This book examines modes of economic contribution in the ancient world through taxes, tribute, or so-called gifts. Specialists in the field of the ancient Near East, Egypt, classical Greece, Rome, and Israel, joined by an economic anthropologist, present a fresh evaluation of the textual and archaeological evidence. A prime question explored is the extent to which these disparate sources complement or contradict each other.
State-imposed transactions were often recorded with an ideological bias, much dependent on whether the donors and recipients were viewed as in- or outsiders. The present interdisciplinary approach supplies the basis for the ancient economic terminology of contribution, taking into account the specific cultural context, the language of ‘international’ policy, and the correlation between modern and ancient termini.
This collection of essays contains a state of the field discussion about the nature of revolt and resistance in the ancient world. While it does not cover the entire ancient world, it does focus in on the key revolts of the pre-Roman imperial world. Regardless of the exact sequence, it was an undeniable fact that the area we now call the Middle East witnessed a sequence of extensive empires in the second half of the last millennium BCE. At first, these spread from East to West (Assyria, Babylon, Persia). Then after the campaigns of Alexander, the direction of conquest was reversed. Despite the sense of inevitability, or of divinely ordained destiny, that one might get from the passages that speak of a sequence of world-empires, imperial rule was always contested. The essays in this volume consider some of the ways in which imperial rule was resisted and challenged, in the Assyrian, Persian, and Hellenistic (Seleucid and Ptolemaic) empires. Not every uprising considered in this volume would qualify as a revolution by this definition. Revolution indeed was on the far end of a spectrum of social responses to empire building, from resistance to unrest, to grain riots and peasant rebellions. The editors offer the volume as a means of furthering discussions on the nature and the drivers of resistance and revolution, the motivations for them as well as a summary of the events that have left their mark on our historical sources long after the dust had settled.
The Religious Aspect of Warfare in the Ancient Near East, Greece and Rome is a volume dedicated to investigating the relationship between religion and war in antiquity in minute detail. The nineteen chapters are divided into three groups: the ancient Near East, Greece, and Rome. They are presented in turn and all possible aspects of warfare and its religious connections are investigated. The contributors focus on the theology of war, the role of priests in warfare, natural phenomena as signs for military activity, cruelty, piety, the divinity of humans in specific martial cases, rituals of war, iconographical representations and symbols of war, and even the archaeology of war. As editor Krzysztof Ulanowski invited both well-known specialists such as Robert Parker, Nicholas Sekunda, and Pietro Mander to contribute, as well as many young, talented scholars with fresh ideas. From this polyphony of voices, perspectives and opinions emerges a diverse, but coherent, representation of the complex relationship between religion and war in antiquity.
This book is the fruit of the first ever interdisciplinary international scientific conference on Matthew's story of the Star of Bethlehem and the Magi, held in 2014 at the University of Groningen, and attended by world-leading specialists in all relevant fields: modern astronomy, the ancient near-eastern and Greco-Roman worlds, the history of science, and religion. The scholarly discussions and the exchange of the interdisciplinary views proved to be immensely fruitful and resulted in the present book. Its twenty chapters describe the various aspects of The Star: the history of its interpretation, ancient near-eastern astronomy and astrology and the Magi, astrology in the Greco-Roman and the Jewish worlds, and the early Christian world – at a generally accessible level. An epilogue summarizes the fact-fiction balance of the most famous star which has ever shone.
Karl Jaspers dubbed the period, 800-400 BCE, the Axial Age. Axial it was, for out of it emerged the idea of Greek culture, with its influence on Roman and later empires. Jaspers’ Axial Age was the chrysalis of culturally-meaningful modernity.
Trade expands intellectual horizons. The economic and political effects permeate such social domains as technology, language and worldview. In the last category, many issues take on an emotional freight – the birth of science, monotheism, philosophy, even theory itself.
Cultural Contact and Appropriation in the Axial-Age Mediterranean World: A Periplos, explores adaptation, resistance and reciprocity in Axial-Age Mediterranean exchange (ca. 800-300 BCE). Some essayists expand on an international discussion about myth, to which even the Church Fathers contributed. Others explore questions of how vocabulary is reapplied, or how the alphabet is reapplied, in a new environment. Detailed cases ground participants’ capacity to illustrate both the variety of the disciplinary integuments in which we now speak, one with the other, across disciplines, and the sheer complexity of constructing a workable programme for true collaboration.
The essays in this volume originate from the Third Qumran Institute Symposium held at the University of Groningen, December 2013. Taking the flexible concept of “cultural encounter” as a starting point, the essays in this volume bring together a panoply of approaches to the study of various cultural interactions between the people of ancient Israel, Judea, and Palestine and people from other parts of the ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern world.
In order to study how cultural encounters shaped historical development, literary traditions, religious practice and political systems, the contributors employ a broad spectrum of theoretical positions (e.g., hybridity, métissage, frontier studies, postcolonialism, entangled histories and multilingualism), to interpret a diverse set of literary, documentary, archaeological, epigraphic, numismatic, and iconographic sources.
Brill’s Companion to Sieges in the Ancient Mediterranean is a wide-ranging exploration of sieges and siege warfare as practiced and experienced by the cultures which lived around the ancient Mediterranean basin. From Pharaonic Egypt to Renaissance Italy, and from the Neo-Assyrian Empire to Hellenistic Greece and Roman Gaul, case studies by leading experts probe areas of both synergy and divergence within this distinctive form of warfare amongst the cultures in this broadly shared environment.
Twentieth century commentaries on Herodotus' passages on Nubia, the historical kingdom of Kush and the Aithiopia of the Greek tradition, rely mostly on an outdated and biased interpretation of the textual and archaeological evidence. Disputing both the Nubia image of twentieth century Egyptology and the Herodotus interpretation of traditional
Quellenkritik, the author traces back the Aithiopian information that was available to Herodotus to a discourse on Kushite kingship created under the Nubian pharaohs of the Twenty-Fifth Dynasty and preserved in the Ptah sanctuary at Memphis. Insufficient for a self-contained Aithiopian logos, the information acquired by Herodotus complements and supports accounts of the land, origins, customs and history of other peoples and bears a relation to the intention of the actual narrative contexts into which the author of
The Histories inserted it.
In the Hellenistic and Roman world intimate relations existed between those holding power and the cults of Isis. This book is the first to chart these various appropriations over time within a comparative perspective. Ten carefully selected case studies show that “the Egyptian gods” were no exotic outsiders to the Hellenistic and Roman Mediterranean, but constituted a well institutionalised and frequently used religious option. Ranging from the early Ptolemies and Seleucids to late Antiquity, the case studies illustrate how much symbolic meaning was made with the cults of Isis by kings, emperors, cities and elites. Three articles introduce the theme of Isis and the
longue durée theoretically, simultaneously exploring a new approach towards concepts like ruler cult and
East and West in Late Antiquity combines published and unpublished articles by emeritus professor Wolf Liebeschuetz. The collection concerns aspects of what Gibbon called 'the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'. This interpretation is now much criticized, but the author agrees with Gibbon. Topics discussed are defensive strategies, the settlement inside the Empire of invaders and immigrants, and the modification of identities with the formation of new communities. Liebeschuetz is interested in both the eastern and the western halves of the Empire. In the East he is particularly concerned with Syria, the expansion of settlement up to the edge of the desert, and Christianisation. The book ends with an examination of the role of the Christian Arab Ghassanids in the defense of the Syrian provinces in the century leading up to the conquest of the provinces by the Islamic Arabs.