Browse results

Brill's Companion to Hellenistic Astronomy

The Science in Its Contexts


Edited by Alan C. Bowen and Francesca Rochberg

In Hellenistic Astronomy: The Science in its Contexts, new essays by renowned scholars address questions about what the ancient science of the heavens was in the ancient Near East and Mediterranean worlds, and the numerous contexts in which it was pursued. Together, these essays will enable readers not only to understand the technical accomplishments of this ancient science but also to appreciate their historical significance by locating the questions, challenges, and issues inspiring them in their political, medical, philosophical, literary, and religious contexts.

Genesis and Cosmos

Basil and Origen on Genesis 1 and Cosmology


Adam Rasmussen

In Genesis and Cosmos Adam Rasmussen examines how Basil and Origen addressed scientific problems in their interpretations of Genesis 1. For the first time, he offers an in-depth analysis of Basil’s thinking on three problems in Scripture-and-science: the nature of matter, the super-heavenly water, and astrology. Both theologians worked from the same fundamental perspective that science is the “servant” of Christianity, useful yet subordinate. Rasmussen convincingly shows how Basil used Origen’s writings to construct his own solutions. Only on the question of the water does Basil break with Origen, who allegorized the water. Rasmussen demonstrates how they sought to integrate science and Scripture and thus remain instructive for those engaged in the dialogue between religion and science today.

Abraham Ibn Ezra Latinus on Nativities

A Parallel Latin-English Critical Edition of Liber Nativitatum and Liber Abraham Iudei de Nativitatibus. Abraham Ibn Ezra’s Astrological Writings, Volume 6


Edited by Shlomo Sela

Abraham Ibn Ezra was “reborn” in the Latin West in the last decades of the thirteenth century thanks to a plethora of authored and anonymous Latin translations of his astrological writings. The present volume offers the first critical edition, accompanied by an English translation, a commentary, and an introductory study, of Liber nativitatum (Book of Nativities) and Liber Abraham Iudei de nativitatibus (Book on Nativities by Abraham the Jew), two astrological treatises in Latin that were written by Abraham Ibn Ezra or attributed to him, and whose Hebrew source-text or archetype has not survived. The first is undoubtedly an anonymous Latin translation of the second version of Ibn Ezra’s Sefer ha-moladot (Book of Nativities), whose Hebrew source text is otherwise lost. The second is the most mysterious specimen among the Latin works attributed to Ibn Ezra that have no extant Hebrew counterpart. The present volume shows not only that the Liber Abraham Iudei de nativitatibus underwent a significant metamorphosis over time and was transmitted in four significantly different versions, but also that its date of composition is not that previously accepted by modern scholarship.

Eris vs. Aemulatio

Valuing Competition in Classical Antiquity


Edited by Cynthia Damon and Christoph Pieper

Competition is everywhere in antiquity. It took many forms: the upper class competed with their peers and with historical and mythological predecessors; artists of all kinds emulated generic models and past masterpieces; philosophers and their schools vied with one another to give the best interpretation of the world; architects and doctors tried to outdo their fellow craftsmen. Discord and conflict resulted, but so did innovation, social cohesion, and political stability. In Hesiod's view Eris was not one entity but two, the one a “grievous goddess,” the other an “aid to men.” Eris vs. Aemulatio examines the functioning and effect of competition in ancient society, in both its productive and destructive aspects.

Galen’s Theory of Black Bile

Hippocratic Tradition, Manipulation, Innovation


Keith Andrew Stewart

In Galen’s Theory of Black Bile: Hippocratic Tradition, Manipulation, Innovation Keith Stewart investigates Galen’s writing on black bile to explain health and disease and shows that Galen sometimes presented this humour as three substances with different properties that can either be harmful or beneficial to the body. Keith Stewart analyses the most important treatises for Galen’s physical description and characteristion of black bile and challenges certain views on the development of this humour, such as the importance of the content of the Hippocratic On the Nature of Man. This analysis allows us to understand how and why Galen defines and uses black bile in different ways for his arguments that cannot always be reconciled with the content of his sources.


Edited by Caroline Petit

This collective volume arises from a Wellcome-funded conference held at the University of Warwick in 2014 about the “new” Galen discovered in 2005 in a Greek manuscript, De indolentia. In the wake of the latest English translation published by Vivian Nutton in 2013, this book offers a multi-disciplinary approach to the new text, discussing in turn issues around Galen’s literary production, his medical and philosophical contribution to the theme of avoiding distress (ἀλυπία), controversial topics in Roman history such as the Antonine plague and the reign of Commodus, and finally the reception of the text in the Islamic world. Gathering eleven contributions by recognised specialists of Galen, Greek literature and Roman history, it revisits the new text extensively.

