MACON – Mercer University's Jack Tarver Library will open its fifth Holmes Holy Land Ancient Artifact Collection on March 16. The exhibit, titled "Judaea in the Age of Nero," will be available to the public for viewing through spring 2016.
Four days of events are planned to celebrate the debut of the exhibit, which provides a look at the Roman province of Judaea during a time when Rome was ruled by perhaps its most infamous emperor, Nero Claudius Caesar, from 54 A.D. until his death by suicide in 68 A.D. Dr. Eric Klingelhofer, professor of history, serves as curator of the exhibit.
A reception and gallery talk by Dr. Yulssus Lynn Holmes, a 1962 graduate of the College of Liberal Arts who provided the artifacts from his personal collection, will take place on March 16.
Dr. Beth Stewart, professor of art, will deliver a lecture on "Roman Art and Architecture" on March 17.
Dr. Bryan Whitfield, associate professor of Christianity, will deliver a lecture on "The Neronian Period" on March 18.
Dr. Achim Kopp, professor of foreign languages and literatures and director of the Great Books Program, will introduce the 1951 MGM film "Quo Vadis" for a viewing on March 19.
All events are free and open to the public and will take place at 7 p.m. in The Bear Spot, located in Jack Tarver Library.
Dr. Holmes graduated from Mercer with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. His interest in ancient artifacts developed during his time at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he earned a Bachelor of Divinity degree.
He began collecting artifacts during his graduate work at Brandeis University while earning his master's and doctoral degrees in ancient history. Multiple trips to the Hebrew University as well as leading a group of students from the University of West Georgia to Israel for an archaeological excavation deepened his passion for collecting artifacts.
Professionally, he has served as a teacher, scholar and administrator, holding posts ranging from research fellow to professor to college president. He has published numerous scholarly papers on ancient history and the modern Middle East.