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SWTAS 2020-2021 Lecture Series! All lectures are free and open to the general public. Most lectures are hosted by Trinity University but occasionally we meet at other venues, as listed in the program notes below. Refer to the Find Us! [keep the link] page for location maps. Lectures last approximately one hour, followed by a modest reception. The lecture series is made possible by the Archaeological Institute of America, the Southwest Texas Archaeological Society, and the Department of Classical Studies at Trinity University. AIA members in good standing are invited to join the lecturer at a no host dinner prior to the evening’s events; please contact nhirschf@trinity.edu for further information.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021
2:00 pm 7:30 pm, on Zoom (time change)
(contact Nicolle Hirschfeld for Zoom details nhirschf@trinity.edu)

Lecture by Dr. Rebecca Flemming, Senior Lecturer in Ancient History at the University of Cambridge

Anatomy as Religion: The Body in Ancient Italian Votive Practice

The talk will focus on Anatomy as Religion: The Body in Ancient Italian Votive Practice, akin to our milagros in form and function. Tens of thousands of votive objects, mostly in terracotta, survive from religious sanctuaries across Republican central Italy (from the fourth to the first centuries BC). Many are in the shape of body parts, external and internal, single and multiple, even displayed within a whole human torso or figure, and they are usually interpreted as representing engagements with the divine about health and healing, broadly construed. They offer key insights into both religion in early Italy and ideas about the human body. This lecture first offers an overview of the extant material and the cult practice, the address and thanks to the gods, that these artefacts embody, summarizing both recent finds and new scholarship on the phenomenon of the anatomical ex-voto. The focus then turns to the ‘polyviscera’, the objects which depict multiple organs, in a range of presentational styles, and to the meanings they might have, both in terms of the ways the human body was understood in antiquity, and the ways divinities might be invited to intervene in it. Dr. Flemming is one of this year’s Martha Sharp Joukowsky Lecturers.

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