Saturday, July 11, 2009

Ten Good or Bad Things with SBL International in Rome

Yesterday I arrived in Sweden after two weeks of conference hopping. During the first week in Rome I was able to report extensively from Rome. Here are some final thoughts in retrospect:

Five bad things about the meeting in no particular order:

1. The book exhibition closed already on Friday for some unknown reason (the meeting ended on Saturday).

2. Some of the rooms had very bad acoustics and there was construction work going on outside some of the rooms with a lot of noise (during some of the sessions).

3. This year SBL had not organized any AV equipment. However, for our sessions Bill Warren (hero) brought along his video projector.

4. The beer disappeared in 5 minutes at the reception.

5. When the publisher De Gruyter had invited to a reception at Biblioteca Casanatense (not our subsequent visit there to see MSS), they had apparently not anticipated that the Italian librarian would speak for half an hour about the library, in Italian (!) and no one dared to stop her.

Five good things about the meeting:

1. The whole setting, in the middle of the city of Rome! 200 meters from Fontana di Trevi.

2. A very nice reception on Tuesday evening with delicious Italian food and a fantastic cake.

3. The visit to Biblioteca Casanatense. Fabulous library, and always nice to see manuscripts.

4. Twelve papers in our sessions, most of which were excellent.

5. The very nice bar within the Gregorian university with nice folks, good service and very cheap prices. Outside the university everything cost at least the double.

On the whole, the week in Rome was fabulous!


  1. Wish I could've gone. That sounds like such a great week!

  2. I'm curious to know whether or not I'm one of the 'excellent' papers!


  3. Jan, yours was one of the best! (Can you send me that paper with the scripts again, in color).

  4. 'Twas a bit warm in some of the sessions; the acoustical issues, and the noise outside made things worse as we constantly struggled with the question of opening the windows.

  5. I wonder if Jan will ever figure out that he didn't write that:)

  6. So, I take it that English was the language used to discuss Biblical Literature in Rome?

    I knew that Latin had pretty much departed the world stage, but this also means that German is well on its way out as the language of Biblical scholarship.

    So, when will the K-liste become the S-list?

  7. I didn't write it! Pseudepigraphy is everywhere. Beware.