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Reframing Wisdom Literature. Problematising Literary and Religious Interactions in Ancient Wisdom Te


With this postgraduate conference we aim at exploring and dissecting the intertwining of literary and religious elements in texts that are normally labelled as ‘wisdom literature’. The Pseudo-Phocylidea was the work that inspired this conference, as ‘in the dynamics of its textual interactions, the poem evidences what may be called a principle of dual referentiality, integrating elements from two distinct referential fields, the literature of Hellenistic Jewish morality and the literature of classical Greek poetics’ (Wilson 2005: 14). Indeed, we seek to investigate whether and how, in general, a dual religious-literary referentiality is a constitutive aspect of those texts traditionally considered as ‘wisdom’ texts. We are interested in looking at how this integration embodies the ‘cumulative’ character of wisdom, and we finally aim to consider how such an approach can contribute to the debate concerning the status of ‘wisdom literature’ as a genre.

FECHA/DATE/DATA: 30-31/05/2019

LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Bush House Lecture Theatre 2 (BH(S)4.04), King’s College (London, England)


INFO: web -



Thanks to the generosity of the Classical Association, we can offer PhD students some small contributions towards travel and accommodation costs. To apply for a bursary please contact us at, stating your reasons for attending the conference and any other sources of funding available to you, and enclosing your CV.


Thursday 30th May Registration from 1.30 pm 2.15 pm: opening address by Dr Daniel Orrells, Head of the Department of Classics, KCL 2.30 - 4 pm: session 1 2.30 - 3.15 pm: Emanuele Zimbardi, ‘La Sapienza’ University of Rome and Freie Universität Berlin, Aḥiqar from loyal courtier to wise teacher: the making of a parenetical story in Official Aramaic, Greek, and Syriac. Response by Dr Pavlos Avlamis, KCL 3.15 - 4 pm: Ivo Martins, Leiden University, Reframing wisdom through liminality in Akkadian literature. Response by Dr Lindsay Allen, KCL 4.30 - 6 pm: session 2 4.30 - 5.15 pm: Michela Piccin, Northeast Normal University, Changchun, Motifs distribution in Ludlul Bēl Nēmeqi and Babylonian Theodicy. Response by Dr Jana Matuszak, SOAS University of London 5.15 - 6 pm: Suzanna R. Millar, University of Edinburgh, A proverb in a collection is dead? Response by Prof Paul Joyce, KCL 7.30 pm: conference dinner Friday 31st May 9.30 - 11 am: session 3 9.30 - 10.15 am: Charles P. Comerford, University of Birmingham, What should we talk about when we talk about wisdom? Terminology, definition, and genre in ancient Jewish wisdom studies. Response by Prof Hindy Najman, University of Oxford 10.15 - 11 am: Rachel Frish, Bar-Ilan University, Tel-Aviv, When prophecy meets wisdom: examination of the manner in which חכמים are addressed in Jeremiah 8 as a case study. Response by Dr Jonathan Stökl, KCL 11.30 am - 1 pm: session 4 11.30 am - 12.15 pm: David Hodgkinson, University of Oxford, Battlefields as teaching spaces. Response by Dr Shaul Tor, KCL 12.15 - 1 pm: Edward Iles, University of Oxford, The Babyloniaka of Berossos of Babylon and the advice literature on legitimate kingship. Response by Prof Hugh Bowden, KCL 1 - 2.30 pm: lunch break 2.30 - 4 pm: session 5 2.30 - 3.15 pm: Carmine Antonio Vox, Università degli Studi di Macerata, The wise Nazianzen. Wisdom features in Gregory’s writings and reception. Response by Prof Micheal Trapp, KCL 3.15 - 4.00 pm: Aggelos Malisovas, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Unifying a dualistic nature: Prudentius’ poetical corpus as Wisdom Literature testimony. Response by Dr Daniel Hadas, KCL 4.30 - 5.30 pm: keynote lecture by Prof Dimitri Gutas, Yale University 5.30 pm: closing remarks by Sara De Martin and Anna Lucia Furlan, King’s College London. Wine reception to follow 7.30 pm: informal closing dinner

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