In Uncovering Jewish Creativity in Book III of the Sibylline oracles, Ashley L. Bacchi reclaims the importance of the Sibyl as a female voice of prophecy and reveals new layers of intertextual references that address political, cultural, and religious dialogue in second-century Ptolemaic Egypt. This investigation stands apart from prior examinations by reorienting the discussion around the desirability of the pseudonym to an issue of gender. It questions the impact of identifying the author’s message with a female prophetic figure and challenges the previous identification of paraphrased Greek oracles and their function within the text. Verses previously seen as anomalous are transferred from the role of Greek subterfuge of Jewish identity to offering nuanced support of monotheistic themes.
Gender, Intertextuality, and Politics
Proceedings of the Seventeenth International Congress of Neo-Latin Studies (Albacete 2018)
Edited by Florian Schaffenrath and María Teresa Santamaría Hernández
Every third year, the members of the International Association for Neo-Latin Studies (IANLS) assemble for a week-long conference. Over the years, this event has evolved into the largest single conference in the field of Neo-Latin studies. The papers presented at these conferences offer, then, a general overview of the current status of Neo-Latin research; its current trends, popular topics, and methodologies. In 2018, the members of IANLS gathered for a conference in Albacete (Spain) on the theme of “Humanity and Nature: Arts and Sciences in Neo-Latin Literature”. This volume presents the conference’s papers which were submitted after the event and which have undergone a peer-review process. The papers deal with a broad range of fields, including literature, history, philology, and religious studies.
Edited by Ralph M. Rosen and Helene P. Foley
The essays in this volume explore the many aspects of the “political” in the plays of Greek comic dramatist Aristophanes (5th century BCE), posing a variety of questions and approaching them through diverse methodological lenses. They demonstrate that “politics” as reflected in Aristophanes’ plays remains a fertile, and even urgent, area of inquiry, as political developments in our own time distinctly color the ways in which we articulate questions about classical Athens. As this volume shows, the earlier scholarship on politics in (or “and”) Aristophanes, which tended to focus on determining Aristophanes’ “actual” political views, has by now given way to approaches far more sensitive to how comic literary texts work and more attentive to the complexities of Athenian political structures and social dynamics. All the studies in this volume grapple to varying degrees with such methodological tensions, and show, that the richer and more diverse our political readings of Aristophanes can become, the less stable and consistent, as befits a comic work, they appear to be.
Responding to a Versatile Muse
Julie Van Peteghem
The Latin poet Ovid continues to fascinate readers today. In Italian Readers of Ovid from the Origins to Petrarch, Julie Van Peteghem examines what drew medieval Italian writers to the Latin poet’s works, characters, and themes. While accounts of Ovid’s influence in Italy often start with Dante’s Divine Comedy, this book shows that mentions of Ovid are found in some of the earliest poems written in Italian, and remain a constant feature of Italian poetry over time. By situating the poetry of the Sicilians, Dante, Cino da Pistoia, and Petrarch within the rich and diverse history of reading, translating, and adapting Ovid’s works, Van Peteghem offers a novel account of the reception of Ovid in thirteenth- and fourteenth-century Italy.
The Greek historian Polybius (2nd century B.C.E.) produced an authoritative history of Rome’s rise to dominance in the Mediterranean that was explicitly designed to convey valuable lessons to future generations. But throughout this history, Polybius repeatedly emphasizes the incomparable value of first-hand, practical experience. In Polybius: Experience and the Lessons of History, Daniel Walker Moore shows how Polybius integrates these two apparently competing concepts in a way that affects not just his educational philosophy but the construction of his historical narrative. The manner in which figures such as Hannibal, Scipio Africanus, or even the Romans as a whole learn and develop over the course of Polybius’ narrative becomes a critical factor in Rome’s ultimate success.
Introduction, Translation, and Commentary
Ellen Birnbaum and John M. Dillon
On the Life of Abraham displays Philo’s philosophical, exegetical, and literary genius at its best. Philo begins by introducing the biblical figures Enos, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as unwritten laws. Then, interweaving literal, ethical, and allegorical interpretations, Philo presents the life and achievements of Abraham, founder of the Jewish nation, in the form of a Greco-Roman bios, or biography. Ellen Birnbaum and John Dillon explain why and how this work is important within the context of Philo’s own oeuvre, early Jewish and Christian exegesis, and ancient philosophy. They also offer a new English translation and detailed analyses, in which they elucidate the meaning of Philo’s thought, including his perplexing notion that Israel’s ancestors were laws in themselves.
Edited by Christa Gray and James Corke-Webster
The Hagiographical Experiment: Developing Discourses of Sainthood throws fresh light on narratives about Christian holy men and women from Late Antiquity to Byzantium. Rather than focusing on the relationship between story and reality, it asks what literary choices authors made in depicting their heroes and heroines: how they positioned the narrator, how they responded to existing texts, how they utilised or transcended genre conventions for their own purposes, and how they sought to relate to their audiences. The literary focus of the chapters assembled here showcases the diversity of hagiographical texts written in Greek, Latin, Coptic, and Syriac, as well as pointing out the ongoing conversations that connect them. By asking these questions of this diverse group of texts, it illuminates the literary development of hagiography in the late antique, Byzantine, and medieval periods.
Introduction, Translation, and Commentary
David Runia and Albert Geljon
The Jewish exegete and philosopher Philo of Alexandria has long been famous for his complex and spiritually rich allegorical treatises on the Greek Bible. The present volume presents first translation and commentary in English on his treatise De plantatione (On planting), following on the volume devoted to On cultivation published previously by the same two authors. Philo gives a virtuoso performance as allegorist, interpreting Noah’s planting of a vineyard in Genesis 9.20 first in theological and cosmological terms, then moving to the spiritual quest of both of advanced souls and those beginning their journey. The translation renders Philo’s baroque Greek into readable modern English. The commentary pays particular attention to the treatise’s structure, its biblical basis and its exegetical and philosophical contents.
Edited by Sophia Papaioannou, Andreas Serafim and Kyriakos N. Demetriou
Persuasion has long been one of the major fields of interest for researchers across a wide range of disciplines. The present volume aims to establish a framework to enhance the understanding of the features, manifestations and purposes of persuasion across all Greek and Roman genres and in various institutional contexts. The volume considers the impact of persuasion techniques upon the audience, and how precisely they help speakers/authors achieve their goals. It also explores the convergences and divergences in deploying persuasion strategies in different genres, such as historiography and oratory, and in a variety of topics. This discussion contributes towards a more complete understanding of persuasion that will help to advance knowledge of decision-making processes in varied institutional contexts in antiquity.
Philosopher en commun, tourner sa pensée vers Dieu
Edited by Lautaro Roig Lanzillotta
Françoise Frazier’s Quelques aspects du platonisme de Plutarque: Philosopher en commun, Tourner sa pensée vers Dieu includes 20 essays on several philosophical tractates in Plutarch’s Moralia. Interesting both for Classists and Historians of Religion alike, the chapters provide an in-depth interpretation of several essential aspects of Plutarch’s philosophical dialogues that pays special heed both to the divine and the communication between God and humans. The book includes three sections. While the first is mainly concerned with Plutarch’s Amatorius, the second focuses on Plutarch’s relationship to Plato, especially in his myths of the afterlife. The third part, finally, deals with an important investigation that occupied Professor Frazier lately, namely the concept of pistis in the religious context of the first centuries CE.