Long Ago & Far Away: Ancient History-Oriented Events

By Troy Segal

Cast your mind back — way, way back — at these lectures and performances that deal with things that happened or were created thousands of years ago. Despite their age, they continue to resonate — often in an amazingly contemporary way.


Hearken to the mellifluous sounds of Tang Dynasty poetry, accompanied musically by Chinese flutist Chen Tao, at this China Institute performance lecture, Oct. 21.

The best way to save Himalayan wall paintings — some stemming from the 4th century — is debated in a new documentary, Buddhist Art: A Fragile Inheritance; the Oct. 24 screening at the Rubin Museum of Art includes a Q&A with a professor from London’s Courtauld Institute of Art, who’s penned a tome on the subject.

How did a barbarian tribe born in the 3rd century become the source of a subculture that exists to this day? Hearken to some true Gothic Tales, as a medieval historian traces the Goths and their stylistic legacy, at the Morgan Library & Museum, Oct. 30.

Marvel at the rise and accomplishments of the Assyrian Empire in a series of talks Nov. 6-7 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; some of those artistic accomplishments — statues, artifacts, jewelry — from the 7th-9th century B.C. civilization are on display at the accompanying Assyria to Iberia at the Dawn of the Classical Age exhibit.


You think your boss is tough: Imagine having to live alongside an insane emperor. That was the lot of the Stoic philosopher/statesman Seneca the Younger in Rome, around the turn of the 1st century — and it’s described more fully at this talk at the 92nd Street Y, Dec. 3.