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Studies by Time Period > Ancient Studies and Classics

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Archimedes and the Roman Imagination Cover

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Archimedes and the Roman Imagination

Mary Jaeger

The great mathematician Archimedes, a Sicilian Greek whose machines defended Syracuse against the Romans during the Second Punic War, was killed by a Roman after the city fell, yet it is largely Roman sources, and Greek texts aimed at Roman audiences, that preserve the stories about him. Archimedes' story, Mary Jaeger argues, thus becomes a locus where writers explore the intersection of Greek and Roman culture, and as such it plays an important role in Roman self-definition. Jaeger uses the biography of Archimedes as a hermeneutic tool, providing insight into the construction of the traditional historical narrative about the Roman conquest of the Greek world and the Greek cultural invasion of Rome. By breaking down the narrative of Archimedes' life and examining how the various anecdotes that comprise it are embedded in their contexts, the book offers fresh readings of passages from both well-known and less-studied authors, including Polybius, Cicero, Livy, Vitruvius, Plutarch, Silius Italicus, Valerius Maximus, Johannes Tzetzes, and Petrarch. "Jaeger, in her meticulous and elegant study of different ancient accounts of his life and inventions...reveal more about how the Romans thought about their conquest of the Greek world than about 'science'." ---Helen King, Times Literary Supplement "An absolutely wonderful book on a truly original and important topic. As Jaeger explores neglected texts that together tell an important story about the Romans' views of empire and their relationship to Greek cultural accomplishments, so she has written an important new chapter in the history of science. A genuine pleasure to read, from first page to last." ---Andrew Feldherr, Associate Professor of Classics, Princeton University "This elegantly written and convincingly argued project analyzes Archimedes as a vehicle for reception of the Classics, as a figure for loss and recovery of cultural memory, and as a metaphorical representation of the development of Roman identity. Jaeger's fastening on the still relatively obscure figure of the greatest ancient mathematician as a way of understanding cultural liminality in the ancient world is nothing short of a stroke of genius." ---Christina S. Kraus, Professor and Chair of Classics, Yale University "Archimedes and the Roman Imagination forms a useful addition to our understanding of Roman culture as well as of the reception of science in antiquity. It will make a genuine contribution to the discipline, not only in terms of its original interpretative claims but also as a fascinating example of how we may follow the cultural reception of historical figures." ---Reviel Netz, Professor of Classics, Stanford University Cover art: Benjamin West. Cicero Discovering the Tomb of Archimedes. Yale University Art Gallery. John Hill Morgan, B.A. 1893, LL.B. 1898, M.A. (Hon.) 1929, Fund.

Architecture of Minoan Crete Cover

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Architecture of Minoan Crete

Constructing Identity in the Aegean Bronze Age

By John C. McEnroe

Ever since Sir Arthur Evans first excavated at the site of the Palace at Knossos in the early twentieth century, scholars and visitors have been drawn to the architecture of Bronze Age Crete. Much of the attraction comes from the geographical and historical uniqueness of the island. Equidistant from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, Minoan Crete is on the shifting conceptual border between East and West, and chronologically suspended between history and prehistory. In this culturally dynamic context, architecture provided more than physical shelter; it embodied meaning. Architecture was a medium through which Minoans constructed their notions of social, ethnic, and historical identity: the buildings tell us about how the Minoans saw themselves, and how they wanted to be seen by others. Architecture of Minoan Crete is the first comprehensive study of the entire range of Minoan architecture—including houses, palaces, tombs, and cities—from 7000 BC to 1100 BC. John C. McEnroe synthesizes the vast literature on Minoan Crete, with particular emphasis on the important discoveries of the past twenty years, to provide an up-to-date account of Minoan architecture. His accessible writing style, skillful architectural drawings of houses and palaces, site maps, and color photographs make this book inviting for general readers and visitors to Crete, as well as scholars.

Arguing it out Cover

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Arguing it out

Discussion in Twelfth-Century Byzantium

Averil Cameron

The author’s argument starts from a kind of literature that has not so far seemed important enough to be included in this new wave of publications on the literary and intellectual culture of the day. The study contends that Byzantium deserves its place in the broader development of Europe, even as it also reaches out to the vast territories of Anatolia and the Caucasus, and to the eastern Mediterranean. The long twelfth century from the seizure of the throne by Alexius I Comnenus in 1081 to the sack of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade in 1204 is a period recognized as one of the most brilliant in Byzantine history in cultural terms, especially in terms of its literary production. The study focuses on the prose dialogues in Greek from this period—of very varying kinds—and on what they can tell us about the society and culture of the era when western Europe was itself developing a new culture of schools, universities, and scholars. Yet it was also one in which Byzantium felt the fateful impact of the Crusades, and which ended with the momentous sack of Constantinople in 1204. Despite revisionist attempts to play down the extent of this disaster, it was a blow from which arguably the Byzantines never fully recovered.

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Arguments with Silence

Writing the History of Roman Women

Amy Richlin

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Arion's Lyre

Archaic Lyric into Hellenistic Poetry

Benjamin Acosta-Hughes

Arion's Lyre examines how Hellenistic poetic culture adapted, reinterpreted, and transformed Archaic Greek lyric through a complex process of textual, cultural, and creative reception. Looking at the ways in which the poetry of Sappho, Alcaeus, Ibycus, Anacreon, and Simonides was preserved, edited, and read by Hellenistic scholars and poets, the book shows that Archaic poets often look very different in the new social, cultural, and political setting of Hellenistic Alexandria. For example, the Alexandrian Sappho evolves from the singer of Archaic Lesbos but has distinct associations and contexts, from Ptolemaic politics and Macedonian queens to the new phenomenon of the poetry book and an Alexandrian scholarship intent on preservation and codification.

