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  • Author or Editor: Jennifer K. Berenson Maclean x
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Edited by Jennifer K. Berenson Maclean and Ellen Bradshaw Aitken

Philostratus’s On Heroes, only recently available in English translation, is a fictional dialogue set at the tomb of Protesilaos, the first hero to die in the Trojan War. Returning to life, Protesilaos reveals his insights about Homer, the Trojan War, its heroes, and their cults. The author of the Life of Apollonius of Tyana here molds heroic traditions to promote for his own day a renewed Greek cultural and religious outlook. The text’s lively and provocative interaction with Homer’s poems reveals that they are not fixed cultural artifacts but rather malleable symbols of religious and cultural identity. For those interested in religious practices, this text provides vivid and detailed descriptions of the workings of hero cults and explores issues of religious authority and revealed knowledge. With an insightful introduction and notes, an extensive glossary, maps, and topical bibliographies, Maclean and Aitken provide a volume that is indispensable for the study of Homer, heroes, literature, religion, and culture in the Roman Empire and Late Antiquity.

Paperback edition is available from the Society of Biblical Literature (www.sbl-site.org).
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Philostratus’s Heroikos

Religion and Cultural Identity in the Third Century C.E.

Edited by Ellen Bradshaw Aitken and Jennifer K. Berenson Maclean

This multidimensional collection of essays explores the interrelation of religion, cultural identity, politics, literature, myth, and memory during the Roman Empire by focusing on the cultural dynamics embedded in and surrounding Philostratus’s Heroikos, an early third-century C.E. dialogue about Homer and the heroes of the Trojan War. The essays focus on ritual and literary dimensions of hero cult; cultural and community identity reflected in the Heroikos and in early Christianity; and the cultural, literary, and political turn toward heroes in the negotiation of difference, particularly with those outside the Roman Empire. Contributors to this volume include classicists, archaeologists, ancient historians, and scholars of early Christianity: Ellen Bradshaw Aitken, Susan E. Alcock, Hans Dieter Betz, Alain Blomart, Walter Burkert, Casey Dué, Simone Follet, Sidney H. Griffith, Jackson P. Hershbell, Christopher Jones, Jennifer K. Berenson Maclean, Francesca Mestre, Gregory Nagy, Corinne Ondine Pache, Jeffrey Rusten, M. Rahim Shayegan, James C. Skedros, and Tim Whitmarsh.

Paperback edition is available from the Society of Biblical Literature (www.sbl-site.org).