Rereading Hebrew Scripture: Old Testament Cycles in Medieval Wall Painting (Milan, 16-18 October 2018)

CFP: Rereading Hebrew Scripture (Milan, 16-18 October, 2018)

University of Milan - Università degli Studi di Milano, October 16 - 18, 2018
CFP Deadline: Feb 15, 2018

Rereading Hebrew Scripture: Old Testament Cycles in Medieval Wall Painting

The Chair of History of Medieval Art, Department of Cultural Heritage and Environment - University of Milan, organises an International Conference concerning the Old Testament narrative in medieval wall painting. Four thematic sessions are scheduled, calling for 20 minutes papers to be presented in Italian/English/French.

1st Session: Early Christian Pictorial Tradition and Early Middle Ages
The aim is to bring into focus the relationship between the monumental pictorial tradition set up in the early Christian Rome and its reworking in the early Middle Ages. To what extent did the paradigm of Santa Maria Maggiore, Old St. Peter’s and San Paolo fuori le Mura expressed its leading role in Old Testament sequences like those in Santa Maria Antiqua and Santa Maria in via Lata in Rome, in the Crypt of the Original Sin in Matera, or in St. John in Müstair? On the other hand, what was the impact of different models (also Byzantine), of patronage and liturgical space in setting the iconographic programme?

2nd Session: The Thematic and Narrative Development in the Romanesque Period
The widespread revival of early Christian iconography in the Romanesque period is reflected by the Old Testament narrative, which regains room in church decorations, especially dealing with the first part of the Genesis: mainly in the Roman area (Santa Maria in Ceri, San Tommaso in Anagni, San Paolo inter vineas in Spoleto, Castro dei Volsci, Ferentillo, San Giovanni a Porta Latina), but also in the South (Sant’Angelo in Formis, Santa Maria d’Anglona), in the northern Italy (Galliano, Agliate, Carugo, Muralto, Acquanegra), north of the Alps (Saint-Savin and Château-Gontier in France; Idensen, Brauweiler and Berghausen in Germany; Gurk and Matrei in Austria), and in the Iberian Peninsula (Bagüés, Sigena). The session will offer the opportunity to compare subjects, themes and solutions on a European scale, highlighting continuity, recurrences, peculiarities, deviations and anomalies.

3rd Session: Old Testament Cycles and Multi-layered Meaning
Universal chronicles remind us that an Old Testament cycle was primarily a historical and chronological depiction of the humankind on the path to salvation: the ‘visual device’ in the nave of Acquanegra is a clear example. Still, the events before the Incarnation shall be understood in a figurative sense, what is depicted in Agliate lining up the Creation of Adam and Eve precisely above the Annunciation and the Nativity. This does not preclude a manipulation driven by political claims, as seems to be expressed in the cycle of Joseph in San Marco in Venice. Therefore, a full account of the visual relationships within the liturgical space is required.

4th Session: The Role of Patriarchs, Judges, Prophets and Kings
Since at least the mid 5th century, with the mosaic panels in the nave of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome, the Hebrew Scripture has also been illustrated through the stories of its protagonists: Patriarchs (Moses
and Joshua in San Calocero in Civate), Judges (Samson in Galliano and Civate, Gideon in Civate and Sant’Angelo in Formis), Prophets (Ezekiel and Daniel in Santa Maria in Cosmedin in Rome), Kings (David in Müstair and Malles), involving a wide range of meanings, relationships and implications, which are still waiting to be figured out.

Proposals should cover a wide range of aspects concerning each session, giving priority to the iconographic approach, to the relationships with the liturgical space and to the historical-institutional frame. Topics dealing with the monumental contexts mentioned above are especially welcome.
Proposals will be evaluated by the conference scientifc committee.
Submissions for a 20 minutes paper (in Italian/English/French) should include: paper title, abstract of around 300 words, a short CV including current affliation and full contact details. All documents should be merged into a single PDF file.
Proposals and enquiries should be sent to:

Deadline for submissions: 15 February 2018.
Notification to the applicants: by 31 March 2018.
Final programme: by September 2018.
It is expected to publish in a double-blind Peer review Series.
Speakers will be asked to provide a final paper by 30 June 2019.

Practical Information
There is no registration fee for participation or attendance.
Coffee breaks, lunches, and dinners will be provided to all speakers. Travel and accommodation expenses cannot be covered, but every effort will be made to secure special hotel rates.

Conference Director
Fabio Scirea, PhD, Lecturer in History of Medieval Art
Conference Scientifc Committee
Mauro della Valle, Stella Ferrari, Paolo Piva, Fabio Scirea, Andrea Torno Ginnasi, History of Medieval Art, University of Milan

ICS Vice President Robin Jensen (Notre Dame) Speaks on “Christian Identities and the Destruction of Gods’ Statues in Roman Africa” in Toledo Museum Colloquium (December 7-8, 2017)

(Source: Mary Jaharis Center) Art and Identity in the Late Roman World, Toledo Museum of Art, GlasSalon, December 7–8, 2017)

This colloquium is undertaken in conjunction with the exhibition Glorious Splendor: Treasures of Early Christian Art. Art and Identity in the Late Roman World is generously supported by The Ferrell Family Fund and the Dorothea L. Leonhardt Foundation with additional support from Bowling Green State University.


