The interpretation of Anselm of Canterbury’s Proslogion has a long and rich tradition. However, its study is often narrowly focused on its so-called “ontological argument.” As a result, engagement with the text of this work tends to be lopsided, and the prayerful purpose that undergirds the whole book is often completely ignored. Even the most rigorous engagements with the Proslogion often have little to say, for instance, about how the prayers of Proslogion 1, 14, and 18 contribute materially to Anselm’s argument, or how his doctrine of God develops organically from the divine formula in the early chapters to the doctrines of eternity, simplicity, and Trinity in later chapters. There are very few works that offer a sustained analysis to Anselm’s flow of thought throughout the entire Proslogion, and no one has explored how Anselm’s doctrine of creaturely joy in heaven in Proslogion 24-26 is a fitting climax and resolution to the book.
Anselm’s Pursuit of Joy attempts a sustained, chapter-by-chapter textual analysis of the Proslogion, and offers the first effort to situate Anselm’s doctrine of heaven in Proslogion 24-26 as the climax of the earlier themes of Anselm’s work. Gavin Ortlund suggests that the basic purpose of Anselm’s argument in the Proslogion is to seek the visio Dei that he articulates as his soul’s deepest desire (Proslogion 1). While Anselm’s argument for God’s existence (Proslogion 2-4) is an important piece of this effort, it is only one step of a larger trajectory of thought that leads Anselm to meditate further on God’s nature as the highest good of the human soul (Proslogion 5-23), and then to anticipate the joy of possessing God in heaven (Proslogion 24-26). In other words, the establishment of God’s existence is only the penultimate consequence of Anselm’s famous formula “that than which nothing greater can be thought”—his ultimate concern is with the infinite creaturely joy that is entailed by his existence. The Proslogion is, far more than an argument for God’s existence, a meditation on God as the chief happiness of the human soul.
Antisthenes of Athens (c. 445-365 BCE) was a famous ancient disciple of Socrates, senior to Plato by fifteen years and inspirational to Xenophon. He is relevant to two of the greatest turning points in ancient intellectual history, from pre-Socraticism to Socraticism, and from classical Athens to the Hellenistic period. A better understanding of Antisthenes leads to a better understanding of the intellectual culture of Athens that shaped Plato and laid the foundations for Hellenistic philosophy and literature as well. Antisthenes wrote prolifically, but little of this text remains today. Susan Prince has collected all the surviving passages that pertain most closely to Antisthenes’ ancient reputation and literary production, translates them into English for the first time, and sets out the parameters for their interpretation, with close attention to the role Antisthenes likely played in the literary agenda of each ancient author who cited him.
This is the first translation of Antisthenes’ remains into English. Chapters present the ancient source, the original Greek passage, and necessary critical apparatus. The author then adds the modern English translation and notes on the context of the preservation, the significance of the testimonium, and on the Greek. Several new readings are proposed.
Antisthenes of Athens will be of interest to anyone seeking to understand Antisthenes and his intellectual context, as well as his contributions to ancient literary criticism, views on discourse, and ethics.
Dante's Divine Comedy played a dual role in its relation to Italian Renaissance culture, actively shaping the fabric of that culture and, at the same time, being shaped by it. This productive relationship is examined in Commentary and Ideology, Deborah Parker's thorough compendium on the reception of Dante's chief work. By studying the social and historical circumstances under which commentaries on Dante were produced, the author clarifies the critical tradition of commentary and explains the ways in which this important body of material can be used in interpreting Dante's poem. Parker begins by tracing the criticism of Dante commentaries from the nineteenth century to the present and then examines the tradition of commentary from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. She shows how the civic, institutional, and social commitments of commentators shaped their response to the Comedy, and how commentators tried to use the poem as an authoritative source for various kinds of social legitimation. Parker discusses how different commentators dealt with a deeply political section of the poem: the damnation of Brutus and Cassius. The scope and importance of Commentary and Ideology will command the attention of a broad group of scholars, including Italian specialists on Dante, late medievalists, students and professionals in early modern European literature, bibliographers, critical theorists, historians of literary criticism and theory, and cultural and intellectual historians.
Commentary In American Life
edited by Murray Friedman Temple University Press, 2005 Library of Congress E184.36.P64C66 2005 | Dewey Decimal 296.05
Founded by the American Jewish Committee in 1945 as a monthly journal of "significant thought and opinion, Jewish affairs and contemporary issues," Commentary magazine has through the years had a far-reaching impact on American politics and culture. Commentary in American Life traces this influence over time, especially in creating the neoconservative movement. The authors of each chapter also consider the ways the magazine shaped and reflected major cultural and literary trends in the United States. The end result offers a full accounting of one of the most important journals of American political thought, providing insight into the development of American collective politics and culture over the last six decades.
A Commentary on Aristophanes’ Knights presents a fresh look at the play that cemented Aristophanes’ reputation as a rising star in comic theater. Knights offers an examination of social and political life in ancient Athens during the empire-destroying Peloponnesian War, as well as giving us Aristophanes’ comic send-up of the dangerous populist demagogue Cleon. This is a thoroughly modern commentary on a key play in the theatrical genre of Old Comedy, which satirized virtually every aspect of Athenian life in a period when Athens was at the height of its power and international prestige.