Galien de Pergame ou la rhétorique de la providence

Médecine, littérature et pouvoir à Rome


Caroline Petit

Le livre de Caroline Petit, Galien de Pergame ou la rhétorique de la Providence: Médecine, littérature et pouvoir à Rome constitue la première étude d’ensemble du rôle de la rhétorique dans l’œuvre de Galien. Médecin de plusieurs empereurs romains et auteur du corpus le plus impressionnant de l’antiquité avant 350 de notre ère, Galien a façonné une figure d’autorité fascinante à plus d’un titre. Le livre analyse l’éventail de la maestria rhétorique de Galien à travers cinq chapitres, étudiant tour à tour Galien et la tradition hellénique, les stratégies démonstratives de Galien, le rôle de l’ enargeia dans ses descriptions et récits, l’hymne à la Nature contenu dans son principal traité anatomique, le De usu partium, et enfin l’autobiographie et l’autoportrait qui se dessinent dans son œuvre.

Caroline Petit’s book, Galien de Pergame ou la rhétorique de la Providence: Médecine, littérature et pouvoir à Rome is the first comprehensive study of the role of rhetoric in Galen’s œuvre. Physician to several Roman emperors and author of the most impressive body of works in antiquity up to AD 350, Galen created a compelling figure of authority through his medical and philosophical works. The book analyses the range of Galen’s rhetorical mastery through five chapters, studying in turn Galen and the Hellenic tradition, Galen’s demonstrative and refutative tactics, the role of enargeia in Galen’s descriptions and narratives, his ‘hymn’ to Nature in his main anatomical work, De usu partium, and finally autobiography and self-portrait in his œuvre.


Edited by William V. Harris

Pain and Pleasure in Classical Times attempts to blaze a trail for the cross-disciplinary humanistic study of pain and pleasure, with literature scholars, historians and philosophers all setting out to understand how the Greeks and Romans experienced, managed and reasoned about the sensations and experiences they felt as painful or pleasurable. The book is intended to provoke discussion of a wide range of problems in the cultural history of antiquity. It addresses both the physicality of erôs and illness, and physiological and philosophical doctrines, especially hedonism and anti-hedonism in their various forms. Fine points of terminology (Greek is predictably rich in this area) receive careful attention. Authors in question run from Homer to (among others) the Hippocratics, Plato, Aristotle, Lucretius, Seneca, Plutarch, Galen and the Aristotle-commentator Alexander of Aphrodisias.

Turba Philosophorum Congrès pythagoricien sur l’art d’Hermès

Edition critique, traduction et présentation


Grégoire Lacaze

La Turba Philosophorum est un traité dont l’original arabe est perdu, et qui est l’un des textes fondateurs de l’alchimie latine. Mais son intérêt dépasse de loin l’histoire de l’alchimie : s’alimentant à des sources aussi diverses que Zosime de Panopolis, Stéphanos d’Alexandrie ou, plus surprenant, Hippolyte de Rome, la Turba se situe au confluent de nombreuses traditions grecques (philosophiques, hermétiques et patristiques), et porte témoignage à la fois de l’histoire de la transmission du savoir grec, et de celle de sa réception dans l’Égypte du IXe siècle. L’étude de la structure du traité montre en outre l’exceptionnelle originalité du projet philosophique de son auteur : construire un cheminement permettant au lecteur de s’approprier la doctrine des “philosophes” grecs.

The Turba Philosophorum is a treatise whose Arabic original is lost, and which is one of the founding texts of Latin alchemy. But its interest goes far beyond the history of alchemy: using sources as different as Zosimus of Panopolis, Stephanos of Alexandria or, more surprising, Hippolyte of Rome, the Turba is at the confluence of many Greek traditions (philosophical, hermetic and patristic), and bears testimony both to the history of the transmission of Greek knowledge, and of its reception in Egypt in the ninth century. The study of the structure of the treatise also shows the exceptional originality of the philosophical project of its author: to construct a path allowing the reader to appropriate the doctrine of Greek "philosophers".

Theophrastus of Eresus: Commentary Volume 9.1

Sources on Music (Texts 714–726C)


Massimo Raffa

Among the many subjects on which Theophrastus wrote, music is one of the most fascinating, as is testified by the sources discussed in this volume. Although scanty, the material we have—sixteen texts altogether, most of which are indirect testimonies—gives an idea of the originality and modernity of Theophrastus’ thought on music, and makes us regret that we do not know more. Our philosopher conceives of music as something that originates from a movement in the soul caused by passions and comes into existence through the body. Accordingly, he is interested in performance—i.e. the way in which musical expression is brought to the listener—and its effects on the soul and the body—e.g. musical therapy.