Genre in Archaic and Classical Greek Poetry: Theories and Models

Studies in Archaic and Classical Greek Song, Vol. 4

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Edited by Margaret Foster, Leslie Kurke and Naomi Weiss

Genre in Archaic and Classical Greek Poetry foregrounds innovative approaches to the question of genre, what it means, and how to think about it for ancient Greek poetry and performance. Embracing multiple definitions of genre and lyric, the volume pushes beyond current dominant trends within the field of Classics to engage with a variety of other disciplines, theories, and models. Eleven papers by leading scholars of ancient Greek culture cover a wide range of media, from Sappho’s songs to elegiac inscriptions to classical tragedy. Collectively, they develop a more holistic understanding of the concept of lyric genre, its relevance to the study of ancient texts, and its relation to subsequent ideas about lyric.

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Edited by Carsten Hjort Lange and Frederik Juliaan Vervaet

The Historiography of Late Republican Civil War is part of a burgeoning new trend that focuses on the great impact of stasis and civil war on Roman society. This volume specifically concentrates on the Late Republic, a transformative period marked by social and political violence, stasis, factional strife, and civil war. Its constitutive chapters closely study developments and discussions concerning the concept of civil war in the late republican and early imperial historiography of the late Republic, from L. Cornelius Sulla Felix to the Severan dynasty.

Philo of Alexandria and Greek Myth

Narratives, Allegories, and Arguments

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Edited by Francesca Alesse

In Philo of Alexandria and Greek Myth: Narratives, Allegories, and Arguments, a fresh and more complete image of Philo of Alexandria as a careful reader, interpreter, and critic of Greek literature is offered. Greek mythology plays a significant role in Philo of Alexandria’s exegetical oeuvre. Philo explicitly adopts or subtly evokes narratives, episodes and figures from Greek mythology as symbols whose didactic function we need to unravel, exactly as the hidden teaching of Moses’ narration has to be revealed by interpreters of Bible. By analyzing specific mythologems and narrative cycles, the contributions to this volume pave the way to a better understanding of Philo’s different attitudes towards literary and philosophical mythology.

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Sacha Stern

In the year 921/2, the Jewish leaders of Palestine and Babylonia disagreed on how to calculate the calendar. This led the Jews of the entire Near East to celebrate Passover and the other festivals, through two years, on different dates. The controversy was major, but it became forgotten until its late 19th-century rediscovery in the Cairo Genizah. Faulty editions of the texts, in the following decades, led to much misunderstanding about the nature, leadership, and aftermath of the controversy. In this book, Sacha Stern re-edits the texts completely, discovers many new Genizah sources, and challenges the historical consensus. This book sheds light on early medieval Rabbanite leadership and controversies, and on the processes that eventually led to the standardization of the medieval Jewish calendar.

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Paul J. Burton

Rome engaged in military and diplomatic expansionistic state behavior, which we now describe as ‘imperialism,’ since well before the appearance of ancient sources describing this activity. Over the course of at least 800 years, the Romans established and maintained a Mediterranean-wide empire from Spain to Syria (and sometimes farther east) and from the North Sea to North Africa. How and why they did this is a perennial source of scholarly controversy. Earlier debates over whether Rome was an aggressive or defensive imperial state have progressed to theoretically-informed discussions of the extent to which system-level or discursive pressures shaped the Roman Empire. Roman imperialism studies now encompass such ancillary subfields as Roman frontier studies and Romanization.

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Gwynaeth McIntyre

As political power in Rome became centered on the emperor and his family, a system of honors and titles developed as one way to negotiate this new power dynamic. Classified under the modern collective heading ‘imperial cult’ (or emperor worship or ruler cult), this system of worship comprises religious rituals as well as political, economic, and social aspects. In this article, Gwynaeth McIntyre surveys the range of ancient literary sources and modern scholarly debates on how individuals became gods in the Roman world. Beginning with the development of exceptional honors granted to Julius Caesar and his deification, she traces the development of honors, symbols, and religious rituals associated with the worship of imperial family members. She uses case studies to illustrate how cult practices, temples, and priesthoods were established, highlighting the careful negotiation required between the emperor, imperial family, Senate, and populace in order to make mortals into gods.

Eris vs. Aemulatio

Valuing Competition in Classical Antiquity

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Edited by Cynthia Damon and Christoph Pieper

Competition is everywhere in antiquity. It took many forms: the upper class competed with their peers and with historical and mythological predecessors; artists of all kinds emulated generic models and past masterpieces; philosophers and their schools vied with one another to give the best interpretation of the world; architects and doctors tried to outdo their fellow craftsmen. Discord and conflict resulted, but so did innovation, social cohesion, and political stability. In Hesiod's view Eris was not one entity but two, the one a “grievous goddess,” the other an “aid to men.” Eris vs. Aemulatio examines the functioning and effect of competition in ancient society, in both its productive and destructive aspects.

The Origins of the Canon of the Hebrew Bible

An Analysis of Josephus and 4 Ezra

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Juan Carlos Ossandón Widow

In The Origins of the Canon of the Hebrew Bible: An Analysis of Josephus and 4 Ezra, Juan Carlos Ossandón Widow examines the thorny question of when, how, and why the collection of twenty-four books that today is known as the Hebrew Bible was formed. He carefully studies the two earliest testimonies in this regard—Josephus’ Against Apion and 4 Ezra—and proposes that, along with the tendency to idealize the past, which leads to consider that divine revelation to Israel has ceased, an important reason to specify a collection of Scriptures at the end of the first century CE consisted in the need to defend the received tradition to counter those that accepted more books.

Round Trip to Hades in the Eastern Mediterranean Tradition

Visits to the Underworld from Antiquity to Byzantium

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Edited by Gunnel Ekroth and Ingela Nilsson

Round Trip to Hades in the Eastern Mediterranean Tradition explores how the theme of visiting the Underworld and returning alive has been treated, transmitted and transformed in the ancient Greek and Byzantine traditions. The journey was usually a descent ( katabasis) into a dark and dull place, where forgetfulness and punishment reigned, but since ‘everyone’ was there, it was also a place that offered opportunities to meet people and socialize. Famous Classical round trips to Hades include those undertaken by Odysseus and Aeneas, but this pagan topic also caught the interest of Christian writers. The contributions of the present volume allow the reader to follow the passage from pagan to Christian representations of Hades–a passage that may seem surprisingly effortless.

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Edited by Yannis Stouraitis

This collection of essays on the Byzantine culture of war in the period between the 4th and the 12th centuries offers a new critical approach to the study of warfare as a fundamental aspect of East Roman society and culture in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. The book’s main goal is to provide a critical overview of current research as well as new insights into the role of military organization as a distinct form of social power in one of history’s more long-lived empires. The various chapters consider the political, ideological, practical, institutional and organizational aspects of Byzantine warfare and place it at the centre of the study of social and cultural history.
Contributors are Salvatore Cosentino, Michael Grünbart, Savvas Kyriakidis, Tilemachos Lounghis, Christos Makrypoulias, Stamatina McGrath, Philip Rance, Paul Stephenson, Yannis Stouraitis, Denis Sullivan, and Georgios Theotokis.