In addition to the complete Greek text and commentary, this volume includes a substantial introduction to the playwright’s career and to the historical and political background of the play. It includes advice for students on grammar and syntax, meter, festivals and staging, as well as topical and literary references and allusions that will help guide students to a mature appreciation of the comedy’s humor, seriousness, and artistic quality. Priced and sized for classroom use, this is the first full commentary on Knights since 1901 and will be widely welcomed.
A Commentary on Cicero, De Divinatione I, is the first English-language commentary on the Latin text of Marcus Tullius Cicero’s dialogue in almost one hundred years. The defense of divination (the science of predicting the future) offered in Book 1 is illustrated with many entertaining anecdotes that make the argument more accessible to a wider range of readers than many of Cicero’s other philosophical works. De Divinatione also preserves many fragments of otherwise lost masterpieces of Roman Republican literature. It is a text important for the study of Roman religion, as well as Roman political and intellectual history.
This commentary aims to assist the reader in seeing De Divinatione as a cohesive whole, and to make it accessible—not only to classicists, but also to scholars of religion and to philosophers who may not be familiar with the historical and Roman intellectual background that are the focus here. The cases made for and against divination in De Divinatione closely follow arguments made by Greek philosophers, but many of the examples illustrating them reflect Cicero’s preferences in literature, his own poetic efforts and political experience, and his expertise as an augur. The result is a very personal work closely tied to Cicero’s own experience.
Celia Schultz’s volume contains the full Latin text of De Divinatione, Book 1, and accompanies it with commentary on points of grammar, history, prosopography, and ancient religious practice, among other topics. She includes a helpful bibliography for those interested in further study of points raised in the text or commentary.
Andrew R. Dyck ranks among the top Latinists in Ciceronian studies. In this new volume, he offers the first commentary on Cicero’s De Divinatione II in nearly a century. This commentary aims to equip students and scholars of Latin with the kinds of historical and philosophical background and linguistic and stylistic information needed to understand and appreciate Cicero’s text on Roman religion and divination. Dyck situates Cicero’s text in the context of Roman religion in antiquity, and he traces the subsequent reception of the text. The introduction reviews recent interpretations of De Divinatione. Dyck rejects the view that has recently been widespread in Anglophone studies that De Divinatione stages a debate between roughly equal opponents and without the emergence of a clear authorial point of view. Instead he argues that a careful reading shows that Cicero as author is invested in the argument, with the particular aim of countering superstition.
Celia Schultz’s earlier volume in this series presented the text and commentary for De Divinatione I. With Andrew Dyck’s companion volume on the second book of De Divinatione, students and teachers are well served with crucial texts from one of Rome’s most famous philosophers, as he considers important Roman practices and beliefs.
Just as Plato drafted a vision of an ideal state in his Republic and followed that up with detailed provisions in his Laws, so Cicero -- after writing a Republic -- wanted to provide legislation for his ideal state and wrote de Legibus (the Laws) as a sequel. But while Cicero's Republic was set shortly before the death of its speaker, Scipio Africanus, in 129 b.c., his de Legibus was set in his own lifetime, thus enabling him to comment on current political events and trends. Written in the final years of the Roman Republic, de Legibus is as a work that gives Cicero's own diagnosis of the ills that had befallen the Roman state and what might be done to cure them. It is thus a document crucial to our understanding of one of the most turbulent periods of Roman history.
Surprisingly, de Legibus has been one of Cicero's most neglected works. Andrew R. Dyck's commentary is the first to appear on the complete work in well over one hundred years. Dyck provides a detailed interpretation and sets the essay into the context of the politics and philosophical thought of its time. While previous commentaries focused primarily on grammar and textual criticism, this one also seeks to relate Cicero's text to the political, philosophical, and religious trends of his day. The author identifies the influences on Cicero's thinking and analyzes the relation of this theoretical treatise to his other works. This commentary is based on a new text, worked out in consultations between the author and Jonathan Powell of Royal Holloway, London.
Andrew Dyck is Professor of Classics, University of California at Los Angeles.
Toward the end of the last century Cicero's work came under attack from several angles. His political stance was sharply criticized for inconsistency by Theodor Mommsen and others, his philosophical works for lack of originality. Since then scholars have come to a better understanding of the political conditions that informed the views of Mommsen and his contemporaries about Caesar and Cicero, and as a result Cicero's writings have been restored to a more appropriate position in the literature and history of the Roman Republic. At the same time recent years have seen an intensive study of Hellenistic philosophy, and this has shown more clearly than before that, even while following Greek models, Cicero nonetheless pursued his own political and, in the ethical works, moralistic agenda.
