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Gerald Lalonde

With Athena Itonia: Geography and Meaning of an Ancient Greek War GoddessGerald V. Lalonde offers the first comprehensive history of the martial cult of Athena Itonia, from its origins in Greek prehistory to its demise in the Roman imperial age. The Itonian goddess appears first among the Thessalians and eventually as the patron deity of their famed cavalry. Archaic poets attest to "Athena, warrior goddess" and her festival games at the Itoneion near Boiotian Koroneia. The cult also came south to Athens, probably with the mounted Thessalian allies of Peisistratos. Hellenistic decrees from Amorgos tell of elaborate festival sacrifices to Athena Itonia, likely supplications for protection of the islanders and their maritime trade when piracy plagued the Cyclades after collapse of the Greek naval forces that policed the Aegean Sea. This will be an indispensable volume for all interested in the social, political, and military uses of ancient Greek religious cult and the geography, chronology, and circumstances of its propagation among Greek poleis and federations.

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Laurent Bricault

In Isis Pelagia: Images, Names and Cults of a Goddess of the Seas, Laurent Bricault, one of the principal scholars of the cults of Isis, presents a new interpretation of the multiple sources that present Isis as a goddess of the seas. Bricault discusses a wealth of relatively unknown archaeological and textual data, drawing on a profound knowledge of their historical context.

After decades of scholarly study, Bricault offers an important contribution and a new phase in the debate on understanding the “diffusion” as well as the “reception” of the cults of Isis in the Graeco-Roman world. This book, the first English-language monograph by the leading French scholar in the field, underlines the importance of Isis Studies for broader debates in the study of ancient religion.

Religion in Ephesos Reconsidered

Archaeology of Spaces, Structures, and Objects

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Edited by Daniel Schowalter, Sabine Ladstätter, Steven J. Friesen and Christine Thomas

Religion in Ephesos Reconsidered provides a detailed overview of the current state of research on the most important Ephesian projects offering evidence for religious activity during the Roman period. Ranging from huge temple complexes to hand-held figurines, this book surveys a broad scope of materials. Careful reading of texts and inscriptions is combined with cutting-edge archaeological and architectural analysis to illustrate how the ancient people of Ephesos worshipped both the traditional deities and the new gods that came into their purview. Overall, the volume questions traditional understandings of material culture in Ephesos, and demonstrates that the views of the city and its inhabitants on religion were more complex and diverse than has been previously assumed.

A King and a Fool?

The Succession Narrative as a Satire

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Virginia Miller

In A King and a Fool? The Succession Narrative as a Satire Virginia Miller applies a new version of Douglas Muecke’s taxonomy of irony to the Succession Narrative. She argues that the narrative in 2 Samuel and 1 Kings has the essential feature of satire, namely, a pervasive sense of pejoratively critical irony. By her account, King David is the object of ironic attack, and therefore, an object of condemnation. Given that the primary purpose of satire is reform, Miller claims that the purpose of the Succession Narrative is a call for reform in the leadership of Israel.

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Edited by Claudia D. Bergmann and Benedikt Kranemann

Ritual Dynamics in Jewish and Christian Contexts investigates questions that arise in modern ritual studies concerning Jewish and Christian religious communities: How did their religious rituals develop? Where did different ritual communities and their ritual texts interact? How did religious communities and their authoritative texts respond to change, and how did change influence religious rituals? The volume is a product of the interdisciplinary and international research efforts taken by the Research Centre “Dynamics of Jewish Ritual Practices in Pluralistic Contexts from Antiquity to the Present” at the Universität Erfurt (Germany) and unites the voices of important senior and emerging scholars in the field. It focuses on antiquity and the medieval period but also considers examples from the early modern and modern period in Europe

Das Konzil von Chalcedon und die Kirche

Konflikte und Normierungsprozesse im 5. und 6. Jahrhundert

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Sandra Leuenberger-Wenger

In Das Konzil von Chalcedon und die Kirche Sandra Leuenberger-Wenger offers a new perspective on the council of Chalcedon, analyzing the rich material of its acts. Leuenberger-Wenger shows the entanglement of the Christological debate with other fields of conflict concerning the status and authority of different episcopal sees and of monasticism in the church. The study emphasizes the importance of the traditionally neglected second part of the council with its canons and resolutions and argues that these regulations had a deep impact on the structures of the church as well as on the reception of the council and its definition of faith. The evaluation of a wide range of sources places the refusal of the definition of faith in the broader context of the transformation processes of the Roman Empire in Late Antiquity and the rejection of an increasingly institutionalized Byzantine Church.

