N. Horsfall, The Epic Distilled. Studies in the Composition of the Aeneid

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Nicholas Horsfall, The Epic Distilled. Studies in the Composition of the Aeneid, Oxford, 2016.

Éditeur : Oxford University Press
176 pages
ISBN : 9780198758877
45 £


The Epic Distilled is a rich exploration of Virgil's use of sources in the Aeneid, considering elements of history, geography, mythology, and ethnography. Building on and developing the research involved in the author's monumental commentaries on the Aeneid, the volume investigates how the poem was written, what Virgil read, and why particular details are interwoven into the narrative.
The volume looks beyond the Aeneid's poetry and plot to focus on the 'matter' of the epic: details of colour, material, arms, clothing, landscape, and physiology. Details which might seem trivial are revealed as carefully deliberate and highly significant. For instance, one Trojan's specifically oriental trousers are suggestive of the Trojans' non-Roman 'otherness' and fit solidly into a complex ethnographic argument.
In this way, the meaning and implications of Virgil's heavily allusive style, including practices and techniques of composition, are unpicked meticulously. Particularly difficult and intricate passages are delved into and the significance of specific details, legends, arcane references, places, names, digressions, and inconsistencies are uncovered. By exposing new layers of illuminating material, The Epic Distilled offers readers a fresh approach to understanding the full intellectual texture of Virgil's epic poem.

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B. Straumann, Crisis and Constitutionalism. Roman Political Thought

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Benjamin Straumann, Crisis and Constitutionalism. Roman Political Thought from the Fall of the Republic to the Age of Revolution, Oxford, 2016.

Éditeur : Oxford University Press
432 pages
ISBN : 9780199950928
55 £

Crisis and Constitutionalism argues that the late Roman Republic saw, for the first time in the history of political thought, the development of a normative concept of constitution, the concept of a set of constitutional norms designed to guarantee and achieve certain interests of the individual. Benjamin Straumann first explores how a Roman concept of constitution emerged out of the crisis and fall of the Roman Republic. The increasing use of emergency measures and extraordinary powers in the late Republic provoked Cicero and some of his contemporaries to turn a hitherto implicit, inchoate constitutionalism into explicit constitutional argument and theory. The crisis of the Republic thus brought about a powerful constitutionalism and convinced Cicero to articulate the norms and rights that would provide its substance; this typically Roman constitutional theory is described in the second part of the study. Straumann then discusses the reception of Roman constitutional thought up to the late eighteenth century and the American Founding, which gave rise to a new, constitutional republicanism. This tradition was characterized by a keen interest in the Roman Republics decline and fall, and an insistence on the limits of virtue. The crisis of the Republic was interpreted as a constitutional crisis, and the only remedy to escape the Republic's fate — military despotism — was thought to lie, not in republican virtue, but in Roman constitutionalism. By tracing Roman constitutional thought from antiquity to the modern era, this unique study makes a substantial contribution to our understanding of Roman political thought and its reception.

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S. C. Mimouni et M. Scopello, La mystique théorétique et théurgique dans l'Antiquité gréco-romaine: Judaïsmes et christianismes

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Simon C. Mimouni et Madeleine Scopello (éd.), La mystique théorétique et théurgique dans l'Antiquité gréco-romaine: Judaïsmes et christianismes, Turnhout, 2016.

Éditeur : Brepols
Collection : Judaïsme ancien et origines du christianisme 6
601 pages
ISBN : 978-2-503-56188-2

Dans ce volume sont publiés une partie des résultats d'un programme de recherche intitulé «Mystique théorétique et théurgique dans l'Antiquité gréco-romaine» et sous-titré «paganismes, judaïsmes, christianismes»: c'est dire sa diversité, son ouverture et sa portée dans un monde scientifique où le cloisonnement – sans doute rendu inévitable à cause de la variété des sources et concepts – des disciplines et des domaines devient de plus en plus préjudiciable à une perspective globalisante. Ainsi l'objet de ce projet a été de rendre compte non seulement des pratiques mystiques (rituelles ou cultuelles) mais aussi du versant spéculatif ou intellectuel de la mystique tel qu'on le trouve en œuvre, par exemple, dans la philosophie grecque.

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Ph. Bather et Cl. Stocks (éd.), Horace's Epodes. Contexts, Intertexts, and Reception

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Philippa Bather et Claire Stocks (éd.), Horace's Epodes. Contexts, Intertexts, and Reception, Oxford, 2016.

