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In the treatise On the Change of Names (part of his magnum opus, the Allegorical Commentary), Philo of Alexandria brings his figurative exegesis of the Abraham cycle to its fruition. Taking a cue from Platonist interpreters of Homer’s Odyssey, Philo reads Moses’s story of Abraham as an account of the soul’s progress and perfection. Responding to contemporary critics, who mocked Genesis 17 as uninspired, Philo finds instead a hidden philosophical reflection on the ineffability of the transcendent God, the transformation of souls which recognize their mortal nothingness, the possibility of human faith enabled by peerless faithfulness of God, and the fruit of moral perfection: joy divine, prefigured in the birth of Isaac.
Proceedings of the Eighteenth International Congress of Neo-Latin Studies (Leuven 2022)
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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 2022, the members of IANLS gathered for a conference in Leuven where 50 years ago the first of these congresses took place.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.
The Memorial and Aesthetic Rediscovery of Constantine’s Beautiful City, from Late Antiquity to the Renaissance
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This book studies the research perspective in which the literary inhabitants of Late Antique and medieval Constantinople remembered its past and conceptualised its existence as a Greek city that was the political capital of a Christian Roman state. Initial reactions to Constantine’s foundation noted its novel Christian orientation, but the memorial mode of writing about the city that developed from the sixth century recollected the traditional civic cultural heritage that Constantinople claimed both as the New Rome, and as the continuation of ancient Byzantion. This research culture increasingly became the preserve of the imperial bureaucracy, and focused on the city’s sculptured monuments as bearers of eschatological meaning. Yet from the tenth century, writers progressively preferred to define the wonder and spectacle of Constantinople in the aesthetic mode of urban praise inherited from late antiquity, developing the notion of the city as a cosmic theatre of excellence.