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Paul Spilsbury and Chris Seeman

This volume provides the first full commentary to Book 11 of Josephus' Judean Antiquities, with a new English translation. In Antiquities 11 Josephus offers a retelling of the biblical narratives of Ezra-Nehemiah ( Ant. 11.1–183) and Esther ( Ant. 11.184–296), along with a brief post-biblical narrative dealing with late Persian-era Judea ( Ant. 11.297–347). The commentary interprets Josephus’ narrative in detail, identifying biblical, historical and literary considerations that arise from the text. Attention is given to manuscript variants, vocabulary, use of sources, parallel accounts, and Josephus' Jewish, Roman, and Greek historiographical contexts. The volume also contains an appendix on Alexander the Great’s visit to Jerusalem as related in non-Josephan sources.

Althusser and Theology

Religion, Politics and Philosophy

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Edited by Agon Hamza

Religion has always been an object of philosophical analysis, as well as a platform for political practice. One cannot imagine a form of philosophical thinking without its relation to a religion, whether it negates or affirms the latter. In different philosophical orientations, religion also serves as a condition for philosophy.

Althusser and Theology intends not so much to fill a gap in Althusser scholarship as to make an important contribution to the contemporary radical left movement. In this regard, Althusser and Theology is of significant importance in the current debates on the Left concerning its relation to theology. It will also contribute to the ongoing debate on Althusser, as well as opening up a new perspective on his philosophical project.

Contributors are: Roland Boer, Stanislas Breton, Isa Blumi, Geoff Pfeifer, Agon Hamza, Warren Montag, Vittorio Morfino, Knox Peden, Panagiotis Sotiris, Ted Stolze, Jana Tsoneva, and Gabriel Tupinambá.

New Aspects of Religion in Ancient Athens 

Honors, Authorities, Esthetics, and Society 

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Jon Mikalson

Jon D. Mikalson offers for classical and Hellenistic Athens a study of the terminology and contexts of praises of religious actions and artefacts and an investigation of the various authorities in religious activities. The terms of approbation apply to priests, priestesses, and lay individuals in various capacities as well as to sacrifices, dedications, and sanctuaries. From these a new esthetic of Greek religion emerges as well as a new social aspect of public religious practices. The authorities include oracles, traditional customs, laws, and decrees, and their hierarchy and interaction are described. The authority of the Ekklesia, Boule, administrative and military officials, priests, priestesses, and others is also delineated, and a new view of polis “control” of religion is put forward.

Exercices d'histoire des religions

Comparaison, rites, mythes et émotions

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Philippe Borgeaud

Edited by Daniel Barbu and Philippe Matthey

Exercices d’histoire des religions is a collection of the most important articles published by Philippe Borgeaud during his career as the professor of history of religions at the University of Geneva (Switzerland). These nineteen studies showcase the many reflections of the Swiss scholar of religion on the categories and tools used to describe and compare such evanescent concepts as “religions”, “myths” and “rituals”, and his methodology for a critical and comparative study of ancient and modern religions. Through them, readers will gain a clear understanding of the importance such an approach can wield in the contemporary discussions and dissents about religions.

Exercices d’histoire des religions rassemble les articles les plus importants publiés par Philippe Borgeaud durant sa carrière en tant que professeur d’histoire des religions à l’Université de Genève. Ces dix-neuf enquêtes illustrent les réflexions du savant suisse sur les outils et catégories utilisés par l’historien des religions pour décrire et comparer des concepts aussi évanescents que les « religions », les « mythes » ou les « rituels », et sur le rôle joué par les émotions dans leur élaboration.
À travers eux, le lecteur est amené à découvrir la méthode développée par Philippe Borgeaud pour étudier de manière critique et comparative les religions antiques et modernes, une approche sans doute fondamentale pour mieux saisir les discussions et controverses contemporaines sur ce sujet.