December 7
Adam Levine (Toledo Museum of Art)
Religious Metanarratives and the Emergence of Identity in Late Antiquity

Sean Leatherbury (Bowling Green State University)
Deliberate Provincialism: Identity, Iconography and Style in the Mosaics of Late Antique Syria

Robin Margaret Jensen (University of Notre Dame)
Christian Identities and the Destruction of Gods' Statues in Roman Africa

Ann Kuttner (University of Pennsylvania)
Our Past Recast, Our Future, Bright: Old Statues as New in Late Roman Christian and Civic Cityscapes

December 8
Douglas Boin (Saint Louis University)
Constantine's Fountain: From Jewish to Christian Art to a Social History of Late Antique Material Culture

Felipe Rojas (Brown University)
Archaeophilia in Late Antique Anatolia and Beyond

Ashley Jones (University of Florida)
Kings of the Romans

Susanna McFadden (Fordham University)
Visual Theater in the Late Antique Wall Paintings of Amheida, Egypt

“L’insediamento funerario di Monte Stallone a Formello”. Conferenza e visita alla Catacomba di Monte Stallone il 2 dicembre 2017

Conferenza - "L'insediamento funerario di Monte Stallone a Formello: Storia, carattere e cronologia". Conferenza pubblica nella sala grande a Palazzo Chigi a Formello il sabato 2 dicembre 2017 ore 10:30, tenuta dall'archeologa Alessandra Cerrito, collaboratrice della Pontificia Commissione di Archeologia Sacra. A seguire, ci sarà una visita alla Catacomba di Monte Stallone. Informazioni e prenotazioni:; 06/90194240.


Ancient Jew Review “Dissertation Spotlight” series features Catacomb Society Executive Director, Jessica Dello Russo

As part of the International Catacomb Society's on-going collaboration with the peer-reviewed web journal "Ancient Jew Review" (AJR) to highlight current research on Ancient Judaism in its Mediterranean context, this week's "Dissertation Spotlight" is authored by International Catacomb Society Executive Director Jessica Dello Russo (the first article of the AJR/ICS series, by Catacomb Society Director and Providence College Professor Arthur Urbano, discusses clothing used to "fashion" the image of the Christian intellectual in Late Antiquity).  

In the November 29, 2017 AJR article, Dello Russo summarizes a number of key issues addressed in her doctoral dissertation for the Vatican's Pontifical Institute of Christian Archaeology in Rome, from which she also received the Baccalaureate and Licentiate degrees in Christian Archaeology. In the course of her dissertation research in the USA and Europe, Dello Russo has identified and in many instances published for the first time artifacts and documents pertaining to the creation, use, and modern excavation and maintenance of Jewish catacombs in Rome. A number of Dello Russo's articles on ancient Jewish cemeteries in Rome are available in pdf on the ICS website, and she will speak at the upcoming AIA/SCS annual meeting in Boston in January, 2018 about the International Catacomb Society's foundation in 1980 at a critical time in deliberations over the condition and future maintenance of these sites.

The Ancient Jew Review article link is here. Ancient Jew Review is a web-based journal for the study of Ancient Judaism, featuring cutting-edge scholarship in a wide variety of relevant fields. It is proudly funded by the American Academy for Jewish Research. Subscription to AJR is free at:

Assistant Professor in Religious Studies (Early Christianity) at Scripps College, CA

(Source: Scripps College): Scripps College, a women’s liberal arts college with a strong interdisciplinary tradition, invites applications for the position of Visiting Assistant Professor in Religious Studies with a specialization in early Christian studies. The position is for academic year 2018-2019 with a possibility of renewal for 2019-2020. The teaching load is five courses for the year, and advising on senior theses is anticipated. Specific course subjects are open, but preference will be given to candidates whose courses can engage with critical and feminist theory.

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, c.v., three letters of reference, and sample syllabi to For questions regarding the search, please contact Consideration of applications will begin on February 15, 2018.

Scripps College is one of seven members of The Claremont Colleges Consortium located 35 miles east of Los Angeles. In a continuing effort to build a diverse academic community and to provide equal educational and employment opportunities, Scripps College actively encourages applications from women and members of historically under-represented groups.