Composed in haste shortly before Cicero's death, de Officiis has exercised enormous influence over the centuries. It is all the more surprising that Andrew R. Dyck's volume is the first detailed English commentary on the work written in this century. It deals with the problems of the Latin text (taking account of Michael Winterbottom's new edition), it delineates the work's structure and sometimes elusive train of thought, clarifies the underlying Greek and Latin concepts, and provides starting points for approaching the philosophical and historical problems that de Officiis raises.
A work of major importance for classicists, philosophers, and ancient historians, this Commentary will be an invaluable companion to all readers of Cicero's last philosophical work.
Andrew R. Dyck is Professor of Classics, University of California, Los Angeles.
Publication of this volume is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Commentary on Genesis
Didymus the Blind Catholic University of America Press, 2016 Library of Congress BS1235.D4913 2016 | Dewey Decimal 222.1107
Blind since early childhood, the Egyptian theologian and monk Didymus (ca. 313-398) wielded a masterful knowledge of Scripture, philosophy, and previous biblical interpretation, earning the esteem of his contemporaries Athanasius, Antony of Egypt, Jerome, Rufinus, and Palladius, as well as of the historians Socrates and Theodoret in the decades following his death. He was, however, anathematized by the Fifth Ecumenical Council in 553 because of his utilization and defense of the works of Origen, and this condemnation may be responsible for the loss of many of Didymus's writings. Jerome and Palladius mentioned that Didymus had written commentaries on Old Testament books; these commentaries were assumed to be no longer extant until the discovery in 1941 in Tura, Egypt, of papyri containing commentaries on Genesis, Zechariah, Job, Ecclesiastes, and some of the Psalms.
"[A Commentary on Jean-Paul Sartre's Being and Nothingness] represents, I believe, a very important beginning of a deservingly serious effort to make the whole of Being and Nothingness more readily understandable and readable. . . . In his systematic interpretations of Sartre's book, [Catalano] demonstrates a determination to confront many of the most demanding issues and concepts of Being and Nothingness. He does not shrink—as do so many interpreters of Sartre—from such issues as the varied meanings of 'being,' the meaning of 'internal negation' and 'absolute event,' the idiosyncratic senses of transcendence, the meaning of the 'upsurge' in its different contexts, what it means to say that we 'exist our body,' the connotation of such concepts as quality, quantity, potentiality, and instrumentality (in respect to Sartre's world of 'things'), or the origin of negation. . . . Catalano offers what is doubtless one of the most probing, original, and illuminating interpretations of Sartre's crucial concept of nothingness to appear in the Sartrean literature."—Ronald E. Santoni, International Philosophical Quarterly
Sartre’s Critique of Dialectical Reason ranks with Being and Nothingness as a work of major philosophical significance, but it has been largely neglected. The first volume, published in 1960, was dismissed as a Marxist work at a time when structuralism was coming into vogue; the incomplete second volume has only recently been published in France. In this commentary on the first volume, Joseph S. Catalano restores the Critique to its deserved place among Sartre’s works and within philosophical discourse as a whole. Sartre attempts one of the most needed tasks of our times, Catalano asserts—the delivery of history into the hands of the average person.
Sartre’s concern in the Critique is with the historical significance of everyday life. Can we, he asks, as individuals or even collectively, direct the course of our history? A historical context for our lives is given to us at birth, but we sustain that context with even our most mundane actions—buying a newspaper, waiting in line, eating a meal. In looking at history, Sartre argues, reason can never separate the historical situation of the investigator from the investigation. Thus reason falls into a dialectic, always depending upon the past for guidance but always being reshaped by the present.
Clearly showing the influence of Marx on Sartre’s thought, the Critique adds the historical dimension lacking in Being and Nothingness. In placing the Critique within the corpus of Sartre’s philosophical writings, Catalano argues that it represents a development rather than a break from Sartre’s existentialist phase. Catalano has organized his commentary to follow the Critique and has supplied clear examples and concrete expositions of the most difficult ideas. He explicates the dialogue between Marx and Sartre that is internal to the text, and he also discusses Sartre’s Search for Method, which is published separately from the Critique in English editions.
When this work was first published in 1960, it immediately filled a void in Kantian scholarship. It was the first study entirely devoted to Kant's Critique of Practical Reason and by far the most substantial commentary on it ever written. This landmark in Western philosophical literature remains an indispensable aid to a complete understanding of Kant's philosophy for students and scholars alike.
This Critique is the only writing in which Kant weaves his thoughts on practical reason into a unified argument. Lewis White Beck offers a classic examination of this argument and expertly places it in the context of Kant's philosophy and of the moral philosophy of the eighteenth century.
Commentary on Matthew
D.H. St. Hilary of Poiters Catholic University of America Press, 2012 Library of Congress BS2575.53.H5513 2013 | Dewey Decimal 226.207
St. Jerome (347-420) has been considered the pre-eminent scriptural commentator among the Latin Church Fathers. His Commentary on Matthew, written in 398 and profoundly influential in the West, appears here for the first time in English translation.
Commentary on Matthew
Saint Jerome Catholic University of America Press, 2008 Library of Congress BR60.F3J4713 2008 | Dewey Decimal 226.2077
His Commentary on Matthew, written in 398 and profoundly influential in the West, appears here for the first time in English translation. Jerome covers the entire text of Matthew's gospel by means of brief explanatory comments that clarify the text literally and historically.
