A Companion to Byzantine Epistolography
Riehle, Alexander, ed. 2020. A Companion to Byzantine Epistolography. Boston: Brill. Publisher's Version Abstract
A Companion to Byzantine Epistolography introduces and contextualizes the culture of Byzantine letter-writing from various socio-historical, material and literary angles. While this culture was long regarded as an ivory-tower pastime of intellectual elites, the eighteen essays in this volume, authored by leading experts in the field, show that epistolography had a vital presence in many areas of Byzantine society, literature and art. The chapters offer discussions of different types of letters and intersections with non-epistolary genres, their social functions as media of communication and performance, their representations in visual and narrative genres, and their uses in modern scholarship. The volume thus contributes to a more nuanced understanding of letter-writing in the Byzantine Empire and beyond.
Verso una poetica rituale
Yatromanolakis, D., and P. Roilos. 2014. Verso una poetica rituale. Lecce, Italia: Argo. Publisher's Version Abstract

Il modello teorico di una poetica rituale proposta da D. Yatromanolakis e O. Roilos fonda una nuova problematica che si basa sulla inscrizione di forme rituali in più vasti sistemi d'espressione culturali e sociopolitici all'interno di varie tradizioni del mondo greco.
Il "caso greco", col suo materiale sterminato, contrassegnato da svariate continuità e discontinuità, spesso pieno di rimaneggiamenti ideologicamente ispirati nell'arco di tre millenni, offre un terreno certamente impegnativo ma fecondo per indagini comparative.
L'ipotesi è verificata in tre precisi ambiti di ricerca: Saffo e la lirica greca arcaica, il romanzo bizantino del XII secolo e l'opera poetica di Odysseas Elytis.

Ancient Bronzes through a Modern Lens: Introductory Essays on the Study of Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Bronzes

With contributions by Lisa M. Anderson, Francesca G. Bewer, Ruth Bielfeldt, Susanne Ebbinghaus, Katherine Eremin, Seán Hemingway, Henry Lie, Carol C. Mattusch, Josef Riederer, and Adrian Stähli.

This publication brings together prominent art historians, conservators, and scientists to discuss fresh approaches to the study of ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern works of bronze. Featuring significant bronzes from the Harvard Art Museums’ holdings as well as other museum collections, the volume’s eight essays present technical and formal analyses in a format that will be useful for both general readers and students of ancient art. The text provides an overview of ancient manufacturing processes as well as modern methods of scientific examination, and it focuses on objects as diverse as large-scale statuary and more utilitarian armor, vessels, and lamps. Filling a current gap in the art historical literature, this book offers a much-needed, accessible introduction to ancient bronzes.

The Virgil Encyclopedia
Thomas, Richard F, and Jan M Ziolkowski, ed. 2014. The Virgil Encyclopedia. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 1600. Publisher's Version Abstract

The Virgil Encyclopedia is the first comprehensive reference volume to be published in English on Publius Vergilius Maro, the classical Roman poet whose works and thoughts have been at the center of Western literary, cultural, artistic, and pedagogical traditions for more than two millennia. Through more than 2,200 carefully researched entries, scholars and students alike are provided with an in-depth treatment of all aspects of Virgil’s poetry and his immeasurable influence that continues to the present day.

Le jardin dans l’Antiquité
Coleman, Kathleen, ed. 2014. Le jardin dans l’Antiquité. Vandoeuvres: Fondation Hardt. Publisher's Version Abstract


P. DUCREY, "Préface"
K. COLEMAN, "Melior's plane tree: an introduction to the ancient garden"
C. E. LOEBEN, "Der Garten im und am Grab - Götter in Gärten und Gärten für Götter: reale und dargestellte Gärten im Alten Ägypten"
S. DALLEY, "From Mesopotamian temples as sacred groves to the date-palm motif in Greek art and architecture"
E. PRIOUX, "Parler de jardin pour parler de créations littéraires"
R. TAYLOR, "Movement, vision, and quotation in the gardens of Herod the Great"
A. MARZANO, "Roman gardens, military conquests, and elite self-representation"
B. BERGMANN, "The concept of boundary in the Roman garden"
G. CANEVA, "Il giardino come espressione del divino nelle rappresentazioni dell'antica Roma"
R. L. FOX, "Early Christians and the gardens: image and reality"

