Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at NYU to Present the Third Annual Leon Levy Lecture, Nov. 5


The Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW) at New York University will present the Third Annual Leon Levy Lecture on Thursday, November 5, 2009. This year’s featured speaker will be Nicola Di Cosmo, Henry Luce Foundation Professor of East Asian Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study. Di Cosmo’s lecture topic will be The Historian in the Future of the Ancient World: A View from Central Eurasia.

Fresco of "Tocharian Donors" with light hair and light eye color, 6th century CE fresco, Qizil, Tarim Basin
Fresco of "Tocharian Donors" with light hair and light eye color, 6th century CE fresco, Qizil, Tarim Basin

Professor Nicola Di Cosmo, Institute for Advanced Study, Will Speak

The Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW) at New York University will present the Third Annual Leon Levy Lecture on Thursday, November 5, 2009. This year’s featured speaker will be Nicola Di Cosmo, Henry Luce Foundation Professor of East Asian Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study. Di Cosmo’s lecture topic will be The Historian in the Future of the Ancient World: A View from Central Eurasia.

Much of the making of the ancient world has to do with the movement of peoples, as well as the languages, genes, and material cultures they carried from place to place. Central Eurasia from the Pontus to the Baikal was a major theater of population movements from the dispersal of the Indo-Europeans to the migratory waves of the early Middle Ages. While often met with skepticism, the recent encounter between molecular biology and genetic studies with linguistics, archaeology, and physical anthropology has heralded radical changes in the study of the ancient world. A dialogue among geneticists, linguists, archaeologists, and anthropologists over the past twenty-some years that, while sometimes dissonant and acrimonious, has produced ideas and data that may prove useful for historical research. How should the historian of the ancient world view this development? Does the historian have a role to play? These and other questions will be discussed especially in relation to the study of ancient Eurasian nomads.

ISAW’s Third Annual Leon Levy Lecture will take place November 5, 2009 at 6 p.m in the Oak Library, 2nd floor of the ISAW building, located at 15 East 84th Street (between 5th and Madison Avenues). The lecture is free and open to the public but seating is limited. Interested individuals are requested to RSVP by calling 212.992.7818, or emailing isaw@nyu.edu

Press Contact

Richard Pierce
Richard Pierce
(212) 998-6796