The Šabdan Baatır Codex

Epic and the Writing of Northern Kirghiz History

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Edited by Daniel Prior

In The Šabdan Baatır Codex, Daniel Prior presents the first complete edition, translation, and interpretation of a unique manuscript of early twentieth-century Kirghiz poetry, which includes detailed accounts of nineteenth-century warfare. Dedicated to the chief Šabdan Baatır, the Codex occupies an illuminating position in a network of oral and written genres that encompassed epic poetry and genealogy, panegyric and steppe oral historiography; that echoed oral performance and aspired to print publishing. The Codex’s fresh articulation of concepts of Kirghiz self-identification was incipiently national, yet remained couched in traditional forms. The Codex thus bridges the interval, often glossed over in cultural histories, between a supposedly archaic state of oral epic tradition and the “afterlife” of epics in modern ethno-nationalist projects.

Dāmodaraguptaviracitaṃ Kuṭṭanīmatam

The Bawd's Counsel: Being an Eighth-century Verse Novel in Sanskrit

Edited by Csaba Desző and Dominic Goodall

In this unique verse novel, "The Bawd's Counsel", Dāmodaragupta paints a vivid tableau of eighth-century urban life in Northern India. Instead of the gods, sages and heroes of legend that people the Sanskrit literary epics, here gurus, princes and merchants jostle upon the streets of Benares, Patna and in the gardens of Mount Abu with bawds, prostitutes, rakes and rustics, and they are shown grappling with matters of life, death, love, lovelessness and livelihood. These mortal actors have been woven into tales that are narrated with considerable grace and wit. The author, a minister at the court of a Kashmirian king, evinces particular empathy with those who have drawn the shortest straws—the abandoned prostitute in love, for instance, or the married woman seduced into a socially ruinous adulterous relationship. Caustically irreverent humour, meanwhile, is meted out to religious hypocrites, to the tiresomely self-important, and to men of rank with more money than sense. In spite of the intrinsic interest of the work—both as a piece of literature and as a document of the social history of its time—it has not received much attention in recent years, either in India or elsewhere. A German translation of an incomplete nineteenth-century edition was published in 1903, which was in turn rendered into French and the French then into English, and there have been translations into Hungarian and Japanese. This volume, which contains not only a fresh edition that draws on a hitherto unconsulted Nepalese palm-leaf manuscript of the thirteenth century, but also a metrical English translation, aims to bring this novel to the wider audience it deserves.

Duty, Language and Exegesis in Prābhākara Mīmāṃsā

Including an edition and translation of Rāmānujācārya’s Tantrarahasya, Śāstraprameyapariccheda

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Elisa Freschi

The book is an introduction to key concepts of Indian Philosophy, seen from the perspective of one of its most influential schools, the Prābhākara Mīmāṃsā, which flourished from the 7th until the 20th c. AD. The book includes the critical edition and translation of Rāmānujācārya's Śāstraprameyapariccheda, which is part of his Tantrarahasya (written in South India, after the 14th c.). This text has never been translated before and it is one of the clearest elaboration of the Prābhākara thought.

The book particularly aims at presenting the linguistic, deontic-ethic, hermeneutic and epistemo-logical thought of the Prābhākara Mīmāṃsā. Detailed glossary and indexes make it possible to use the book as a reference-tool for Indian philosophy and linguistics.

A Newly Discovered Greek Father

Cassian the Sabaite eclipsed by John Cassian of Marseilles

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Panayiotis Tzamalikos

This is a critical edition of texts of Codex 573 (ninth century, Monastery of Metamorphosis, Meteora, Greece), which are published along with the monograph identifying The Real Cassian, in the same series. They cast light on Cassian the Sabaite, a sixth century highly erudite intellectual, whom Medieval forgery replaced with John Cassian. The texts are of high philological, theological, and philosophical value, heavily pregnant with notions characteristic of eminent Greek Fathers, especially Gregory of Nyssa. They are couched in a distinctly technical Greek language, which has a meaningful record in Eastern patrimony, but mostly makes no sense in Latin, which is impossible to have been their original language. The Latin texts currently attributed to John Cassian, the Scythian of Marseilles, are heavily interpolated translations of this Greek original by Cassian the Sabaite, native of Scythopolis, who is identified with Pseudo-Caesarius and the author of Pseudo Didymus' De Trinitate. Codex 573, entitled The Book of Monk Cassian, preserves also the sole extant manuscript of the Scholia in Apocalypsin, the chain of comments that were falsely attributed to Origen a century ago. A critical edition of these Scholia has been published in a separate edition volume, with commentary and an English translation (Cambridge).

Print Culture and the First Yoruba Novel

I.B. Thomas's 'Life Story of Me, Segilola' and other texts

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Karin Barber

First appearing as a series of letters to a local newspaper, “The Life Story of Me, Segilola” caused a sensation in Lagos in the late 1920s. The lifelike autobiography of a repentant courtesan, it regaled the reader with risqué escapades, pious moralising and vivid evocations of urban popular culture. The narrative and the commentary that sprang up around it in the Yoruba press offer a unique view of life in colonial Lagos. Today it is recognised as I.B.Thomas's work and hailed as the first Yoruba novel in a major African literary tradition. This volume presents the edited Yoruba text with translation, selected newspaper correspondence, and an introductory essay showing how the text emerged from the Yoruba print culture of the time.


Print Culture and the First Yoruba Novel has won the Paul Hair Prize 2013!