The Meno, one of the most widely read of the Platonic dialogues, is seen afresh in this original interpretation that explores the dialogue as a theatrical presentation. Just as Socrates's listeners would have questioned and examined their own thinking in response to the presentation, so, Klein shows, should modern readers become involved in the drama of the dialogue. Klein offers a line-by-line commentary on the text of the Meno itself that animates the characters and conversation and carefully probes each significant turn of the argument.
"A major addition to the literature on the Meno and necessary reading for every student of the dialogue."—Alexander Seasonske, Philosophical Review
"There exists no other commentary on Meno which is so thorough, sound, and enlightening."—Choice
Jacob Klein (1899-1978) was a student of Martin Heidegger and a tutor at St. John's College from 1937 until his death. His other works include Plato's Trilogy: Theaetetus, the Sophist, and the Statesman, also published by the University of Chicago Press.
Commentary on the Apocalypse
Andrew of Caesarea Catholic University of America Press, 2012 Library of Congress BS2825.53.A5313 2012 | Dewey Decimal 228.077
Striking a balance between the symbolic language of the book and its literal, prophetic fulfillment, Andrew?s interpretation is a remarkably intelligent, spiritual, and thoughtful commentary that encourages the pursuit of virtue and confidence in the love of God for humanity
This commentary offers a rich introduction and useful guide to the seven surviving plays attributed to Aeschylus. Though it may profitably be used with any translation of Aeschylus, the commentary is based on the acclaimed Chicago translations, The Complete Greek Tragedies, edited by David Grene and Richmond Lattimore.
James C. Hogan provides a general introduction to Aeschylean theater and drama, followed by a line-by-line commentary on each of the seven plays. He places Aeschylus in the historical, cultural, and religious context of fifth-century Athens, showing how the action and metaphor of Aeschylean theater can be illuminated by information on Athenian law athletic contests, relations with neighboring states, beliefs about the underworld, and countless other details of Hellenic life. Hogan clarifies terms that might puzzle modern readers, such as place names and mythological references, and gives special attention to textual and linguistic issues: controversial questions of interpretation; difficult or significant Greek words; use of style, rhetoric, and commonplaces in Greek poetry; and Aeschylus's place in the poetic tradition of Homer, Hesiod, and the elegiac poets. Practical information on staging and production is also included, as are maps and illustrations, a bibliography, indexes, and extensive cross-references between the seven plays. Forthcoming volumes will cover the works of Sophocles and Euripides.
Despite its importance and the frequent references made to it by modern scholars, this commentary has never before been translated into English in its entirety. This volume, which includes an extensive introduction, fills this gap, thus providing a needed contribution to medieval scholarship.
James C. Hogan introduces each play by highlighting specific and interpretive problems relevant to that play before turning to a line-by-line analysis. The line analysis is comprehensive, ranging from the meanings of words and phrases that pertain to a variety of Greek ideas and institutions to metaphor and imagery specific to each play as well as plots and borrowings from earlier poetry, styles, and characterizations.
Along with his examination of the seven extant plays of Sophocles in English translations, Hogan provides a general introduction to the theatre in Sophocles’ time, discussing staging, the conventions of the Greek theatre, the text of the plays, and mythology and religion.
Commentary on Zechariah
Robert C. Didymus the Blind Catholic University of America Press, 2006 Library of Congress BR60.F3D53 2006 | Dewey Decimal 270
A disciple of Origen, whose work on Zechariah reached only to chapter five and is no longer extant, Didymus's commentary on this apocalyptic book illustrates the typically allegorical approach to the biblical text that we associate with Alexandria
Alexander Pushkin’s lyric poetry—much of it known to Russians by heart—is the cornerstone of the Russian literary tradition, yet until now there has been no detailed commentary of it in any language.
Michael Wachtel’s book, designed for those who can read Russian comfortably but not natively, provides the historical, biographical, and cultural context needed to appreciate the work of Russia’s greatest poet. Each entry begins with a concise summary highlighting the key information about the poem’s origin, subtexts, and poetic form (meter, stanzaic structure, and rhyme scheme). In line-by-line fashion, Wachtel then elucidates aspects most likely to challenge non-native readers: archaic language, colloquialisms, and unusual diction or syntax. Where relevant, he addresses political, religious, and folkloric issues.
Pushkin’s verse has attracted generations of brilliant interpreters. The purpose of this commentary is not to offer a new interpretation, but to give sufficient linguistic and cultural contextualization to make informed interpretation possible.
How can we manage a so-called "renewable" natural resource such as a fishery when we don't know how renewable it really is? James A. Crutchfield and Arnold Zellner developed a dynamic and highly successful economic approach to this problem, drawing on extensive data from the Pacific halibut industry. Although the U.S. Department of the Interior published a report about their findings in 1962, it had very limited distribution and is now long out of print.
