Upcoming events

Listening to Tutankhamun

Online screening of multidisciplinary artist Sara Sallam’s short film I Prayed For The Resin Not To Melt, followed by a discussion with the artist.

The Palladion / ELTE

26 May 2023. 17:00 (CET; 16:00 GMT) online

I Prayed For the Resin Not To Melt offers an alternative record of Tutankhamun’s first encounter with the archaeological apparatus, narrated from his imagined perspective. It accentuates the violence that he was subjected to in the name of scientific study by re-enacting the procedures performed on his mummified body. By relying primarily on an audio-centric form of retelling, Sara Sallam avoids replicating the invasiveness of the operations that took place in his tomb. Addressing the viewers’ auditory senses is also an attempt to bypass the dominant public gazing practices, which have been desensitised by the notions of gold and treasure typically associated with this discovery.

The event aims to ’listen’ to Tutankhamun both through the films’ audio-visual effects and through a discussion of the context and meaning of the inscriptions on Tutankhamun’s funerary mask. Rather than offering ready-made answers, we hope to raise awareness of archaeological and museological ethics and stimulate discussion. The event will be moderated by Kata Endreffy (Palladion) and Kata Jasper (Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest).

Cover © Sara Sallam, Fake Gold. Replica of Tut’s tomb, Giza 2016.

‘Imagining a Greek Home for an Egyptian Goddess: Time, Landscape, and Architecture in Greek Sanctuaries to Isis’
Lecture by Lindsey Mazurek (Indiana University, Bloomington)


Graeco-Aegyptiaca #2/6
The Palladion / UCL

May 30, 2023. 17:00 (CET; 16:00 GMT) online

When Isis first arrived on Greek shores in the 3rd century BCE, her new followers had to build sanctuaries appropriate to an Egyptian goddess. In the process of imagining a place for their Greek Isis to dwell, devotees came up with a wide range of eclectic solutions that intertwined local needs, imperialist fantasy, and fantastical chronology. These sanctuaries do not draw from contemporaneous Egyptian art and architecture, but rather from Greek stereotypes about Egypt and the Nile River. Isis’ Greek temples, I argue, allowed Greek devotees to imagine Egypt in a way that responded to their own experiences as provincial subjects of the Roman Empire.

I begin with a brief overview of Isis’ and Sarapis cults’ arrival in Greece in the early Hellenistic period. Then, I turn to literary evidence, in which Greco-Roman authors from Herodotus to Pliny the Younger characterize Egypt as a timeless and strange place and highlight its unique flora and fauna. I next trace the popularity of these ideas in wall paintings and mosaics, where depictions of the Nile convey ideas of otherness and imperial control. I conclude by discussing the sanctuaries of the Egyptian gods at Marathon and Gortyna. The sanctuary at Marathon combines imaginative architecture that resembles Pharaonic Egyptian temples, archaizing sculpture that evoked a timeless Greco-Egyptian past, and a riverine setting that recalled the Nile Delta. At Gortyna, the sanctuary includes both an underground water crypt that echoed the Nilometers used to measure the river’s annual flood and cattle statuettes that personified the river’s waters. Taken together, this evidence suggests that Greek devotees used sanctuary spaces to explore Greek conceptions of Egypt as an imagined, far-off, and ancient place that they could control in much the same way that Rome controlled and imagined Greece.

Lecture by Alexandra Villing (British Museum)

Graeco-Aegyptiaca #2/7
The Palladion / UCL

June 27, 2023. 17:00 (CET; 16:00 GMT)

‘Demotic narrative and emotions’
Lecture by John Tait (University College London) 

The Palladion / UCL

September, 2023

Emotional responses (both those of the characters of the plot and those of the audiences) play an important role in all narrative. This paper looks at how they operate in Demotic Egyptian narratives, and asks whether or not variations can be seen, either between genres, or between individual compositions.

Past events


‘Egyptian Herakles and Syrian Aphrodite? Disentangling perceptions of Phoenician art and religion in the Greek tradition’
Lecture by Carolina López-Ruiz (University of Chicago)

Graeco-Aegyptiaca #2/5
The Palladion / UCL

April 31, 2023. 17:00 (CET; 16:00 GMT)

In this talk I will offer some thoughts on the entanglement of Phoenician and Egyptian cultures, and focus on the impact this phenomenon had in the perception of Phoenician art and religion in ancient Greek traditions and modern scholarship.

‘Composing Magical Formularies in Late Antique Egypt’
Lecture by Raquel Martín-Hernández (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)

Graeco-Aegyptiaca #2/4
The Palladion / UCL

February 28, 2023. 17:00 (CET; 16:00 GMT) online

The so-called Greek Magical Papyri form one of the most interesting and strange groups of ancient texts surviving on papyrus from the Roman period. They were published as individual texts almost since their discovery, but re-edited as a corpus thanks to the joint efforts of a group of scholars under the leadership of K. Preisendanz (1924–1928). The edition of these texts has been fundamental for the study of magical and vernacular religious practices in Greco-Roman Egypt. In recent years, the project “Transmission of Magical Knowledge in Antiquity”, based in Chicago, has been working on a new critical edition of the Greco-Egyptian magical formularies in which the study of the text is combined with information offered by the material study of the books themselves. Until recently, scholarship has tended to view the magical papyri as a monolithic block; thanks to the Chicago project, we are learning to see just how varied and diverse these papyri are. Written mostly in Greek, these texts constitute one of the most interesting, and still largely untapped, resources for the study of Greco-Egyptian cultural interaction in the Roman Empire.

