SBL on Monday … interrupted

Monday at #SBL2019 began with a most interesting session on Negotiating the Roman Imperial world. A paper on Imperial Rome as a borderland helped me better to understand places of connection and separation in an urban context. In Rome that was 14 administrative regions, 265 neighborhoods, 170 bathhouses, the Tiber River, not to mention public spaces and places of worship. The river sorted, but it was also a place of collaboration. A second paper demonstrated the messiness of migration by looking at burial inscriptions and teasing ideas out of biblical texts. As the next paper began, I got a message from Delta.

That was the interruption . . . a winter storm was expected to engulf the Twin Cities Tuesday evening, and I was scheduled to get back on the red eye, arriving after midnight. So, I skipped the rest of the section to reschedule my flight home. I was fortunate to get a seat on a flight first thing on Tuesday, which would get me home early afternoon before the storm.

The final session on Tuesday addressed Archaeology and the Bible. I learned that the four-space house, often found in Israelite areas of occupation, was well-designed to accommodate the keeping of ritual purity, as one did not have to pass through one space to get to another. Uncleanliness could easily be isolated. I also picked up the suggestion that the martyrion of Philip at Hieropolis may have been the antecedent for the octagonal churches found in the holy land (cp. also the Dome of the Rock).

And I did beat the storm home… #WeAreCSP