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Syriac Idiosyncrasies

Theology and Hermeneutics in Early Syriac Literature

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Edited by Serge Ruzer and Aryeh Kofsky

The study of early Syriac Christianity has for decades been steadily expanding, yet its scope still lags way behind that of research relating to Greek and Latin Christianity. One of the intriguing and understudied topics here is the nature of Syriac Christianity's autonomous identity in late antiquity. This question is intrinsically connected to its genesis from an indigenous Christian Aramaic background as well as its interaction with the neighboring Jewish milieu. This volume unearthes some of the idiosyncracies -- mainly pertaining to trinitarian theology, christology and hermeneutics -- to be found in early Syriac literature before the onslaught of Greek hegemony. The idiosyncrasies analyzed here offer new insights into the nature of that peculiar brand of early Christianity, confirming a model of an indigenous early Syriac tradition gradually entering into a dynamic interaction with Greek influence.

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Edited by David Gwynn and Susanne Bangert

This new volume in the well-established Late Antique Archaeology series draws together recent research by archaeologists and historians to shed new light on the religious world of Late Antiquity. A detailed bibliographic essay provides an overview of relevant literature, while individual articles explore the diversity of late antique religion. Rabbinic and non-rabbinic Judaism is traced in Beth Shearim, Dura Europus and Sepphoris, and the Samaritan community in Israel, while Christian concepts of orthodoxy and heresy are examined with a particular focus on the 'Arian' Controversy. Popular piety receives close attention, through the archaeology of pilgrimage and the stylite 'pillar saints', and so too does the complex relationship between religion and magic and between sacred and secular in Late Antiquity.
Contributors are David M. Gwynn, Susanne Bangert, Jodi Magness, Zeev Weiss, Shimon Dar, Michel-Yves Perrin, Bryan Ward-Perkins, Lukas Amadeus Schachner, Arja Karivieri, Carla Sfameni, Claude Lepelley, Mark Humphries, Elizabeth Jeffreys, and Isabella Sandwell.

Magical Practice in the Latin West

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

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Francisco Marco Simón and Richard Gordon

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.

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Edited by Joannis 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.

Greek Religious Terminology – Telete & Orgia

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

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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.

Greek Sacred Law (2nd Edition with a Postscript)

A Collection of New Documents (NGSL)

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Eran Lupu

This work contains two parts. Part I constitutes a guide to the corpus of Greek sacred law and its contents. A discussion of the history of the corpus and the principles governing its composition is followed by a detailed review of its contents, in which the evidence is classified according to subject matter. Part II contains inscriptions published since the late 1960s from all around the Greek world excluding Cos and Asia Minor (checklists for these are appended). The text of each inscription is presented alongside restorations, epigraphical commentary, translation, and a comprehensive running commentary. Most of the inscriptions are illustrated. The volume should prove useful to scholars of Greek religion, historians, and epigraphists.

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Rachel Anisfeld

History and literature come together in a new way in this study of the midrashic collection Pesikta deRav Kahana. The book combines the findings of rabbinic historians and early Christianity scholars with a close reading of this midrashic text on its own and in relation to the tannaitic midrashim which preceded it. The rich picture that emerges suggests that PRK, in its new homiletical and aggadic stance, develops a religious language more appealing and accessible to the masses, an outreach language meant to win rabbinic popularity. Exploring issues of power and rhetoric, the book also places PRK’s outreach language into the cultural context of the imperialism of Roman Christian homily.

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

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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.