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Epistolary Literature, Circulation, and The Gospels for All Christians
Author: David Smith
In The Epistles for All Christians, David Smith argues that epistolary literature offers analogous evidence of circulation to the Gospels. Since Richard Bauckham’s edited volume The Gospels for All Christians was published in 1998, debate over the validity of the contributors’ claims that the Gospels were written for “all Christians” has revolved around interpretation. Smith brings circulation to bear on the conversation.
Studying ancient media practices of publication and circulation and using social network theory, Smith makes a compelling case that if the evangelists did not expect their texts to circulate they would be atypical.
This volume is part of the Berlin Topoi project re-examing the early Christian history of Asia Minor, Greece and the South Balkans, and is concerned with the emergence of Christianity in Asia Minor and in Cyprus. Five essays focus on the east Anatolian provinces, including a comprehensive evaluation of early Christianity in Cappadocia, a comparative study of the Christian poetry of Gregory of Nazianzus and his anonymous epigraphic contemporaries and three essays which pay special attention to the hagiography of Cappadocia and Armenia Minor. The remaining essays include a new analysis of the role of Constantinople in episcopal elections across Asia Minor, a detailed appraisal of the archaeological evidence from Sagalassus in Pisidia, a discussion of the significance of inscriptions in Carian sanctuaries through late antiquity, and a survey of Christian inscriptions from Cyprus.
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.
Visualisation, Data Mining, Communication
Ancient Manuscripts in Digital Culture presents an overview of the digital turn in Ancient Jewish and Christian manuscripts visualisation, data mining and communication. Edited by David Hamidović, Claire Clivaz and Sarah Bowen Savant, it gathers together the contributions of seventeen scholars involved in Biblical, Early Jewish and Christian studies. The volume attests to the spreading of digital humanities in these fields and presents fundamental analysis of the rise of visual culture as well as specific test-cases concerning ancient manuscripts. Sophisticated visualisation tools, stylometric analysis, teaching and visual data, epigraphy and visualisation belong notably to the varied overview presented in the volume.
Author: Cambry Pardee
In Scribal Harmonization Cambry G. Pardee examines the earliest Greek manuscripts of the Synoptic Gospels for evidence that scribes altered the text of the Gospels—either deliberately or inadvertently—in ways that eliminated discrepancies between them. The phenomenon of harmonization demonstrates that a scribe’s memories of previous experiences with gospel traditions could have a powerful effect on the manuscripts that they produced. This book assembles for the first time a catalogue of harmonizing variants from every manuscript of Matthew, Mark, and Luke from the fourth century and earlier. Far from reducing the unique voices of the individual evangelists to a single melody, the earliest scribes contributed new tones, innovative strains, and fascinating harmonies to the four-fold gospel tradition.
Sortilege—the making of decisions by casting lots—was widely practiced in the Mediterranean world during the period known as late antiquity, between the third and eighth centuries CE. In My Lots are in Thy Hands: Sortilege and its Practitioners in Late Antiquity, AnneMarie Luijendijk and William Klingshirn have collected fourteen essays that examine late antique lot divination, especially but not exclusively through texts preserved in Greek, Latin, Coptic, and Syriac. Employing the overlapping perspectives of religious studies, classics, anthropology, economics, and history, contributors study a variety of topics, including the hermeneutics and operations of divinatory texts, the importance of diviners and their instruments, and the place of faith and doubt in the search for hidden order in a seemingly random world.
This book explores how early Christian communities constructed, developed, and asserted their identity and authority in various socio-cultural contexts in Asia Minor and Greece in the first five centuries CE. With the help of the database Inscriptiones Christianae Graecae ( ICG), special attention is given to ancient inscriptions which represent a rich and valuable source of information on the early Christians’ social and religious identity, family networks, authority structures, and place and function in society. This collection of essays by various specialists of Early Christianity, Epigraphy, and Late Antiquity, offers a broad geographical survey of the expansion and socio-cultural development of Christianity/ies in Asia Minor and Greece, and sheds new light on the religious transformation of the Later Roman Empire.
A Study and Die Classification of the Earliest Coins of Galilee
The Coinage of Herod Antipas provides a comprehensive, multifaceted and up-to-date re-examination of the coins of Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee and Peraea between 4/3 BCE and 39/40 CE. Kogon and Fontanille classify about 800 coins by obverse and reverse dies. From this die classification they generate, for the first time ever for this tetrarch, about 300 composite die images. In addition, the authors examine both technical aspects of the coins (e.g. metrology, mint output) and non-technical aspects (e.g. inscriptions, iconography). They also review the geographic distribution of provenanced coins. Through this analysis of the coins of Herod Antipas, Kogon and Fontanille provide a greater understanding of the Sitz im Leben of first century Galilee.
This work gives a detailed survey of the rise and expansion of Christianity in ancient Lycaonia and adjacent areas, from Paul the apostle until the late 4th-century bishop of Iconium, Amphilochius. It is essentially based on hundreds of funerary inscriptions from Lycaonia, but takes into account all available literary evidence. It maps the expansion of Christianity in the region and describes the practice of name-giving among Christians, their household and family structures, occupations, and use of verse inscriptions. It gives special attention to forms of charity, the reception of biblical tradition, the authority and leadership of the clergy, popular theology and forms of ascetic Christianity in Lycaonia.
In Pesher and Hypomnema Pieter B. Hartog compares ancient Jewish commentaries on the Hebrew Bible with papyrus commentaries on the Iliad. Hartog shows that members of the movement which produced and preserved the Dead Sea Scrolls adopted classical commentary writing and adapted it to their own needs.
The connection between the Qumran Pesharim and Hypomnemata on the Iliad resulted from exchanges of scholarly knowledge across Hellenistic-Roman Egypt and Palestine. Analysing the effects of these knowledge exchanges, Pesher and Hypomnema demonstrates that members of the Qumran movement were thoroughly embedded within their Hellenistic and Roman environment.