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Homicide and Power in the Roman Republic
This pathfinding study looks at how homicide was treated in Roman law from the Roman monarchy through the dictatorship of Sulla (ca. 753–79 BC) to show how criminal law can reveal important aspects of the nature and evolution of political power.
In Vergil’s Aeneid, the poet implies that those who have been initiated into mystery cults enjoy a blessed situation both in life and after death. This collection of essays brings new insight to the study of mystic cults in the ancient world, particularly those that flourished in Magna Graecia (essentially the area of present-day Southern Italy and Sicily). Implementing a variety of methodologies, the contributors to Mystic Cults in Magna Graecia examine an array of features associated with such “mystery religions” that were concerned with individual salvation through initiation and hidden knowledge rather than civic cults directed toward Olympian deities usually associated with Greek religion. Contributors present contemporary theories of ancient religion, field reports from recent archaeological work, and other frameworks for exploring mystic cults in general and individual deities specifically, with observations about cultural interactions throughout. Topics include Dionysos and Orpheus, the Goddess Cults, Isis in Italy, and Roman Mithras, explored by an international array of scholars including Giulia Sfameni Gasparro (“Aspects of the Cult of Demeter in Magna Graecia”) and Alberto Bernabé (“Imago Inferorum Orphica”). The resulting volume illuminates this often misunderstood range of religious phenomena.
Studies in the Canonical Greek Novels
The tradition of historical literature begun by Herodotus and Thucydides molded the early Greek novel. As the genre evolved, however, Greek novels moved away from their historical roots to become more heavily influenced by mythological traditions. Edmund Cueva's new book examines the literary uses to which the ancient novelists put their mythological material. His work offers a stimulating discussion of myths and their rise to prominence as the key feature of the fully developed Greek novel. He also takes into account the impact of the Roman conquest on the development of the Greek novel, the last true literary creation of the Greek world. The Myths of Fiction will interest scholars of Greek literarure, imperial history, literary myth, intertextuality, and comparative literature. Edmund Cueva is Associate Professor and Chair of Classics at Xavier University.
Mythographic Lyric and a Catalogue of Poetic First Lines
New texts from Greek antiquity continue to emerge on scraps of papyrus from the sands of Egypt, not only adding to the surviving corpus of classical and Hellenistic literature, but also occasionally offering a glimpse into how these poems were studied in antiquity. New Literary Papyri from the Michigan Collection: Mythographic Lyric and a Catalogue of Poetic First Lines presents three such new texts: an innovative lyric poem on the Trojan cycle, a scholarly anthology of lyric verses, and a brief but enigmatic third text. Cassandra Borges and C. Michael Sampson offer the original Greek text of these pieces, along with their scholarly commentary, analyzing their features in a variety of contexts—historical, cultural, poetic, mythological, religious, and scholarly. The fragments collected here are of considerable antiquity (late third to second century BCE) a fact that is significant inasmuch as it places them among the oldest Greek papyri, but all the more so because in this period, a scholarly community was thriving in Ptolemaic Alexandria, the political and cultural capital of Hellenistic Egypt. The fragments bear witness to that scholarly activity: not only is their anthology of poetic verses consistent with other scholarly selections, but the very survival of these texts may well be at least partially indebted to the work of the Alexandrians in studying and propagating Greek literature in Egypt. This edition supplements the 1970s work of Reinhold Merkelbach and Denys Page. Recent digitizing for the APIS project revealed a previously unsuspected join with other material, however, which alone warrants a new, comprehensive edition and analysis.
Aulus Gellius and the Fantasy of the Roman Library
Past, Present, and Future
Long a major element of classical studies, the examination of the laws of the ancient Romans has gained momentum in recent years as interdisciplinary work in legal studies has spread. Two resulting issues have arisen, on one hand concerning Roman laws a
Egypt, Israel, and the Rise of Monotheism
For thousands of years, our world has been shaped by biblical monotheism. But its hallmark—a distinction between one true God and many false gods—was once a new and radical idea. Of God and Gods explores the revolutionary newness of biblical theology against a background of the polytheism that was once so commonplace.
Jan Assmann, one of the most distinguished scholars of ancient Egypt working today, traces the concept of a true religion back to its earliest beginnings in Egypt and describes how this new idea took shape in the context of the older polytheistic world that it rejected. He offers readers a deepened understanding of Egyptian polytheism and elaborates on his concept of the “Mosaic distinction,” which conceives an exclusive and emphatic Truth that sets religion apart from beliefs shunned as superstition, paganism, or heresy.
Without a theory of polytheism, Assmann contends, any adequate understanding of monotheism is impossible.
Best Books for General Audiences, selected by the American Association of School Librarians, and Best Books for Special Interests, selected by the Public Library Association
A Documentary History
In a time when the ordination of women is an ongoing and passionate debate, the study of women's ministry in the early church is a timely and significant one. There is much evidence from documents, doctrine, and artifacts that supports the acceptance of women as presbyters and deacons in the early church. While this evidence has been published previously, it has never before appeared in one complete English-language collection. With this book, church historians Kevin Madigan and Carolyn Osiek present fully translated literary, epigraphical, and canonical references to women in early church offices. Through these documents, Madigan and Osiek seek to understand who these women were and how they related to and were received by, the church through the sixth century. They chart women's participation in church office and their eventual exclusion from its leadership roles. The editors introduce each document with a detailed headnote that contextualizes the text and discusses specific issues of interpretation and meaning. They also provide bibliographical notes and cross-reference original texts. Madigan and Osiek assemble relevant material from both Western and Eastern Christendom.
Art and Punishment in the Metamorphoses
The Economies of Teaching and Learning in the Ancient World
The Pedagogical Contract explores the relationship between teacher and student and argues for ways of reconceiving pedagogy. It discloses this relationship as one that since antiquity has been regarded as a scene of give-and-take, where the teacher exchanges knowledge for some sort of payment by the student and where pedagogy always runs the risk of becoming a broken contract. The book seeks to liberate teaching and learning from this historical scene and the anxieties that it engenders, arguing that there are alternative ways of conceiving the economy underlying pedagogical activities. Reading ancient material together with contemporary representations of teaching and learning, Yun Lee Too shows that apart from being conceived as a scene of self-interest in which a professional teacher, or sophist, is the charlatan who cheats his pupil, pedagogy might also purport to be a disinterested process of socialization or a scene in which lack and neediness are redeemed through the realization that they are required precisely to stimulate the desire to learn. The author also argues that pedagogy ideally ignores the imperative of the conventional marketplace for relevance, utility, and productivity, inasmuch as teaching and learning most enrich a community when they disregard the immediate material concerns of the community. The book will appeal to all those who understand scholarship as having an important social and/or political role to play; it will also be of interest to literary scholars, literary and cultural theorists, philosophers, historians, legal theorists, feminists, scholars of education, sociologists, and political theorists. Yun Lee Too is Assistant Professor of Classics, Columbia University. She is the author of Rethinking Sexual Harassment; The Rhetoric of Identity in Socrates: Text, Power, Pedagogy; and The Idea of Ancient Literary Criticism, forthcoming; and coeditor, with Niall Livingstone, of Pedagogy and Power: Rhetorics of Classical Learning.