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Ancient World Seminar: Drew Longacre (Groningen), "Comparative Paleography of the Ancient Mediterranean World"

When:Tu 15-10-2019 16:15 - 17:30
Where:Courtroom, Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, Oude Boteringestraat 38, Groningen
Lecture Drew Longacre
Lecture Drew Longacre


With the publication of the introductory volume of the Comparative Oriental Manuscript Studies (COMSt) research network in 2015, it has become increasingly clear that many scribal practices in different late Antique and Medieval cultural spheres were interrelated. While some practices may be language- or script-specific, many participate in larger, intercultural trends, conventions, and aesthetic preferences. Comparative paleography can thus both shed light on the specific scribal practices evident in limited corpora and yield important insights into broader intercultural relationships. By placing the Hellenistic- and early Roman-period Greek, Latin, and Hebrew/Aramaic scripts in conversation, I will demonstrate numerous parallel developments in scripts and manuscript formats. I argue that these parallels are not coincidental, but reflect the interconnectedness of different cultural spheres in the ancient Mediterranean world, especially among the highly educated elites.

About the speaker

Drew Longacre is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Groningen on the ERC project “The Hands that Wrote the Bible: Digital Palaeography and Scribal Culture of the Dead Sea Scrolls”. He specializes in Hebrew and Greek manuscript studies, paleography, and textual criticism. His current subproject investigates the roles individual scribes played in the transmission and transformation of the Hebrew scriptures.