In Das Konzil von Chalcedon und die Kirche entwirft Sandra Leuenberger-Wenger anhand der Konzilsakten ein neues Bild von der Bedeutung dieses Konzils für die Kirche. Sie zeigt die Verknüpfung des christologischen Streits mit weiteren kirchlichen Konfliktfeldern wie dem Status und der Autorität einzelner Bischofssitze und des Mönchtums. Die Untersuchung betont die Bedeutung des zweiten Konzilsteils für die Entwicklung der Kirche und macht deutlich, wie die Regulierungen auf kirchenpolitischer und struktureller Ebene die Rezeption des Konzils entscheidend mitbestimmten. Die Auswertung eines breiten Quellenmaterials verortet das Konzil und seine schwierige Rezeption in den spätantiken Transformationsprozessen des Römischen Reichs im Übergang zum Mittelalter und deutet die Konflikte um die Glaubensdefinition im Horizont der umfassenderen Ablehnung einer zunehmend institutionalisierten byzantinischen Reichskirche.

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Edited by Dr. Benedikt Eckhardt

In Private Associations and Jewish Communities in the Hellenistic and Roman Cities, Benedikt Eckhardt brings together a group of experts to investigate a problem of historical categorization. Traditionally, scholars have either presupposed that Jewish groups were “Greco-Roman Associations” like others or have treated them in isolation from other groups. Attempts to begin a cross-disciplinary dialogue about the presuppositions and ultimate aims of the respective approaches have shown that much preliminary work on categories is necessary. This book explores the methodological dividing lines, based on the common-sense assumption that different questions require different solutions. Re-introducing historical differentiation into a field that has been dominated by abstractions, it provides the debate with a new foundation. Case studies highlight the problems and advantages of different approaches.

Sōtēria: Salvation in Early Christianity and Antiquity

Festschrift in Honour of Cilliers Breytenbach on the Occasion of his 65th Birthday

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Edited by David du Toit, Christine Gerber and Christiane Zimmermann

In Sōtēria: Salvation in Early Christianity and Antiquity, an international team of scholars assembles to honour the distinguished academic career of New Testament scholar Cilliers Breytenbach. Colleagues and friends consider in which manner concepts of salvation were constructed in early Christianity and its Jewish and Graeco-Roman contexts. Studies on aspects of soteriology in the New Testament writings, such as in the narratives on Jesus’ life and work, and theological interpretations of his life and death in the epistolary literature, are supplemented by studies on salvation in the Apostolic Fathers, Marcion, early Christian inscriptions and Antiochian theology. The volume starts with some exemplary studies on salvation in the Hebrew Bible, the Dead Sea scrolls, the Septuagint, and popular Graeco-Roman literature and philosophy. Furthermore, some contributions shed light on the ancient cultural background of early Christian soteriological concepts.

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Jonathan E Soyars

In The Shepherd of Hermas and the Pauline Legacy, Jonathan E. Soyars traces the influence of Pauline literary traditions upon one of the most widely attested and influential apocalyptic texts from early Christianity. Scholarship largely considers Hermas to have known very little about Pauline letters, but by looking beyond verbatim quotations Soyars discovers extensive evidence of his adoption, adaptation, and synthesis of identifiable Pauline material in the Visions, Mandates, and Similitudes sections. Hermas emerges as a Pauline interpreter who creatively engages topics and themes developed within and across the Pauline letters through time. These results reconnect the Shepherd with early Paulinism and extend reconstructions of the sphere of Pauline influence in the second century C.E.

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Edited by David Frankfurter

In the midst of academic debates about the utility of the term “magic” and the cultural meaning of ancient words like mageia or khesheph, this Guide to the Study of Ancient Magic seeks to advance the discussion by separating out three topics essential to the very idea of magic. The three major sections of this volume address (1) indigenous terminologies for ambiguous or illicit ritual in antiquity; (2) the ancient texts, manuals, and artifacts commonly designated “magical” or used to represent ancient magic; and (3) a series of contexts, from the written word to materiality itself, to which the term “magic” might usefully pertain.

The individual essays in this volume cover most of Mediterranean and Near Eastern antiquity, with essays by both established and emergent scholars of ancient religions.

In a burgeoning field of “magic studies” trying both to preserve and to justify critically the category itself, this volume brings new clarity and provocative insights. This will be an indispensable resource to all interested in magic in the Bible and the Ancient Near East, ancient Greece and Rome, Early Christianity and Judaism, Egypt through the Christian period, and also comparative and critical theory.