A study of Hellenistic poetic culture and an interpretation of some of the Archaic poets it so lovingly preserved, Arion's Lyre is also an examination of how one poetic culture reads another--and how modern readings of ancient poetry are filtered and shaped by earlier readings.

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Aristophanes and the Carnival of Genres

Charles Platter

The comedies of Aristophanes are known not only for their boldly imaginative plots but for the ways in which they incorporate and orchestrate a wide variety of literary genres and speech styles. Unlike the writers of tragedy, who prefer a uniformly elevated tone, Aristophanes articulates his dramatic dialogue with striking literary and linguistic juxtapositions, producing a carnivalesque medley of genres that continually forces both audience and reader to readjust their perspectives. In this energetic and original study, Charles Platter interprets the complexities of Aristophanes' work through the lens of Mikhail Bakhtin's critical writing. This book charts a new course for Aristophanic comedy, taking its lead from the work of Bakhtin. Bakhtin describes the way multiple voices—vocabularies, tones, and styles of language originating in different social classes and contexts—appear and interact within literary texts. He argues that the dynamic quality of literature arises from the dialogic relations that exist among these voices. Although Bakhtin applied his theory primarily to the epic and the novel, Platter finds in his work profound implications for Aristophanic comedy, where stylistic heterogeneity is the genre's lifeblood.

Aristotle Cover

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Aristotle

Aristotle belongs to the small class of philosophers who were not only influential in a particular field of philosophy but also shaped the profile of every philosophical discipline. In this book Otfried Höffe provides a comprehensive introduction to the life and work of Aristotle, covering well-known Aristotelian topics such as ethics, politics, and metaphysics as well as the less familiar, such as biology, psychology, and rhetoric. Höffe also compares Aristotle to other major figures in the history of European (especially German) philosophy, making connections to Kant and Hegel that are particularly insightful. A picture of Aristotle emerges as a philosopher who is much more modern than previously thought, one whose writings are still relevant today and continue to make valuable contributions to many contemporary philosophical debates.

Aristotle Cover

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Aristotle

His Life and School

Carlo Natali

This definitive biography shows that Aristotle's philosophy is best understood on the basis of a firm knowledge of his life and of the school he founded. First published in Italian, and now translated, updated, and expanded for English readers, this concise chronological narrative is the most authoritative account of Aristotle's life and his Lyceum available in any language. Gathering, distilling, and analyzing all the evidence and previous scholarship, Carlo Natali, one of the world's leading Aristotle scholars, provides a masterful synthesis that is accessible to students yet filled with evidence and original interpretations that specialists will find informative and provocative.

Cutting through the controversy and confusion that have surrounded Aristotle's biography, Natali tells the story of Aristotle's eventful life and sheds new light on his role in the foundation of the Lyceum. Natali offers the most detailed and persuasive argument yet for the view that the school, an important institution of higher learning and scientific research, was designed to foster a new intellectual way of life among Aristotle's followers, helping them fulfill an aristocratic ideal of the best way to use the leisure they enjoyed. Drawing a wealth of connections between Aristotle's life and thinking, Natali demonstrates how the two are mutually illuminating.

For this edition, ancient texts have been freshly translated on the basis of the most recent critical editions; indexes have been added, including a comprehensive index of sources and an index to previous scholarship; and scholarship that has appeared since the book's original publication has been incorporated.

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Aristotle's Concept of Chance

Accidents, Cause, Necessity, and Determinism

The first exhaustive study of Aristotle's concept of chance. This landmark book is the first to provide a comprehensive account of Aristotle’s concept of chance. Chance is invoked by many to explain order in the universe, the origins of life, even human freedom and happiness. An understanding of Aristotle’s concept of chance is indispensable for an appreciation of his views on nature and ethics, views which have had a tremendous influence on the development of Western philosophy. Author John Dudley analyzes Aristotle’s account of chance in the Physics, the Metaphysics, in his biological and ethical treatises, and in a number of his other works as well. Important complementary considerations such as Aristotle’s criticism of Presocratic philosophers, particularly Empedocles and Democritus, Plato’s concept of chance, the chronology of Aristotle’s works, and the relevance of Aristotle’s work to evolution and quantum theory are also covered in depth. This is an essential book for scholars and students of Western philosophy.

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Aristotle's Ethics

Writings from the Complete Works

Aristotle

Aristotle’s moral philosophy is a pillar of Western ethical thought. It bequeathed to the world an emphasis on virtues and vices, happiness as well-being or a life well lived, and rationally motivated action as a mean between extremes. Its influence was felt well beyond antiquity into the Middle Ages, particularly through the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas. In the past century, with the rise of virtue theory in moral philosophy, Aristotle’s ethics has been revived as a source of insight and interest. While most attention has traditionally focused on Aristotle’s famous Nicomachean Ethics, there are several other works written by or attributed to Aristotle that illuminate his ethics: the Eudemian Ethics, the Magna Moralia, and Virtues and Vices.

This book brings together all four of these important texts, in thoroughly revised versions of the translations found in the authoritative complete works universally recognized as the standard English edition. Edited and introduced by two of the world’s leading scholars of ancient philosophy, this is an essential volume for anyone interested in the ethical thought of one of the most important philosophers in the Western tradition.

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