The Archaeology of the Olympics presents a stirring reevaluation of the Olympic Games (and related festivals) as they actually were, not as the ancient Greeks wished—and we still wish—they might have been. Historians, archaeologists, and classicists examine the evidence to ask such questions as, How did the athletes train? What did they eat? Can we trace the roots of the games as far back as the Bronze Age of Crete and Mycenae? Or even to Anatolia, where similar athletic activities occurred? Were the ancient games really so free of political overtones as modern Olympic rhetoric urges us to believe?
A contemporary of Descartes and Newton, Athanasius Kircher, S. J. (1601/2–80), was one of Europe’s most inventive and versatile scholars in the baroque era. He published more than thirty works in fields as diverse as astronomy, magnetism, cryptology, numerology, geology, and music. But Kircher is most famous—or infamous—for his quixotic attempt to decipher the Egyptian hieroglyphs and reconstruct the ancient traditions they encoded. In 1655, after more than two decades of toil, Kircher published his solution to the hieroglyphs, Oedipus Aegyptiacus, a work that has been called “one of the most learned monstrosities of all times.” Here Daniel Stolzenberg presents a new interpretation of Kircher’s hieroglyphic studies, placing them in the context of seventeenth-century scholarship on paganism and Oriental languages.
Situating Kircher in the social world of baroque Rome, with its scholars, artists, patrons, and censors, Stolzenberg shows how Kircher’s study of ancient paganism depended on the circulation of texts, artifacts, and people between Christian and Islamic civilizations. Along with other participants in the rise of Oriental studies, Kircher aimed to revolutionize the study of the past by mastering Near Eastern languages and recovering ancient manuscripts hidden away in the legendary libraries of Cairo and Damascus. The spectacular flaws of his scholarship have fostered an image of Kircher as an eccentric anachronism, a throwback to the Renaissance hermetic tradition. Stolzenberg argues against this view, showing how Kircher embodied essential tensions of a pivotal phase in European intellectual history, when pre-Enlightenment scholars pioneered modern empirical methods of studying the past while still working within traditional frameworks, such as biblical history and beliefs about magic and esoteric wisdom.
Corporal punishment is often considered a relic of the Western past, a set of thinly veiled barbaric practices largely abandoned in the process of civilization. As G. Geltner argues, however, the infliction of bodily pain was not necessarily typical for earlier societies, nor has it vanished from modern penal theory, policy, and practice. To the contrary, corporal punishment still thrives today thanks to its capacity to define otherness efficiently and unambiguously. Challenging a number of common myths and misconceptions about physical punishment’s importance over the centuries, Flogging Others offers a new perspective on modernization and Western identity.
M. L . Stapleton's Harmful Eloquence: Ovid's "Amores" from Antiquity to Shakespeare traces the influence of the early elegiac poetry of Ovid (43 b.c.e.-17 c.e.) on European literature from 500-1600 c.e. The Amores served as a classical model for love poetry in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance and were essential to the formation of fin' Amors, or "courtly love." Medieval Latin poets, the troubadours, Dante, Petrarch, and Shakespeare were all familiar with Ovid in his various forms, and all depended greatly upon his Amores in composing their cansos, canzoniere, and sonnets.
Harmful Eloquence begins with a detailed analysis of the Amores themselves and their artistic unity. It moves on to explain the fragmentary transmission of the Amores in the "Latin Anthology" and the cohesion of the fragments into the conventions of Medieval Latin and troubadour "courtly love" poetry. Two subsequent chapters explain the use of the Amores, their narrator, and the conventions of "courtly love" in the poetry of both Dante and Petrarch. The final chapter concentrates on Shakespeare's reprocessing and parody of this material in his sonnets.
Harmful Eloquence analyzes the intertextual transmission of the Amores in major medieval and Renaissance love poetry for the first time. No previous study has devoted itself exclusively to this Ovidian text in this particular way. The premise that Ovid consciously used the device of persona from the very beginning of his writing career is fully explored, as is the "Ovidian hypothesis" of Wilibald Schroetter. Connections between Dante's La vita nuova and the Amores are newly discovered; significant for Shakespeare studies, the use of Christopher Marlowe's translation of the Amores by Shakespeare in his "dark lady" sonnets is also carefully analyzed for the first time.
Medievalists, classicists, and scholars of Renaissance studies will find Harmful Eloquence particularly engaging and useful, as will all those interested in the process and methods of literary transmission.
M. L. Stapleton is Associate Professor of English, Stephen F. Austin University.
H. I. Marrou’s A History of Education in Antiquity has been an invaluable contribution in the fields of classical studies and history ever since its original publication in French in 1948. French historian H. I. Marrou traces the roots of classical education, from the warrior cultures of Homer, to the increasing importance of rhetoric and philosophy, to the adaptation of Hellenistic ideals within the Roman education system, and ending with the rise of Christian schools and churches in the early medieval period. Marrou shows how education, once formed as a way to train young warriors, eventually became increasingly philosophical and secularized as Christianity took hold in the Roman Empire. Through his examination of the transformation of Greco-Roman education, Marrou is able to create a better understanding of these cultures.
History of Old Age is the first major study of the ways in which old age has been perceived in western culture throughout history. Georges Minois paints a vast fresco, starting with the first old man to relate his own story—an Egyptian scribe some 4500 years ago—and ending with the deaths of Elizabeth I and Henry IV in the sixteenth century. Tracing the changing conceptions of the nature, value, and burden of the old, Minois argues that western history during this period is marked by great fluctuation in the social and political role of the aged.
