Inaugural Lecture - Professor Karen Radner (UCL History)

Tuesday 4 March 2014 - 6.30pm

Wilkins Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre, 2nd Floor, South Junction, Wilkins Building, UCL, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT

Karen Radner

Professor Karen Radner (UCL History)

Karen Radner is Professor of Ancient Near Eastern History. Trained as a cuneiform philologist and archaeologist at Vienna and Berlin, she studies the cultural history of Mesopotamia, in particular at the time of the Assyrian Empire (9th to 7th century BC). She has served as the field epigrapher of excavations in Syria, Turkey and Iraq and held positions at Helsinki and Munich before joining UCL’s History Department in 2005.

A Godforsaken Country: Assyria after 614 BC

For more than three centuries, the Assyrian Empire exercised hegemony over the ancient world. The pathfinder among the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean empires, Assyrian administrative and infrastructural innovations, such as the first state-run relay postal network, provided the basis for stable and steady government over regions of unprecedented reach.

Monumental statue of a winged bull from the Assyrian royal palace of Dur-Sharruken. Now on display at the Louvre Paris

By the 7th century BC, its influence stretched from Sudan to the Caspian Sea. And suddenly, the empire vanished. This lecture analyses the significance of the raid of an ancient temple at the empire’s heart in 614 BC and focuses on the political, ideological and social impact of this unprecedented event.

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