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Greek Writers and Philosophers in Philo and Josephus

A Study of Their Secular Education and Educational Ideals

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Erkki Koskenniemi

In Greek Writers and Philosophers in Philo and Josephus Erkki Koskenniemi investigates how two Jewish writers, Philo and Josephus, quoted, mentioned and referred to Greek writers and philosophers. He asks what this tells us about their Greek education, their contacts with Classical culture in general, and about the societies in which Philo and Josephus lived. Although Philo in Alexandria and Josephus in Jerusalem both had the possibility to acquire a thorough knowledge of Greek language and culture, they show very different attitudes. Philo, who was probably educated in the gymnasium, often and enthusiastically refers to Greek poets and philosophers. Josephus on the other hand rarely quotes from their works, giving evidence of a more traditionalistic tendencies among Jewish nobility in Jerusalem.
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Margalit Finkelberg

In The Gatekeeper: Narrative Voice in Plato’s Dialogues Margalit Finkelberg offers the first narratological analysis of all of Plato’s transmitted dialogues. The book explores the dialogues as works of literary fiction, giving special emphasis to such topics as narrative levels, focalization, narrative frame, and metalepsis.


The main conclusion of the book is that in Plato the plurality of the speakers’ opinions is not accompanied by a plurality of points of view. Only one perspective is available, that of the narrator. Contrary to the widespread view, Plato’s dialogues cannot be considered multivocal, or “dialogic” in Bakhtin’s sense. By skillful use of narrative voice, Plato unobtrusively regulates the readers’ reception and response. The narrator is the dialogue’s gatekeeper, a filter whose main function is to control how the dialogue is received by the reader by sustaining a certain perspective of it.
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Edited by David Frankfurter

This volume advances the study of ancient magic through separate discussions of ancient terminologies for ambiguous or illicit ritual like mageia or khesheph, the ancient texts and artifacts commonly designated as magical, such as PGM, and contexts in which the term ‘magic’ may be used in a descriptive way, as in ‘the magic of the written word’.

Beginning with an overview of problems posed by the term ‘magic’, the volume is organized in three sections covering most of Mediterranean and Near Eastern antiquity, with essays by both renowned and emergent scholars of ancient religions.

In a burgeoning field of magic studies trying to negotiate critical discussions of the category, this volume brings new clarity to the field. This will be an indispensable resource to all interested in magic in the Bible and the Ancient Near East, ancient Greece and Rome, Early Christianity and Judaism, Egypt through the Christian period, and also comparative and critical theory.
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H.A.G. Houghton, Christina M. Kreinecker, R.F MacLachlan and C.J Smith

The earliest Latin versions of the writings of the New Testament offer important insights into the oldest forms of the biblical text, the use of language in the ancient Church and the foundations from which Christian theology developed in the West. This volume presents a collation of Old Latin evidence for the four principal Pauline Epistles (Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians and Galatians). The sources comprise twenty-six Vetus Latina manuscripts, ten commentaries written between the fourth and sixth centuries and four early testimonia collections. Their text differs in many ways from the standard Vulgate version. Created using innovative digital editing tools, this collation makes this valuable data available for the first time and is complemented by full electronic transcriptions online.
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Hamish Cameron

In Making Mesopotamia: Geography and Empire in a Romano-Iranian Borderland, Hamish Cameron examines the representation of the Mesopotamian Borderland in the geographical writing of Strabo, Pliny the Elder, Claudius Ptolemy, the anonymous Expositio Totius Mundi, and Ammianus Marcellinus. This inter-imperial borderland between the Roman Empire and the Arsacid and Sasanid Empires provided fertile ground for Roman geographical writers to articulate their ideas about space, boundaries, and imperial power. By examining these geographical descriptions, Hamish Cameron shows how each author constructed an image of Mesopotamia in keeping with the goals and context of their own work, while collectively creating a vision of Mesopotamia as a borderland space of movement, inter-imperial tension, and global engagement.
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Cristoforo Landino

