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Prof. Grant Parker, guest lecturer at UC Berkeley conference "Connected Worlds: New Approaches across Pre-Modern Studies" on Friday, January 25 at 11:00am

Grant Parker, Associate Professor of Classics at Stanford University, will give a talk entitled "Pompey's Pillar: Situating a Monument" at 11:00am on Friday, January 25 at 3335 Dwinelle Hall, UC Berkeley.

Lecture abstract:
The column shaft erected in 297/8 CE at Alexandria in honor of Diocletian enjoys special status on several count, not least as the sole surviving major remnant of ancient Roman presence in that city. It is misnamed in that it has no connection with Pompey. The biography of this singular object is interesting in its own right, but all the more so if we view it in light of comparable objects, particularly obelisks. Once we have explored contexts for making historical sense of this monolith, it turns out that its history is a highly connected one.

About the speaker:
Professor Parker studies elements of the exotic in Roman culture. His first book, The Making of Roman India (2008), surveys representations of India in Greek and Latin texts of the imperial Roman period and emphasises the social processes whereby the image of India gained its exotic features in the Roman imagination. His current research includes studies of Roman travel literature and the cultural reception of obelisks in the Roman empire. He is also co-editing, with Richard Talbert, a sourcebook of Roman travel writing entitled Travel in the Roman Mind. He is joint editor, with Carla Sinopoli, of Ancient India in its Wider World (Center for South and South East Asian Studies, University of Michigan, 2008), and with Miriam Cooke and Erdag Göknar, of Mediterranean Passages: readings from Dido to Derrida (University of North Carolina Press, 2008). He is also co-editing, with Richard Talbert, a sourcebook of Roman travel writing entitled "Travel in the Roman Mind." His current research includes studies of Roman travel literature, the representation of India, Egypt, and Parthia in Augustan poetry, and the cultural reception of obelisks in the Roman empire.