Neil Stephenson's new work Anathem is coming out next week and I can't wait. Here's the brief description: Stephenson (Cryptonomicon) conjures a far-future Earth-like planet, Arbre, where scientists, philosophers and mathematicians—a religious order unto themselves—have been cloistered behind concent (convent) walls. Their role is to nurture all knowledge while safeguarding it from the vagaries of … Continue reading Doing It Better
Going back to school does have its benefits... you can completely geek out and surround yourself with out of print books and arcane ideas all in the name of pursuing knowledge: Today, I'm writing a paper on Dura Europos and its overlooked place in the (I argue non-historical) Parting of the Ways model that describes … Continue reading Research Day
Today is my last day of being a 20-something year old. It's one of those big days that we in the cultures of the West like to put great emphasis upon. You spend your 20's figuring out who you are, exploring ideas, being idealistic. Then, you transition into a real adult focused on career, family, … Continue reading 29
The Phyrgian cap.
One of my main passions offline is research into Dura Europos. I had the privilege to catalogue, photograph and work with much of what remains of Dura Europos' artwork while a grad student at Yale (Yale led the Dura Europos excavations in the 1930's and brought thousands and thousands of pieces back to the Yale … Continue reading Jewish and Early Christian Art
I came across this almost startling image of Jesus on the Roman Army Talk forum... What is so fascinating about this image is Jesus' representation in full Roman soldier garb. I haven't come across many of these types of representations of full Jesus as soldier in my studies. However, this isn't an ancient phenomenon. We … Continue reading Imagining Jesus
I look forward to visiting Dura Europos myself one day. Here's a fun travel-logue by a traveler: Dura Europos was certainly the most attractive archaeological site I visited in Syria. A ruined citadel sits atop a ridge overlooking the river and a large city wall that is still defined in several places bounds the entire … Continue reading Visiting Dura Europos
Here's a paper (and the basis for my PhD thesis) I banged out covering the issue of Midrashic understanding of the paintings in the synagogue at Dura Europos... dura-paper-spring-2007-williams-february-26-2007-gwu-2.pdf What is Dura Europos, you ask? Ah, well... you have homework!