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Christoph Sander

Why does a magnet attract iron, why does a compass needle point north? While the magnet or lodestone was known since antiquity, magnetism became one of the most important topics in early modern natural science and technology. In Magnes Christoph Sander explores this fascinating subject and draws, for the first time, a comprehensive picture of the early modern research on magnetism (c. 1500–1650). The study examines in breadth, covering all disciplines of this epoch, what scholars understood by ‘magnet’ and ‘magnetism,’ the properties they ascribed to it, in which instruments and practices magnetism was employed, and how they tried to explain this exciting phenomenon. This historical panorama is unpreceded and based on around 1500 historical sources, including over 100 manuscripts.

Philo of Alexandria On Planting

Introduction, Translation, and Commentary

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David Runia and Albert Geljon

The Jewish exegete and philosopher Philo of Alexandria has long been famous for his complex and spiritually rich allegorical treatises on the Greek Bible. The present volume presents first translation and commentary in English on his treatise De plantatione (On planting), following on the volume devoted to On cultivation published previously by the same two authors. Philo gives a virtuoso performance as allegorist, interpreting Noah’s planting of a vineyard in Genesis 9.20 first in theological and cosmological terms, then moving to the spiritual quest of both of advanced souls and those beginning their journey. The translation renders Philo’s baroque Greek into readable modern English. The commentary pays particular attention to the treatise’s structure, its biblical basis and its exegetical and philosophical contents.

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Edited by John F. Finamore, Christina-Panagiota Manolea and Sarah Klitenic Wear

Studies in Hermias’ Commentary on Plato’s Phaedrus is a collection of twelve essays that consider aspects of Hermias’ philosophy, including his notions of the soul, logic, and method of exegesis. The essays also consider Hermias’ work in the tradition of Neoplatonism, particularly in relation to the thought of Iamblichus and Proclus. The collection grapples with the question of the originality of Hermias’ commentary—the only extant work of Hermias—which is a series of lectures notes of his teacher, Syrianus.

A Greek and Arabic Lexicon (GALex)

Materials for a Dictionary of the Mediaeval Translations from Greek into Arabic. Volume 1 (Alif) أ to ي Second, Revised Edition

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Edited by Gerhard Endress and Dimitri Gutas

From the eighth to the tenth century A.D., Greek scientific and philosophical works were translated wholesale into Arabic. This activity resulted in the incorporation and reorganization of the classical heritage in the new civilization which, using Arabic, spread with Islam.
A Greek and Arabic Lexicon is the first systematic attempt to present in an analytical and rationalized way our knowledge of the vocabulary of the translations. It is based on the glossaries included in text editions, both published and unpublished, and on other materials gleaned from various sources. The work is published in fascicules of 128 pages of lexical entries plus indexes of the Greek-Arabic correspondences, of Greek proper names and transliterated words, of variant Greek and Arabic passages, and of the Greek authors cited in the context passages. From the second fascicule onwards the indexes are cumulative.
A Greek and Arabic Lexicon is an indispensable reference tool for the study and understanding of Arabic scientific and philosophical language and literature. It facilitates the preparation of future editions of Arabic texts translated directly from the Greek, as well as of works originally composed in Arabic but based on the translations. It contributes to our knowledge of the vocabulary and syntax of Classical and Middle Arabic, of the thought and methods of the translators and of the nature of the translation activity into Arabic methods of the translators and of the nature of the translation activity into Arabic as a whole, and of the way a new vocabulary may develop in an existing language.
Moreover, the Greek-Arabic glossary in general and the index of variant Greek passages in particular will assist in future editions of the Greek text of the works translated into Arabic. These provide information, in a way that can be used by classical scholars who do not know Arabic, on the readings of the manuscripts which were used by the Arab translators and which antedate by more than two centuries the Greek manuscripts actually extant. The work further contributes to our knowledge of the vocabulary of Classical and Middle Greek and of the reception and reading of classical Greek works in late antiquity and pre-Photian Byzantine literature.

Intolerance, Polemics, and Debate in Antiquity

Politico-Cultural, Philosophical, and Religious Forms of Critical Conversation

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Edited by George H. van Kooten and Jacques van Ruiten

In Intolerance, Polemics, and Debate in Antiquity scholars reflect on politico-cultural, philosophical, and religious forms of critical conversation in the ancient Near Eastern, Biblical, Graeco-Roman, and early-Islamic world. They enquire into the boundaries between debate, polemics, and intolerance, and address their manifestations in both philosophy and religion. This cross-cultural and inclusive approach shows that debate and polemics are not so different as often assumed, since polemics may also indicate that ultimate values are at stake. Polemics can also have a positive effect, stimulating further cultural development. Intolerance is more straightforwardly negative. Religious intolerance is often a justification for politics, but also elite rationalism can become totalitarian. The volume also highlights the importance of the fluency of minorities in the dominant discourses and of their ability to develop contrapuntal lines of thought within a common cultural discourse.

