D. Fishwick, Cult Places and Cult Personnel in the Roman Empire

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Duncan Fishwick, Cult Places and Cult Personnel in the Roman Empire, Farnham, Burlington, VT, 2014.

Éditeur : Ashgate
Collection : Variorum Collected Studies Series: CS1039
392 pages
ISBN : 978-1-4724-1473-1

The twenty-one studies assembled in this volume focus on the apparatus and practitioners of religions in the western Roman empire, the enclaves, temples, altars and monuments that served the cults of a wide range of divinities through the medium of priests and worshippers. Discussion focuses on the analysis or reconstruction of the centres at which devotees gathered and draws on the full range of available evidence. While literary authorities remain of primary concern, these are for the most part overshadowed by other categories of evidence, in particular archaeology, epigraphy, numismatics and iconography, sources in some cases confirmed by the latest geophysical techniques - electrical resistivity tomography or ground-probing radar. The material is conveniently presented by geographical area, using modern rather than Latin terminology: Rome, Italy, Britain, Gaul, Spain, Hungary, along with a broader section that covers the empire in general. The titles of the various articles speak for themselves but readers may find the preface of interest in so far as it sets out my ideas on the use of ancient evidence and the pitfalls of some of the approaches favoured by modern scholars. Together with the wide range of individual papers the preface makes the book of interest to all students of the Roman empire as well as those specifically concerned with the history of religions.

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P. Chaudhuri, The War with God. Theomachy in Roman Imperial Poetry

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Pramit Chaudhuri, The War with God. Theomachy in Roman Imperial Poetry, Oxford, New York, 2014.

Éditeur : Oxford University Press
416 pages
ISBN : 978-0-19-999338-3

Epic and tragedy, from Homer's Achilles and Euripides' Pentheus to Marlowe's Tamburlaine and Milton's Satan, are filled with characters challenging and warring against the gods. Nowhere is the theme of theomachy more frequently and powerfully represented, however, than in the poetry of early imperial Rome, from Ovid's Metamorphoses at the beginning of the first century AD to Statius' Thebaid near its end. This book - the first full-length study of human-divine conflict in Roman literature - asks why the war against god was so important to the poets of the time and how this understudied period of literary history influenced a larger tradition in Western literature.
Drawing on a variety of contexts - politics, religion, philosophy, and aesthetics - Pramit Chaudhuri argues for the fundamental importance of battles between humans and gods in representing the Roman world. A cast of tyrants, emperors, rebels, iconoclasts, philosophers, and ambitious poets brings to life some of the most extraordinary artistic products of classical antiquity. Based on close readings of the major extant epics and selected tragedies, the book replaces a traditionally Virgiliocentric view of imperial epic with a richer dialogue between Greek and Roman texts, contemporary authors, and diverse genres. The renewed sense of a tradition reveals how the conflicts these works represent constitute a distinctive theology informed by other discourses yet peculiar to epic and tragedy. Beginning with the Greek background and ending by looking ahead to developments in the Renaissance, this book charts the history of a theme that would find its richest expression in a time when men became gods and impiety threatened the very order of the world.
Covering a wide range of literary and historical topics - from metapoetics to the sublime, from divination to Epicureanism, and from madness to apotheosis - the book will appeal to all readers interested in Latin literature, Roman cultural history, poetic theology, and the epic and tragic traditions from antiquity to modernity.

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S. Birk, Depicting the Dead. Self-Representation and Commemoration on Roman Sarcophagi

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Stine Birk, Depicting the Dead. Self-Representation and Commemoration on Roman Sarcophagi with Portraits, Aarhus, 2013.

Éditeur : Aarhus University Press
Collection : Aarhus Studies in Mediterranean Antiquity (11)
333 pages
ISBN : 978 87 7124 018 4
kr. 349.95

The present monograph takes its place in a now well-established tradition of seeing sarcophagi as visual statements of deceased individuals that used allegories to plot lives and personal memories against mythological and other idealised narratives. It focuses on Roman sarcophagi, often referred to as stadtrömisch, which reflects the fact that the field has traditionally been dominated by German scholars. The aim of the book is twofold: Firstly, it is an exploration of how to read Roman sarcophagi, which starts from those with portraits, but which can contribute more broadly to the study of sarcophagi in general. Secondly, this book investigates gender values as represented through images and how to locate the individual in standardised iconography.

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N. J. Andrade, Syrian Identity in the Greco-Roman World

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Nathanael J. Andrade, Syrian Identity in the Greco-Roman World, Cambrige, New York, 2013.

Éditeur : Cambridge University Press
Collection : Greek culture in the Roman world
441 pages
ISBN : 9781107012059

By engaging with recent developments in the study of empires, this book examines how inhabitants of Roman imperial Syria reinvented expressions and experiences of Greek, Roman and Syrian identification. It demonstrates how the organization of Greek communities and a peer polity network extending citizenship to ethnic Syrians generated new semiotic frameworks for the performance of Greekness and Syrianness. Within these, Syria's inhabitants reoriented and interwove idioms of diverse cultural origins, including those from the Near East, to express Greek, Roman and Syrian identifications in innovative and complex ways. While exploring a vast array of written and material sources, the book thus posits that Greekness and Syrianness were constantly shifting and transforming categories, and it critiques many assumptions that govern how scholars of antiquity often conceive of Roman imperial Greek identity, ethnicity and culture in the Roman Near East, and processes of 'hybridity' or similar concepts.

