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07.04.2019 14:21 Alter: 47 days

Reframing Wisdom Literature

Conference Announcement

Theme: Reframing Wisdom Literature
Subtitle: Problematising Literary and Religious Interactions in Ancient Wisdom Texts
Type: Postgraduate Conference
Institution: Department of Classics, King's College, University of London
Location: London (United Kingdom)
Date: 30.–31.5.2019

We are delighted to announce the complete programme of the
postgraduate conference "Reframing Wisdom Literature. Problematising
Literary and Religious Interactions in Ancient Wisdom Texts."

The label ‘wisdom literature’ has been a focus of contemporary
scholarly debate centring on issues of categorisation and definition.
In particular, its application to Mesopotamian texts has recently
been problematised (cf. Lambert 1996: 1-2; scholarship overview in
Cohen 2013: 8-12). This conference will explore whether and how
similar questioning should lead us to rethink the traditional and
deep-seated applications of this label to the so-called ‘wisdom
books’ of the Hebrew Bible (Proverbs, Job and Ecclesiastes) and to
Greek texts (such as Hesiod, Theognis and Phocylides). Another
problem deserving consideration is the juxtaposing of other labels
such as ‘advice’ and ‘didactic literature’ to the tag ‘wisdom
literature’. This eventually takes us to the central issues of the
status of ‘wisdom literature’ as a genre, its oral origins, and its
perception and circulation in antiquity. It is with the aim of
bringing these problems to the surface, and reframing the debate
about them, that this conference intends to approach ‘wisdom


Thursday 30 May

Registration from 1.30 pm

2.15 pm:
Opening address by Dr Daniel Orrells, Head of the Department of
Classics, King’s College London

2.30 – 4 pm:
Session 1

2.30 – 3.15 pm:
Emanuele Zimbardi, ‘La Sapienza’ University of Rome and Freie
Universität Berlin, Aḥiqar from loyal courtier to wise teacher: the
making of a parenetical story in Official Aramaic, Greek, and Syriac.
Response by Dr Pavlos Avlamis, King’s College London

3.15 – 4 pm:
Ivo Martins, Leiden University, Reframing wisdom through liminality
in Akkadian literature. Response by Dr Lindsay Allen, King’s College

4 – 4.30 pm:
Coffee break

4.30 – 6 pm:
Session 2

4.30 – 5.15 pm:
Michela Piccin, Northeast Normal University, Changchun, Motifs
distribution in Ludlul Bēl Nēmeqi and Babylonian Theodicy. Response
by Dr Jana Matuszak, SOAS University of London

5.15 – 6 pm:
Suzanna R. Millar, University of Edinburgh, A proverb in a collection
is dead? Response by Prof Paul Joyce, King’s College London

7.30 pm:
Conference dinner
(Côte Brasserie, Tavistock Street, London WC2E7PA)

Friday 31 May

9.30 – 11 am:
Session 3 

9.30 – 10.15 am:
Charles P. Comerford, University of Birmingham, What should we talk
about when we talk about wisdom? Terminology, definition, and genre
in ancient Jewish wisdom studies. Response by Prof Hindy Najman,
University of Oxford

10.15 – 11 am:
Rachel Frish, Bar-Ilan University, Tel-Aviv, When prophecy meets
wisdom: examination of the manner in which חכמים are addressed in
Jeremiah 8 as a case study. Response by Dr Jonathan Stökl, King’s
College London

11 – 11.30 am:
Coffee break

11.30 am – 1 pm:
Session 4 

11.30 am – 12.15 pm:
David Hodgkinson, University of Oxford, Battlefields as teaching
spaces. Response by Dr Shaul Tor, King’s College London

12.15 – 1 pm:
Edward Iles, University of Oxford, The Babyloniaka of Berossos of
Babylon and the advice literature on legitimate kingship. Response by
Prof Hugh Bowden, King’s College London

1 – 2.30 pm:
Lunch break

2.30 – 4 pm:
Session 5 

2.30 – 3.15 pm:
Carmine Antonio Vox, Università degli Studi di Macerata, The wise
Nazianzen. Wisdom features in Gregory’s writings and reception.
Response by Prof Micheal Trapp, King’s College London

3.15 – 4.00 pm:
Aggelos Malisovas, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens,
Unifying a dualistic nature: Prudentius’ poetical corpus as Wisdom
Literature testimony. Response by Dr Daniel Hadas, King’s College

4 – 4.30 pm:
Coffee break

4.30 – 5.30 pm:
Keynote lecture by Prof Dimitri Gutas, Yale University

5.30 pm:
Closing remarks by Sara De Martin and Anna Lucia Furlan, King’s
College London. Wine reception to follow.

7.30 pm:
Informal closing dinner
(Antalya Restaurant, Southampton Row, London WC1B 4HH)

The conference will take place on Thursday 30th - Friday 31st May
2019 at King’s College - Bush House Lecture Theatre 2 (BH(S)4.04),

You can read more about the conference aims and download the complete
conference booklet and poster on our website:

The conference is free to attend and lunch and refreshments will be
provided but registration via Eventbrite is required. Please register
by Thursday 23rd May using this link to the registration page:

Thanks to the generosity of the Classical Association, we can offer
PhD students some small contributions towards travel and
accommodation costs. To apply for a bursary please contact us at, stating your reasons for attending the
conference and any other sources of funding available to you, and
enclosing your CV.


Sara De Martin & Anna Lucia Furlan, Research Students
Department of Classics
King’s College London