Anatole Tchikine, Post-Doctoral Associate in Garden and Landscape Studies, traveled to Portugal in May, having been invited by the University of Évora to talk about Carlo Fontana’s hydraulics treatise “Utilissimo trattato dell’acque correnti … (Rome, 1696)” as part of a lecture series on early published books: Livros sobre Arte dos Jardins: Diálogos sobre Ideias de Jardins.
Then, on June 5th, Anatole gave another talk in Florence at The British Institute, entitled “Lorenzo de’ Medici’s Ambra, Poggio a Caiano, and the landscape of wilderness.” Its subject was a poem by Lorenzo the Magnificent, which has an early description of nature, and its connection with his villa at Poggio a Caiano near Florence.
Scott Johnson, Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellow in Byzantine Studies (Dumbarton Oaks/Georgetown University), recently published a book entitled Jacob of Sarug's Homily on the Sinful Woman (Gorgias Press, 2013). The book includes a translation (with facing Syriac text) of an important metrical homily by the sixth-century poet Jacob of Serug, who produced 760 such homilies in his career and was recognized as one of the two greatest Syriac poets (with Ephrem the Syrian) in his own lifetime. He is today revered as a saint by both Chalcedonian and non-Chalcedonian churches. In addition to the text and translation, this book contains a long introduction to Jacob's interpretative context in Syriac literature, as well as an appendix comparing this poem to a famous Greek poem on the same subject by Jacob's younger contemporary, Romanos the Melode.