“Master of Classical Greek Sculpture: Scopas and Boston”
Text of the 2002 Estelle Shohet Brettman Memorial Lecture by Olga Palagia, Professor of Classical Archaeology, Department of Archaeology and Art History, Athens University
Abstract: Scopas, once of the great Greek sculptors and architects of the 4th century BCE, gained fame for his work on the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, and eventually recognition as an important influence on the High Classical style and development of European Art. Professor Olga Palagia reviews his career and points out the stylistic links between his work and sculptures in the MFA's collection, including a masterful bronze head of a goddess.
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“New Light on Women's Roles in the Ancient Synagogues of the Roman Empire”
Text of the 1990 lecture by Marisa de Spagnolis, Director of the Office of Excavations of Nocera and Sarno, Italy
Abstract: In September, 1988, during work undertaken to construct a second track of the Naples-Salerno railroad in Upper Nocera, an ancient structure was discovered. Tomb n. 17 of this necropolis (a chest type, a cassa), presented a new feature, the presence of two marble slabs inserted into the walls of the tomb, evidently transferred from another site. Each slab bears and incised menorah along with a Greek inscription. The first inscription makes reference to a woman named Myrina, designated as a presbytera. The other mentions a man, named Pedoneius, designated as a grammateus. Described, without a doubt, are a husband and wife, one a grammateus and the other a presbytera. De' Spagnolis Conticello's impressive find offers strong evidence for women holding offices in the Jewish congregations of the Late Roman Empire and is of major importance also because it gives evidence that there was one or more synagogues in the well-organized and rather complex community of Nocera Superiore. The presence of Jews in Antiquity was not previously known in this site.
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