Plato’s Timaeus and the Missing Fourth Guest

Finding the Harmony of the Spheres

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Donna M. Altimari Adler

In Plato's Timaeus and the Missing Fourth Guest, Donna M. Altimari Adler proposes a new Timaeus scale structure. She finds the harmonic cosmos in Plato's text, mathematically, regarding it as a number generator. Plato's primary number sequence, she argues, yields a matrix defining a sophisticated harmony of the spheres. She stresses the Decad as the pattern governing both human perception and the generation of all things, in the text, including the World Soul and musical scale symbolizing it. She precisely identifies Plato's "fabric" and its locus of severance and solves other thorny problems of interpretation, e.g., properly naming the sets of three and four bands, born of splitting the band of difference, and explaining their differing motions and speeds.

Themistius’ Paraphrase of Aristotle’s Metaphysics 12

A Critical Hebrew-Arabic Edition of the Surviving Textual Evidence, with an Introduction, Preliminary Studies, and a Commentary

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Yoav Meyrav

Themistius’ (4th century CE) paraphrase of Aristotle’s Metaphysics 12 is the earliest surviving complete account of this seminal work. Despite leaving no identifiable mark in Late Antiquity, Themistius’ paraphrase played a dramatic role in shaping the metaphysical landscape of Medieval Arabic and Hebrew philosophy and theology. Lost in Greek, and only partially surviving in Arabic, its earliest full version is in the form of a 13th century Hebrew translation. In this volume, Yoav Meyrav offers a new critical edition of the Hebrew translation and the Arabic fragments of Themistius’ paraphrase, accompanied by detailed philological and philosophical analyses. In doing so, he provides a solid foundation for the study of one of the most important texts in the history of Aristotelian metaphysics.

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K. Nilüfer Akçay

Neoplatonic allegorical interpretation expounds how literary texts present philosophical ideas in an enigmatic and coded form, offering an alternative path to the divine truths. The Neoplatonist Porphyry’s On the Cave of the Nymphs is one of the most significant allegorical interpretation handed down to us from Antiquity. This monograph, exclusively dedicated to the analysis of On the Cave of Nymphs, demonstrates that Porphyry interprets Homer’s verse from Odyssey 13.102-112 to convey his philosophical thoughts, particularly on the material world, relationship between soul and body and the salvation of the soul through the doctrines of Plato and Plotinus. The Homeric cave of the nymphs with two gates is a station where the souls descend into genesis and ascend to the intelligible realm. Porphyry associates Odysseus’ long wanderings with the journey of the soul and its salvation from the irrational to rational through escape from all toils of the material world.

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Edited by Gary Gurtler and Daniel P. Maher

This volume, the thirty-fourth year of published proceedings, contains five papers and commentaries presented to the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy during academic year 2017-18. Paper topics include: the nature of unity in the Parmenides; the role of generation in understanding the priority of activity in Aristotle’s Metaphysics; the relation of language and craft in Plato’s critique of sophistry; the ambiguous place of pity for one’s slave in the Epicurean sage’s hedonistic egoism; using the distinction of praising and prizing as pointing toward the higher status of happiness to virtue in NE X.6-8. The commentators do their work in challenging some of these claims and supporting others. Contributors are Kelly Arenson, Daniel Gardner, David Horan, Colin King, Max Latona, D.C. Schindler, Mark Sentesy, Daniel Shartin, Susan Stark and Jan Szaif.

Series:

Edited by Gary Gurtler and Daniel P. Maher

This volume, the thirty-fourth year of published proceedings, contains five papers and commentaries presented to the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy during academic year 2017-18. Paper topics include: the nature of unity in the Parmenides; the role of generation in understanding the priority of activity in Aristotle’s Metaphysics; the relation of language and craft in Plato’s critique of sophistry; the ambiguous place of pity for one’s slave in the Epicurean sage’s hedonistic egoism; using the distinction of praising and prizing as pointing toward the higher status of happiness to virtue in NE X.6-8. The commentators do their work in challenging some of these claims and supporting others. Contributors are Kelly Arenson, Daniel Gardner, David Horan, Colin King, Max Latona, D.C. Schindler, Mark Sentesy, Daniel Shartin, Susan Stark and Jan Szaif.