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Riemer Faber

Abstract

In the ongoing debate concerning the performability of Senecan tragedy, the plays tend to be studied as either literature or drama. One consequence of this artificial distinction is that set passages such as descriptiones loci appear to support the view that Seneca's plays were intended for public reading, as 'recitation drama'. By means of a close examination of the messenger's description of the palace of Atreus (Thyestes 641-82) in the context of the play as whole, this article suggests that the description functions as a structural device that provides unity to the text of the play.

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The Argumentum as Paratext

Editorial Strategies in the Novum Testamentum

Riemer A. Faber

In the 1519 edition of the Novum Testamentum Erasmus replaced the traditional Marcionite Argumenta which prefaced each of the Pauline Epistles in the Novum Instrumentum of 1516 with newly composed Argumenta of his own. This article explores the function of these prefaces within the broader context of Erasmus’ program of biblical scholarship. Broaching the topics of authorship, literary style, theological content, and devotional application which are more fully worked out in the Annotations, Paraphrases, and Ratio verae theologiae, the Argumenta express in miniature Erasmus’ objectives as an editor of the Bible.

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Riemer A. Faber

Abstract

Between 1520 and 1530 Desiderius Erasmus published several treatises on education in which he provides practical advice about subjects worthy of study and the ideological assumptions which support it. Drawing special attention to his understanding of the natural capabilities of humanity, this article seeks to illustrate the relation between one of Erasmus's theological premises and his promotion of classical culture. During the same period Martin Luther wrote three influential educational tracts and also engaged Erasmus in a debate over the freedom of the will, which forced both the Christian humanist and the Wittenberg reformer to express clearly their understandings of humanity in its natural state. A comparison of their divergent theological positions reveals a fundamental difference in their views of education and its value. Whereas Erasmus justifies the study of ancient secular authors by means of his positive notion of humanitas, Luther subordinates education to the theological rediscoveries of the Wittenberg reformation. The article concludes that further comparative studies of various theological presuppositions and the educational programs they support will advance the understanding of the connections between the ideals and the realities of schooling in sixteenth-century Europe.