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The Nile Mosaic of Palestrina

Early Evidence of Egyptian Religion in Italy

Paul G.P. Meyboom

The famous Nile Mosaic of Palestrina, ancient Praeneste in central Italy, dating to c. 100 B.C., is one of the earliest large mosaics which have been preserved from the classical world. It presents a unique, comprehensive picture of Egypt and Nubia. The interpretation of the mosaic is disputed, suggestions ranging from an exotic decoration to a topographical picture or a religious allegory.
The present study demonstrates that the mosaic depicts rituals connected with Isis and Osiris and the yearly Nile flood. The presence of these Egyptian religious scenes at Praeneste can be explained by the assimilation of isis and Fortuna, the tutelary goddess of Praeneste, and by the interpretation of the mosaic as a symbol of divine providence.

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Edited by William Wians and Gary Gurtler

This volume, the thirty-second year of published proceedings, contains five papers and commentaries presented to the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy during the academic year 2015-16. Paper topics include: Stoic constitution of bodies through blending as causal; the failure to distinguish divine and human eros in the Phaedrus; perception in the Republic’s tripartite soul, recognizing autonomy in the non-rational parts; Stoic identity, peculiar qualities and the role of the pneuma, and an alternative read of Plato’s politics that pairs his philosophical theory and historical events, the Republic as reconstruction of Socrates’ defense in the Apology and the Laws as a reconstruction of Plato’s idea of political reform in the Seventh Letter.

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Edited by Gary Gurtler and William Wians

This volume, the thirty-third year of published proceedings, contains four papers and commentaries presented to the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy during academic year 2016-17. Paper topics include: a liar’s paradox in Parmenides’ Poem centered on the role of the goddess; Aristotelian logic as rooted in natural things, not mental entities, in Posterior Analytics; authorial freedom in Aristotle’s Poetics rooted in the ‘likely and necessary’; Callicles’ attack on philosophy as taking away one’s substance and Socrates’ concurrence to preserve its pursuit of truth and the good in Plato’s Gorgias. The comments do their work in challenging some of these claims and supporting others.

Contributors are Lloyd W. J. Aultman-Moore, Rose Cherubin, Shane Ewegen, Joseph M. Forte, Owen Goldin, Edward C. Halper, Jean-Marc Narbonne and Yale Weiss.

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Edited by William Wians and Gary Gurtler

This volume, the thirty-first year of published proceedings, contains five papers and commentaries presented to the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy during academic year 2014-15. Paper topics include: the volatility of ἔρως in the Symposium as not self-directed to good or bad; the ‘analytical’ reading of the tripartite soul as autonomous sub-agents and whether it resembles neuroscience; holiness in the Euthyphro as misconstrued by the difficulty translating finite passives and passive participles in English; evil in Proclus as an indefinite nature redefined by privation, subcontrary and parypostasis, contrary to Plotinus’ identification of matter and evil; Plato’s literary reworking of the encounter of Odysseus with the Cyclops in the Sophist and of his struggle with the suitors in the Statesman.