My lecture belongs in this trend of research. I aim to provide an overview of the preserved Greco-Egyptian magical formularies, discussing their particularities and similarities. Certain magical books in particular will be studied in order to present ideas on how magical knowledge was transmitted in Roman Egypt, and for whom the production of such magnificent books may have been destined.

‘Eggstraordinary Objects: Ostrich Eggs as Luxury Items in the Ancient Mediterranean’
Lecture by Tamar Hodos (University of Bristol) 

Graeco-Aegyptiaca #2/3
The Palladion / UCL

January 31, 2023. 17:00 (CET; 16:00 GMT)

Decorated ostrich eggs were traded as luxury items from the Middle East to the western Mediterranean during the second and first millennia BCE. The eggs were engraved, painted, and occasionally embellished with ivory, precious metals and faience fittings. While archaeologists note their presence as unusual vessels in funerary and dedicatory contexts, little is known about how or from where they were sourced, decorated and traded. Researchers at Bristol University, Durham University, and the British Museum have established techniques to identify where the eggs originated and how they were decorated, while researchers from Bristol, Cranfield, Ghent, Leuven, and Newcastle Universities have assessed comparative methods to identify pigments. This talk shares the results of our studies, revealing the complexity of the production, trade, and economic and social values of luxury organic items between competing cultures of the ancient Mediterranean world.


‘Herodotus as an historian of religions and polytheism: the Egyptian matrix’
Lecture by Vinciane Pirenne-Delforge (Collège de France, FNRS)

Graeco-Aegyptiaca #2/2
The Palladion / UCL

November 29, 2022. 17:00 (CET; 16:00 GMT)

My lecture aims at addressing some well-known passages of Herodotus’s Book 2 about the origin of the gods and the place of the divine in his inquiry. The fact that these passages, crucial for the modern historian of religions, are embedded in the developments on Egypt is related to the Greek vision of the depth of Egyptian time, but the overall framework remains purely Greek and refers to what we call “Greek religion”.

‘Seeing double: visualizing creation on Graeco-Egyptian stone dishes’
Lecture by Kata Endreffy (Palladion Műhely – ELTE) 

Graeco-Aegyptiaca #2/1
The Palladion / UCL

October 25, 2022. 17:00 (CET; 16:00 GMT) online

Correspondence, translation or convergence? The talk focuses on relief-decorated stone dishes, a unique and relatively little-known set of objects from Hellenistic and Roman Egypt, and looks at how the concept of creation is expressed in their diverse iconographical repertoire through a coherent fusion of ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman images of renewal and triumph.

‘The interactions of Egyptian- and Greek-language astronomy: new sources and open questions’
Lecture by Marina Escolano-Poveda (University of Manchester) 

Graeco-Aegyptiaca #1/6
The Palladion / UCL

June 28, 2022. 17:00 (CET; 16:00 GMT) online


‘Theogonies and Theomachies in Egypt, Greece and Elsewhere. Comparisons, Connections and Speculations’
Lecture by Ian Rutherford (University of Reading) 

Graeco-Aegyptiaca #1/5
The Palladion / UCL

May 24, 2022. 17:00 (CET; 16:00 GMT)

‘Akhmîm-Panopolis – City of the weavers from Late Antiquity to the Arab Middle Ages’
Lecture by Cäcilia Fluck (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin) 

Graeco-Aegyptiaca #1/4
The Palladion / UCL

April 26, 2022. 17:00 (CET; 16:00 GMT)

‘Diocletian’s porphyry workshop. New images for the Tetrarchic rulers made in Egypt and the role of local craftsmanship in their conception’
Lecture by Marianne Bergmann (Universität Göttingen)

Graeco-Aegyptiaca #1/3
The Palladion / UCL

March 22, 2022. 17:00 (CET; 16:00 GMT)

‘Demotic Egyptian traditions of the war of the gods and giants’
Lecture by Joachim F. Quack (Universität Heidelberg)

Graeco-Aegyptiaca #1/2
The Palladion / UCL

February 22, 2022. 17:00 (CET; 16:00 GMT)

‘Visual bilingualism in Graeco-Egyptian amulet gems’
Lecture by Véronique Dasen (Université de Fribourg)

Graeco-Aegyptiaca #1/1
The Palladion / UCL

January 25, 2022. 17:00 (CET; 16:00 GMT)


Veronika Kulin: The contest of Athena and Poseidon 
Árpád M. Nagy: Pyramus and Thisbe: Echo Ovidiana

Myth in image and text#2
Lecture series organized by the Palladion and the Department of Greek and Latin at ELTE, Budapest 

December 6, 2021. 16:00
Budapest, Múzeum krt. 4/F, 212. / online

Judit Beszkid: Variations on virtue. The heroes of the Calydonian boar hunt
Patricia Szikora: Script – image. Phaidra’s confession(s) to Hippolytos

Myth in image and text #1
Lecture series organized by the Palladion and the Department of Greek and Latin at ELTE, Budapest

November 29, 2021. 16:00
Budapest, Múzeum krt. 4/F, 212. / online

Featured image: Raphael (1483–1520): The school of Athens. Vatican, Palazzo Apostolico. Source: Wikipedia / Public Domain.