Seminar on Naples Jointly Sponsored by the Bibliotheca Hertziana, German Archaeological Institute and German Historical Institute in Rome (April 1-7, 2019)

(Source: Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte):  Joint Study Course of the Bibliotheca Hertziana - Max Planck Institute for Art History, the German Archaeological Institute and the German Historical Institute in Rome (April 1-7, 2019).
The application deadline is 16 September 2018.
The intensive course, led by scientists from the participating institutes, is aimed at advanced students of Classical and Christian archeology, historical building research and art history, and history from the Middle Ages to the present.
Naples is considered an emblematic city of the European South and is often understood as a Mediterranean counterpart to Western modernity with its normative concepts of order, rationality and progress. The strong individual character of the city below Vesuvius is especially influenced by the superimposition, the mesh and juxtaposition, of historical epochs and layers of Greek and Roman antiquity through the Middle Ages and Baroque Eras to Fascism and the present time. These shifts and shifts and the associated images and narratives of the city should be examined in the study course with different subject-specific approaches on the ground.

The course participants will receive intensive training and engage in active participation (including leading a presentation on original research conducted during the course).

The number of participants is limited to fifteen: five scholars of archeology and architecture); five for art historians and five for historians. The costs for the trip is 150 Euro: lodging and admissions are covered by the organizing institutes. Participants are responsible for travel costs to and from the course site.

Prerequisite for the course: M.A. degree in a relevant discipline.

Applications should send in one PDF file the following: a cover letter (max one page), a curriculum vitae, a copy of degrees earned and abstract of an ongoing research project to: Rossi (at) Deadline for all applications is September 16, 2018.

In Memoriam: Fabio Filippello, ICS Collaborator (1942-2017)

The ICS learned only recently that Fabio Filippello, an ICS collaborator in the 1980's, passed away in his native Rome on 12 February 2017. Mr. Filippello was the creator of a number of photographs of catacomb paintings and Early Christian and Jewish artifacts in museums and other collections included in the ICS exhibit "Vaults of Memory - Jewish and Christian Imagery in the Catacombs of Rome".

In memory of its late president and a life-long car enthusiast, the MG Car Club Italy is organizing "I Sette Colli - La Sabina, Memorial Fabio Filippello", a 3-day tour from 5-7 October 2018. Registration forms are here and further information can be obtained from MG Car Club d’Italia Via Trasversale Marecchia, 5575 – 47822 Santarcangelo (RN) - Cell. 3283297213 Tel. 0541/1792259 E-mail

ICS's last contact with Mr. Filippello was in Rome in 2016, when he was kind enough to share with staff originals of photographs now in DAPICS, the Digitized Archives Program of the ICS. We express sincere condolences and appreciation for his great assistance to the ICS in its formative years. 

[Photo: Fabio Filippello, Abigail Gillespie, Alberto Marcocci, and Estelle Brettman in the atrium of the Jewish Catacombs of Vigna Randanini, ca. 1980]

CFP for CTU Conference “Many Rooms: Space and Sanctity in Judaism and Christianity” (1-2 April 2019)

Call for Abstracts for conference on sacred space in Judaism and Christianity at Catholic Theological Union (Chicago, IL) 1-2 April 2019.

The next Hayim Perelmuter Conference will take place at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago on April 1–2, 2019 in partnership with University of Notre Dame. The Perelmuter Conference has a long tradition of focusing on Jewish-Catholic dialogue and exploring scholarship pertaining to the intersection of Jewish and Catholic literature, history, and theology. The theme of the 2019 conference will be “Many Rooms: Space and Sanctity in Judaism and Christianity.”
The organizers invite abstracts that pertain to Jewish and Christian approaches to navigating the realms of sacred space, and in particular welcome abstracts that address the meaning of sacred space in Judaism and Christianity; the sanctification of space beyond the house of worship; questions of how the synagogue and the church have been and continue to be utilized as spaces that both preserve tradition and offer opportunity for new modes of religious expression; the ways that access to holy spaces has served to enforce or subvert structural norms; the relationship between religious practice in the Jewish and Christian home versus in institutional settings; and how holy space is used metaphorically in Jewish and Christian literature.

Plenary event will be the Spring Shapiro lecture delivered by Prof. Steven Fine, Dean Pinkhos Churgin Professor of Jewish History at Yeshiva University and founding Director of the Yeshiva University Center for Israel Studies.

