News from Nyack's Graduate Program in Ancient Judaism and Christian Origins (AJCO) was shared by Constance Diggs, AJCO program coordinator, on the recent visit from guest lecturer, Dr. Steven Fine, professor of Jewish history and director of the Yeshiva University Center for Israel Studies in Manhattan.
AJCO students were joined by undergraduates from Nyack’s History, Bible, and Art departments, and guests of Yeshiva University on the New York City campus for an intimate recount of Dr. Fine’s work on the Arch of Titus Digital Restoration Project in Rome, Italy.
A cultural historian, Dr. Fine fielded questions that led to a two-hour dialogue about art, history, culture, and religion. With photos chronicling his work in Rome from June 5-7, 2012 where he led an international team of scholars from the Yeshiva University Center for Israel Studies in partnership with the Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Roma. The project is part of a pilot study of the Arch of Titus in the Roman Forum, the ancient civic center of Rome, Italy. The focus of attention was the Menorah panel and the relief showing the deification of Titus at the apex of the arch.
The arch was originally dedicated after the death of Emperor Titus in 81 CE and celebrates his victory in the Jewish War of 66-74 CE, which climaxed with the destruction of Jerusalem and her Temple in the summer of 70 CE.
In the next phase, the team plans to expand the search for ancient paint over the entire surface of the arch, which will also be scanned in 3D. The data collected will enable the Yeshiva University team to create a three-dimensional digital model of how the arch originally appeared, including the colors decorating its surface. The model will be added to Rome Reborn, a 3D digital model of the entire city of Rome at the peak of its development.
“This was another exciting event for AJCO. We are so proud to be able to expose our graduate students, and the greater Nyack College community, to the culturally rich history that bridges the origins of Christianity and Judaism. It is exposure to projects like this that helps to bring biblical text and its history to life for our students,” shared Dr. Steven Notley, director of AJCO. “The first year of our program is off to a good start and we’re excited for what’s to come.”