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CALL. 16.08.2015: Mirabile Dictu: Experiencing the Wondrous in the Ancient World - New York (USA)

Descriptions of phenomena as wondrous, from those occurring in the natural world to those considered divine interventions, highlight the wide range of experiences and observations that could be categorized as marvelous in the ancient world. This spectrum is also reflected in the variety of vocabulary devoted to such wonders, from θαῦμα, τέρας, and πέλωρ in Greek tomirabilia, miraculum and portentum in Latin. With these qualifications in mind, what actually constituted a “wonder” in the ancient world? How and where were sensations of the wondrous experienced and interpreted? What distinctions, if any, are to be found in the semantic range used for the wondrous and can any categories usefully be discerned or applied to these phenomena?



LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Department of Classics - New York University (New York, USA)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Department of Classics - New York University

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By examining the occurrence of similar instances in the literature, history and material culture of the ancient world, this conference hopes to explore the valences of the wondrous and its meaning in the ancient world. We invite submissions from graduate students working in the following disciplines: Classics, History, Religious Studies, Philosophy, Art History, Archaeology, Near Eastern Studies, Judaic Studies.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

• Science, medicine, physiognomy and the parameters of normal

• Paradoxographic literature and the classification of mirabilia

• The presence and implementation of marvels in various literary genres such as historiography and epic poetry

• Marvelous architecture, artwork and technology

• Philosophical and religious discussions and conceptions of wondrous phenomena

• Uncanny occurrences and mysteries such as doubles, ghosts, hybrid animals, and deformed bodies

Anonymous abstracts of 300 words or less should be submitted in .doc or .pdf format no later than August 16, 2015. Notifications will be sent in the first half of September. Please include your name, institution, contact information, and the title of your abstract in the body of your email. Papers should be no longer than 20 minutes in length. Questions about the conference can be addressed to Stephanie Crooks and Amanda Hawley at the same email address.

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