David Taylor: A Greek-speaking Eastern Roman Empire?

A Greek-speaking Eastern Roman Empire? The View from New York
presented by
David Taylor,
Visiting Research Scholar
2009-2010 Visiting Research Scholar Lecture Series
Institute for the Study of the Ancient World

Tuesday, 6:00 pm
October 6th, 2009

Lecture Hall
ISAW Building
15 East 84th Street
New York, NY 10028

*This lecture is free and open to the public

The overwhelming majority of the surviving epigraphic texts of the Late Antique Roman provinces of Syria and Mesopotamia are written in Greek, and in a number of recent books and articles it has been argued that Greek was in fact the ordinary daily language of the local populations. By examining examples of the full available range of ancient linguistic evidence, and drawing on sociolinguistic theory about multilingualism and diglossia, this thesis will be challenged, and a more complex pattern of language usage will be sketched out. The consequences of this for issues of local identity and culture will then be explored.

David Taylor is the University Lecturer in Aramaic and Syriac at the University of Oxford, and during 2009-2010 he is a Visiting Research Scholar at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, NYU.

The next lecture of the series will be given by David Klotz on October 20th.