His Works and Thought

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Bruce Mcnair

In Cristoforo Landino: His Works and Thought Bruce McNair examines the writings, lectures and orations of Landino (1424-98), Renaissance Florence’s famous teacher of poetry and rhetoric. McNair studies Landino’s lecture notes, public orations, poetry, philosophical works and most popular commentaries to show how Landino’s allegorical interpretations of Virgil and Dante grew in complexity as he studied philosophy and theology and how he understood Dante’s Commedia as completing and surpassing Virgil’s Aeneid. McNair also shows how Landino draws upon a wide range of thinkers such as Aristotle, Plato, Aquinas, Ficino, Argyropoulos and Bessarion, and how he incorporates his increasing knowledge of Plato into a scholastic framework and is better considered as a Dantean than a Neoplatonist.
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Tenses in Vergil's Aeneid

Narrative Style and Structure

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Suzanne Maria Adema

The narrative style of the Aeneid suggests immediacy and involves the reader, while at the same time both narrator and reader know what the outcomes of the story will be. In ‘Tenses in Vergil’s Aeneid. Narrative Style and Structure’, Suzanne Adema investigates the role of the Latin tenses in this presentational style. Adema presents a framework to analyze and describe the use of tenses in Latin narrative texts from a linguistic and narratological point of view. The framework concerns the temporal relations between a narrator and the states of affairs in his story on the sentence level, discourse modes on the global text level and narrative progression on the level of narrative and descriptive sequences.
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Galen’s Theory of Black Bile

Hippocratic Tradition, Manipulation, Innovation

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Keith Andrew Stewart

In Galen’s Theory of Black Bile: Hippocratic Tradition, Manipulation, Innovation Keith Stewart investigates Galen’s writing on black bile to explain health and disease and shows that Galen sometimes presented this humour as three substances with different properties that can either be harmful or beneficial to the body. Keith Stewart analyses the most important treatises for Galen’s physical description and characteristion of black bile and challenges certain views on the development of this humour, such as the importance of the content of the Hippocratic On the Nature of Man. This analysis allows us to understand how and why Galen defines and uses black bile in different ways for his arguments that cannot always be reconciled with the content of his sources.
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The Letters of Alciphron

A Unified Literary Work?

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Edited by Michèle Biraud and Arnaud Zucker

In ‘The Letters of Alciphron: A Unified Literary Work?’, Michèle Biraud and Arnaud Zucker have gathered a dozen international contributions about the collection of letters of Alciphron, hitherto mainly studied as part of the epistolary genre at the time of the Second Sophistic or as testimony of a nostalgia for the Athens of Menander's time. The aim is to show the unity of a literary project through studies on the careful arrangement of each book (overall organization, coherent reappropriation of a culture, innovations in generic hybridization) and various elements of cohesion between the four books. For this purpose, were used as tools codicological criticism, stylistic and rhetorical examination, analysis of prosody, study of thematic treatments, uses of onomastics.
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Edited by Jeroen De Keyser

Investigating the oeuvre of the Italian humanist Francesco Filelfo (1398-1481), this collection is the first to make extensive use of the critical editions of Filelfo’s numerous writings – in particular of his Epistolarium, published in 2016 by Jeroen De Keyser, who also edited this volume. Uncovering a lot of new information not previously mentioned in the literature on Filelfo, twelve specialized scholars draw attention to long-neglected material, shedding new light on Filelfo’s intellectual endeavors and his literary journey between Greek and Latin. This illuminating collection offers historians of ideas as well as literary scholars and Neo-Latinists new inroads into Filelfo’s vast oeuvre, and through it to the world of Quattrocento humanism.

Contributors include: Jean-Louis Charlet, Guy Claessens, Jeroen De Keyser, Tom Deneire, Ide François, James Hankins, Noreen Humble, Gary Ianziti, Han Lamers, David Marsh, John Monfasani, and Jan Papy.