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Isidore of Seville and the “Liber Iudiciorum” establishes a novel framework for re-interpreting the Liber Iudiciorum (LI), the law-code issued in Toledo by the Visigothic king Recceswinth (649/653-672) in 654. The LI was a manifestation of a vibrant dialectical situation, particularly between two networks of authority, Isidore-Seville and Toledo-Agali, a defining characteristic of the discourse coloring the fabric of writing in Hispania, c. 600-660. To more fully imagine the meaning, significance and purposes of the LI, this book elicits this cooperative competition through a series of four case-studies on writing in the period. In addition to offering an alternative historiography for the LI, this book expands the corpus of “Visigothic Literature” and introduces what the author refers to as “Gothstalgie.”
In The Rebirth of Swimming and Free-diving, John McManamon documents the revival of interest in swimming during the European Renaissance and its conceptualization as an art. Renaissance scholars realized that the ancients considered one truly ignorant who knew “neither letters nor swimming.”
What are the interrelationships between the language of rhetoric and the code of imperial images, from Constantine to Theodosius? How are imperial images shaped by the fact that they were produced and promoted at the behest of the emperor? Nine contributors from Spain, Italy, the U.K. and the Netherlands will guide the reader about these issues by analyzing how imperial power was articulated and manipulated by means of literary strategies and iconographic programmes. The authors scrutinize representations from Constantine to Julian and from the Valentinians to Theodosius by considering material culture and texts as interconnected sources that engaged with and reacted to each other.
Author: Jack Visnjic
Did the ancient Greeks and Romans have a concept of moral duty? Jack Visnjic seeks to settle this long-standing controversy in The Invention of Duty: Stoicism as Deontology. According to the prevailing view, ancient ethical systems lacked any sense of moral obligation and were built instead around notions of virtue and human flourishing. Visnjic argues that, millennia before Kant, the Stoics already developed a robust notion of moral duty as well as a sophisticated deontological ethics. While most writings of the Stoics perished, their concept of duty lived on and eventually came to influence the modern notion. In fact, there are strong indications that Kant’s formulation of a new duty-based morality was inspired by his encounter with Stoic ideas.
Editor / Translator: Oliver Kahl
The Arabic treatise edited and translated here was written in the middle of the 9th century CE by ʿAlī ibn Sahl Rabban aṭ-Ṭabarī, a Christian convert to Islam and one of the most remarkable thinkers of his time. The text can be described as a manual towards the preservation of health, addressed directly to the ʿAbbāsid caliph al-Mutawakkil and his household. It represents not only the oldest extant specimen of its kind, but is also distinguished by its largely non-technical language, as well as by a narrative style that creates an unusual interface with classical Arabic prose literature. The Greek and Indian sources upon which aṭ-Ṭabarī relied testify to the synthetic and inclusive character of early Islamic medicine.
In Exegesis of the Human Heart Andrew J. Summerson explores how Maximus the Confessor uses biblical interpretation to develop an account of human passibility, from fallen human passions to perfected human emotions among the divinized.
This book features Maximus’s role as a creative interpreter of tradition. Maximus inherits Christian thinking on emotion, which revises Stoic and Platonic thought according to biblical categories. Through a close reading of Quaestiones ad Thalassium and a wide selection of Maximus’s works, Andrew J. Summerson shows that Maximus understands human emotion in an exegetical milieu and that Maximus places human emotion at the heart of his soteriology. Christ redeems passibility so the divinized can enjoy perfected emotional activity in the ever-moving repose of eternal life.