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October 23, 2007

Roger S. Bagnall, New York University Classics Scholar, Delivers Phi Beta Kappa Lecture

Mike Lurie

Office: 410-455-6380
Cellphone: 443-695-0262

Oct. 23, 2007

BALTIMORE --The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) proudly presents a lecture, "Women Writing Letters in Graeco-Roman Egypt," to be delivered at 4 p.m. Oct. 25 by Roger S. Bagnall, a professor of classics and director of New York University's Institute for the Study of the Ancient World.

The free public lecture is part of the series offered by the Phi Beta Kappa Scholar Program, which makes available each year 12 or more distinguished scholars who visit 100 colleges and universities with chapters of Phi Beta Kappa. The 1-hour lecture will be delivered at the Albin O. Kuhn Library and Gallery.

Bagnall will discuss earliest forms of written communication efforts by women in ancient Egypt.

Women in those times wrote letters on papyrus, a thick paper-like material produced from the papyrus plant that was once readily found in the Nile Delta. Bagnall will explore the difficulties of understanding what letters women actually wrote themselves or dictated and how these letters reveal clues about the lives of these ancient women.

The letters hold the potential for offering a more diverse picture of their lives than the one painted by ancient literature.

Before his appointment at New York University, Bagnall was professor of classics and history at Columbia University, 1974-2007. He is a past president of the American Society of Papyrologists and current president of the International Association of Papyrologists. His principal areas of research are in the field of papyrology and the social, economic and administrative history of Egypt between 300 and 600 A.D.

The lecture is jointly sponsored by Phi Beta Kappa, the Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Association of Greater Baltimore, the James T. and Virginia Dresher Center for the Humanities and the UMBC Department of Ancient Studies.

About UMBC:
UMBC is a medium-sized public research university of 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students who collaborate with faculty to address real-world challenges. Located just south of Baltimore near I-95 and the BWI airport, UMBC's residential campus houses state-of-the-art facilities in the sciences, engineering, arts, social sciences and humanities. UMBC combines the energy of a research university with the close community feel and attention to individual students found in liberal arts colleges.

Posted by mlurie at October 23, 2007 7:27 PM