This book presents a complete reprint of Crutchfield and Zellner's pioneering study, together with a new introduction by the authors and four new papers by other scholars. These new studies cover the history of the Pacific halibut industry as well as the general and specific contributions of the original work—such as price-oriented conservation policy—to the fields of resource economics and management. The resulting volume integrates theory and practice in a clear, well-contextualized case study that will be important not just for environmental and resource economists, but also for leaders of industries dependent on any natural resource.
The Internet allows ethnographers to deposit the textual materials on which they base their writing in virtual archives. Electronically archived fieldwork documents can be accessed at any time by the writer, his or her readers, and the people studied. Johannes Fabian, a leading theorist of anthropological practice, argues that virtual archives have the potential to shift the emphasis in ethnographic writing from the monograph to commentary. In this insightful study, he returns to the recording of a conversation he had with a ritual healer in the Congolese town of Lubumbashi more than three decades ago. Fabian’s transcript and translation of the exchange have been deposited on a website (Language and Popular Culture in Africa), and in Ethnography as Commentary he provides a model of writing in the presence of a virtual archive.
In his commentary, Fabian reconstructs his meeting with the healer Kahenga Mukonkwa Michel, in which the two discussed the ritual that Kahenga performed to protect Fabian’s home from burglary. Fabian reflects on the expectations and terminology that shape his description of Kahenga’s ritual and meditates on how ethnographic texts are made, considering the settings, the participants, the technologies, and the linguistic medium that influence the transcription and translation of a recording and thus fashion ethnographic knowledge. Turning more directly to Kahenga—as a practitioner, a person, and an ethnographic subject—and to the questions posed to him, Fabian reconsiders questions of ethnic identity, politics, and religion. While Fabian hopes that emerging anthropologists will share their fieldwork through virtual archives, he does not suggest that traditional ethnography will disappear. It will become part of a broader project facilitated by new media.
Gazing into the black skies from the Anasazi observatory at Chimney Rock or the Castillo Pyramid in the Maya ruins of Chichén Itzá, a modern visitor might wonder what ancient stargazers looked for in the skies and what they saw. Once considered unresearchable, these questions now drive cultural astronomers who draw on written and unwritten records and a constellation of disciplines to reveal the wonders of ancient and contemporary astronomies.
Cultural astronomy, first called archaeoastronomy, has evolved at ferocious speed since its genesis in the 1960s, with seminal essays and powerful rebuttals published in far-flung, specialized journals. Until now, only the most closely involved scholars could follow the intellectual fireworks. In Foundations of New World Cultural Astronomy, Anthony Aveni, one of cultural astronomy's founders and top scholars, offers a selection of the essays that built the field, from foundational works to contemporary scholarship.
Including four decades of research throughout the Americas by linguists, archaeologists, historians, ethnologists, astronomers, and engineers, this reader highlights the evolution of the field through thematic organization and point-counterpoint articles. Aveni - an award-winning author and former National Professor of the Year - serves up incisive commentary, background for the uninitiated, and suggested reading, questions, and essay topics. Students, readers, and scholars will relish this collection and its tour of a new field in which discoveries about ancient ways of looking at the skies cast light on our contemporary views.
When Gorgias, Plato, and Aristotle were discussing and defining rhetoric in ancient Greece, many students in China, including Sun Bin, a descendent of Sun Tzu, who wrote The Art of War, were learning the techniques of persuasion from Guiguzi, “the Master of the Ghost Valley.” This pre–Qin dynasty recluse provided the basis for what is considered the earliest Chinese treatise devoted entirely to the art of persuasion. Called Guiguzi after its author, this translation of the received text provides an indigenous rhetorical theory and key persuasive strategies, some of which are still used by those involved in decision making and negotiations in China today. In “Guiguzi,” China’s First Treatise on Rhetoric, Hui Wu and C. Jan Swearingen present a new critical translation of this foundational work, which has great historical significance for the study of Chinese rhetoric and communication and yet is little known to Western readers.
Wu’s translation includes footnotes that incorporate both past and present scholarly commentary, and is accompanied by a prefatory introduction that situates Guiguzi in the sociopolitical and cultural realities of ancient China, and a glossary of rhetorical terms used in the treatise. Swearingen presents a comparative study suggesting the similarities and differences between emerging Greek and Chinese rhetorics during the same period, including the cultural contexts of warring states and emergent empires that surrounded each.
“Guiguzi,” China’s First Treatise on Rhetoric combines a new translation of a historically significant text with scholarly analysis and critical apparatus that will contribute to the emerging global understanding of Chinese rhetoric and communication.
The publication in 1807 of Georg Wilhelm Frederich Hegel's Phanomenologie des Geistes (translated alternately as "Phenomenology of the Mind" or "Phenomenology of the Spirit") marked the beginning of the modern era in philosophy. Hegel's remarkable insights formed the basis for what eventually became the Existentialist movement. Yet the Phenomenology remains one of the most difficult and forbidding works in the canon of philosophical literature. Hegel's Phenomenology, Part 1: Analysis and Commentary by Howard P. Kainz provides a coherent and readable key to understanding Hegel.
