Cate Bonesho Awarded ASOR Student Travel Grant
The American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) will hold its Annual Meeting in San Antonio, TX from November 16th to 19th. Cate is one of ten students attending the conference who has received the award to help with travel to the conference.
Aesthetics of Empire: The Importance of Presentation in Palmyrene and Latin Bilingual Inscriptions
Abstract: Scholars have assumed that many Palmyrene Aramaic–Latin bilingual inscriptions consist of unrelated “biversions” rather than translations because of discrepancies between both (a) the content of the texts and (b) the respective formulae employed by each text (e.g., Latin dis manibus vs. Palmyrene ḥbl). However, bilingual inscriptions found throughout the Roman Empire consistently demonstrate their adherence to the conventions of inscriptional genres and material presentation. Material presentation of a bilingual inscription indicates which text was intended to be visually primary, that is, which is meant to be seen most prominently. Multiple features constitute the material presentation, including the relative positioning of the texts, the presence or absence of a frame around the texts, and the overall quality of the script. While visual primacy is not necessarily indicative of a text’s conceptual priority, when compounded with other features, it can illuminate the texts’ relationship to one another. Using Palmyrene Aramaic Texts (PAT) 248 and 250 and incorporating a visual analysis of the inscriptions, in addition to a close analysis of the texts, one finds that the Latin and Palmyrene Aramaic texts are related to one another, with each Latin text serving as the source text for its Palmyrene counterpart. Moreover, in the case of PAT 248, an analysis of the material presentation can assist in the reading of the text: the presentation illuminates the relationship between the Latin and Palmyrene texts and offers new evidence for understanding the Aramaic.