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Pottery, Pavements, and Paradise

Iconographic and Textual Studies on Late Antiquity

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Annewies van den Hoek and John Joseph Herrmann

These essays on late antiquity traverse a territory in which Christian and pagan imagery and practices compete, coexist, and intermingle. The iconography of the most significant late antique ceramic, African Red Slip Ware, is an important and relatively unexploited vehicle for documenting the diversity and interpenetration of late antique cultures. Literary texts and art in other media, particularly mosaics, provide imagery that complement and enhance the messages of the ceramics. Popular entertainments, pagan cults, mythic heroes, beasts, monsters, and biblical visions are themes dealt with on the patrician and popular levels. With interpretive supplements from these diverse realms, it is possible to achieve greater insight into the life, attitudes, and thought of Late Antiquity.

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Laury Sarti

The passage from Antiquity to the Middle Ages has been largely studied in the light of the thesis of a gradual transformation, which is in contradiction of the previous assumption of an abrupt break due to war and general calamity. Perceiving War and the Military reassesses this historical period of transition by an investigation of the contemporary world of thought that examines the impact and significance of a permanently increasing contact with warfare and armed violence. Her studies confirm the assumption of a gradual shift, but they most of all show that the irrevocable end of the Roman Peace was a crucial factor in the late Roman world becoming gradually “medieval”.

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Edited by Bronwen Neil and Matthew J. Dal Santo

What made Pope Gregory I “great”? If the Middle Ages had no difficulty recognizing Gregory as one of its most authoritative points of reference, modern readers have not always found this question as easy to answer. As with any great figure, however, there are two sides to Gregory – the historical and the universal. The contributors to this handbook look at Gregory’s “greatness” from both of these angles: what made Gregory stand out among his contemporaries; and what is unique about Gregory’s contribution through his many written works to the development of human thought and described human experience.

Contributors include: Jane Baun, Philip Booth, Matthew Dal Santo, Scott DeGregorio, George E. Demacopoulos, Bernard Green, Ann Kuzdale, Stephen Lake, Andrew Louth, Constant J. Mews, John Moorhead, Barbara Müller, Bronwen Neil, Richard M. Pollard, Claire Renkin, Cristina Ricci, and Carole Straw.

Birthing Salvation

Gender and Class in Early Christian Childbearing Discourse

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Anna Rebecca Solevåg

In Birthing Salvation Anna Rebecca Solevåg explores the theme of childbearing in early Christian discourse. The book maps the importance of women’s childbearing in Greco-Roman culture and shows how childbearing discourse interfaces with salvation discourse in three early Christian texts: the Pastoral Epistles, the Acts of Andrew and the Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicitas. Issues of gender and class are explored through an intersectional analysis. In particular, the institution of slavery, and its implications for ideas about salvation in these texts are drawn out. Birthing Salvation offers fresh interpretations of these texts, including the peculiar statement in 1 Tim 2:15 that women “will be saved through childbearing.”

Crisis Management in Late Antiquity (410-590 CE)

A Survey of the Evidence from Episcopal Letters

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Edited by Pauline Allen and Bronwen Neil

Pauline Allen and Bronwen Neil investigate crisis management as conducted by the increasingly important episcopal class in the 5th and 6th centuries. Their basic source is the neglected corpus of bishops’ letters in Greek and Latin, the letter being the most significant mode of communication and information-transfer in the period from 410 to 590 CE. The volume brings together into a wider setting a wealth of previous international research on episcopal strategies for dealing with crises of various kinds. Six broad categories of crisis are identified and analysed: population displacement, natural disasters, religious disputes and religious violence, social abuses and the breakdown of the structures of dependence. Individual case-studies of episcopal management are provided for each of these categories. This is the first comprehensive treatment of crisis management in the late-antique world, and the first survey of episcopal letter-writing across the later Roman empire.

The Christian Doctrine of Apokatastasis

A Critical Assessment from the New Testament to Eriugena

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Ilaria Ramelli

The theory of apokatastasis (restoration), most famously defended by the Alexandrian exegete, philosopher and theologian Origen, has its roots in both Greek philosophy and Jewish-Christian Scriptures and literature, and became a major theologico-soteriological doctrine in patristics. This monograph—the first comprehensive, systematic scholarly study of the history of the Christian apokatastasis doctrine—argues its presence and Christological and Biblical foundation in numerous Christian thinkers, including Syriac, and analyses its origins, meaning, and development over eight centuries, from the New Testament to Eriugena, the last patristic philosopher. Surprises await readers of this book, which results from fifteen years of research. For instance, they will discover that even Augustine, in his anti-Manichaean phase, supported the theory of universal restoration.

Augustine and Manichaean Christianity

Selected Papers from the First South African Conference on Augustine of Hippo, University of Pretoria, 24-26 April 2012

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Edited by Johannes van Oort

Based on several newly discovered texts, Augustine and Manichaean Christianity provides groundbreaking discussions of the relationship between the most influential church father of the West and the religion of his formative years. Augustine’s connection with Manichaean Christians was not only intense, but also enduring. This book unearths the essential background of writings such as Augustine’s Confessiones, De ordine and De vera religione, and discloses many a hidden Manichaean source of his powerful concepts of memory and the vision of God. Contributions by, among others, Iain Gardner, Therese Fuhrer, Jason BeDuhn, Majella Franzmann, Josef Lössl, Annemaré Kotzé and Nils Arne Pedersen.

Gnosticism, Platonism and the Late Ancient World

Essays in Honour of John D. Turner

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Edited by Kevin Corrigan and Tuomas Rasimus

This Festschrift honors the life and work of John D. Turner (Charles J. Mach University Professor of Classics and History at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln) on the occasion of his 75th birthday. Professor Turner’s work has been of profound importance for the study of the interaction between Greek philosophy and Gnosticism in late antiquity. This volume contains essays by international scholars on a broad range of topics that deal with Sethian, Valentinian and other early Christian thought, as well as with Platonism and Neoplatonism, and offer a variety of perspectives spanning intellectual history, Greek and Coptic philology, and the study of religions.

Jerome and the Monastic Clergy

A Commentary on Letter 52 to Nepotian, with Introduction, Text, and Translation

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Andrew Cain

In Jerome and the Monastic Clergy, Andrew Cain provides the first full-scale commentary on the famous Letter to Nepotian, in which Jerome articulates his radical plan for imposing a strict ascetic code of conduct on the contemporary clergy. Cain comprehensively addresses stylistic, literary, historical, text-critical and other issues of interpretive interest. Accompanying the commentary is an introduction which situates the Letter in the broader context of its author’s life and work and exposes its fundamental propagandistic dimensions. The revised critical Latin text and the new facing-page translation will make the Letter more accessible than ever before and will provide a reliable textual apparatus for future scholarship on this key writing by one of the most prolific authors in Latin antiquity.

Paul, John, and Apocalyptic Eschatology

Studies in Honour of Martinus C. de Boer

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Edited by Jan Krans, L.J. Lietaert Peerbolte, Peter-Ben Smit and Arie W. Zwiep

Paul, John, and Apocalyptic Eschatology offers fresh studies by leading New Testament scholars. It considers Paul’s use of tradition, his views on Christian life in the light of mysticism and eschatology. It also discusses the identity formation of the “Johannine community” and the role of “exaltation” in the Fourth Gospel. The focus on apocalyptic eschatology is broadened by studies on the reception of Pauline eschatology, the dating of Revelation, and chiliasm. The collection is complemented by a study on the text of John 3:13 and one on the coinage of the name “Ambrosiaster.”