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Roald Dijkstra

The Apostles in Early Christian Art and Poetry presents the first in-depth analysis of the origins of the representation of the apostles (the twelve disciples and Paul) in verse and image in the late antique Greco-Roman world (250-400). Especially in the West, the apostles are omnipresent, in particular on sarcophagi and in Biblical and martyr poetry. They primarily function as witnesses of Christ’s stay on earth, but Peter and Paul are also popular saints of their own. Occasionally, the other apostles come to the fore as individual figures. Direct influence from art on poetry or vice versa appears to be difficult to trace, but principal developments of late antique society are reflected in the representation of the apostles in both media.

Hosios

A Semantic Study of Greek Piety

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Saskia Peels

In Hosios: A Semantic Study of Greek Piety Saskia Peels elucidates the semantics of the Ancient Greek adjective hosios and its cognates. Traditionally rendered as ‘piety’, hosios was a key notion in Classical Greek religion and reflected a core value in Athenian democracy. Since antiquity, its meaning and usage have puzzled many. This study sets out to resolve various scholarly debates on the semantics of hosios by focusing on the idea of lexical competition. It illuminates the semantic relationship between hosios and its near-synonyms eusebês and dikaios, and the connection to the notion of the ‘sacred’. Using insights from modern linguistic theory, the book also aims to improve methods for research into the lexical semantics of a dead language.

Attis

Between Myth and History: King, Priest and God

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Maria Lancellotti

This volume deals with the figure of Attis. The work aims to reconsider the mythical and cultic information about this character, trying to provide proof of the processes of "construction" and "reconstruction" that have contributed to the moulding of the different forms of Attis that developed as a result of various demands within different religious traditions. After an introduction about the history of the studies, the first part examines the oldest evidence on Attis, resorting to comparison with religious traditions earlier than or contemporary with Phrygian culture. The second part tackles the classical world and collects the elements of continuity and of innovation in respect of Asianic religious traditions. The third part analyses the problem of the processes of reinterpretation of the traditional cults that both the "pagan" philosophers and the fathers of the Church effected. The link between Attis and Death is discussed in the fourth part.

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Edited by Aude Busine

In Religious Practices and Christianization of the Late Antique City, historians, archaeologists and historians of religion provide studies of the phenomenon of the Christianization of the Roman Empire within the context of the transformations and eventual decline of the Greco-Roman city. The eleven papers brought together here aim to describe the possible links between religious, but also political, economic and social mutations engendered by Christianity and the evolution of the antique city. Combining a multiplicity of sources and analytical approaches, this book seeks to measure the impact on the city of the progressive abandonment of traditional cults to the advantage of new Christian religious practices.

Mani at the Court of the Persian Kings

Studies on the Chester Beatty Kephalaia Codex

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Iain Gardner, Jason D. Beduhn and Paul Dilley

In Mani at the Court of the Persian Kings the authors explore evidence arising from their project to edit the Chester Beatty Kephalaia codex. This new text presents Mani at the heart of Sasanian Iran in dialogue with its sages and nobles, acting as a cultural mediator between East and West and interpreter of Christian, Iranian, and Indian traditions. Nine chapters study Mani’s appropriation of the ‘law of Zarades’ and of Iranian epic; suggest a new understanding of his last days; and analyse his formative role in the history of late antique religions.

These interdisciplinary studies advance research in several fields and will be of interest to scholars of Manichaeism, Sasanian Iran, and the development of religions in Late Antiquity.

Dionysos in Classical Athens

An Understanding through Images

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Cornelia Isler-Kerényi

Dionysos, with his following of satyrs and women, was a major theme in a big part of the figure painted pottery in 500-300 B.C. Athens. As an original testimonial of their time, the imagery on these vases convey what this god meant to his worshippers. It becomes clear that - contrary to what is usually assumed - he was not only appropriate for wine, wine indulgence, ecstasy and theatre. Rather, he was present in both the public and private sphere on many, both happy and sad, occasions. In addition, the vase painters have emphasized different aspects of Dionysos for their customers inside and outside of Athens, depending on the political and cultural situation.