M. Kulikowski, The Triumph of Empire: The Roman World from Hadrian to Constantine

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Michael Kulikowski, The Triumph of Empire: The Roman World from Hadrian to Constantine, Cambridge [MA], 2016.

Éditeur : Harvard University Press
400 pages
ISBN : 9780674659612
35 $


The Triumph of Empire takes readers into the political heart of imperial Rome and recounts the extraordinary challenges overcome by a flourishing empire. Michael Kulikowski's history begins with the reign of Hadrian, who visited the farthest reaches of his domain and created stable frontiers, and spans to the decades after Constantine the Great, who overhauled the government, introduced a new state religion, and founded a second Rome.

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K. Pollmann, The Baptized Muse. Early Christian Poetry as Cultural Authority

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Karla Pollmann, The Baptized Muse. Early Christian Poetry as Cultural Authority, Oxford, 2017.

Éditeur : Oxford University Press
288 pages
ISBN : 9780198726487
55 £

With the rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire increasing numbers of educated people converted to this new belief. As Christianity did not have its own educational institutions the issue of how to harmonize pagan education and Christian convictions became increasingly pressing. Especially classical poetry, the staple diet of pagan education, was considered to be morally corrupting (due to its deceitful mythological content) and damaging for the salvation of the soul (because of the false gods it advocated). But Christianity recoiled from an unqualified anti-intellectual attitude, while at the same time the experiment of creating an idiosyncratic form of genuinely Christian poetry failed (the sole exception being the poet Commodianus). In The Baptized Muse: Early Christian Poetry as Cultural Authority, Karla Pollmann argues that, instead, Christian poets made creative use of the classical literary tradition, and—in addition to blending it with Judaeo-Christian biblical exegesis—exploited poetry's special ability of enhancing communicative effectiveness and impact through aesthetic means. Pollman explores these strategies through a close analysis of a wide range of Christian, and for comparison partly also pagan, writers mainly from the fourth to sixth centuries. She reveals that early Christianity was not a hermetically sealed uniform body, but displays a rich spectrum of possibilities in dealing with the past and a willingness to engage with and adapt the surrounding culture(s), thereby developing diverse and changing responses to historical challenges. By demonstrating throughout that authority is a key in understanding the long denigrated and misunderstood early Christian poets, this book reaches the ground-breaking conclusion that early Christian poetry is an art form that gains its justification by adding cultural authority to Christianity. Thus, in a wider sense it engages with the recently developed interdisciplinary scholarly interest in aspects of religion as cultural phenomena.


Source : Oxford University Press


M. Hammond et M. Goodman, Josephus. The Jewish War

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Martin Hammond et Martin Goodman (éd.), Josephus. The Jewish War, Oxford, 2017.

Éditeur : Oxford University Press
Collection : Oxford World's Classics
608 pages
ISBN : 9780199646029
10,99 £

'I am Josephus...I myself fought against the Romans'
In August of AD 70 the city of Jerusalem was destroyed by Roman forces after a six-month siege. This was the disastrous outcome of a Jewish revolt against Roman domination which began in AD 66 with some early success, but soon became mired in factional conflict. The war ended in the destruction of the famous Jewish Temple (rebuilt by Herod the Great a century before).
The remarkable story of the war is narrated by an eye-witness and participant, Josephus. He was at first a rebel commander, then after his capture, supported Titus in the final assault on Jerusalem. Josephus spares no detail of a horrific conflict - atrocities on both sides, the reign of terror in Jerusalem, the appalling conditions of the siege, and the final mass suicide at Masada. His vivid narrative is our prime source for this period of history. It is a dramatic story, with resonances to the present day.


Source : Oxford University Press


T. Br. Mitford, East of Asia: Minor Rome's Hidden Frontier

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Timothy Bruce Mitford, East of Asia: Minor Rome's Hidden Frontier, Oxford, 2017.

Éditeur : Oxford University Press
736 pages
ISBN : 9780198725176
225 £

The north-eastern frontier of the Roman Empire - one of the great gaps in modern knowledge of the ancient world - has long eluded research. It has defied systematic exploration and been insulated against all but passing survey by wars, instability, political sensitivities, language, and the region's wild, remote mountains, mostly accessible only on horseback or on foot. Its path lay across eastern Turkey, following the Euphrates valley northwards from Syria, through gorges and across great ranges, and passing over the Pontic Alps to reach the further shores of the Black Sea. Vespasian established Rome's frontier against Armenia half a century before Hadrian's Wall. Five times as long, and climbing seven times as high, it was garrisoned ultimately by four legions and a large auxiliary army, stationed in intermediate forts linked by military roads.

