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Tombs, Temples, and Sacred Sites: Testing the Limits with Alexander the Great


Tombs, Temples, and Sacred Sites: Testing the Limits with Alexander the Great

Date: Thursday, December 9, 1 pm
Price: $20 regular, $15 seniors, $12 students, Friends FREE
Includes same-day admission to the galleries

Join Hidden Stories co-curator Dr. Suzanne Conklin Akbari on an artistic exploration of the adventures and enduring legend of Alexander the Great.


The Museum exhibition Hidden Stories: Books Along the Silk Roads includes a glimpse into the enthralling life of Alexander the Great. Known in the Islamic world under the names Iskandar, in Arabic, or Eskandar, in Persian, his legend was reinvented for each new generation.


On the one hand, Alexander epitomizes the absolute power of a mighty warrior king and his thirst to explore new horizons; but he also signifies the danger of going too far, passing beyond the limits of mortal man. Through an exploration of word and image in Western and Eastern literary sources, as well as images of Alexander in the Museum’s own collection, this lecture will show how Alexander’s encounters with the sacred — at the gates of Jerusalem, in the western tradition, and at the Ka’ba, in the eastern tradition — highlight the multiple versions of Alexander the Great that were created in the premodern imagination.


For everyone's safety, masks are required inside the Museum, and physical-distancing measures will be in effect. Visitors 12+ are required to provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 to enter the Museum.


About Hidden Stories: Books Along the Silk Road


Open until February 27, 2021, Hidden Stories: Books Along the Silk Roads shines a light on how books and the craftspeople who made them connected cultures, facilitated trade, and transported art and ideas across continents and centuries. Featuring breathtaking scrolls, books, manuscript paintings, and textiles dating from as far back as the 9th century CE, this exhibition challenges viewers to think of the book as a revolutionary technology that shaped — not just documented — transformative moments in human history.




Suzanne Conklin Akbari is Professor of Medieval Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, NJ). Her books are on optics and allegory (Seeing Through the Veil), European views of Islam (Idols in the East), travel literature (Marco Polo), Mediterranean Studies (A Sea of Languages), and somatic history (The Ends of the Body), plus How We Write (2015) and How We Read (2019). She co-edits the Norton Anthology of World Literature and does a literature podcast called The Spouter-Inn.


Can't attend in person? Click here to RSVP and watch live via Facebook!


Hidden Stories: Books Along the Silk Roads

October 9, 2021–February 27, 2022

Insight Tour
Insight Tour: Hidden Stories with Dr. Filiz Çakır Phillip

Sunday, December 5, 2021, 1 pm

Presenting sponsor of Hidden Stories: Books Along the Silk Roads:

Sunray Group logo


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