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Edited by Michiel R. Wielema

Ever since it was first written, Adriaan Koerbagh's anti-Christian work, A Light Shining in Dark Places, has been nearly inaccessible. Had it been known during the Enlightenment, it would have been a great inspiration to radical thinkers. However, it was suppressed and the author died in jail. The full text is now available in English. Koerbagh demolishes such Christian notions as the Creator, the Trinity, the divinity of Jesus, heaven and hell, angels, devils and miracles. Instead, he presents a monistic world view in which Nature and God are identical. Theology is a part of natural science. God can only be worshipped by acting rationally. Koerbagh's rational religion is intended to contribute to a free, peaceful and liberal society.

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Luca Baschera and Christian Moser

ENGLISH
Contrary to an old thesis, the dawning of the Reformation was not the end of Christian Aristotelianism. Rather, Protestants were again faced with the traditional question of the relationship between theology and philosophy. Peter Martyr Vermigli (1499-1562) counts as one of the authors who endeavored to interpret Aristotelian philosophy before the backdrop of Reformed theology. In addition to numerous exegetical and theological writings, this well respected theologian left behind a commentary on Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, which is edited in the present volume. It not only evidences Vermigli’s intense engagement with the source material but also his struggle for an adequate understanding of the relationship between Aristotelian ethics and Protestant theology.

DEUTSCH
Entgegen einer althergebrachten These bedeutete der Durchbruch der Reformation nicht das Ende des christlichen Aristotelismus. Vielmehr stellte sich für Protestanten die traditionelle Frage nach dem Verhältnis zwischen Theologie und Philosophie wieder neu. Zu den Autoren, die sich um eine Deutung aristotelischer Philosophie vor dem Hintergrund reformierter Theologie bemühten, zählt Petrus Martyr Vermigli (1499-1562). Neben zahlreichen exegetischen und kontroverstheologischen Schriften hinterließ dieser zu seiner Zeit hochgeachtete Theologe auch einen Kommentar zur Nikomachischen Ethik des Aristoteles. Dieser Kommentar, welcher im vorliegenden Band in historisch-kritischer Edition herausgegeben wird, belegt nicht nur Vermiglis intensive Auseinandersetzung mit dem Quellentext, sondern auch sein Ringen um eine adäquate Verhältnisbestimmung von aristotelischer Ethik und protestantischer Theologie.

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Edited by Leen Spruit

In 1503, Nifo published De intellectu, the major work of his early career, touching on questions of philosophical psychology. Based on a detailed assessment of the views of his predecessors, Nifo in this work presented an analysis of the main issues of Peripatetic noetics, namely origin and immortality of the intellect or rational soul, its relation to the body, its unity and parts, the speculative intellect, and intellectual beatitude. Here the 1554 edition is reproduced. The Introduction is followed by an extensive analytical summary of the contents of the work. The Appendix contains a chronology of Nifo’s life and works, and a full index of the chapters of De intellectu.

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Leen Spruit and Pina Totaro

Brill authors Leen Spruit and Pina Totaro discovered the original manuscript of Spinoza's "Ethica" in the Vatican library. This spectacular discovery attracted a lot of media attention.

NRC Handelsblad, 26th May 2011
Radio 1 News, 27th May 2011
NOS News, 27th May 2011

The Vatican codex, which contains the complete text of Spinoza’s Ethics, is the only surviving manuscript of this work and constitutes a document of great importance. On 23 September 1677, it was handed over to the Roman Holy Office by Spinoza’s former friend Niels Stensen who had converted to Catholicism in 1667. Thus, it predates the publication of the Opera Posthuma, which is dated 1677, but which did not in fact appear until the first months of 1678. Recent research and fresh documentation allow us to determine the several stages of the manuscript’s life before it reached Rome, where it was kept in the Archive of the Holy Office, and subsequently, transferred to the Vatican Apostolic Library, in 1922.

Iusti Lipsii Saturnalium Sermonum libri duo, qui de gladiatoribus

Lipsius' Saturnaliengespräche, eine textkritische Ausgabe mit Übersetzung, Einführung und Anmerkungen

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Edited by Andrea Steenbeek

Thema von Lipsius’ Saturnaliengespräche (1582) sind die Gladiatorenspiele. Alle Aspekte werden beleuchtet, zum Beispiel, welche Arten Gladiatoren es gab: da waren Kriminelle, aber auch hohe Beamte dabei, die – manchmal freiwillig – als Gladiatoren funktionierten. Die detaillierte Beschreibung schließt gut an bei seinen anderen historiographischen Werken, wie De Amphitheatro (1584). Am Ende der Saturnaliengespräche steht eine schwungvolle Rede über die bewundernswerten Beständigkeit der Gladiatoren. Lipsius spricht in verschiedenen Briefen über sie als leuchtende Vorbilder. Das passt zu seinem Vorhaben, die Stoa von Neuem bekannt zu machen. Er hatte dabei Erfolg, denn seine stoische Lehre erhielt viel Zuhörerschaft. De Constantia, das er 1584 zum ersten Mal publizierte, erfuhr zahllose Auflagen und Übersetzungen.

In his Saturnalian dialogues (1582), Lipsius describes all aspects of gladiatorial combat, for example, that a great variety of people – criminals but also highly placed officials – took part in the combats, sometimes as volunteers. This detailed description fits into Lipsius’ other historiographical works, such as De Amphitheatro, published in 1584. After an elaborate exposition about gladiators, in the last chapter of the Saturnalian dialogues he gives an impassioned speech about their admirable constancy despite extremely hard circumstances. In several letters, Lipsius also refers to gladiators as proper models to be imitated. His main aim, here and elsewhere, was the promotion of his Stoic ethic – a goal that would ultimately prove successful: De Constantia, first published in 1584, has gone through a large number of reprints, editions and translations.