Publications

T. S. Berzon, Classifying Christians

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Todd S. Berzon, Classifying Christians. Ethnography, Heresiology, and the Limits of Knowledge in Late Antiquity, Oakland, 2016.

Éditeur : University of California Press
95 $
ISBN : 9780520284265
320 pages

Classifying Christians investigates late antique Christian heresiologies as ethnographies that catalogued and detailed the origins, rituals, doctrines, and customs of the heretics in explicitly polemical and theological terms. Oscillating between ancient ethnographic evidence and contemporary ethnographic writing, Todd S. Berzon argues that late antique heresiology shares an underlying logic with classical ethnography in the ancient Mediterranean world. By providing an account of heresiological writing from the second to fifth century, Classifying Christians embeds heresiology within the historical development of imperial forms of knowledge that have shaped western culture from antiquity to the present.

 

Source : University of California Press

 

C. Damon, Caesar. Civil War

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Cynthia Damon (éd.), Caesar. Civil War, Cambridge [MA]-Londres, 2016.

Éditeur : Harvard University Press
Collection : Loeb Classical Library
450 pages
ISBN : 9780674997035
26 $

 

Caesar (C. Iulius, 102–44 BC), statesman and soldier, defied the dictator Sulla; served in the Mithridatic wars and in Spain; entered Roman politics as a “democrat” against the senatorial government; was the real leader of the coalition with Pompey and Crassus; conquered all Gaul for Rome; attacked Britain twice; was forced into civil war; became master of the Roman world; and achieved wide-reaching reforms until his murder. We have his books of commentarii (notes): eight on his wars in Gaul from 58–52 BC, including the two expeditions to Britain in 55–54, and three on the civil war of 49–48. They are records of his own campaigns (with occasional digressions) in vigorous, direct, clear, unemotional style and in the third person, the account of the civil war being somewhat more impassioned.

This edition of the Civil War replaces the earlier Loeb Classical Library edition by A. G. Peskett (1914) with new text, translation, introduction, and bibliography. In the Loeb Classical Library edition of Caesar, Volume I is his Gallic War; Volume III consists of Alexandrian War, African War, and Spanish War, commonly ascribed to Caesar by our manuscripts but of uncertain authorship.

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J. Haldon, The Empire That Would Not Die. The Paradox of Eastern Roman Survival, 640–740

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John Haldon, The Empire That Would Not Die. The Paradox of Eastern Roman Survival, 640–740, Cambridge [MA], 2016.

Éditeur : Harvard University Press
Collection : Carl Newell Jackson Lectures
432 pages
ISBN : 9780674088771
45 $

The eastern Roman Empire was the largest state in western Eurasia in the sixth century. Only a century later, it was a fraction of its former size. Surrounded by enemies, ravaged by warfare and disease, the empire seemed destined to collapse. Yet it did not die. In this holistic analysis, John Haldon elucidates the factors that allowed the eastern Roman Empire to survive against all odds into the eighth century.

By 700 CE the empire had lost three-quarters of its territory to the Islamic caliphate. But the rugged geography of its remaining territories in Anatolia and the Aegean was strategically advantageous, preventing enemies from permanently occupying imperial towns and cities while leaving them vulnerable to Roman counterattacks. The more the empire shrank, the more it became centered around the capital of Constantinople, whose ability to withstand siege after siege proved decisive. Changes in climate also played a role, permitting shifts in agricultural production that benefitted the imperial economy.

At the same time, the crisis confronting the empire forced the imperial court, the provincial ruling classes, and the church closer together. State and church together embodied a sacralized empire that held the emperor, not the patriarch, as Christendom's symbolic head. Despite its territorial losses, the empire suffered no serious political rupture. What remained became the heartland of a medieval Christian Roman state, with a powerful political theology that predicted the emperor would eventually prevail against God's enemies and establish Orthodox Christianity's world dominion.

 

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Grégoire de Tours, La Vie des Pères

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Grégoire de Tours, La Vie des Pères. Texte revu et traduit par Luce Pietri, Paris, 2016.

Éditeur : Les Belles Lettres
Collection : Classiques de l'histoire au Moyen Âge
LII - 360 pages
ISBN : 978-2-251-34306-8
45 €


Dans ce recueil de vingt biographies, figurent vingt-trois « Pères » – évêques, abbés, moines ainsi qu'une moniale – choisis par Grégoire de Tours pour avoir, par leur ascèse et leur charité, mené en Gaule, entre le ive et le vie siècle, une même « vie » consacrée à Dieu. Chacune de ces biographies nous introduit dans une cité du territoire gaulois qui, demeurée dans l'Antiquité Tardive le cadre familial et social de l'existence quotidienne des habitants, s'identifie désormais à la communauté ecclésiale locale, sous la protection d'un ou de plusieurs patrons célestes. Avec ces épisodes, l'auteur révèle son talent de conteur habile à tenir en haleine ses lecteurs par tous les ressorts de la narration. En s'efforçant de retenir ainsi leur attention, l'évêque de Tours souhaite oeuvrer au salut des fidèles auxquels s'adresse son message : les Pères sont des modèles qu'ils doivent s'efforcer d'imiter, mais aussi de puissants intercesseurs auprès de Dieu qui, par leur entremise, opère des miracles salvateurs.