Minois shows how, in ancient Greece, the cult of youth and beauty on the one hand, and the reverence for the figure of the Homeric sage, on the other, created an ambivalent attitude toward the aged. This ambiguity appears again in the contrast between the active role that older citizens played in Roman politics and their depiction in satirical literature of the period. Christian literature in the Middle Ages also played a large part in defining society's perception of the old, both in the image of the revered holy sage and in the total condemnation of the aged sinner.
Drawing on literary texts throughout, Minois considers the interrelation of literary, religious, medical, and political factors in determining the social fate of the elderly and their relationship to society. This book will be of great interest to social and cultural historians, as well as to general readers interested in the subject of the aged in society today.
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.
Heroes and heroines in antiquity inhabited a space somewhere between gods and humans. In this detailed, yet brilliantly wide-ranging analysis, Christopher Jones starts from literary heroes such as Achilles and moves to the historical record of those exceptional men and women who were worshiped after death. This book, wholly new and beautifully written, rescues the hero from literary metaphor and vividly restores heroism to the reality of ancient life.
Rhetoric in Antiquity
Laurent Pernot Catholic University of America Press, 2005 Library of Congress PA3038.P46 2005 | Dewey Decimal 808.00938
Originally published as La Rhétorique dans l'Antiquité (2000), this new English edition provides students with a valuable introduction to understanding the classical art of rhetoric and its place in ancient society and politics
This stimulating collection of twenty-two articles is intended not only to explore a range of scientific topics but to engage readers in historiographical debates and methodological issues that surround the study of ancient and medieval science. A convenient sampling of classic and contemporary scholarship, it will appeal to students and specialists alike.
Contributors include Francesca Rochberg, David Pingree, G. E. R. Lloyd, Heinrich von Staden, Martin Bernal, Alexander Jones, Bernard Goldstein, Alan Bowen, Owsei Temkin, David Lindberg, Steven McCluskey, Linda Voigts, Edward Grant, Bernard Goldstein, Victor Roberts, Lynn Thorndike, Helen Lemay, William Newman, A. Mark Smith, Nancy Siraisi, Michael McVaugh, and Brian P. Copenhaver.
Roman public and private law regulated many aspects of life in Antiquity. The legal sources, statutes, juristic opinions, textbooks, documents and reports preserve a wealth of information that illuminates Roman society and economy. However, the use of this kind of evidence can be extremely difficult. With this volume, classicists, historians, and legal scholars propose various ways to integrate the legal evidence with other sources for ancient social and economic history.
Speculum Iuris examines the complex relationship between law and social practice from the particular angle of Roman legislation and jurisprudence as conditioned by or reacting to a specific social, economic, and political context. Using various strategies, the editors and contributors mine a huge body of texts to study attitudes and behaviors of the Roman upper class, whose social concerns are reflected in the development of legal rules.
A close reading of juristic opinions and Republican or imperial legislation allows the contributors to find rationales behind rules and decisions in order to explain practices and mentalities of the elite within a larger social context. This book demonstrates clearly that Roman law was not divorced from the realities of daily life, even if some jurists may have been working with purely hypothetical cases.
Speculum Iuris provides a multidisciplinary approach to the question of the interplay of legal and social forces in the Roman world. As such, it will be a helpful study for general classicists and ancient historians, as well as for legal historians, social historians, economic historians, sociologists, and cultural anthropologists.
Jean-Jacques Aubert is Professor of Latin Language and Literature, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland. Boudewijn Sirks is Professor of the History of Ancient Law, the History of European Private Law, and German Civil Law, Institute for the History of Law, Germany.
Pierre de la Ruffinière du Prey traces the influence of Pliny the Younger as a continuous theme throughout the history of architecture. First he looks at what Pliny considered to be the essential qualities of a villa. He then discusses the many buildings Pliny inspired: from the Renaissance estates of the Medici, to papal summer residences near Rome, to Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, and the home of former Canadian prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau. Equally important to du Prey's study are the many designs by architects past and present that remain on paper. These imaginary restitutions of Pliny's villas, each representative of its own epoch, trace in microcosm the evolution of the classical tradition in domestic architecture. In analyzing each project, du Prey illuminates the work of such great masters as Michelozzo, Raphael, Palladio, and Schinkel, as well as such well-known modern architects as Léon Krier, Jean-Pierre Adam, and Thomas Gordon Smith.
Virtue and Venom traces the history of a previously neglected genre, the catalog of women, from its origins in Greece and Rome to the late Middle Ages, revealing the catalogs' considerable importance as cultural documents of the evolution of the Western definition of womankind. These catalogs were simple listings of past heroines, sometimes described in extended biographies, sometimes merely enumerated by name. Catalog heroines often appeared in familiar guises—anonymous mothers of great men, fascinating seductresses, self-effacing spouses, abused victims of love, strong and brilliant achievers. Written by some of the finest authors of the ages, the catalogs fulfilled important functions. By defining women typologically, they instilled stereotypes in the popular mind, and by illustrating proper and improper feminine conduct they reinforced the late medieval link between literature and ethics. Despite the repetitive form of the genre, the catalogs were extremely flexible, able to illustrate different, even antithetical views of femininity—invoking the past as authority or reinterpreting the past in an attempt to associate femininity with changing cultural values. Thus, as well as being the vehicle for the transmission of knowledge, the form could also be manipulated to contest authority, in the guise of invoking it, and present new paradigms. Glenda McLeod examines a host of catalogs, including those of Homer, Hesiod, Vergil, Ovid, Juvenal, Plutarch, St. Jerome, and Jean de Meun, but gives special attention to Boccaccio's De claris mulieribus and Chaucer's Legend of Good Women. She then shows how the tradition ultimately produced the first major defense of womankind in Christine de Pizan's Cité des Dames. This book will be of interest to classicists, medievalists, Renaissance and feminist scholars, and anyone interested in the misogynist tradition in the West and the response it engendered.