Job Posting (Late Latin Studies/Digital Humanities, Iowa)

The Department of Classics at The University of Iowa invites applications for a tenure-track position at the assistant professor level in Late Latin Studies (2nd Century CE through 9th Century CE) with a demonstrated interest in digital Humanities, to begin in August 2014. For more information, please see https://jobs.uiowa.edu/faculty/view/63236.

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Online Resources for the Mandaeans

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The Mandaeans are a contemporary religion with communities in Iraq and Iran, as well as an expanding Diaspora in Europe, North America, and Australia; their heritage reaches back to Late-Antique Mesopotamia.  Most scholars of religion in Late Antiquity have ignored them, especially after earlier attempts to interpret key Gospel passages through Mandaean literature fell sharply, and deservedly, out of favor.  In more recent scholarship, their importance for understanding pre-Islamic religion in Sasanian Iran is slowly being recognized.  Yet major texts, such as the Mandaic Book of John, are not available in English translation. Professors Charles Häberl of Rutgers University and James McGrath of Butler University are producing a translation of this Book of John; their work-in-progress is helpfully posted on the project blog. Continue reading

Morton Feldman’s “Turfan Fragments”

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American avant-garde composer Morton Feldman’s “Turfan Fragments” (1980), a piece on the famous (East) Berlin collection now largely available online, can be listened to on YouTube, as performed by the Orchestra of the SEM Ensemble, with conductor Petr Kotik:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e49qbrz1sZU

As a connoisseur of fragmentary ancient texts, I found this agitated work unexpected and inspirational!

Elsewhere on YouTube, there is a documentary on Turfan (“A Heat Wave Called Turfan”), part of a 12-episode series on the Silk Road in English, with joint Japanese and Chinese production.

Die Griechischen Christlichen Schriftsteller and Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum Online

Significant portions of two magisterial series of critical editions for Christian texts from Late Antiquity can be easily downloaded from enumerated lists linked to archive.org and Google Books: Die Griechischen Christlichen Schriftsteller (GCS), available at Roger Pearse and Patrologia Latina, Graeca, & Orientalis (PLGO; through Scribd); and Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum (CSEL), also available at Roger Pearse and the PLGO.  While all of the texts from the series Sources Chrétiennes, founded in 1942, are still under copyright, useful information on the many volumes can be found on the Institute’s website.  Similarly, Brepols Corpus Christianorum, and its various subseries, are under copyright; the Series Latina is available by subscription in the Library of Latin Texts.

Anastasios of Sinai: Digital Editions in Patristics

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This is a high-quality author site for Anastasios of Sinai, the seventh-century monk of St. Catherine’s, who has enjoyed a recent surge in scholarly attention, including both critical editions and studies of his witness to a transitional period in Late Antiquity that saw the rise of Islam in the eastern Mediterranean.  The site, by Clement Kuehn (with contributions by Joseph Munitiz, S.J.), contains some well-organized, annotated bio-bibliographical information, as well as breathtaking photography of the Sinai region. Continue reading

Sasanika

An important and steadily expanding centralized information portal for all aspects of the history and culture of the Sasanian Empire, hosted at the University of California-Irvine, under the direction of Touraj Daryaee.  Some highlights of the site are the open-access series “e-sasanika,” including bibliographical studies, topical surveys, and catalogues of material culture; various primary sources in English translation; a working bibliography of Sasanian studies in the form of a searchable pdf; Continue reading