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The Moral Use of History in Fourth-Century Prose
Because of the didactic nature of the historical genre, many scholars ancient and modern have seen connections between history and rhetoric. So far, discussion has centered on fifth-century authors -- Herodotus and Thucydides, along with the sophists and early philosophers. Pownall extends the focus of this discussion into an important period. By focusing on key intellectuals and historians of the fourth century (Plato and the major historians -- Xenophon, Ephorus, and Theopompus), she examines how these prose writers created an aristocratic version of the past as an alternative to the democratic version of the oratorical tradition. Frances Pownall is Professor of History and Classics, University of Alberta.
Intended for readers seeking insight into the day-to-day life of some of the world's most ancient peoples, Life and Thought in the Ancient Near East presents brief, fascinating explorations of key aspects of the civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Palestine, Asia Minor, and Iran. With vignettes on agriculture, architecture, crafts and industries, literature, religion, topography, and history, Orlin has created something refreshingly unique: a modern guidebook to an ancient world. The book also reaches out to students of the Ancient Near Eastern World with essays on decipherments, comparative cultural developments between Egypt and Mesopotamia, and language and literature. In addition to general readers, the book will be useful in the classroom as a text supplementing a more conventional introduction to Near Eastern Studies. "Well-written and accessible, Life and Thought in the Ancient Near East deftly connects the past with present experience by drawing out the differences between, for instance, modern churches and ancient temples, and frequently employing biblical references. This simplicity together with connecting contemporary to ancient experience makes the text ideal for freshmen and general readers." ---Marc Cooper, Professor of History, Missouri State University Now Professor Emeritus, Louis L. Orlin taught in the department of Ancient Near Eastern History and Literature at the University of Michigan for more than thirty years. He is the author and editor of several books, including Assyrian Colonies in Cappadocia and Ancient Near Eastern Literature: A Bibliography of One Thousand Items on the Cuneiform Literatures of the Ancient World.
Archaeology, Antiquity, and the Arts
President of the Archaeological Institute of America, professor at the University of Michigan from 1889 to 1927, and president of the American Philological Association, Francis Kelsey was crucially involved in the founding or growth of major educational institutions. He came to maturity in a period of great technological change in communications, transportation, and manufacturing. Kelsey took full advantage of such innovations in his ceaseless drive to promote education for all, to further the expansion of knowledge, and to champion the benefits of the study of antiquity. A vigorous traveler around the United States, Europe, and the Mediterranean, Kelsey strongly believed in the value of personally viewing sites ancient and modern and collecting artifacts that could be used by the new museums and universities that were springing up in the United States. This collecting habit put him in touch with major financiers of the day, including Charles Freer, Andrew Carnegie, and J. P. Morgan, as he sought their help for important projects. Drawing heavily on Kelsey's daily diaries now held at the University of Michigan's Bentley Historical Library, John Griffiths Pedley gives us a biography that records the wide-ranging activities of a gifted and energetic scholar whose achievements mirrored the creative and contributive innovations of his contemporary Americans.
Tradition, Narrative, and Audience
The Homeric poems were not intended for readers, but for a listening audience. Traditional in their basic elements, the stories were learned by oral poets from earlier poets and recreated at every performance. Individual nuances, tailored to the audience, could creep into the stories of the Greek heroes on each and every occasion when a bard recited the epics. For a particular audience at a particular moment, "tradition" is what it believes it has inherited from the past--and it may not be particularly old. The boundaries between the traditional and the innovative may become blurry and indistinct. By rethinking tradition, we can see Homer's methods and concerns in a new light. The Homeric poet is not naive. He must convince his audience that the story is true. He must therefore seem disinterested, unconcerned with promoting anyone's interests. The poet speaks as if everything he says is merely the repetition of old tales. Yet he carefully ensures that even someone who knows only a minimal amount about the ancient heroes can follow and enjoy the performance, while someone who knows many stories will not remember inappropriate ones. Pretending that every detail is already familiar, the poet heightens suspense and implies that ordinary people are the real judges of great heroes. Listening to Homer transcends present controversies about Homeric tradition and invention by rethinking how tradition functions. Focusing on reception rather than on composition, Ruth Scodel argues that an audience would only rarely succeed in identifying narrative innovation. Homeric narrative relies on a traditionalizing, inclusive rhetoric that denies the innovation of the oral performance while providing enough information to make the epics intelligible to audiences for whom much of the material is new. Listening to Homer will be of interest to general classicists, as well as to those specializing in Greek epic and narrative performance. Its wide breadth and scope will also appeal to those non-classicists interested in the nature of oral performance. Ruth Scodel is Professor of Greek and Latin, University of Michigan, and former president of the American Philological Association. "Ruth Scodel's Listening to Homer proves it is still possible to explore the workings of epic without recourse to a battery of jargon or technicalities. This is not a 'one big idea' book but a rich . . . set of reflections; it makes refreshing reading . . . ." ---Greece & Rome "This is an important book, putting the receiving rather than the sending side of the performance of the Homeric epics center stage. The many observations on narrative technique are often new and worthwhile." ---Irene J.F. de Jong, Gnomon
Writing and the Social Order
Persian has been a written language since the sixth century B.C. Only Chinese, Greek, and Latin have comparable histories of literacy. Although Persian script changed—first from cuneiform to a modified Aramaic, then to Arabic—from the ninth to the nineteenth centuries it served a broader geographical area than any language in world history. It was the primary language of administration and belles lettres from the Balkans under the earlier Ottoman Empire to Central China under the Mongols, and from the northern branches of the Silk Road in Central Asia to southern India under the Mughal Empire. Its history is therefore crucial for understanding the function of writing in world history.
