In Search of Greco-Roman Antiquity in America – Faces of Science

In Search of Greco-Roman Antiquity in America – Faces of Science

Flying to the other side of the ocean for your mission is very special. I added a few days off to my stay for the ‘Ben Leiden Colloquium on the Sacred’. This way I was able to visit a few extra museums I wanted to visit and made an incredibly long trip even more ‘worth it’. (Because it flew so far for a few days of the conference: it takes a lot of time and the CO2emissions.) The trip was definitely worthwhile! I have learned and seen a lot.

After a long flight I arrived at my luxury hotel room. I stayed here during the conference.

Patricia Kret for NEMO Kennislink

What do you do at a conference? Listening to all the speakers, asking questions, debating and presenting myself in my case. I spoke for twenty minutes about a small part of my PhD research. This conference is about ‘The Sacred’ in Greco-Roman religion. Giving gets easier if you do it more often, but it’s definitely exciting.

I spoke for twenty minutes about a small part of my PhD research.

Patricia Kret for NEMO Kennislink

The conference took place in a beautiful library (some good air conditioning, dress warmly even though it’s summer…)

The university part of the city (where I visited mostly) was full of beautiful buildings. It was my first time in America and I was amazed at the mix of old European architectural styles I saw – very old styles, but not very old 19th century buildings.

Patricia Kret for NEMO Kennislink

In Philadelphia I visited the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology (Penn Museum) with its large Greco-Roman collection.

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Roman Section of the Metropolitan Museum

Patricia Kret for NEMO Kennislink

What I did after the conference on my vacation in New York: Visit more museums! Yes, you amuse me greatly in this. For example, I visited the Metropolitan Museum with an even larger collection of Greco-Roman and Egyptian antiquities (and more). The arrangement is quite traditional: undistracting spaces with many objects in visual events. There were cute things between them, so I was totally happy.

Egyptian Temple at the Met Museum.

One of the highlights of the museum has to be the Egyptian temple – from the time of Emperor Augustus, with Augustus depicted as a pharaoh at his side. The Temple of Tendur has been donated to the United States after helping to build the Aswan High Dam. (Do you also want to see an Egyptian temple? In the same project, the Netherlands also got a temple: the Tafeh Temple, which you can find in the National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden).

I went to Hadestown on Broadway

Patricia Kret for NEMO Kennislink

Of course you won’t find Greco-Roman history in America, the Roman Empire didn’t reach that far. However, in bustling New York I managed to find something to do with antiquity: I went to Hadestown on Broadway. In several theaters I visited a musical about the story of Hades and Persephone and Orpheus and Eurydice. While the story is based on a Greek myth not actually told in the musical, the story was given an American twist and worked well! Ancient can also be very timeless, it turns out.

Of course I also played tourist for the few days I was in New York. I was amazed at the city, how big and busy it was everywhere! (Apart from the massive Central Park, it was nice and quiet). After a long flight I arrived back in the tiny Netherlands. Here I am going to turn my presentation into an essay. This will be combined with all conference contributions.

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