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St. Mercier, Cicéron. Les Devoirs

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Stéphane Mercier (éd.), Cicéron. Les Devoirs, Paris, 2014.

Éditeur : Les Belles Lettres
Collection : Classiques en poche
526 pages
ISBN : 978-2-251-80229-9
14,50 €

Dans le traité De officiis, adressé à son fils à la fin de l'année 44 av. J.-C., Cicéron (106-43) adapte et poursuit l'œuvre consacrée par le philosophe stoïcien Panétius à la question du « devoir » (kathêkon/officium), c'est-à-dire de l'action appropriée. Il s'agit, en fait, de déterminer les formes que revêt l'action morale, qui, pour n'être parfaite que chez le sage, ne laisse cependant pas d'être conforme à la droite raison chez l'aspirant à la sagesse.
Le premier livre explore le concept d'honestum (l'honnête comme critère de l'action morale), qui se décline suivant quatre vertus cardinales, dont la principale est la justice. Ensuite, au livre II, Cicéron examine le concept d'utile, qu'il confronte enfin, dans le livre III, avec l'honnête, en défendant la thèse selon laquelle, en dépit des apparences, rien de déshonnête ne peut jamais être vraiment utile.


Source : Les Belles Lettres


C. Lévy, L. Saudelli, Présocratiques latins. Héraclite

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Carlos Lévy, Lucia Saudelli, Présocratiques latins. Héraclite, Paris, 2014.

Éditeur : Les Belles Lettres
Collection : Fragments
200 pages
ISBN : 978-2-251-74215-1
37,00 €

Ce livre est le premier recueil, avec introduction, traductions et commentaires, de tous les témoignages sur Héraclite conservés en latin.

Les spécialistes des Présocratiques se sont peu intéressés aux textes latins qui nous sont parvenus, les considérant comme des traductions maladroites ou des comptes rendus inutiles. Cette approche se révèle trop réductrice, car la tradition latine, riche de citations dans les deux langues, peut éclairer les sources grecques. C'est ainsi que Cicéron est le seul qui révèle la gêne des Néoacadémiciens grecs devant un penseur créateur de thèmes virtuellement sceptiques et qui apparaissait néanmoins comme l'ancêtre du stoïcisme. Le fait même qu'Héraclite ait pu intéresser des Romains constitue un fait considérable pour l'étude de l'acculturation de la philosophie à un monde autre que celui qui l'avait vue naître. Il était considéré comme le penseur du flux universel, tandis qu'à Rome prévalait la notion de grauitas, cette pesanteur fondatrice de toutes les valeurs. Les Romains auraient donc dû se sentir étrangers à un philosophe qui pouvait leur apparaître comme l'incarnation de la leuitas des Grecs, de leur difficulté à affronter la durée. Ce que montre ce livre, au contraire, c'est leur fascination à son égard et une perception originale de ses grands thèmes. Ils se sont intéressés à l'obscurité de son langage, à ses larmes légendaires, à sa pensée du feu ; en revanche, à l'exception de Sénèque, ils se sont sentis peu concernés par le thème du flux et par sa relation au stoïcisme. Quels sont les cheminements qui ont permis la diffusion de son œuvre en latin ? Qu'est devenue son image à l'avènement du christianisme ? Telles sont quelques unes des questions auxquelles ce livre veut répondre.


Source : Les Belles Lettres


B. E. Stevens, Silence in Catullus

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Benjamin Eldon Stevens, Silence in Catullus, Madison-Londres, 2013.

Éditeur : University of Wisconsin Press
Collection : Wisconsin studies in classics
x, 338 pages
ISBN : 9780299296643
34.95 $

Both passionate and artful, learned and bawdy, Catullus is one of the best-known and critically significant poets from classical antiquity. An intriguing aspect of his poetry that has been neglected by scholars is his interest in silence, from the pauses that shape everyday conversation to linguistic taboos and cultural suppressions and the absolute silence of death.

In Silence in Catullus, Benjamin Eldon Stevens offers fresh readings of this Roman poet's most important works, focusing on his purposeful evocations of silence. This deep and varied “poetics of silence” takes on many forms in Catullus's poetic corpus: underscoring the lyricism of his poetry; highlighting themes of desire, immortality-in-culture, and decay; accenting its structures and rhythms; and, Stevens suggests, even articulating underlying philosophies. Combining classical philological methods, contemporary approaches to silence in modern literature, and the most recent Catullan scholarship, this imaginative examination of Catullus offers a new interpretation of one of the ancient world's most influential and inimitable voices.


Source : University of Wisconsin Press


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