OWU Home

Greek, Roman Religion Expert Explores 'High Security in Ancient Cities' for SNC

November 18, 2002

DELAWARE, OHIO -- In co-sponsorship with the Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program, Dr. Fritz Graf, co-director of the Ohio State University Center for Epigraphy and Paleography, will speak Wednesday, Nov. 20, at 7:30 p.m. in the Benes Room of the Hamilton-Williams Campus Center as part of the Sagan National Colloquium public affairs series. In his lecture, "A Gate is Just a Hole in the Wall: The Quest for High Security in Ancient Cities," Graf will draw upon his expertise in Greek and Roman religion to reflect on the role of religion, especially visible religion, in creating subjective security.

Graf's approach to religion is often through original inscriptional texts and archaeological artifacts. As Graf explains, the walls of ancient cities were more than military security devices and engineering feats: they had a religious side as well, and in times of crisis, rituals were used to reinforce their security. Rituals were most important for securing the weakest part of the wall, its gates, which not only allowed the invasion of enemies, but of evil forces of all sorts.

Before moving to Ohio State in Fall 2002, Graf was the Andrew Fleming West Professor in Classics at Princeton, where he came from Basel, Switzerland. Also an author, Graf has published such books as Greek Mythology: An Introduction and Magic in the Greco-Roman World.

The Sagan National Colloquium is in its 17th year at OWU. All lectures are free and open to the public. More information is available at http://snc.owu.edu or 740-368-3995.