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Christian Origins and Hellenistic Judaism

Social and Literary Contexts for the New Testament


Edited by Stanley E. Porter and Andrew Pitts

In Christian Origins and Hellenistic Judaism, Stanley E. Porter and Andrew W. Pitts assemble an international team of scholars whose work has focused on reconstructing the social matrix for earliest Christianity through reference to Hellenistic Judaism and its literary forms. Each essay moves forward the current understanding of how primitive Christianity situated itself in relation to evolving Greco-Roman Jewish culture. Some essays focus on configuring the social context for the origins of the Jesus movement and beyond, while others assess the literary relation between early Christian and Hellenistic Jewish texts.

Renaissance Encounters

Greek East and Latin West


Edited by Marina S. Brownlee and Dimitri H. Gondicas

The present volume has grown out of the conference held at Princeton University on November 12-14, 2009. Its essays explore a coherent, interrelated nexus of topics that illuminate our understanding of the cultural transactions (social, political, economic, religious and artistic) of the Greek East and Latin West: unexpected cultural appropriations and forms of resistance, continuity and change, the construction and hybridization of traditions in a wide expanse of the eastern Mediterranean. Areas that the volume addresses include the benefits and liabilities of periodization, philosophical and political exchanges, monastic syncretism between the Orthodox and Catholic faiths, issues of romance composition, and economic currency and the currency of fashion as East and West interact.
Contributors are Roderick Beaton, Peter Brown, Marina S. Brownlee, Giles Constable, Maria Evangelatou, Dimitri Gondicas, Judith Herrin, Elizabeth Jeffreys, Marc D. Lauxtermann, Stuart M. McManus, John Monfasani, Maria G. Parani, Linda Safran, Teresa Shawcross and Alan M. Stahl.


Edited by Ilinca Tanaseanu-Döbler and Marvin Döbler

Although religious education is a much-debated topic in present-day History of Religions, its study focuses almost exclusively on contemporary phenomena. Furthermore, this field of study still lacks a comprehensive theoretical framework to structure research. The volume presented here explores religious education from a historical perspective, focusing on source material from pre-modern Europe. Scholars from the History of Religions, Theology, Classical Philology, Medieval Studies and Byzantine Studies contribute their expertise to analyse selected aspects of religious education in Antiquity, Byzantium and the Middle Ages, highlighting the diverse concepts of education, educational contents, actors, media, methods, ideals and intentions at play, and anchoring their case studies in the broader panorama of European history. Based on this material, the editors propose a systematic framework to map the research field.

La raison des signes

Présages, rites, destin dans les sociétés de la méditerranée ancienne


Stella Georgoudi, Renée Koch Piettre and Francis Schmidt

Comment prévoir l’inconnu et contrôler l’inattendu ? Les Anciens ont tenté de répondre à ces questions en interprétant des signes dans lesquels il reconnaissaient des messages divins. Ce recueil permet de comparer la diversité de leurs questionnements dans les sociétés polythéistes ou monothéistes de la Méditerranée antique. Il interroge premièrement la construction rituelle des signes au sein des institutions divinatoires ; deuxièmement, des phénomènes naturels spontanés, qui, apparus hors de toute institution, ont néanmoins valeur de présages ou d’avertissements ; troisièmement, l’intentionnalité manifestée à travers l’intervention divine dans l’histoire des peuples ou les vies singulières ; quatrièmement, l’épistémologie des signes dans des élaborations philosophiques ou théologiques qui éclairent la tension entre données oraculaires et contrôle ritualisé des signes, entre données révélées et argumentations raisonnées visant à neutraliser les injonctions du destin.

How to foresee the unknown and master the unexpected? Ancient people tried to answer those questions by interpreting signs considered as divine messages. In this volume, the writers compare and examine this manifold questioning in the polytheistic and monotheistic societies of the ancient Mediterranean Sea. In the first place, it is shown how signs were ritually constructed within instituted practice of divination ; second, how, although some spontaneous natural phenomena appeared out of any instituted context, may nevertheless constitute omens or monition ; third, how the gods’ intervention may reveal a sort of intention in the course of national history or individual life ; finally, the essays study the epistemology of signs at work in some philosophical or theological elaborations, which may enlighten the tension between oracular evidence and ritual control of signs, and between revealed facts and reasoning arguments intending to neutralize the injunctions of the divine.

