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Gender and Judaism from the Hebrew Bible to Late Antiquity
The status of women in the ancient Judaism of the Hebrew Bible and Rabbinic texts has long been a contested issue. What does being a Jewess entail in antiquity? Men in ancient Jewish culture are defined primarily by what duties they are expected to perform, the course of action that they take. The Jewess, in contrast, is bound by stricture.
Writing on the formation and transformation of the ideology of female Jewishness in the ancient world, Zlotnick places her treatment in a broad, comparative, Mediterranean context, bringing in parallels from Greek and Roman sources. Drawing on episodes from the Hebrew Bible and on Midrashic, Mishnaic, and Talmudic texts, she pays particular attention to the ways in which they attempt to determine the boundaries of communal affiliation through real and perceived differences between Israelites, or Jews, on one hand and non-Israelites, or Gentiles, on the other.
Women are often associated in the sources with the forbidden, and foreign women are endowed with a curious freedom of action and choice that is hardly ever shared by their Jewish counterparts. Delilah, for instance, is one of the most autonomous women in the Bible, appearing without patronymic or family ties. She also brings disaster. Dinah, the Jewess, by contrast, becomes an agent of self-destruction when she goes out to mingle with gentile female friends. In ancient Judaism the lessons of such tales were applied as rules to sustain membership in the family, the clan, and the community.
While Zlotnick's central project is to untangle the challenges of sex, gender, and the formation of national identity in antiquity, her book is also a remarkable study of intertextual relations within the Jewish literary tradition.
Living in Rome during the last years of the Republic, Diodorus of Sicily produced the most expansive history of the ancient world that has survived from antiquity--the Bibliotheke. Whereas Diodorus himself has been commonly seen as a "mere copyist" of earlier historical traditions, Kenneth Sacks explores the complexity of his work to reveal a historian with a distinct point of view indicative of his times.
Sacks focuses on three areas of Diodorus's history writing: methods of organization and style, broad historical and philosophical themes, and political sentiments. Throughout, Diodorus introduced his own ideas or refashioned those found in his sources. In particular, his negative reaction to Roman imperial rule helps to illuminate the obscure tradition of opposition historiography and to explain the shape and structure of the Bibliotheke. Viewed as a unified work reflecting the intellectual and political beliefs of the late Hellenistic period, the Bibliotheke will become an important source for interpreting first-century moral, political, and intellectual values.
Originally published in 1990.
The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
Books 11-14.34 (480-401 BCE)
By one of the foremost historians and translators in the field of Classics, Peter Green—an authoritative, modern translation of a long-neglected historian whose work covers the most vital century in ancient Greek history.
The first-century Roman tragedies of Seneca, like all ancient drama, do not contain the sort of external stage directions that we are accustomed to today; nevertheless, a careful reading of the plays reveals such stage business as entrances, exits, setting, sound effects, emotions of the characters, etc. The Dramaturgy of Senecan Tragedy teases out these dramaturgical elements in Seneca's work and uses them both to aid in the interpretation of the plays and to show the playwright's artistry. Thomas D. Kohn provides a detailed overview of the corpus, laying the groundwork for appreciating Seneca's techniques in the individual dramas. Each of the chapters explores an individual tragedy in detail, discussing the dramatis personae and examining how the roles would be distributed among a limited number of actors, as well as the identity of the Chorus. The Dramaturgy of Senecan Tragedy makes a compelling argument for Seneca as an artist and a dramaturg in the true sense of the word: "a maker of drama." Regardless of whether Seneca composed his plays for full-blown theatrical staging, a fictive theater of the mind, or something in between, Kohn demonstrates that he displays a consistency and a careful attentiveness to details of performance. While other scholars have applied this type of performance criticism to individual tragedies or scenes, this is the first comprehensive study of all the plays in twenty-five years, and the first ever to consider not just stagecraft, but also metatheatrical issues such as the significant distribution of roles among a limited number of actors, in addition to the emotional states of the characters. Scholars of classics and theater, along with those looking to stage the plays, will find much of interest in this study.
A Character Sketch
"A vibrant account that puts flesh on the bare bones of early Roman history." ---Celia Schultz, University of Michigan The ancient Romans' story down to 264 B.C. can be made credible by stripping away their later myths and inventions to show how their national character shaped their destiny. After many generations of scholarly study, consensus is clear: the account in writers like Livy is not to be trusted because their aims were different from ours in history-writing. They wanted their work to be both improving and diverting. It should grow out of the real past, yes, but if that reality couldn't be recovered, or was uncertain, their art did not forbid invention. It more than tolerated dramatic incidents, passions, heroes, heroines, and villains. If, however, all this resulting ancient fiction and adornment are pruned away, a national character can be seen in the remaining bits and pieces of credible information, to explain the familiar story at least in its outlines. To doubt the written sources has long been acceptable, but this or that detail or narrative section must always be left for salvage by special pleading. To press home the logic of doubt is new. To reach beyond the written sources for a better support in excavated evidence is no novelty; but it is a novelty, to find in archeology the principal substance of the narrative---which is the choice in this book. To use this in turn for the discovery of an ethnic personality, a Roman national character, is key and also novel. What is repeatedly illustrated and emphasized here is the distance traveled by the art or craft of understanding the past---"history" in that sense---over the course of the last couple of centuries. The art cannot be learned, because it cannot be found, through studying Livy and Company. Readers who care about either of the two disciplines contrasted, Classics and History, may find this argument of interest. "Like Thucydides of the hyperactive Athenians and de Tocqueville of the nation-building Americans, MacMullen here draws a character sketch of the early Romans---the men who built Rome, conquered Italy, and created an empire. Based on profound familiarity with history, evidence, and their better-known descendants, attention to what they did and failed to do, remarkable insight, empathy, constructive imagination, and not without humor, he reconstructs the homo Romanus and thus helps us imagine what he was like, and understand why he achieved what he did. This little book is informative, full of important ideas, and delightful to read." ---Kurt Raaflaub, Brown University Jacket image: Marcus Fabius and Quintus Tannius. Fresco. Musei Capitolini, Rome, Italy. Courtesy of Scala / Art Resource, NY..
A Study of Social History and the Brothel
In recent years, a number of classical scholars have turned their attention to prostitution in the ancient world. Close examination of the social and legal position of Roman meretrices and Greek hetairai have enriched our understanding of ancient sexual relationships and the status of women in these societies. These studies have focused, however, almost exclusively on the legal and literary evidence. McGinn approaches the issues from a new direction, by studying the physical venues that existed for the sale of sex, in the context of the Roman economy. Combining textual and material evidence, he provides a detailed study of Roman brothels and other venues of venal sex (from imperial palaces and privates houses to taverns, circuses, and back alleys) focusing on their forms, functions, and urban locations. The book covers the central period of Roman history, roughly from 200 B.C. to A.D. 250. It will especially interest social and legal historians of the ancient world, and students of gender, sexuality, and the family. Thomas A. J. McGinn is Associate Professor of Classical Studies at Vanderbilt University.
From the Archaic Period to the Early Roman Empire
The Economy of the Greek Cities offers readers a clear and concise overview of ancient Greek economies from the archaic to the Roman period. Léopold Migeotte approaches Greek economic activities from the perspective of the ancient sources, situating them within the context of the city-state (polis). He illuminates the ways citizens intervened in the economy and considers such important sectors as agriculture, craft industries, public works, and trade. Focusing on how the private and public spheres impinged on each other, this book provides a broad understanding of the political and economic changes affecting life in the Greek city-states over a thousand-year period.