Kainz provides an accessible entry into the complexities of Hegelian thought by asking a series of questions about such matters as the literary form of the Phenomenology, its "plot," its relation to the "system," its subject matter, the problem of objectivity, dialectical necessity, the concept of "experience," and the Hegelian concept of consciousness. Building of the work of previous commentators, and presenting the work of these commentators in a clear and unbiased manner, Kainz offers an analysis that will be helpful both to experienced Hegelian scholars and to those readers preparing to approach the large and bewildering territory of the Phenomenology for the first time.
The Hibernensis is the longest and most comprehensive canon-law text to have circulated in Carolingian Europe. Compiled in Ireland in the late seventh or early eighth century, it exerted a strong and long-lasting influence on the development of European canon law. The present edition offers—for the first time—a complete text of the Hibernensis combining the two main branches of its manuscript transmission. This is accompanied by an English translation and a commentary that is both historical and philological. The Hibernensis is an invaluable source for those interested in church history, the history of canon law, social-economic history, as well as intellectual history, and the history of the book.
Widely recognized as the single most important source for the history of the church in early medieval Ireland, the Hibernensis is also our best index for knowing what books were available in Ireland at the time of its compilation: it consists of excerpted material from the Bible, Church Fathers and doctors, hagiography, church histories, chronicles, wisdom texts, and insular normative material unattested elsewhere. This in addition to the staple sources of canonical collections, comprising the acta of church councils and papal letters. Altogether there are forty-two cited authors and 135 cited texts. But unlike previous canonical collections, the contents of the Hibernensis are not simply derivative: they have been modified and systematically organised, offering an important insight into the manner in which contemporary clerical scholars attempted to define, interpret, and codify law for the use of a growing Christian society.
In a work with profound implications for the electronic age, Ivan Illich explores how revolutions in technology affect the way we read and understand text.
Examining the Didascalicon of Hugh of St. Victor, Illich celebrates the culture of the book from the twelfth century to the present. Hugh's work, at once an encyclopedia and guide to the art of reading, reveals a twelfth-century revolution as sweeping as that brought about by the invention of the printing press and equal in magnitude only to the changes of the computer age—the transition from reading as a vocal activity done in the monastery to reading as a predominantly silent activity performed by and for individuals.
The text of The Brothers Karamazov is removed from English-speaking readers today not only by time but also by linguistic and cultural boundaries. Victor Terras’s companion work provides readers with a richer understanding of the Dostoevsky novel as the expression of a philosophy and a work of art.
In his introduction, Terras outlines the genesis, main ideas, and structural peculiarities of the novel as well as Dostoevsky’s political, philosophical, and aesthetic stance. The detailed commentary takes the reader through the novel, clarifying aspects of Russian life, the novel’s sociopolitical background, and a number of polemic issues. Terras identifies and explains hundreds of literary and biblical quotations and allusions. He discusses symbols, recurrent images, and structural stylistic patterns, including those lost in English translation.
By virtue of the originality and depth of its thought, Emmanuel Levinas’s masterpiece, Totality and Infinity: An Essay on Exteriority, is destined to endure as one of the great works of philosophy. It is an essential text for understanding Levinas’s discussion of “the Other,” yet it is known as a “difficult” book. Modeled after Norman Kemp Smith’s commentary on Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, Levinas’s Existential Analytic guides both new and experienced readers through Levinas’s text. James R. Mensch explicates Levinas’s arguments and shows their historical referents, particularly with regard to Heidegger, Husserl, and Derrida. Students using this book alongside Totality and Infinity will be able to follow its arguments and grasp the subtle phenomenological analyses that fill it.
"Herlinger deserves the thanks of the scholarly community for having prepared both edition and translation with the most meticulous of critical methods and the greatest of care."—Leeman L. Perkins, Renaissance Quarterly
"An almost archetypal example of unpretentious and honest scholarship."—Alejandro Enrique Planchart, Journal of the American Musicological Society
The writings of Mao Zedong have been circulated throughout the world more widely, perhaps, than those of any other single person this century. The “Talks at the Yan’an Conference on Literature and Art” has occupied a prominent position among his many works and has been the subject of intense scrutiny both within and outside China. This text has undoubted importance to modern Chinese literature and history. In particular, it reveals Mao’s views on such questions as the relationship between writers or works of literature and their audience, or the nature and value of different kinds of literary products.
In this translation and commentary, Bonnie S. McDougall finds that Mao was in fact ahead of many of his critics in the West and his Chinese contemporaries in his discussion of literary issues. Unlike the majority of modern Chinese writers deeply influenced by Western theories of literature and society (including Marxism), Mao remained close to traditional patterns of thought and avoided the often mechanical or narrowly literal interpretations that were the hallmark of Western schools current in China in the early twentieth century.
Many of the detailed discussions on the “Talks” in the West have been concerned with their political and historical significance. However, since Mao is a literary figure of some importance in twentieth-century China, McDougall finds it worthwhile to follow up his published remarks on the nature and source of literature and the means of its evaluation. By better understanding the complex and revolutionary ideas contained in the “Talks,” McDougall suggests we may acquire the necessary analytical tools for a more fruitful investigation into contemporary Chinese literature.