Éditeur : Oxford University Press
304 pages
ISBN : 780198746058
70 £


Horace's Epodes rank among the most under-valued texts of the early Roman principate. Abrasive in style and riddled with apparent inconsistencies, the Epodes have divided critics from the outset, infuriating and delighting them in equal measure. This collection of essays on the Epodes by new and established scholars seeks to overturn this work's ill-famed reputation and to reassert its place as a valid and valued member of Horace's literary corpus. Building upon a recent surge in scholarly interest in the Epodes, the volume goes one step further by looking beyond the collection itself to highlight the importance of intertext, context, and reception. Covering a wide range of topics including the iambic tradition and aspects of gender, it begins with a consideration of the influences of Greek iambic upon the Epodes and ends with a discussion on their reception during the seventeenth century and beyond. By focusing on the connections that can be drawn between the Epodes and other (ancient) works, as well as between the Epodes themselves, the volume will appeal to new and seasoned readers of the poems. In doing so it demonstrates that this smallest, and seemingly most insignificant, of Horace's works is worthy of a place alongside the much-lauded Satires and Odes.

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E. Neri, Tessellata vitrea tardoantichi e altomedievali: Produzione dei materiali e loro messa in opera

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Elisabetta Neri, Tessellata vitrea tardoantichi e altomedievali: Produzione dei materiali e loro messa in opera, Turnhout, 2016.

Éditeur : Brepols
Collection : Bibliothèque de l'Antiquité Tardive 32
408 pages
ISBN : 978-2-503-56791-4
85 €

The production of mosaic glass and the laying technique of wall mosaic tesserae in Late Antique and Early Medieval times is the subject of this book, focusing in particular on the case of Milan.
The first part examines the production process of glass mosaics, in order to reconstruct the commercial and cultural exchanges of the period being studied. Different tools (ethnoarchaeology, technical recipes, archaeometric analyses, archaeological remains, economic sources, quantitative estimates, restoration reports) are used to track the indica-tors of a workshop producing coloured and gold-leaf mosaic glass-cake, to identify the markers of mosaic glass history and technology, and to detect the material outcome of the actions performed by the mosaicist.
The second part investigates the specific issues of the case of Milan, for which a contradictory literature exists, in terms of chronology and cultural framework of the mosaic art. In particular, it reviews the hypotheses relating to a specific glass production workshop and a school of mosaicists.
The archaeological remains, literary sources, iconographic evidence, and archaeometric analyses, despite their difficult interpretation, allow the identification of three stages of diffusion of the mosaic art in Milan: the late Imperial age, the age of the Goths, and the final centuries of the Early Middle Ages. Four significant cases are analysed: the Imperial mausoleum of St. Victor ad Corpus (4th century), the Basilica of St. Lawrence (early 5th century), the baptistery of St. John ad Fontes (end 5th-6th century) and the Basilica of St. Ambrose (5th-6th and 10th centuries).
This research contributes to several open questions: the technology of glass and gold in a period of technological transition, the mural decoration of Milanese buildings, the choices made by the customers who financed the buildings, the investment required, the social and commercial relations established in order to carry out the works.

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St. Mason, A History of the Jewish War AD 66–74

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Steve Mason, A History of the Jewish War AD 66–74, Cambridge, 2016.

Éditeur : Cambridge University Press
Collection : Key Conflicts of Classical Antiquity
735 pages
ISBN : 9780521853293
150 $ (relié)

A conflict that erupted between Roman legions and some Judaeans in late A.D. 66 had an incalculable impact on Rome's physical appearance and imperial governance; on ancient Jews bereft of their mother-city and temple; and on early Christian fortunes. Historical scholarship and cinema alike tend to see the conflict as the culmination of long Jewish resistance to Roman oppression. In this volume, Steve Mason re-examines the war in all relevant contexts (e.g., the Parthian dimension, Judaea's place in Roman Syria) and phases, from the Hasmoneans to the fall of Masada. Mason approaches each topic as a historical investigation, clarifying problems that need to be solved, understanding the available evidence, and considering scenarios that might explain the evidence. The simplest reconstructions make the conflict more humanly intelligible while casting doubt on received knowledge.

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Avit de Vienne, Lettres

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Avit de Vienne, Lettres. Introduction et texte établi par Elena Malaspina. Traduction et notes par Marc Reydellet, Paris, 2016.

Éditeur : Les Belles Lettres
Collection : Collection des universités de France. Série latine
CLXV - 640 pages
ISBN : 978-2-251-01471-5
44 €

1. Avit dans son milieu historico-culturel
2. La Correspondance d'Avit : typologie des lettres
3. Langue et style
4. La connaissance de la prose d'Avit dans l'Antiquité
5. La conservation des écrits d'Avit
6. La transmission du texte des épîtres d'Avit
7. Les éditions
8. La présente édition

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