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The Exemplary Hercules explores the reception of the ancient Greek hero Herakles – the Roman Hercules – in European culture from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment and beyond. Each chapter considers a particular work or theme in detail, raising questions about the hero’s role as model of the princely ruler, and examining how the worthiness of this exemplary type came, in time, to be subverted. The volume is one of four to be published in the Metaforms series examining the extraordinarily persistent figuring of Herakles-Hercules in western culture up to the present day, drawing together scholars from a range of disciplines to offer a unique insight into the hero’s perennial, but changingly problematic, appeal.
Written by an international cast of experts, The Materiality of Text showcases a wide range of innovative methodologies from ancient history, literary studies, epigraphy, and art history and provides a multi-disciplinary perspective on the physicality of writing in antiquity. The contributions focus on epigraphic texts in order to gauge questions of their placement, presence, and perception: starting with an analysis of the forms of writing and its perception as an act of physical and cultural intervention, the volume moves on to consider the texts’ ubiquity and strategic positioning within epigraphic, literary, and architectural spaces. The contributors rethink modern assumptions about the processes of writing and reading and establish novel ways of thinking about the physical forms of ancient texts.
The study of Piero di Cosimo belongs no less to the history of the imagination than to the history of art. As was true for Giorgio Vasari five centuries ago, Piero’s intensely personal visual language remains a moving target for modern scholars. Yet, as surprising and strange as his pictorial solutions appear, we have never known as much about Piero as we do today. Freed from the powerful spell of Vasari’s biography-cum-cautionary tale, the Piero that emerges is not solely a conjurer of the uncanny, but a sensitive observer of the emotions, the natural and manmade worlds, humans and beasts, surfaces and coloristic effects, phenomena material and ephemeral.
The conference from which the thirteen essays in this volume spring provided a forum for international scholars to continue the ongoing conversation and to ask new questions. The latter address Piero’s relationship to his artistic contemporaries, north and south of the Alps; the master’s Marian imagery; his intellectual engagement with classical traditions; the dual themes of naturalism and exoticism; and the latest technical findings. Topics of investigation thus range as broadly as Piero’s own versatile production, uniting diverse fields and methods, traversing regional boundaries, and often venturing far beyond Florence’s city walls, into the wild.

Contributors are Ianthi Assimakopoulou, Marina Belozerskaya, Jean Cadogan, Elena Capretti, Alessandra Galizzi Kroegel, Dennis Geronimus, Guy Hedreen, Sarah Blake McHam, Anna Teresa Monti, Paula Nuttall, Roberta J.M. Olson, Lesley Stevenson, Lisa Venerosi Pesciolini, and Elizabeth Walmsley.
Reading Religious Subjects in Medieval and Renaissance Spain
The last decade has witnessed a striking upsurge of interest in Iberian hagiography. In painting and the fine arts through to poetic and narrative treatments composed in Castilian and Catalan, the legacies of Christ, Mary, and the saints have been approached from a range of perspectives and subjected to detailed critical scrutiny. This book, which focuses specifically on the application of theoretical and methodological approaches to analysis, asks what scholars of early Iberian hagiography can bring to the analysis of the sacred past and how the study of the discipline can be taken forward innovatively in the future. Its fourteen essays, each focusing on a different aspect of composition, seek in particular to explore interdisciplinary methodologies and the ways in which they intersect with broader discourses in other branches of research.

Contributors are Carme Arronis Llopis, Fernando Baños Vallejo, Andrew M. Beresford, Sarah Jane Boss, Sarah V. Buxton, Marinela Garcia Sempere, Ryan D. Giles, Ariel Guiance, Lluís Ramon i Ferrer, Rebeca Sanmartín Bastida, Connie L. Scarborough, and Lesley K. Twomey.