Nov. 6, 1997
Vol. 17, No. 4

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    CHI seminar: 'Priests, Magicians and Incantations in Hellenistic Egypt'

    "Priests, Magicians and Incantations in Hellenistic Egypt," the third meeting in a five-part series on Hellenistic Egypt, will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 8, at the Chicago Humanities Institute. The program will feature lectures, roundtable discussions and responses by lecturers from around the world.

    "Between the death of Alexander the Great and the death of Cleopatra, Egypt developed a hybrid culture that drew on native Egyptian traditions as well as those of the Greeks, who conquered and then settled the country in large numbers. The complexity of this bi-cultural world has in the past eluded scholars, who persist in studying only the highly visible Greek political center in Alexandria," said Chris Faraone, Associate Professor in Classical Languages & Literatures, one of the organizers of the series. To remedy this problem, scholars at the University have joined with colleagues at Stanford to present an ongoing international seminar on Hellenistic Egypt, with meetings divided between Chicago and Stanford.

    "The study of this era has been difficult until now largely because documents produced in Hellenistic Egypt were written in two separate languages, Greek and Egyptian, and studied by scholars in two separate fields, Classics and Egyptology," Faraone said. "It requires an interdisciplinary approach, and Chicago is a natural place for such interdisciplinary study. Chicago is also the center of the study of the special script of the Egyptian language called Demotic, which was used during the Hellenistic Period."

    The fourth meeting, "Narrative Strategies in Greek and Egyptian Prose of the Hellenistic Period," will be held on April 4, 1998, at the Chicago Humanities Institute. The final meeting will be held at Stanford.

    For more information, contact the Chicago Humanities Institute at 702-8274, see the Calendar, or visit the seminar's web site at http://humanities. uchicago.edu/humanities/classics/Programs/ChiStanfConf.html.