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Flash Talk | Moqimu’s Cultural Commitments: Constructing Identity on the Romano-Syrian Border

Nicola Barham, University of Michigan
Friday, April 1, 2022
12:00-12:30 PM
At the edges of ancient empires, unique visual traditions often transcended political boundaries and engaged multiple audiences. The mosaic portrait of Moqimu and his family is one of the most enigmatic images known from Late Antiquity. Discovered near the Roman border town of Edessa, the mosaic’s guilloche border asserts a Roman pedigree. Yet, the long tunics and pantaloons of Moqimu and his sons have been identified as the costume of Rome’s Parthian enemies. Scholars of the mid-twentieth century viewed this mosaic as an example of Parthian art in a Roman artform. Nicola Barham, however, argues that the mosaic is an example of art from a community bordering on diverse cultural worlds, including Roman, Parthian, and ancient Middle Eastern. It reflects how the elite of this community navigated those cultural commitments.

Kelsey Museum Flash Talks are 15-minute Zoom lectures by Kelsey curators, staff members, researchers, and graduate students talking about their recent research or current projects. Each presentation is followed by 15 minutes of Q&A. Flash Talks are free and open to all visitors. They take place at noon on the first Friday of every month.

Join us via Zoom at:
Meeting ID: 944 1012 8965
Passcode: Kelsey
Building: Off Campus Location
Location: Virtual
Event Link:
Event Password: Kelsey
Event Type: Livestream / Virtual
Tags: Art History, Free, Lecture, Middle East Studies, Multicultural
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, Classical Studies, Department of Middle East Studies, Interdepartmental Program in Ancient Mediterranean Art and Archaeology, Kelsey Museum of Archaeology Lectures