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  • Religion in Antiquity x

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Tzvi Abusch

Among the most important sources for understanding the cultures, religions, and systems of thought of ancient Mesopotamia is the large corpus of magical and medical texts directed against witchcraft. The most important of these texts is the Akkadian series Maqlû (“Burning”).

This volume offers a collection of studies on Mesopotamian witchcraft and Maqlû written subsequent to the appearance of the author’s 2002 collection of studies on witchcraft (Brill, 2002). Many of the studies reprinted here take a diachronic approach to individual incantations and rituals and attempt to solve textual difficulties using literary-critical and/or text-critical approaches.

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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.

Mani and Augustine

Collected Essays on Mani, Manichaeism and Augustine

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Johannes van Oort

Mani and Augustine: collected essays on Mani, Manichaeism and Augustine gathers in one volume contributions on Manichaean scholarship made by the internationally renowned scholar Johannes van Oort. The first part of the book focuses on the Babylonian prophet Mani (216-277) who styled himself an ‘apostle of Jesus Christ’, on Jewish elements in Manichaeism and on ‘human semen eucharist’, eschatology and imagery of Christ as ‘God’s Right Hand’. The second part of the book concentrates on the question to what extent the former ‘auditor’ Augustine became acquainted with Mani’s gnostic world religion and his canonical writings, and explores to what extent Manichaeism had a lasting impact on the most influential church father of the West.

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Thomas E. Hunt

In Jerome of Stridon and the Ethics of Literary Production in Late Antiquity Thomas E. Hunt argues that Jerome developed a consistent theology of language and the human body that inflected all of his writing projects. In doing so, the book challenges and recasts the way that this important figure in Late Antiquity has been understood. This study maps the first seven years of Jerome’s time in Bethlehem (386–393). Treating his commentaries on Paul, his hagiography, his controversy with Jovinian, his correspondence with Augustine, and his translation of Hebrew, the book shows Jerome to be immersed in the exciting and dangerous currents moving through late antique Christianity.

Le ministère sacerdotal dans la tradition syriaque primitive

Aphraate, Ephrem, Jacques de Saroug et Narsaï

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Tanios Bou Mansour

Dans Le ministère sacerdotal dans la tradition syriaque primitive, Tanios Bou Mansour présente une analyse du sacerdoce chrétien chez quatre auteurs syriaques, Aphraate, Éphrem, Jacques et Narsaï, en l’éclairant par le sacerdoce du Christ et en le plaçant dans la continuité du sacerdoce de l’Ancien Testament. L’originalité et l’actualité de nos auteurs résident dans leur conception de l’élection, de la succession apostolique, de traits “sacerdotaux” attribués aux femmes dans la Bible, et surtout du prêtre qui, mandaté par l’Eglise, exécute l’action du Christ et de l’Esprit.

In Le ministère sacerdotal dans la tradition syriaque primitive, Tanios Bou Mansour analyzes the Christian priesthood in four Syriac writers: Aphraate, Ephrem, Jacob of Sarug and Narsaï. Their conception of priesthood is illuminated by the Priesthood of Christ and contextualized within the continuity of the priesthood of the Old Testament. These authors’ originality and actuality lies in their conception of election, of apostolic succession, of “sacerdotal” traits attributed to women in the Bible, and especially of the priest who, commissioned by the Church, executes the action of the Christ and the Spirit.

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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.

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Edited by John F. Finamore, Christina-Panagiota Manolea and Sarah Klitenic Wear

Studies in Hermias’ Commentary on Plato’s Phaedrus is a collection of twelve essays that consider aspects of Hermias’ philosophy, including his notions of the soul, logic, and method of exegesis. The essays also consider Hermias’ work in the tradition of Neoplatonism, particularly in relation to the thought of Iamblichus and Proclus. The collection grapples with the question of the originality of Hermias’ commentary—the only extant work of Hermias—which is a series of lectures notes of his teacher, Syrianus.

Vision, Narrative, and Wisdom in the Aramaic Texts from Qumran

Essays from the Copenhagen Symposium, 14-15 August, 2017

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Edited by Mette Bundvad and Kasper Siegismund

The Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls from Qumran have attracted increasing interest in recent years. These texts predate the “sectarian” Dead Sea scrolls, and they are contemporary with the youngest parts of the Hebrew Bible. They offer a unique glimpse into the situation before the biblical canons were closed. Their highly creative Jewish authors reshaped and rewrote biblical traditions to cope with the concerns of their own time. The essays in this volume examine this fascinating ancient literature from a variety of different perspectives. The book grew out of an international symposium held at the University of Copenhagen in August 2017.

Quodvultdeus: a Bishop Forming Christians in Vandal Africa

A Contextual Analysis of the Pre-baptismal Sermons attributed to Quodvultdeus of Carthage

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David Vopřada

In Quodvultdeus: a Bishop Forming Christians in Vandal Africa, David Vopřada presents the pre-baptismal catecheses of the fifth-century bishop of Carthage, delivered to the new believers in extremely difficult period of barbaric incursions. Quodvultdeus is generally not appraised as an original philosopher or theologian as his master Augustine was, in this book his qualities of a bishop who was entrusted with the care of his flock come forward. Making interdisciplinary use of the ancient and ecclesiastical history, philosophy, theology, archaeology, exegesis, liturgy science, homiletics, and rhetorics, the book offers a new and most innovative contribution to the life, work, and theology of Quodvultdeus.