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Pain and Pleasure in Classical Times attempts to blaze a trail for the cross-disciplinary humanistic study of pain and pleasure, with literature scholars, historians and philosophers all setting out to understand how the Greeks and Romans experienced, managed and reasoned about the sensations and experiences they felt as painful or pleasurable. The book is intended to provoke discussion of a wide range of problems in the cultural history of antiquity. It addresses both the physicality of erôs and illness, and physiological and philosophical doctrines, especially hedonism and anti-hedonism in their various forms. Fine points of terminology (Greek is predictably rich in this area) receive careful attention. Authors in question run from Homer to (among others) the Hippocratics, Plato, Aristotle, Lucretius, Seneca, Plutarch, Galen and the Aristotle-commentator Alexander of Aphrodisias.
Moses Finley (1912-1986) was one of the most widely read scholarly historians and journalists of his age, having grown famous with The World of Odysseus; and he exercised a transformative influence on the study of the history of Greek and Roman antiquity. In this centenary volume distinguished ancient historians and Americanists analyse Finley’s political and intellectual evolution, and attempt to understand the paradoxes of the young leftist and victim of McCarthyism whose work owes more to Weber than to Marx and of the young Jewish scholar (Moses Finkelstein) who distanced himself from Jewishness.
The history of healthcare in the classical world suffers from notable neglect in one crucial area. While scholars have intensively studied both the rationalistic medicine that is conveyed in the canonical texts and also the ‘temple medicine’ of Asclepius and other gods, they have largely neglected to study popular medicine in a systematic fashion. This volume, which for the most part is the fruit of a conference held at Columbia University in 2014, aims to help correct this imbalance. Using the full range of available evidence - archaeological, epigraphical and papyrological, as well as the literary texts - the international cast of contributors hopes to show what real people in Antiquity actually did when they tried to avert illness or cure it.
Scientists, historians and archaeologists are at last beginning to collaborate seriously on studies of the long-term history of the environment. The fruit of an international conference held in Rome in 2011, The Ancient Mediterranean Environment between Science and History brings together scientists and scholars who are interested in the interaction of their several disciplines as well as in specific problems such as the effects of climate change and other environmental factors on historical developments and events, the sources of the energy and fuel used in ancient civilizations, and the effects of humans on the lands around the Mediterranean. The collection balances broad Mediterranean-wide studies and tightly focused studies of particular regions in Italy and Jordan.
The historians, classicists and psychiatrists who have come together to produce Mental Disorders in the Classical World aim to explain how the Greeks and their Roman successors conceptualized, diagnosed and treated mental disorders. The Greeks initiated the secular understanding of mental illness, and have left us a large body of penetrating and thought-provoking writing on the subject, ranging in time from Homer to the sixth century AD. With the conceptual basis of modern psychiatry once again under intense debate, we need to learn from other rational approaches even when they lack modern scientific underpinnings. Meanwhile this volume adds a rich chapter to the cultural and medical history of antiquity. The contributors include a high proportion of the best-regarded scholars in this field, together with papers by some of its rising stars.
The Spread of Christianity in the First Four Centuries: Essays in Explanation attempts to show how contemporary historical scholarship, or rather a selection of its exponents, views the perennial question why a new religion, indeed a new kind of religion, succeeded in subverting the other religions of the Roman Empire in the first three centuries and in the generations immediately following the ‘conversion’ of the usurper Constantine in 312.
In: Forms of Control and Subordination in Antiquity
Wealthy, conceited, hypochondriac (or perhaps just an invalid), obsessively religious, the orator Aelius Aristides (117 to about 180) is not the most attractive figure of his age, but because he is one of the best-known -- and he is intimately known, thanks to his Sacred Tales -- his works are a vital source for the cultural and religious and political history of Greece under the Roman Empire. The papers gathered here, the fruit of a conference held at Columbia in 2007, form the most intense study of Aristides and his context to have been published since the classic work of Charles Behr forty years ago.
As one of the greatest cities of antiquity, Alexandria has always been a severe challenge to its historians, all the more so because the surviving evidence, material and textual, is so disparate. New archaeological and literary discoveries and the startling diversity of ancient Alexandria (so reminiscent of some modern cities) add to the interest. The present volume contains the papers given at a conference at Columbia University in 2002 which attempted to lay some of the foundations for a new history of Alexandria by considering, in particular, its position between the traditions and life of Egypt on the one hand, and on the other the immigrants who came there from Greece and elsewhere in the wake of the founder Alexander of Macedon.