρχειου Της Αρχαιολογικης Υπηρεσιας and will be held at the Historical Archive at Psaromylingou 22 on the cusp between the Kerameikos and the Psyrri Districts. The Theseio Train Station is the nearest Metro stop. The Syllogos Filon will cut their pita after the lecture.

Kali Xronia se olous!
David Rupp

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Fred Winter Collection

Inscription on the east face of the Arch of Titus in Rome. The Latin reads: "SENATVS POPVLVSQVE ROMANVS DIVO TITO DIVI VESPASIANI F. VESPASIANO AVGVSTO". In English: "The Senate and People of Rome [dedicate this] to Divus Titus Vespasianus Augustus, son of Vespasianus". (Professor Fred Winter, 1988)