Please submit an abstract of approximately 300 words by November 1st to Dr. Malka Simkovich at and Dr. Tzvi Novick at Papers can address one or another religious tradition, but abstracts with a comparative focus, or with clear comparative relevance, are especially welcome. Graduate students are asked to submit a curriculum vitae along with their abstract. Decisions about accepted papers will be made by December 1. Accepted papers should be 20 minutes in length, to be followed by 10 minutes of discussion. The conference will provide speakers with meals and an honorarium to help cover travel costs and discounted lodging at CTU.
Contact Info:
Malka Simkovich
Tzvi Novick

Post Doctoral position in Late Ancient/Medieval Latin Language and Literature at Harvard

Post Doctoral position at Harvard University for the upcoming 2018-19 academic year 2018-2019. Deadline to apply is August 4, 2018. The Department of the Classics at Harvard University is seeking applications for a College Fellow in Late Ancient/Medieval Latin Language and Literature for the 2018–19 academic year. The appointment is expected to begin in August 2018 or on September 1, 2018. Teaching duties will include three courses open to undergraduate and graduate students, with 25% of the appointment reserved for the Fellow’s own research. The Fellow may also advise and evaluate senior theses. Applicants must complete all requirements for the Ph.D. by the appointment start date, and the doctorate must have been received no earlier than 2014. The appointment is for one year, with the possibility of renewal for a second year. Detailed application instructions are available at Complete applications, including letters of reference, are due by August 4, 2018
Harvard Department of Classics
204 Boylston Hall, Cambridge, MA 02138

Open Source Access to ICS Research on Jewish Catacombs of Rome

The International Catacomb Society is pleased to announce open source access to research on the Jewish catacombs of Rome conducted on site over many years by society founder, Estelle S. Brettman. Brettman, who died in 1991, left unfinished her lengthy monograph, "Vaults of Memory: The Roman Jewish Catacombs and Their Context in the Ancient Mediterranean World," but ICS directors Florence Z. Wolsky and Amy K. Hirschfeld continued the project after her death, and parts of the collective work have now been edited, annotated, and digitized by the ICS's current executive director, Jessica Dello Russo, who explains in a preface what seem to have been Brettman's key concerns in the study of Roman catacombs, and why her work, carried out over fifteen years with what a critic called "dramatic intensity", still matters to current scholarship on these sites. As an early supporter of Brettman put it: "the story of Mrs. Brettman and how her project came into being is in itself fascinating, aside from the substantive aspects of the material that came out of the mythic descent into the depths of the earth beneath Rome."

"Vaults of Memory" as a monograph was long a priority of the ICS, and calls for its completion have resumed in recent years, after a long hiatus. One current ICS board member even believes Estelle Brettman appeared to her in a dream, asking that her book finally be complete. The possibility of completion at first seemed remote: much of the manuscript was lost, or in fragmentary form, and that which remained existed in multiple versions, undated and marked throughout in red ink. Co-creator, Florence Wolsky, in her early 90's, still spirited but fading, was no longer in a condition to assist with the project, and the other author, Amy K. Hirschfeld, had already published revisions of the material under her own name, realizing Brettman's worst fears of "being copied in many places". Dello Russo's familiarity with the source material for Brettman's text, however, provided direction as to how to shape the work in digital form. With a great amount of current information on the catacombs already on line at, as well as operational research databases like DAPICS and BiblioSelect, the Brettman study could be contextualized chronologically and even conceptually, testifying to the vivid "shock of recognition" that modern Jews and Christians were experiencing in the last decades of the twentieth century as new publications of textual and archaeological evidence were challenging traditional notions of the development of these "adjacent communities" in Imperial Rome. Brettman's "visual odyssey" rode a high wave of ecumenism, but broke, too soon, against the hard barriers set up by various political and religious factions, forces with power to turn good intentions into failed results.

It has been challenging, today, to enter into the mindset of another era, as well as that of individuals with different agendas and experiences in the study of the catacombs of Rome. Like Giovanni Severano's cutting up Antonio Bosio's text of the Roma Sotterranea, the result of course will not meet the original author's expectations. Brettman herself seems to have dreaded not doing so - as a self-described "relative newcomer to the field" - comparing her "life's work" to the elephant in the closet, looming over all other aspects of her existence. Nonetheless, she strongly believed that she had a place in catacomb studies, in the words of art historian Richard Brilliant, "opening the field, so that everyone seems to be jumping in". ICS has adopted the phrase as its guide to the digital text of "Vaults", an open invitation, like that always so warmly extended by Brettman herself, to experience the "communality of religion", indeed, dramatically. Please let us know how you do.

