Textual Amulets of the Mediterranean World: 1000 BCE - 1000 CE

Thu May 09 2024 at 01:00 pm to Fri May 10 2024 at 04:30 pm

Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society | Chicago

Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society | University of Chicago
Publisher/HostNeubauer Collegium for Culture and Society | University of Chicago
Textual Amulets of the Mediterranean World: 1000 BCE - 1000 CE
A group of international scholars explore the transition between amulets worn solely as objects to becoming inscribed with text.
About this Event

People in pre-modern cultures wore many objects on their bodies as amulets, such as roots, seashells, or carved images, but at different points in time all of the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean began to inscribe prayers and charms on linen, papyrus, gold foil or gemstones and to use as amulets. At this conference, a group of international scholars will ask and try to answer numerus questions about what happens at this point of transition and why: Does the more permanent nature of a text imply that it’s continual presence, ever repeating? Were textual amulets created and used by literate elites alone? What is the relationship between text and image on amulets? If gods previously listened to prayers, when did they learn to read? This conference stems from a larger project to publish a representative collection of textual amulets from across the Mediterranean and throughout antiquity, facilitating the study of the various traditions, their connections, and transformations.

This conference will be available on livestream via Zoom.


Anke Ilona Blöbaum (Saxon Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Leipzig)

Anthony Kaldellis (University of Chicago)

Árpád Nagy (University of Pécs, Hungary)

Carolina López-Ruiz (University of Chicago)

Christopher Faraone (University of Chicago)

Clifford Ando (University of Chicago)

Erin Walsh (University of Chicago)

Joe Sanzo (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice; Neubauer Collegium, University of Chicago)

Korshi Dosoo (University of Würzburg)

Madadh Richey (Brandeis University)

Margaret Mitchell (University of Chicago)

Megan Nutzman (Old Dominion University)

Michael Zellmann-Rohrer (Macquarie University / Freie Universität Berlin)

Panagiota Sarischouli (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki)

Rivka Elitzur-Leiman (Neubauer Collegium, University of Chicago)

Sofia Torallas Tovar (University of Chicago)

This conference is presented by the Textual Amulets of the Mediterranean World research project at the Neubauer Collegium with the support of the Divinity School and Classics Department at the University of Chicago.

IMAGE: Ancient gem with engraved magical text. Photograph by C.A. Faraone used with the permission of the Trustees of the British Museum.


Event Venue & Nearby Stays

Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society, 5701 South Woodlawn Avenue, Chicago, United States


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