Each of the chapters of Literacy in the Persianate World opens a window onto a particular stage of this history, starting from the reemergence of Persian in the Arabic script after the Arab-Islamic conquest in the seventh century A.D., through the establishment of its administrative vocabulary, its literary tradition, its expansion as the language of trade in the thirteenth century, and its adoption by the British imperial administration in India, before being reduced to the modern role of national language in three countries (Afghanistan, Iran, and Tajikistan) in the twentieth century. Two concluding chapters compare the history of written Persian with the parallel histories of Chinese and Latin, with special attention to the way its use was restricted and channeled by social practice.
This is the first comparative study of the historical role of writing in three languages, including two in non-Roman scripts, over a period of two and a half millennia, providing an opportunity for reassessment of the work on literacy in English that has accumulated over the past half century. The editors take full advantage of this opportunity in their introductory essay.
The World of the Codex Hermogenianus
In this exploration of the administration of law and its role in the lives of ordinary people in the northern provinces of the Roman Empire, Serena Connolly draws upon a rich but little-known legal collection from the late 3rd century known as the Codex Hermogenianus. The codex is composed of imperial responses to petitions sent to Rome, written by a team of the emperor's legal experts. These petitions and responses provide a wealth of information about provincial legal administration and the lives of the non-elite petitioners. The man who prostituted his wife, the mother whose malicious son undersold her farm, and the slaves who posed as free men to get a loan are just a few of the lives to encounter. Lives behind the Laws makes a valuable contribution to Roman social, political, and legal history.
Julia Domna and the Imperial Politics of Motherhood
Ancient authors emphasize dramatic moments in the life of Julia Domna, wife of Roman emperor Septimius Severus (193–211). They accuse her of ambition unforgivable in a woman, of instigating civil war to place her sons on the throne and resorting to incest to maintain her hold on power. In imperial propaganda however, Julia Domna was honored with unprecedented titles that celebrated her maternity, whether it was the role of mother to her two sons (both future emperors) or as the metaphorical mother to the empire. Imperial propaganda even equated her to the great mother goddess, Cybele, endowing her with a public prominence well beyond that of earlier imperial women. Her visage could be found gracing everything from state-commissioned art to privately owned ivory dolls. In Maternal Megalomania, Julie Langford unmasks the maternal titles and honors of Julia Domna as a campaign on the part of the administration to garner support for Severus and his sons. Langford looks to numismatic, literary, and archaeological evidence to reconstruct the propaganda surrounding the empress. She explores how her image was tailored toward different populations, including the military, the Senate, and the populations at Rome and how these populations responded to propaganda about the empress. She employs Julia Domna as a case study to explore the creation of ideology between the emperor and its subjects.
Boundaries of the Self in Ancient Literature
Ancient literature features many powerful narratives of madness, depression, melancholy, lovesickness, simple boredom, and the effects of such psychological states upon individual sufferers. Peter Toohey turns his attention to representations of these emotional states in the Classical, Hellenistic, and especially the Roman imperial periods in a study that illuminates the cultural and aesthetic significance of this emotionally charged literature. His probing analysis shows that a shifting representation of these afflicted states, and the concomitant sense of isolation from one's social affinities and surroundings, manifests a developing sense of the self and self-consciousness in the ancient world. This book makes important contributions to a variety of disciplines including classical studies, comparative literature, literary and art history, history of medicine, history of emotions, psychiatry, and psychology. Peter Toohey is Professor and Department Head of Greek and Roman Studies at the University of Calgary, Canada.
Vol. 7 (2007) through current issue
Mouseion aims to be a distinctively comprehensive Canadian journal of Classical Studies, publishing articles and reviews in both French and English. One issue annually is normally devoted to archaeological topics, including field reports, finds analysis, and the history of art in antiquity. The other two issues focus on all other areas of Greek and Roman antiquity, including literature, history, philosophy, religion, and reception studies.