Lecture: Dr. Ainsley Hawthorn (Yale University) – The Shifting Gaze: Vision in the Neo-Assyrian Royal Inscriptions

The Research Training Group 1876 invites to the public lecture “The Shifting Gaze: Vision in the Neo-Assyrian Royal Inscriptions” by Prof. Karen Polinger Foster (Yale University).

Thursday, 02.02.2017, 6:15 p.m.
Hegelstr. 59, 55122 Mainz, room 00-309


Although the representation of vision in Neo-Assyrian royal inscriptions draws on a literary tradition dating back more than a millennium, the Neo-Assyrian period shows evidence of unprecedented innovation in the use of vision vocabulary. Because of the relative wealth of surviving textual, art historical, and architectural evidence from the Neo-Assyrian period, this stage of Mesopotamian history also presents an outstanding opportunity to compare how phenomena like the senses were represented across media and genres. This presentation will give an overview of the Akkadian vision vocabulary and examine how the use of this terminology was transformed in the epigraphy of the Neo-Assyrian period by comparison to earlier sources. These findings will be compared to evidence from Neo-Assyrian letters and art to better understand how concepts of vision and visibility were strategically employed in the royal inscriptions to impress upon their intended audience the might of the Neo-Assyrian king and the divine sanction of his authority.