Private View of Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum at the British Museum

Our colleagues from the British Egyptian Society have kindly extended to ASTENE members an invitation to join their private view of the Pompeii-Herculaneum exhibition on Tuesday 20th August, from 6:30 – 8:15 pm. The private view is further enhanced by an introductory talk about the exhibition by one of the curators of the British Museum.

In order to attend the private view of this highly acclaimed exhibition, follow the instructions set forth in the invitation and booking form issued by the Secretary of the British Egyptian Society. Please write ‘ASTENE Member’ on the booking form.

More information and booking form

2013 Tenth Biennial ASTENE Conference

ASTENE held its 10th biennial conference from Friday 12 to Monday 15 July 2013 at Aston University, Birmingham, UK. The four-day programme included sessions on all aspects of interest to ASTENE members, from archive research and archaeological travel to writers of both real and fictional travelogues. A full report of the Conference will be included in the next Bulletin. It is intended to publish a selection of the Conference papers in 2015.

2010-ASTENE Study Days

In 2010 Study days were held at the University of Oxford’s Department of Continuing Education, Rewley House, Oxford.

The first Study Day – Near Eastern Monasteries and Western Travellers – was on Saturday, 3 July 2010, at Rewley House, 1 Wellington Square, Oxford.

Travellers from Western Europe to the Near East frequently visited monasteries. Many simply found them convenient places to stay. Others hoped they would discover manuscripts of both Biblical and Classical texts. What did they actually find? How were they received? What were the monks like and what was the state of the spiritual life? How did the travellers react to forms of Christian worship and theology different from their own?

Director of Studies: Professor Malcolm J Wagstaff
Contributors: Lucy Pollard, Dr Emma Loosley, Nicholas al-Jeloo, Dr Sebastian Brock, Dr Anthony O’Mahony

The second Study Day – Byron’s journeys to Greece – was held on Saturday, 27 November 2010, at Rewley House, 1 Wellington Square, Oxford.

2012-September-22: ASTENE Walking Tour of Kensal Green Cemetery

A chance to take a guided walk of the extraordinary Egyptianising funerary monuments of Kensal Green Cemetery, supplemented by select monuments of famous travellers relevant to ASTENE. Meeting at the cemetery at 2 pm we will be led by Cathie Bryan. Refreshments will follow in the Dissenters Chapel.

Please note that PRE-BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL FOR THIS TOUR so if you wish to attend this event please contact Patricia Usick at events@astene.org.uk before 28 August 2012.

2011-February-8: ASTENE Spring Event

Travellers’ drawings from the Eastern Mediterranean

This was a unique opportunity for ASTENE members to see highlights of the British Museum’s extensive collection of drawings recording objects and sites of Classical antiquity. The drawings are mostly by British artists – or foreign artists working for British patrons. The topographical drawings, part of a collection of some 6000 works on paper, range in date from the sixteenth century to the present day.

Curators Ian Jenkins and Thomas Kiely kindly agreed to talk about the significance of the collection in itself and for their work. The Mellon Curator of the British Museum’s Greek and Roman drawings, Celest Farge, currently cataloguing the drawings for the Museum’s online database, also demonstrated this new and valuable research resource.

2010-July 3 & November 27: ASTENE Study Days

In 2010 Study days were held at the University of Oxford’s Department of Continuing Education, Rewley House, Oxford.

The first Study Day – Near Eastern Monasteries and Western Travellers – was on Saturday, 3 July 2010, at Rewley House, 1 Wellington Square, Oxford.

Travellers from Western Europe to the Near East frequently visited monasteries. Many simply found them convenient places to stay. Others hoped they would discover manuscripts of both Biblical and Classical texts. What did they actually find? How were they received? What were the monks like and what was the state of the spiritual life? How did the travellers react to forms of Christian worship and theology different from their own?

Director of Studies: Professor Malcolm J Wagstaff

Contributors: Lucy Pollard, Dr Emma Loosley, Nicholas al-Jeloo, Dr Sebastian Brock, Dr Anthony O’Mahony

The second Study Day – Byron’s journeys to Greece – was held on Saturday, 27 November 2010, at Rewley House, 1 Wellington Square, Oxford.

2012-April-28 to 29: ASTENE Study Day and Ashmolean Visit

On Saturday 28 April 2012, the day before the Oxford Study Day, there will be a late afternoon guided visit to the magnificent new Egyptian Galleries in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, followed by dinner at the nearby al-Salam restaurant. To book for these, please contact Patricia Usick at events@astene.org.uk.

‘Travellers on Pilgrimage’ is the topic of the Study Day at Rewley House, Oxford. Booking forms and details of accommodation and meals are available from OUDCE, Day and Weekend Programme Office, Rewley House, 1 Wellington Square, Oxford, OX1 2JA or ppdayweek@conted.ox.ac.uk.

