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A Microhistorical Study of the Neo-Assyrian Healer Kiṣir-Aššur
In Medicine in Ancient Assur Troels Pank Arbøll offers a microhistorical study of a single exorcist named Kiṣir-Aššur who practiced medical and magical healing in the ancient city of Assur (modern northern Iraq) in the 7th century BCE. The book provides the first detailed analysis of a healer’s education and practice in ancient Mesopotamia based on at least 73 texts assigned to specific stages of his career. By drawing on a microhistorical framework, the study aims at significantly improving our understanding of the functional aspects of texts in their specialist environment. Furthermore, the work situates Kiṣir-Aššur as one of the earliest healers in world history for whom we have such details pertaining to his career originating from his own time.
Author: Zeke Mazur
In The Platonizing Sethian Background of Plotinus’s Mysticism, Zeke Mazur offers a radical reconceptualization of Plotinus with reference to Gnostic thought and praxis.
A crucial element in the thought of the third-century CE philosopher Plotinus—his conception of mystical union with the One—cannot be understood solely within the conventional history of philosophy, or as the product of a unique, sui generis psychological propensity. This monograph demonstrates that Plotinus tacitly patterned his mystical ascent to the One on a type of visionary ascent ritual that is first attested in Gnostic sources. These sources include the Platonizing Sethian tractates Zostrianos (NHC VIII,1) and Allogenes (NHC XI,3) of which we have Coptic translations from Nag Hammadi and whose Greek Vorlagen were known to have been read in Plotinus’s school.
Author: Paulina Komar
Eastern Wines on Western Tables: Consumption, Trade and Economy in Ancient Italy is an interdisciplinary and multifaceted study concerning wine commerce and the Roman economy during Classical antiquity. Wine was one of the main consumption goods in the Mediterranean during antiquity, and the average Roman adult male probably consumed between 0,5 - 1 litre of it per day. It is therefore clear that the production and trading of wine was essential for the Roman economy. This book demonstrates that wines from the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean region in particular, played a crucial part in wine commerce. Moreover, it sheds new light on economic dilemmas that have long puzzled scholars, such as growth and market integration during antiquity.
Volume Editor: Catalina Balmaceda
Libertas and Res Publica in the Roman Republic offers some essential ideas for an understanding of Roman politics during the Republican period by analysing two key concepts: libertas (liberty) and res publica (public matter, republic). Exploring these concepts through a variety of different aspects – legal, religious, literary, political, and cultural – this book aims to explain the profound relationship between the two. Through the examination of a rich array of sources ranging from classical authors to coins, from legal texts to works of art, Balmaceda and her co-authors propose new readings that elucidate the complex meanings and inter-related functions of libertas and res publica, in a thought-provoking, deep, but very readable study of Roman political culture and identity.
Studies in Communication on the Ancient Stage
This volume collects papers on pragmatic perspectives on ancient theatre. Scholars working on literature, linguistics, theatre will find interesting insights on verbal and non-verbal uses of language in ancient Greek and Roman Drama. Comedies and tragedies spanning from the 5th century B.C.E. to the 1st century C.E. are investigated in terms of im/politeness, theory of mind, interpersonal pragmatics, body language, to name some of the approaches which afford new interpretations of difficult textual passages or shed new light into nuances of characterisation, or possibilities of performance. Words, silence, gestures, do things, all the more so in dramatic dialogues on stage.
Editor: Dragos Calma
Reading Proclus and the Book of Causes, published in three volumes, is a fresh, comprehensive understanding of the history of Neoplatonism from the 9th to the 16th century. The impact of the Elements of Theology and the Book of Causes is reconsidered on the basis of newly discovered manuscripts and evidences. This second volume revises widely accepted hypotheses about the reception of the Proclus’ text in Byzantium and the Caucasus, and about the context that made possible the composition of the Book of Causes and its translations into Latin and Hebrew. The contributions offer a unique, comparative perspective on the various ways a pagan author was acculturated to the Abrahamic traditions.
Play and Illusion in Renaissance Humanism
Author: Timothy Kircher
In Before Enlightenment: Play and Illusion in Renaissance Humanism, Timothy Kircher argues for new ways of appreciating Renaissance humanist philosophy. Literary qualities – tone, voice, persona, style, imagery – composed a core of their philosophizing, so that play and illusion, as well as rational certainty, formed pre-Enlightenment ideas about knowledge, ethics, and metaphysics.

Before Enlightenment takes issue with the long-standing view of humanism’s philosophical mediocrity. It shows new features of Renaissance culture that help explain the origins not only of Enlightenment rationalists, but also of early modern novelists and essayists. If humanist writings promoted objective knowledge based on reason’s supremacy over emotion, they also showed awareness of one’s place and play in the world. The animal rationale is also the homo ludens.