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A Humanist in Reformation Politics

Philipp Melanchthon on Political Philosophy and Natural Law

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Mads L. Jensen

This book is the first contextual account of the political philosophy and natural law theory of the German reformer Philipp Melanchthon (1497-1560). Mads Langballe Jensen presents Melanchthon as a significant political thinker in his own right and an engaged scholar drawing on the intellectual arsenal of renaissance humanism to develop a new Protestant political philosophy. As such, he also shows how and why natural law theories first became integral to Protestant political thought in response to the political and religious conflicts of the Reformation. This study offers new, contextual studies of a wide range of Melanchthon's works including his early humanist orations, commentaries on Aristotle's ethics and politics, Melanchthon's own textbooks on moral and political philosophy, and polemical works.

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Mark A. Lotito

In The Reformation of Historical Thought, Mark Lotito re-examines the development of Western historiography by concentrating on Philipp Melanchthon (1497-1560) and his universal history, Carion’s Chronicle (1532). With the Chronicle, Melanchthon overturned the medieval papal view of history, and he offered a distinctly Wittenberg perspective on the foundations of the “modern” European world. Through its immense popularity, the Chronicle assumed extraordinary significance across the divides of language, geography and confession. Indeed, Melanchthon’s intervention would become the point of departure for theologians, historians and jurists to debate the past, present and future of the Holy Roman Empire. Through the Chronicle, the Wittenberg reformation of historical thought became an integral aspect of European intellectual culture for the centuries that followed.

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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.

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Edited by Paolo Ponzù Donato

Uberto Decembrio’s Four Books on the Commonwealth ( De re publica libri IV, ca. 1420), edited and translated by Paolo Ponzù Donato, is one of the earliest examples of the reception of Plato’s Republic in the 15th century. This humanistic dialogue provides a thoughtful insight on themes such as justice, the best government, the morals of the prince and citizen, education, and religion. Decembrio’s dialogue is dedicated to Filippo Maria Visconti, duke of Milan, the ‘worst enemy’ of Florence. Making use of literary and documentary sources, Ponzù Donato convincingly proves that Decembrio’s thought, sharing many points with the Florentine humanist Leonardo Bruni, belongs to the same world of Civic Humanism.

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Edited by Sophia Xenophontos and Katerina Oikonomopoulou

The Greek biographer and philosopher Plutarch of Chaeronea (c. 45-125 AD) makes a fascinating case-study for reception studies not least because of his uniquely extensive and diverse afterlife. Brill’s Companion to the Reception of Plutarch offers the first comprehensive analysis of Plutarch’s rich reception history from the Roman Imperial period through Late Antiquity and Byzantium to the Renaissance, Enlightenment and the modern era. The thirty-seven chapters that make up this volume, written by a remarkable line-up of experts, explore the appreciation, contestation and creative appropriation of Plutarch himself, his thought and work in the history of literature across various cultures and intellectual traditions in Europe, America, North Africa, and the Middle East.

Ambitious Antiquities, Famous Forebears

Constructions of a Glorious Past in the Early Modern Netherlands and in Europe

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Karl A.E. Enenkel and Konrad Adriaan Ottenheym

This monograph studies the constructions of ‘impressive’ historical descent manufactured to create ‘national’, regional, or local antiquities in early modern Europe (1500-1700), especially the Netherlands. This was a period characterised by important political changes and therefore by an increased need for legitimation; a need which was met using historical claims. Literature, scholarship, art and architecture were pivotal media that were used to furnish evidence of the impressively old lineage of states, regions or families. These claims related not only to Classical antiquity (in the generally-known sense) but also to other periods that were regarded as periods of antiquity, such as the chivalric age. The authors of this volume analyse these intriguing early modern constructions of appropriate “antiquities” and investigate the ways in which they were applied in political, intellectual and artistic contexts in Europe, especially in the Northern Low Countries.

Miguel Venegas and the Earliest Jesuit Theater

Choruses for Tragedies in Sixteenth-Century Europe

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Margarida Miranda

In Miguel Venegas and the Earliest Jesuit Theater, Margarida Miranda takes a fresh look at the origins of Jesuit theater and provides a detailed account of the life and work of Miguel Venegas (1529–after 1588) within the Iberian tradition. The book details Venegas’s role as the founder of Jesuit theater in Portugal and the creator of a new musical genre, choruses for tragedies, which was gradually codified and emulated by successive generations of Jesuits. Venegas’s Latin tragedies in turn provided the model for regular dramatic activities in the global network of Jesuit schools, including, significantly, the first tragedies to be staged in Rome: Saul Gelboeus and Achabus, both of which had originally been performed in Coimbra in the mid-sixteenth century.

Ancient Marbles in Naples in the Eighteenth Century

Findings, Collections, Dispersals

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Eloisa Dodero

In Ancient Marbles in Naples in the Eighteenth Century Eloisa Dodero aims at documenting the history of numerous private collections formed in Naples during the 18th century, with particular concern for the “Neapolitan marbles” and the circumstances of their dispersal. Research has thus made it possible to formulate a synthesis of the collecting dynamics of Naples in the 18th century, to define the interest of the great European collectors, especially British, in the antiquities of the city and its territory and to draw up a catalogue which for the first time brings together the nucleus of sculptures reported in the Neapolitan collections or coming from irregular excavations, most of which shared the destiny of dispersal, in some cases here traced in definitive fashion.

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Edited by Han Lamers and Natasha Constantinidou

This volume, edited by Natasha Constantinidou and Han Lamers, investigates modes of receiving and responding to Greeks, Greece, and Greek in early modern Europe (15th-17th centuries). The book's 17 detailed studies illuminate the reception of Greek culture (the classical, Byzantine, and even post-Byzantine traditions), the Greek language (ancient, vernacular, and 'humanist'), as well as the people claiming, or being assigned, Greek identities during this period in different geographical and cultural contexts.
Discussing subjects as diverse as, for example, Greek studies and the Reformation, artistic interchange between Greek East and Latin West, networks of communication in the Greek diaspora, and the ramifications of Greek antiquarianism, the book aims at encouraging a more concerted debate about the role of Hellenism in early modern Europe that goes beyond disciplinary boundaries, and opening ways towards a more over-arching understanding of this multifaceted cultural phenomenon.

Contributors include Aslıhan Akışık-Karakullukçu, Michele Bacci, Malika Bastin-Hammou, Peter Bell, Michail Chatzidakis, Federica Ciccolella, Calliope Dourou, Anthony Ellis, Niccolò Fattori, Maria Luisa Napolitano, Janika Päll, Luigi-Alberto Sanchi, Niketas Siniossoglou, William Stenhouse, Paola Tomè, Raf Van Rooy, and Stefan Weise

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Eric Dodson-Robinson

Eric Dodson-Robinson’s Revenge, Agency, and Identity from European Drama to Asian Film challenges critical readings of drama, film, and literature that downplay agency. From Attic tragedy, through Seneca and Shakespeare, and into Japanese and Korean film, the book pursues the agent of vengeance in her fury to reconstruct an identity shattered by trauma. Tragic revenge is an imaginary theater only partly encompassed by disciplines, institutions, and discourses. In this theater, violence becomes contagious and potentially transformative as performance gives birth to the agent of vengeance: a complex, emergent agent who is more than the sum of the actors, auteur, tradition, and audience, all of whom infiltrate, and strive to control, her will. The agent of vengeance, determined to outdo past exemplars, exacts traumatic excess, not equivalence.