Professor Studying Ancient Iranian Tablets to Speak for Ides of November
Oct. 26, 2010
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Illinois Wesleyan University will welcome Professor of Assyriology
Matthew Stolper on Monday, November 15 at 4 p.m. in Beckman Auditorium of The Ames
Library (1 Ames Plaza, Bloomington). His talk, titled “Shattered Window on the Persian
Empire: Rescuing the Persepolis Fortification Archive,” is sponsored by the Greek
& Roman Studies Program, Eta Sigma Phi and the Classics Club, and is part of the Ides
Lecture & Performance Series.
The director of the Persepolis Fortification Archive Project at the University of
Chicago’s Oriental Institute, Stolper studies clay tablets discovered in the ancient
ruins of Persepolis in the 1930s by a University of Chicago expedition. Stolper is
hoping to make the tens of thousands of the Persepolis clay tablets, which recorded
the daily rule of Achemenid Persian kings from 550-330 B.C., available online. American
survivors of terrorist bombings are asking Federal courts to award them possession
of the Persepolis Fortification tablets to satisfy punitive judgments against the
Islamic Republic of Iran.
“There is only one Persepolis Fortification Archive,” Stolper said. “It’s the richest,
densest, most complex source of information on the languages, society, institutions,
and art of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. Breaking it up or losing it entirely without
harvesting all of this information would leave a tragic wound in the history of civilization.”
For additional information about the speaker or the Ides series, contact the Greek
and Roman Studies Program at (309) 556-3173.
Contact: Rachel Hatch, (309) 556-3960