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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.
Providence, Dualism, and Will in Later Greek and Early Christian Philosophy
Author: Dylan M. Burns
Is God involved? Why do bad things happen to good people? What is up to us? These questions were explored in Mediterranean antiquity with reference to ‘providence’ ( pronoia). In Did God Care? Dylan Burns offers the first comprehensive survey of providence in ancient philosophy that brings together the most important Greek, Latin, Coptic, and Syriac sources, from Plato to Plotinus and the Gnostics.

Burns demonstrates how the philosophical problems encompassed by providence transformed in the first centuries CE, yielding influential notions about divine care, evil, creation, omniscience, fate, and free will that remain with us today. These transformations were not independent developments of ‘Pagan philosophy’ and ‘Christian theology,’ but include fruits of mutually influential engagement between Hellenic and Christian philosophers.
Author: Justin Allison
In Saving One Another: Philodemus and Paul on Moral Formation in Community Justin Reid Allison compares how the Epicurean philosopher Philodemus and the Christian apostle Paul envisioned the members of their communities helping one another to grow into moral maturity. Allison establishes that Philodemus and Paul are more similar than previously noticed in their conception and practice of moral formation in community, and that these similarities offer a critical opportunity to consider important differences between the two as well. By deepening the comparison to include differences alongside similarities, and to include theological and socio-economic facets of communal moral formation, Allison shows that Philodemus and Paul uniquely shed fresh light on one another’s texts when understood in comparative perspective.
Different Perspectives on a Developing Field
Framing Classical Reception Studies contains a representative number of analytic and synthetic contributions by scholars from diverse parts of the field of Classical Reception Studies. Together, they afford a synoptic view and typology of an extremely large and continuously diversifying discipline. Attentive to questions such as what, by whom, in what contexts and to what ends Classics have functioned and are functioning in our culture, all contributors ask themselves from what conceptual or disciplinary frame they approach the reception of the cultures of classical Greek and Roman antiquity. Within this questioning format, the book also contains suggestions for future agendas of research, and forcefully argues for the political, cultural and cognitive relevance of classical receptions in the Academy.
Editors: James Ker and Antje Wessels
In ancient Greece and Rome, nighttime encompassed a distinctive array of cultural values that went far beyond the inversion of daytime. Night was a mythological figure, a locus of specialized knowledge, a socially significant semantic space in various literary genres, and a setting for unique experiences. These facets of night are explored here through fifteen case-studies, that range from Hesiod to imperial Roman painting and cultural history. The contributors took part in a conference on this theme at the University of Pennsylvania in 2018, where they pursued a common goal: to consider how nighttime was employed in the ascription of specific values—in determining what values a thing or a person might have, or lack, in a nocturnal context.
In Pilgrimage and Economy in the Ancient Mediterranean, Anna Collar and Troels Myrup Kristensen bring together diverse scholarship to explore the socioeconomic dynamics of ancient Mediterranean pilgrimage from archaic Greece to Late Antiquity, the Greek mainland to Egypt and the Near East. This broad chronological and geographical canvas demonstrates how our modern concepts of religion and economy were entangled in the ancient world. By taking material culture as a starting point, the volume examines the ways that landscapes, architecture, and objects shaped the pilgrim’s experiences, and the manifold ways in which economy, belief and ritual behaviour intertwined, specifically through the processes and practices that were part of ancient Mediterranean pilgrimage over the course of more than 1,500 years.
An Edition of the Reconstructed Text of the Placita with a Commentary and a Collection of Related Texts
Editors: Jaap Mansfeld and David Runia
A new reconstruction and text of the Placita of Aëtius (ca. 50 CE), accompanied by a full commentary and an extensive collection of related texts. This compendium, arguably the most important doxographical text to survive from antiquity, is known through the intensive use made of it by authors in later antiquity and beyond. Covering the entire field of natural philosophy, it has long been mined as a source of information about ancient philosophers and their views. It now receives a thorough analysis as a remarkable work in its own right. This volume is the culmination of a five-volume set of studies on Aëtius (1996–2020): Aëtiana I (ISBN: 9789004105805, 1996), II (Parts 1&2; set ISBN 9789004172067; 2008), III (ISBN 9789004180413; 2009), IV (ISBN: 9789004361454, 2018), and V (Parts 1-4). It uses an innovative methodology to replace the seminal edition of Hermann Diels (1879).