The course will examine the experiences of the travellers Ibn Battuta (1304-c.1368), Cristoforo Buondelmonti (c.1385-c.1427) and Moses Montefiore (1784-1885) who visited holy places associated with, respectively, Islam, Christianity and Judaism. To that extent they were pilgrims, though a purely religious motive was not the only reason for travelling. Each journey was unique and they are widely separated in time. However, the travellers shared similar experiences, often related to the logistics of travel. The course will seek to isolate common themes.

The provisional programme is:

09.30 Introduction
10.00 Professor Malcolm Wagstaff : ‘Ibn Battuta (1304-c.1368) on the Road to Mecca’
11.00 Coffee
11.30 Dr. Paul Hetherington: ‘Sailing Across the Aegean to the Holy Mountain: The Visit to Mount Athos of Cristoforo Buondelmonte (c.1385-c.1427)’
12-30 Lunch
13.30 Rabbi Dr. Andrew Goldstein: ‘Moses Montefiore (1784-1885): A Jewish Pilgrimage to the Holy Land (1827-28}’
14.30 Tea
15.00 Professor Malcolm Wagstaff :’Travellers on Pilgrimage:The Logistics of Travel’.

2012-May-20 to 27: ASTENE Visit to Ireland

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, if an Irishman went to London he was seen as an Irishman, but if he travelled overseas he was greeted as a gentleman. In consequence, many Irishmen travelled to the Near East.

By participating in the ASTENE trip to Ireland, members will be able to find out more about some of these Irish travellers. Here is the provisional programme.

Day 1: Sunday, 20 May – Participants make their own way to Dublin, but may book tickets through the agent. Some may wish to go early or stay on (in Belfast or other parts of Ireland) after the visit. The group will be staying at the four-star Louis Fitzgerald Hotel in Dublin, which can be reached direct on the ‘fly-bus’ from the airport. Introductory evening talk on Irish travellers in ASTENE lands.

Day 2: Monday, 21 May – After breakfast you will be free to explore Dublin. The plan is to visit Trinity College Library. Others may be interested in the Chester Beatty Library and collections in Dublin Castle. Dinner at the hotel, followed by a talk on Lady Kavanagh and her son.

Day 3: Tuesday, 22 May – Coach to Borris House, County Carlow, home of the Kavanagh family. Some of Lady Kavanagh’s collection may be seen. Dinner at the hotel.

Day 4: Wednesday, 23 May – Travel north to visit Mount Stewart House (National Trust), home of Lord Castlereagh and others, with its outstanding garden, en route to Belfast. The group will be staying at the four-star Wellington Hotel in Belfast. Talk on Dr Richardson’s account of the Belmores’ Near Eastern travels.

Day 5: Thursday, 24 May – Visit by coach to Castle Coole, Enniskillen (National Trust), a stunning 18th-century mansion whence the Earl of Belmore and his family set out for the Near East in 1817. Possible visit to nearby Florence House (also National Trust), home of the 2nd Earl’s wife. Return to Belfast.

Day 6: Friday, 25 May – Free day in Belfast with suggested visits to the Museum, which holds the Armada Hoard among other treasures, and the famed gardens.

Day 7: Saturday, 26 May – Free day in Belfast. Visit the renowned Ulster Folk and Transport Museum. Final evening talk, with many references to ASTENE–Irish travellers.

Day 8: Sunday, 27 May – The group will disperse with transfers to airports.

The trip is being organised for ASTENE by Brightwater Holidays of Scotland. The cost is in the region of £620 per person on a double occupancy basis, excluding flights (single room supplement £180), but this will not include all meals and entrance charges. Flights from the UK can be arranged through the same agent, as can travel insurance. However, participants are free to make their own flight and insurance arrangements. Ten ASTENE members have so far expressed a firm interest, and we hope that two members in Ireland, the Rev’d John Bartlett and Emmet Jackson, will also be participating.

If you are interested and have not yet signed up, please contact Deborah Manley at deb@dmanley.plus.com, or telephone Brightwater on 01334 657155.

2012-July-14: ASTENE Annual General Meeting and Leighton House Visit

The AGM will be held on Saturday 14 July 2012 at 2.30 pm at St Mary Abbot’s Church Hall, Vicarage Gate, Kensington, London W8 4HN. It will be preceded by an 11.30 am guided tour of the Leighton House Museum, 12, Holland Park Rd, London, W14 8LZ, which is a short distance from the AGM venue (tfl buses run down Kensington High St. between the two places). We will visit the magnificently restored home and studio of the leading Victorian painter and traveller, Frederic, Lord Leighton (1830-1896), with its magnificent Arab Hall and opulent interiors. The AGM is open to all members but if you would like to join the tour and order a sandwich lunch afterwards at the Church Hall, please contact Patricia Usick at events@astene.org.uk.