Ancient Angels

Conceptualizing Angeloi in the Roman Empire


Rangar Cline

Although angels are typically associated with Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Ancient Angels demonstrates that angels (angeloi) were also a prominent feature of non-Abrahamic religions in the Roman era. Following an interdisciplinary approach, the study uses literary, inscriptional, and archaeological evidence to examine Roman conceptions of angels, how residents of the empire venerated angels, and how Christian authorities responded to this potentially heterodox aspect of Roman religion. The book brings together the evidence for popular beliefs about angels in Roman religion, demonstrating the widespread nature of speculation about, and veneration of, angels in the Roman Empire


Edited by Sara Mancini Lombardi and Paola Pontani

The volume aims to introduce the studies on the Armenian version of Philo's writings, as well as being valuable for scholars who are not Armenologists. This corpus of ancient translations is of great importance to us not only because it has preserved works whose Greek originals have been lost, but it will also be of use for improving our knowledge regarding the reception of Philo's thought. The essays approach the subject from different perspectives - historical, hermeneutical, philological and linguistic - in order to provide an overview on current research issues, giving special attention to the fortune of Philo's works in Armenian Christianity.

Greek Religious Terminology – Telete & Orgia

A Revised and Expanded English Edition of the Studies by Zijderveld and Van der Burg


Feyo Schuddeboom

A proper understanding of the words τελετή and ὄργια and the context in which they occur is fundamental to the study of Greek religion. This volume seeks to make a significant portion of the source material available to present-day students of religions in the Graeco-Roman world. The ancient texts are accompanied by English translations. Revised chapters from the seminal works by Zijderveld (1934) and Van der Burg (1939) show a whole range of different contexts in ancient literature, thus arguing against an automatic equation of τελετή and ὄργια with mystery rites. New chapters give an overview of the loanword orgia in Latin poetry, and of τελετή and ὄργια in the epigraphical evidence.

Edited by Ioannis Mylonopoulos

The polytheistic religious systems of ancient Greece and Rome reveal an imaginative attitude towards the construction of the divine. One of the most important instruments in this process was certainly the visualisation. Images of the gods transformed the divine world into a visually experienceable entity, comprehensible even without a theoretical or theological superstructure. For the illiterates, images were together with oral traditions and rituals the only possibility to approach the idea of the divine; for the intellectuals, images of the gods could be allegorically transcended symbols to reflect upon. Based on the art historical and textual evidence, this volume offers a fresh view on the historical, literary, and artistic significance of divine images as powerful visual media of religious and intellectual communication.

Magical Practice in the Latin West

Papers from the International Conference held at the University of Zaragoza, 30 Sept. – 1st Oct. 2005

Edited by Richard L. Gordon and Simón Marco

How different was the practice of magic in the Latin West from that of the eastern Mediterranean basin? Was it just derivative from Greek practice, or did it have its own originality? The recent discovery of important new curse-tablets in Mainz and in the Fountain of Anna Perenna at Rome has made the question newly topical. This volume contains the first commented editions in English of most of these new texts as well as major surveys of new prayers for justice. Other sections are devoted to the discourse of magic in the West, to the linguistics and aims of cursing, and to the major field of protective and eudaemonic magic up to and including the Visigothic slates and the Celtic loricae. The essays are by well-known scholars in the field as well as by established and younger Spanish scholars.

Votives, Places and Rituals in Etruscan Religion

Studies in Honor of Jean MacIntosh Turfa


Edited by Margarita Gleba and Hilary Becker

Etruscans were deemed “the most religious of men” by their Roman successors and it is hardly surprising that the topic of Etruscan religion has been explored for some time now. This volume offers a contribution to the continued study of Etruscan religion and daily life, by focusing on the less explored issue of ritual. Ritual is approached through fourteen case studies, considering mortuary customs, votive rituals and other religious and daily life practices. The book gathers new material, interpretations and approaches to the less emphasized areas of Etruscan religion, especially its votive aspects, based on archaeological and epigraphic sources.