Aperture speciali di catacombe normalmente chiuse al pubblico nel dicembre 2017

Sabato 2 dicembre 2017

Visita alle Catacombe ebraiche di Vigna Randanini: sabato 2 dicembre 2017 ore 11
Costo: 15 euro tutto incluso. Prenotazione obbligatoria: o sms al 371.1423882;

Visita alle Catacombe di Generosa: sabato 2 dicembre 2017 ore 15.30. 
La partecipazione alle visite è gratuita e non necessita di prenotazione.
Per ogni ulteriore informazione: 349 7930661;

Sabato 16 dicembre 2017

Visita alle Catacombe di Priscilla con l'apertura di una parte non aperta al pubblico. Sabato 16 dicembre ore 16. Prenotazione obbligatoria:

Foundation Challenge Grant

The global movement Giving Tuesday, an international day of giving, is a perfect time to donate to the International Catacomb Society (ICS). For one day only, on November 28, 2017, Facebook has waived transaction fees for all donations made on the ICS Facebook page and, in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, will match up to $50,000 in donations to individual nonprofits on that date between 8 a.m. and midnight (EST).* With your generous support and this extraordinary chance to obtain matching funds, ICS can continue and strengthen its mission of helping scholars from a broad range of national and cultural backgrounds realize and share their life's work.

Please take the special opportunity of Giving Tuesday to make a financial contribution to the ICS in any amount. Individual and corporate contributions to the ICS are fully tax-deductible, and will be recognized in the 2017 Annual Report. With a contribution of just $50 ($30 for students), you can join the International Catacomb Society and receive all member benefits. Naming rights to individual scholarships are also possible with an endowment gift.

Donations can be made by credit card or PayPal by using our secure donation link or by check to the International Catacomb Society, 217 Hanover Street, Suite 130413, Boston, MA 02113.

We are most grateful for your support!

Please share your generosity via social media by letting family and friends know about your support of the ICS campaign: #CatacombSociety #ShohetScholars #givingtuesday #unselfie

* Donations to nonprofits made through Facebook's charitable giving tools on November 28th will be matched up to $50,000 per nonprofit or $1,000 per fundraiser or donate button, until the $2 million in matching funds run out. The match will begin at 8AM EST (5AM PST).

Philo’s Mission to Rome: A Historical Archaeological View. Lecture in Berlin by ICS Directors Annewies van den Hoek & John J. Herrmann, Jr. (December 7, 2017)

Philo's Mission to Rome: A Historical Archaeological View - Lecture (in English) by Annewies van den Hoek (Harvard University) and John J. Herrmann, Jr. (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)
Thursday, December 07, 2017, 6:00 pm, in the Theological Faculty of Humboldt University, Burgstr. 26, 10178 Berlin, seminar room 117  Vortrag_vdHoek_071217 (invitation pdf)

Abstract: In spite of its highly rhetorical character, Philo’s Legatio ad Gaium reflects a historical situation with real people and real places. New light can be shed on Philo’s embassy to the emperor Caligula in 38-39 CE by coupling the fields of archaeology and philology. Archaeologists have used Philo’s account in his Legatio to interpret excavated remains in Rome, and these remains can in turn offer some new perspectives on the philosopher-ambassador’s rhetoric. The emperor wanted veneration from the Jews and pampered Philo with access to his private retreat. However, Philo’s response to the luxurious setting, while not entirely indifferent, was not what the emperor expected.

Annewies van den Hoek taught at Harvard University (1989-2016) and is now retired. She wrote a monograph on Clement of Alexandria and Philo (1988), a Greek text edition of Clement's Stromateis IV (2001), and co-authored with John Herrmann: Pottery, Pavements, and Paradise (2013). She is currently preparing a commentary on Philo's De Cherubim.

John J. Herrmann, Jr. is Curator of Classical Art Emeritus of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and vice president of the Association for the Study of Marble and Other Stones in Antiquity (ASMOSIA). His articles, books, and contributions to catalogs catalog Greek, Roman, and Early Christian art and architectural decoration.

An Update on Early Christian Archaeology in Israel. Lecture by Prof. Joseph Patrich at the Pontifical Institute of Christian Archaeology in Rome (November 24, 2017)

An Update on Early Christian Archaeology in Israel. 
Lecture by Prof. Joseph Patrich, Institute of Archaeology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.
Friday, November 24, 2017 at 5 p.m.
Pontifical Institute of Christian Archaeology
viale Napoleone III, 00185 - Rome, Italy
T. 06/4465574;;

PSU & Eisenbrauns Launch new book series on ancient Near East, the archaeology of the Mediterranean, and Jewish and Christian history and texts

(Source: PublishersWeekly): "The Pennsylvania State University Press (ICS note: whose Director is longtime ICS advisor and former executive board member, Patrick Alexander) and academic publisher Eisenbrauns have entered a partnership on a new imprint, Eisenbrauns, which will publish books from both presses on the ancient Near East, the archaeology of the Mediterranean, and Jewish and Christian history and texts.

The partnership arrives just a week ahead of the annual meetings of the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) and the American Academy of Religion/Society of Biblical Literature (AAR/SBL). Both conferences for scholars of religion, ASOR will take place in Boston from Nov. 15-18, while AAR/SBL will take place in Boston as well from Nov. 18-21."

The new website for Eisenbrauns, now an imprint of PSU Press, is:

Photo: Penn State University Press Director Patrick Alexander in the Vigna Randanini catacombs with ICS Executive Director Jessica Dello Russo and colleagues.