Medieval Greek Storytelling: Fictionality and Narrative in Byzantium
Roilos, Panagiotis, ed. 2014. Medieval Greek Storytelling: Fictionality and Narrative in Byzantium. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag. Publisher's Version Abstract

Written by eminent scholars in the field of Byzantine studies, the majority of the chapters included in Medieval Greek Storytelling: Fictionality and Narrative in Byzantium are revised versions of the papers that were presented at an international conference that Panagiotis Roilos organized at Harvard University in December 2009. The topics explored in the book cover an extensive chronological range of postclassical Greek culture(s) and literature, from early Christianity to early modern Greek literature, with a pronounced focus on the Byzantine period, as well as a variety of genres: hagiography, historiography, chronicles, “patriographic literature,” the novel, the epic, and philological commentary. One of the main aims of the book is to shift the focus of current scholarship on fictionality from those genres that are traditionally identified as “fictional,” such as the novel and the epic, to other literary discourses that lay claim to historical objectivity and veracity. By doing so, this volume as a whole sheds new light on the interpenetration of different, often apparently antithetical discursive categories and strategies and on the ensuing problematization of established demarcations between “historicity” and fictionality, as well as “objectivity” and imaginary arbitrariness, in diverse Byzantine literary and broader cultural contexts.

The Land of the Elephant Kings: Space, Territory, and Ideology in the Seleucid Empire

The Seleucid Empire (311–64 BCE) was unlike anything the ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern worlds had seen. Stretching from present-day Bulgaria to Tajikistan—the bulk of Alexander the Great’s Asian conquests—the kingdom encompassed a territory of remarkable ethnic, religious, and linguistic diversity; yet it did not include Macedonia, the ancestral homeland of the dynasty. The Land of the Elephant Kings investigates how the Seleucid kings, ruling over lands to which they had no historic claim, attempted to transform this territory into a coherent and meaningful space.

Based on recent archaeological evidence and ancient primary sources, Paul J. Kosmin’s multidisciplinary approach treats the Seleucid Empire not as a mosaic of regions but as a land unified in imperial ideology and articulated by spatial practices. Kosmin uncovers how Seleucid geographers and ethnographers worked to naturalize the kingdom’s borders with India and Central Asia in ways that shaped Roman and later medieval understandings of “the East.” In the West, Seleucid rulers turned their backs on Macedonia, shifting their sense of homeland to Syria. By mapping the Seleucid kings’ travels and studying the cities they founded—an ambitious colonial policy that has influenced the Near East to this day—Kosmin shows how the empire’s territorial identity was constructed on the ground. In the empire’s final century, with enemies pressing harder and central power disintegrating, we see that the very modes by which Seleucid territory had been formed determined the way in which it fell apart.

The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours
Nagy, Gregory. 2013. The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours. Cambridge, MA; London: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. Publisher's Version Abstract

The ancient Greeks’ concept of “the hero” was very different from what we understand by the term today, Gregory Nagy argues—and it is only through analyzing their historical contexts that we can truly understand Achilles, Odysseus, Oedipus, and Herakles.

In Greek tradition, a hero was a human, male or female, of the remote past, who was endowed with superhuman abilities by virtue of being descended from an immortal god. Despite their mortality, heroes, like the gods, were objects of cult worship. Nagy examines this distinctively religious notion of the hero in its many dimensions, in texts spanning the eighth to fourth centuries BCE: the Homeric Iliad and Odyssey; tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides; songs of Sappho and Pindar; and dialogues of Plato. All works are presented in English translation, with attention to the subtleties of the original Greek, and are often further illuminated by illustrations taken from Athenian vase paintings.

The fifth-century BCE historian Herodotus said that to read Homer is to be a civilized person. In twenty-four installments, based on the Harvard University course Nagy has taught and refined since the late 1970s, The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours offers an exploration of civilization’s roots in the Homeric epics and other Classical literature, a lineage that continues to challenge and inspire us today.

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