The Medici Codex of 1518 is a privately owned choirbook of motets presented by Francis I to Lorenzo de' Medici, Duke of Urbino. One of the most beautiful manuscripts of the time, it offers and anthology of motets by the greatest composers of the Renaissance, masters such as Josquin, Mouton, Brumel, Willaert, Andreas de Silva, and Costanzo Festa.
It is invaluable for transmitting the excellent readings of the repertory of the French Royal Chapel and a number of political motets of great musical and historical interest that reflect events at the French court and are unique to this collection.
Edward E. Lowinsky presents this anthology as part of a series containing critical editions of major sources of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century music in their entirety.
This first comprehensive commentary on The Spirit of the Laws uncovers and explicates the plan of Montesquieu's famous but baffling treatise. Pangle brings to light Montesquieu's rethinking of the philosophical groundwork of liberalism, showing how The Spirit of the Laws enlarges and enriches the liberal conception of natural right by means of a new appeal to History as the source of basic norms.
This volume of seven essays on the 1987 Nicaraguan constitution does not accept a priori the judgment that Latin American constitutions are as fragile as egg shells, easily broken and discarded if found to be inconvenient to the interests of the rulers. Rather, they are viewed as being central to understanding political life in contemporary Nicaragua.
The perspectives of the analysts and their conclusions are not consensual. They prohibit glib and facile general conclusions. Some find the constitution to be nothing more than a façade for arbitrary and capricious rule; others that the document reflects clear commitments to the democratic rule of law. Thus far the implementation of the constitution has resulted in the peaceful transition of power from the Sandinistas to the National Opposition Union.
A new English translation of the first text translated from Arabic to Armenian for research and classroom use
Robert W. Thomson translates this ninth-century commentary defending the miaphysite theological position of the Armenian church against the chalcedonian position of the Greek Byzantine church. Nonnus’s exegesis of the gospel falls in the context of trends in Eastern Christian biblical exposition, primarily the Syrian tradition. Therefore, Thomson emphasizes the parallels in Syriac commentaries on the book of John, noting also earlier Greek writers whose works were influential in Syria. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in the Armenian church and church history.
Introductory material on the text’s history, manuscript traditions, and theological importance
Translation of the Armenian text and commentary
Bibliography covering the Armenian, Greek, Syriac, and Arabic texts as well as secondary sources
Beginning with Alexis de Tocqueville and Frances Trollope, visitors to America have written some of the most penetrating and, occasionally, scathing commentaries on U.S. politics and culture. Observing America focuses on four of the most insightful British commentators on America between 1890 and 1950. The colorful journalist W. T. Stead championed Anglo-American unity while plunging into reform efforts in Chicago. The versatile writer H. G. Wells fiercely criticized capitalist America but found reason for hope in the administrations of Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt. G. K. Chesterton, one of England’s great men of letters, urged Americans to preserve the vestiges of Jeffersonian democracy that he still discerned in the small towns of the heartland. And the influential political theorist and activist Harold Laski assailed the business ethos that he believed dominated the nation, especially after Franklin Roosevelt’s death.
Robert Frankel examines the New World experiences of these commentators and the books they wrote about America. He also probes similar writings by other prominent observers from the British Isles, including Beatrice Webb, Rudyard Kipling, and George Bernard Shaw. The result is a book that offers keen insights into America’s national identity in a time of vast political and cultural change.
Rescued in 1945 from Dachau--where François Mitterand, his onetime comrade in the resistance, recognized him among the thousands of quarantined prisoners--Robert Antelme set out to do what seemed "unimaginable," to describe not only his experience but the humanity of his captors. The result, The Human Race, was called by George Perec "the finest example in contemporary French writing of what literature can be."
In this volume, the extraordinary nature and extent of Robert Antelme's accomplishment, and of the reverberations he set in motion in French life and literature, finds eloquent expression. The pieces Antelme wrote for journals--including essays on "principles put to the test," man as the "basis of right," and the question of revenge--appear here alongside appreciations of The Human Race by authors from Perec to Maurice Blanchot to Sarah Kofman. Also included are Antelme's personal recollections and interviews with, among others, Dionys Mascolo (who brought Antelme back from Dachau), Marguerite Duras (Antelme's wife, who tells of his return from Germany), and Mitterand.
Ennead I.1 is a succinct and concentrated analysis of key themes in Plotinus' psychology and ethics. It focuses on the soul-body relation, discussing various Platonic, Aristotelian, and Stoic views before arguing that there is only a soul-trace in the body (forming with the body a “compound”), while the reasoning soul itself is impassive and flawless. The soul-trace hypothesis is used to account for human emotions, beliefs, and perceptions, and human fallibility in general. Its problematic relation to our rational powers, as well as the question of moral responsibility, are explored. Plotinus develops his original and characteristic concept of the self or “we,” which is so called because it is investigated as something common to all humans (rather than a private individual self), and because it is multiple, referring to the reasoning soul or to the “living thing” composed of soul-trace and body. Plotinus explores the relation between the “we” and consciousness, and also its relation to the higher metaphysical entities, the Good, and Intellect.