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John Owen, Épigrammes

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John Owen, Épigrammes.Édition, introduction, traduction et notes par Sylvain Durand, Paris, 2016.

Éditeur : Les Belles Lettres
Collection : Classiques de l'humanisme
CCCXLIV-1061 pages
ISBN : 978-2-251-80131-5
95 €


Il est difficile d'imaginer aujourd'hui la vogue dont jouirent pendant plusieurs siècles les Epigrammes de John Owen (1564-1622), qui en leur temps firent saluer leur auteur comme le « Martial anglais », le « second Martial », « Martial ressuscité ». Plus exclusivement intellectuel que son modèle latin, Owen n'eut jamais sa richesse de dons, ni son puissant réalisme, ni inversement sa grâce et sa tendresse, ni ses raffinements d'artiste. Mais dans le domaine volontairement restreint de la satire morale et dans le cadre étroit du distique, son instrument privilégié, il porte l'épigramme à un point d'achèvement qui ne devait plus être égalé : jamais l'épigramme n'a été aussi proche de la maxime au sens que lui donnera bientôt notre La Rochefoucauld et avec laquelle elle partage le brillant et l'étincelante netteté.

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B. Delignon, N. Le Meur et O. Thévenaz (éd.), La poésie lyrique dans la cité antique. Les Odes d'Horace au miroir de la lyrique grecque archaïque

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Bénédicte Delignon, Nadine Le Meur et Olivier Thévenaz (éd.), La poésie lyrique dans la cité antique. Les Odes d'Horace au miroir de la lyrique grecque archaïque, Lyon, 2016.

Éditeur : De Boccard
Collection : CEROR
359 pages
ISBN : 978-2-36442-058-8
36 €

La cité est le contexte premier dans lequel il convient de situer la lyrique antique. En Grèce archaïque, les fonctions civiques des formes lyriques sont multiples. Dans la Rome augustéenne, le rôle politique de la poésie est également crucial et culmine lors des Jeux séculaires de 17 avant notre ère, pour lesquels Horace obtient la charge de composer un chant choral.
Attentif aux spécificités de chaque discours poétique, ainsi qu'à la diversité des cultures et des cités qui les voient naître, le présent ouvrage approfondit et affine notre perception des enjeux civiques et politiques de la lyrique. Il se focalise sur la façon dont Horace, dans les Épodes et les Odes, assume et réoriente l'héritage archaïque pour recréer une partie de ses formes dans le contexte augustéen et devenir la voix d'une Rome refondée.

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D. Feeney, Beyond Greek. The Beginnings of Latin Literature

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Denis Feeney, Beyond Greek. The Beginnings of Latin Literature, Cambridge [MA], 2016.

Éditeur : Harvard University Press
400 pages
ISBN : 9780674055230
35 $

 

Virgil, Ovid, Cicero, Horace, and other authors of ancient Rome are so firmly established in the Western canon today that the birth of Latin literature seems inevitable. Yet, Denis Feeney boldly argues, the beginnings of Latin literature were anything but inevitable. The cultural flourishing that in time produced the Aeneid, the Metamorphoses, and other Latin classics was one of the strangest events in history.

Beyond Greek traces the emergence of Latin literature from 240 to 140 BCE, beginning with Roman stage productions of plays that represented the first translations of Greek literary texts into another language. From a modern perspective, translating foreign-language literature into the vernacular seems perfectly normal. But in an ancient Mediterranean world made up of many multilingual societies with no equivalent to the text-based literature of the Greeks, literary translation was unusual if not unprecedented. Feeney shows how it allowed Romans to systematically take over Greek forms of tragedy, comedy, and epic, making them their own and giving birth to what has become known as Latin literature.

The growth of Latin literature coincides with a period of dramatic change in Roman society. The powerful but geographically confined Roman city-state of 320 BCE had conquered all of Italy just fifty years later. By the time Rome became the unquestioned dominant power in the Mediterranean over the course of the next century, its citizens could boast of having a distinct vernacular literature, as well as a historical tradition and mythology, that put them in a unique relationship with Greek culture.

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