Monday, July 29, 2013

Enoch Seminar, Camaldoli, La Verna, and Rome

THE SEVENTH ENOCH SEMINAR was very successful. The subject was the Enochic literature and the Synoptic Gospels. By the end of the conference there was a pretty broad consensus that at least some of the writers of the Synoptics knew some of the Enochic literature. I had thought so anyway before I came, and a good many other attenders had as well, but more thought so at the end than at the beginning.

Aside from that generalization, I'm not going to talk in detail about the conference. If you want to join, you can read the current drafts of the papers at the Enoch Seminar website. And note the past posts on the Second Enoch Seminar (links are dead, sorry), the Fifth Enoch Seminar (with links), and the Sixth Enoch Seminar (with links).

But I do want to share some historical varia with you from this trip. Click on the images to enlarge them.

The Enoch Seminar met in and stayed at the guest house of the Monastery of Camaldoli in the mountains of Tuscany.

This was the view from the window of my room at sunrise.

On a day trip we visited the Hermitage of Camaldoli, which in 2012 had celebrated the 1000-year anniversary of its founding. (Apparently historians say the founding was actually closer to 1025 but, hey, who's counting?) This is the church at the Hermitage.

Here's the ceiling of a side room of the church, which is decorated with the four cherubim in 1930s Art Deco style.

On the same day trip we visited the Monastery of La Verna, founded by St. Francis of Assisi. They are celebrating the 800th anniversary of its founding this year. Above is a view of the Basilica.

Here is the cloak St. Francis was wearing when he received the stigmata.

Regular readers may remember that in 2013 the University of St. Andrews is celebrating the 600th anniversary of its founding, an anniversary of which we are justly very proud. But I have to admit that visiting Camaldoli and La Verna kind of made me feel like a newb.

That takes us to Friday. Onward then to Rome. I am grateful to my friend Ally, on whom I descended at the weekend, demanding to be shown all of the antiquities in Rome in one day. We didn't quite make it to all of them, but we did all right. She trekked with me through the area all around the Roman Forum and the Colosseum, sharing her extensive local knowledge.

The Roman Forum.

The Colosseum.

The highlight of my Rome trip was a visit to the Arch of Titus.

Here's Ally standing next to the Arch.

And here's a close-up of the relief to the right of her, which shows the triumphal Roman procession carrying the spoils plundered from the Jerusalem Temple after the defeat of the Jewish Revolt in 70 CE. The golden menora is especially visible. Josephus witnessed the scene and described it in the Jewish War. Earlier PaleoJudaica posts involving the Arch of Titus are here, here, here, and here. Some posts on the looted Temple menorah and associated artifacts are here, here, here, and links.