How was the universe created, and what is our place within it? These are the questions at the heart of Plotinus’ Against the Gnostics. For the Gnostics, the universe came into being as a result of the soul’s fall from intelligible reality—it is the evil outcome of a botched creation. Plotinus challenges this, and insists that the soul’s creation of the world is the necessary consequence of its contemplation of the ideal forms. While the Gnostics claim to despise the visible universe, Plotinus argues that such contempt displays their ignorance of the higher realities of which the cosmos is a beautiful image.
Against the Gnostics is a polemical text. It aims to show the superiority of Plotinus’ philosophy over that of his Gnostic rivals, and poses unique challenges: Plotinus nowhere identifies his opponents by name, he does not set out their doctrines in any great detail, and his arguments are frequently elliptical. The detailed commentary provides a guide through these difficulties, making Plotinus’ meandering train of thought in this important treatise accessible to the reader.
On Our Allotted Guardian Spirit is a lively and at times perplexing text combining general reflections on the nature of the soul with a discussion of the phenomenon of a personal guardian spirit. Plotinus wants to interpret Plato, and aims to integrate Plato's various statements about daimones into one comprehensive theory. This leads to some views that are, if not exotic, then at least strange on first encounter. However, a closer reading reveals that Plotinus is not interested in demonology per se. Instead, the central concern of the treatise are ideas about the soul, the self, and self-consciousness. Plotinus' explorations produce a theory of the mind as the agent and activity responsible for a person’s ethical choices and conduct of life. The demon emerges as a philosophical tool passed down from Plato, but adapted and rationalized to try to explain motivation to action, the impulse toward the ethical life, and even the various differences in human ethical and psychological constitution. This innovative theory is a response to a strong and ongoing current of thought in the philosophical tradition.
The introduction offers an overview of ancient demonologies, starting with Homer and the Presocratics, and is followed by an in-depth examination of Plato, the Stoics, Plotinus, and later Neoplatonic developments. As such the book presents Plotinus’ specific rationalizing response to the idea of a guardian spirit in the context of ancient philosophical demonologies.
Ennead IV.4.30–45 and IV.5 retrieves the unity in this last section of Plotinus’ treatise on Problems concerning the Soul. Combining translation with commentary, Gurtler enhances both the accuracy of the translation and the recovery of Plotinus’ often unsuspected originality. This is especially true for IV.5, where previous translations fail to convey the concise nature of his argument against both the Aristotelian and Platonic theories of vision. Plato and Aristotle each claim that vision depends on the light between the eye and the object, but Plotinus presents evidence that this is not the case and develops a novel theory of light as a second activity that moves from source to object directly, even arguing that color is in the light itself rather than merely a quality of the object. This theory of vision, in turn, depends on the nature of sympathy developed especially in IV.4.30–45, where Plotinus shows how action at a distance is both possible and necessary for the proper unity in diversity of the sensible cosmos.
Plotinus’ Ennead V.8, originally part of a single work (with III.8, V.5, and II.9), provides the foundation for a positive view of the universe as an image of divine beauty against the Gnostic rejection of the world. Although it emphasizes the cosmic dimension of beauty, it is, as are most treatises of Plotinus, concerned with the individual soul. The notion that the artist has within him an idea of beauty that derives directly from the intelligible world in fact coincides with his theory that each one of us has access to Intellect through his or her own intellect. It is the exploitation of this theme that forms the central dynamic of the treatise, with its stress on our ability to "see" and be one with the intelligible world and its beauty.
This early treatise is placed by Plotinus’ editor at the very end of the Enneads, as the culmination of his thought, matching Plotinus’ own last recorded instruction, “to bring the god in you back to the god in the all.” It is a cosmological sketch, arguing that the being of anything depends on its being unified by its orientation to its own good, and so also the being of Everything, the All. The One, or the Good, is at once the goal of all things both individually and collectively, and also the transcendent source of all that we experience, mediated through an intelligible order. But it is also, and perhaps more importantly, intended as a guide to the proper education and discipline of our own motives and experience. We are encouraged to put aside immediate sensory data, egoistic prejudice and sensual impulse, first to grasp at least a little of the intelligible order within which we all live, and at last to purge even those last intellectual attachments and experience what cannot be adequately described: the unity of being.
This volume presents for the first time in the Fathers of the Church series the work of an early Christian writer who did not write in either Greek or Latin. It offers new English translations of selected prose works by St. Ephrem the Syrian (c. A.D. 309-373).
This is the 2016 paperback printing of the 2008 edition of the popular text, translation, and commentary by S. A. Farmer. (The 2008 edition was a revised edition of the 1998 original publication).
Published by ACMRS (Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies) in Tempe, Arizona as part of the MRTS (Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies) Series, this book -- previously available only in hardcover and otherwise out-of-print since 2014 -- is now available in its entirety in paperback format.