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L. Donovan Ginsberg, Staging Memory, Staging Strife. Empire and Civil War in the Octavia

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Lauren Donovan Ginsberg, Staging Memory, Staging Strife. Empire and Civil War in the Octavia, Oxford, 2017.

Éditeur : Oxford University Press
248 pages
ISBN : 9780190275952
47,99 £

The turbulent decade of the 60s CE brought Rome to the brink of collapse. It began with Nero's ruthless elimination of Julio-Claudian rivals and ended in his suicide and the civil wars that followed. Suddenly Rome was forced to confront an imperial future as bloody as its Republican past and a ruler from outside the house of Caesar. The anonymous historical drama Octavia is the earliest literary witness to this era of uncertainty and upheaval. In this book, Ginsberg offers a new reading of how the play intervenes in the wars over memory surrounding Nero's fall. Though Augustus and his heirs had claimed that the Principate solved Rome's curse of civil war, the play reimagines early imperial Rome as a landscape of civil strife in which the ruling family waged war both on itself and on its people. In doing so, the Octavia shows how easily empire becomes a breeding ground for the passions of discord.

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N. Coffee, Gift and Gain. How Money Transformed Ancient Rome

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Neil Coffee, Gift and Gain. How Money Transformed Ancient Rome, Oxford, 2017.

Éditeur : Oxford University Press
312 pages
ISBN : 9780190496432
47,99 £

The economy of ancient Rome, with its money, complex credit arrangements, and long-range shipping, was surprisingly modern. Yet Romans also exchanged goods and services within a robust system of gifts and favors, which sustained the supportive relationships necessary for survival in the absence of the extensive state and social institutions. In Gift and Gain: How Money Transformed Ancient Rome, Neil Coffee shows how a vibrant commercial culture progressively displaced systems of gift giving over the course of Rome's classical era. The change was propelled the Roman elite, through their engagement in shipping, moneylending, and other enterprises. Members of the same elite, however, remained habituated to traditional gift relationships, relying on them to exercise influence and build their social worlds. They resisted the transformation, through legislation, political movements, and philosophical argument. The result was a recurring clash across the contexts of Roman social and economic life. The book traces the conflict between gift and gain from Rome's prehistory, down through the conflicts of the late Republic, into the early Empire, showing its effects in areas as diverse as politics, government, legal representation, philosophical thought, public morality, personal and civic patronage, marriage, dining, and the Latin language. These investigations show Rome shifting, unevenly but steadily, away from its pre-historic reliance on relationships of mutual aid, and toward to the more formal, commercial, and contractual relations of modernity.


Source : Oxford University Press


J. C. Martín-Iglesias, El denominado Cronicón de Guillem Mascaró († 1405) y sus continuaciones

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Jose Carlos Martín-Iglesias, El denominado Cronicón de Guillem Mascaró († 1405) y sus continuaciones. Introducción, edición y traducción, Paris, 2017.

Éditeur : SEMH-Sorbonne
Collection : Les Livres d'e-Spania. Sources, 8
ISSN : 2109-8972
En ligne :

Ce travail fournit l'editio princeps de la Chronique de Guillem Mascaró († 1405), qui jouissait d'un bénéfice à la cathédrale de Barcelone. Cette Chronique, transmise par le manuscrit désigné comme Barcelona, Biblioteca de Cataluña, 485, est rédigée en latin et en catalan. Elle est divisée en deux parties: la première commence par une chronologie du monde depuis Adam jusqu'à Jésus Christ et se termine en 1397 ; la seconde commence en 714 apr. J. C. et se termine en 1398. Le récit est continué par d'autres notices sur les années 1405-1406 et 1452. Parmi les sources du texte, on peut citer les Etymologiae d'Isidore de Séville, la Chronica de Sicard de Crémone, le Speculum historiale de Vincent de Beauvais, la bulle Vox in excelso du pape Clément V et une compilation annalistique de la famille des chroniques Barcinonenses. Cette édition est précédée d'une étude du manuscrit et du contenu de l'œuvre, et suivie d'une traduction du récit historique, accompagnée de notes.

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