- Jessica Dello Russo 3 July 2018

Inauguration of “The Middle Ages at St Paul’s Outside the Walls – Popes, monks & pilgrims” (11 July 2018)

Inauguration of the completed installment of an archaeological park in the garden of the Abbey of Saint Paul's Outside the Walls, Rome on Wednesday, 11 July 2018, in the Sala Barbo in the St. Paul's Cloister, with discourses on "The Middle Ages at St Paul’s · Popes, monks & pilgrims" by Lucrezia Spera, Umberto Utro, Vittoria Cimino, Daniela Esposito, Paolo Monesi, Carolina De Camillis, followed by site tours. Invito_11_luglio_SanPaolo definitivo
Sponsoring organizations:
Pontificio Istituto di Archeologia Cristiana
Scuola di specializzazione in Beni Architettonici e del Paesaggio
I Musei Vaticani

Excavations in the gardens of the Benedictine Abbey of Saint Paul's Outside the Walls were launched in advance of new construction work in the south west corner of the church for the "Pauline Year" of 2008-2009. The archaeological digging was carried out between 2007-2009 under the direction of Prof. Lucrezia Spera of the Vatican's Pontifical Institute of Christian Archaeology, with subsequent restoration and systemization of the monumental remains and many thousands of artifacts. These artifacts attest to the area's Medieval fortification as  "John's Town" (Giovannipoli), a suburban district about two kilometers outside of Rome along the via Osttiense, named for the ninth-century pope John VIII, but with traces of occupation from much earlier times in Rome's history.

Admission to the site is included with a ticket to the St. Paul's Cloister and Museum (entrance is through the cloister). For more information: A brief description of the itinerary at the time it was first opened as a "work in progress" is here (link).

Society for Late Antiquity CFP for sponsored sessions at International Congress on Medieval Studies (May 9-12, 2019)

(Source: Preview ICMS 2019) Call for Papers: “Late Antiquity I-III” (sponsored by the Society for Late Antiquity): ICMS 54, Kalamazoo, MI, May 9-12, 2019.

The Society for Late Antiquity is pleased to announce the return of its sponsored sessions to the International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 9-12, 2019 at Western Michigan University. These sessions are intentionally broad in scope, allowing for an extensive range of topics relating to the history, literature, religion, art, archaeology, culture, and society of Late Antiquity, that is, the European, North African, and Western Asian world, c. 250–750.
Inquiries or Abstracts and a completed Participant Information Form (here: should be submitted to Jonathan Arnold ( by the congress deadline of September 15, 2018.

International Congress on Medieval Studies
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5432 USA
(269) 387-8745

9th International Round Table On Polychromy In Ancient Sculpture And Architecture (London, 9th-10th November, 2018)

(Source: Polychromy Round Table) - The 9th International Round Table on Polychromy in Ancient Sculpture and Architecture will be held at the British Museum in London from 9th-10th November, 2018.

The meeting, hosted by the Department of Greece and Rome and the Department of Scientific Research, will take place in the British Museum’s Stevenson Lecture Theatre. It will be open primarily to members of the International Polychromy Network and to colleagues from co-operating institutions but, it will also welcome curators, scientists, conservators and students to whom the subject is of interest.

This year will also mark the 10th anniversary of the foundation of the International Polychromy Network and in the tradition of previous round tables, it will provide an excellent opportunity for experts from a wide range of fields (archaeologists, art historians, scientists, conservators, other museum professionals) to discuss new research in a stimulating interdisciplinary setting. Contributions from suitably diverse perspectives are encouraged and may cover any aspect of polychromy in ancient sculpture and architecture, including; investigative techniques, ancient pigments, ancient painting techniques and craftsmanship, conservation aspects, as well as reconstruction and display. The main focus will be on the Classical world.

In order to help us finalise the programme, we would ask you to let us know by 31st July 2018 whether you intend to give a paper. For details on the format and author information requirements, please see 'Call for Papers' below. Please note that the organizers will not be able to cover speakers' costs of travel to the meeting.

Registration will be required and details will be available in due course.

Call for papers
The format for contributions will be PowerPoint presentations of 20 or 30 minutes (please state which)with discussion to follow at the end of each session.

Abstracts (max 400 words) indicating the title of your contribution, a brief summary, authors (and co-authors, if any) and affiliation(s) should be sent to: by 31st July 2018.

A final decision will be made by the organisers and communicated to the speakers selected by 15th September 2018.

For further information please contact:

Thorsten Opper, Senior Curator, Department of Greece and Rome
Joanne Dyer, Scientist, Department of Scientific Research