College of Arts and Sciences

Ancient Studies

Distinguished Lecturer Series

The Distinguished Lecturer Series seeks to provide a venue for faculty and students working on various areas of antiquity to explore common interests. The Program normally invites two major scholars a year whose interests cross traditional disciplinary boundaries. The scholars are chosen by a formal nomination process from the faculty. For the process, each nomination shall be a co-nomination by faculty members from at least two different departments. The lectures are of broad interest to students and faculty members. Each visitor will present a public lecture and meet with interested students and faculty during his or her visit.

Spring 2020

Please join us for the following lecture on February 5 at 4pm in Hazelbaker Hall (Wells Library).

Dr. Maren Niehoff (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

Topic:"Writing to the Romans: Paul and Philo of Alexandria"

This lecture looks at Philo, the Jewish philosopher and Bible interpreter, active in first century Alexandria, as a key to understand Paul in his historical context. Philo is closer to Paul than any other contemporary Jew, because he shares the Greek Bible and the Jewish Diaspora background. Moreover, Philo also addressed Roman audiences in his later writings, when he visited Rome as the head of the Jewish embassy to Gaius Caligula. Drawing on the insights of my recent book, Philo of Alexandria. An Intellectual Biography (Yale University Press, 2018), I analyze key-passages in Paul’s Letter to the Romans in view of Philo’s discussions of the same topics.

Past Distinguished Lecturers:

  • Carl Knappett (University of Toronto)
  • Dan Potts (Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University)
  • Monica Smith (University of California, Los Angeles)
  • Emma Dench (Harvard)
  • Barry Strauss (Cornell)
  • Adrienne Mayor (Stanford)
  • Greg Woolf (Institute of Classical Studies)
  • Oliver Taplin (Oxford)
  • Shane Buttler (Johns Hopkins)
  • Willeke Wendrich (UCLA)
  • William Harris (Columbia)
  • Richard Talbert (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
  • Dale Kinney (Bryn Mawr College)
  • Susan E. Alcock (University of Michigan)
  • Shadi Bartsch (University of Chicago)
  • Mary T. Boatwright (Duke)
  • Glen W. Bowersock (Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton)
  • Alan Cameron (Columbia)
  • John Dillon (Trinity College, Dublin)
  • Katherine Dunbabin (McMaster)
  • Robin Lane Fox (Oxford)
  • Christopher Gill (University of Exeter, UK)
  • Maud Gleason (Berkeley)
  • Fritz Graf (Ohio State University)
  • A. A. Long (Berkeley)
  • Joseph Manning (Yale)
  • Ian Morris (Stanford)
  • Josiah Ober (Stanford University)
  • James Porter (California, Irvine)
  • Richard Saller (Standford)
  • Brent Shaw (Princeton)
  • Lawrence Stager (Harvard
  • Raymond Van Dam (Michigan)
  • Heinrich von Staden (Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton)