The Inner Lives of Ancient Houses (OUP) J. A. Baird £85
Dura-Europos, on the Syrian Euphrates, is one of the best preserved and most extensively excavated sites of the Roman world. A Hellenistic foundation later held by the Parthians and then the Romans, Dura had a Roman military garrison installed within its city walls before it was taken by the Sasanians in the mid-third century. The Inner Lives of Ancient Houses is the first study to consider the houses of the site as a whole. The houses were excavated by a team from Yale and the French Academy of Inscriptions and Letters in the 1920s and 30s, and though a wealth of archaeological and textual material was recovered, most of that relating to housing was never published. Through a combination of archival information held at the Yale University Art Gallery and new fieldwork with the Mission Franco-Syrienne d’Europos-Doura, this study re-evaluates the houses of the site, integrating architecture, artefacts, and textual evidence, and examining ancient daily life and cultural interaction, as well as considering houses which were modified for use by the Roman military.
A Handbook to the Reception of Ovid now in stock £120
A Handbook to the Reception of Ovid presents more than 30 original essays written by leading scholars revealing the rich diversity of critical engagement with Ovid’s poetry that spans the Western tradition from antiquity to the present day. Offers innovative perspectives on Ovid’s poetry and its reception from antiquity to the present day Features contributions from more than 30 leading scholars in the Humanities. Introduces familiar and unfamiliar figures in the history of Ovidian reception. Demonstrates the enduring and transformative power of Ovid’s poetry into modern times.
Latin: A Linguistic Introduction by Renato Oniga (OUP) £24.99 (20% off RRP in store!
This textbook provides a detailed introduction to the study of Latin from the perspective of contemporary linguistics. It adopts some basic tenets of generative grammar in an in-depth analysis of the main phonological, morphological, and syntactic properties of Latin, and offers a step-by-step guide to the universal principles and specific parameters which shape the language, along with comparative data from English and other languages. Latin: A Linguistic Introduction is a user-friendly and essential guide to the synchronic study of Latin as a natural language. The clarity of exposition and the richness of the examples cited provide a new approach to Latin as a topic of linguistic research: although the general structure of the book is like that of a traditional Latin grammar, the discussion of grammatical rules is both more straightforward and more theoretically informed. This textbook is principally suitable for students of Latin and Romance linguistics at undergraduate level and above, but also for teachers and researchers interested in new ways of looking at the study of Latin. It differs from many other textbooks in the field by striking a valuable balance between the longstanding tradition of classical philology and the innovations of contemporary linguistics.
The Lagoon. How Aristotle Invented Science by Armand Marie Leroi £20 (£5 off RRP £25)
In the Eastern Aegean lies an island of forested hills and olive groves, with streams, marshes and a lagoon that nearly cuts the land in two. It was here, over two thousand years ago, that Aristotle came to work. Aristotle was the greatest philosopher of all time. Author of the Poetics, Politics and Metaphysics, his work looms over the history of Western thought. But he was also a biologist – the first. Aristotle explored the mysteries of the natural world. With the help of fishermen, hunters and farmers, he catalogued the animals in his world, dissected them, observed their behaviours and recorded how they lived, fed, and bred. In his great zoological treatise, Historia animalium, he described the mating habits of herons, the sexual incontinence of girls, the stomachs of snails, the sensitivity of sponges, the flippers of seals, the sounds of cicadas, the destructiveness of starfish, the dumbness of the deaf, the flatulence of elephants and the structure of the human heart. And then, in another dozen books, he explained it all. In The Lagoon, acclaimed biologist Armand Marie Leroi recovers Aristotle’s science. He goes to Lesbos to see the creatures that Aristotle saw, where he saw them, and explores the Philosopher’s deep ideas and inspired guesses – as well as the things that he got wildly wrong. Leroi shows how Aristotle’s science is deeply intertwined with his philosophical system and how modern science even now bears the imprint of its inventor.
From Jupiter to Christ. Jorg Rupke (OUP) £65
The history of Roman imperial religion is of fundamental importance to the history of religion in Europe. Emerging from a decade of research, From Jupiter to Christ demonstrates that the decisive change within the Roman imperial period was not a growing number of religions or changes in their ranking and success, but a modification of the idea of ‘religion’ and a change in the social place of religious practices and beliefs. Religion is shown to be transformed from a medium serving the individual necessities – dealing with human contingencies like sickness, insecurity, and death – and a medium serving the public formation of political identity, into an encompassing system of ways of life, group identities, and political legitimation. Instead of offering an encyclopaedic presentation of religious beliefs, symbols, and practices throughout the period, the volume thematically presents the media that manifested and diffused religion (institutions, texts, and law), and analyses representative cases. It asks how religion changed in processes of diffusion and immigration, how fast (or how slow) practices and institutions were appropriated and modified, and reveals how these changes made Roman religion ‘exportable’, creating those forms of intellectualisation and enscripturation which made religion an autonomous area, different from other social fields.
Augustus. From Revolutionary to Emperor. Adrian Goldsworthy £20 (£5 off RRP £25()
In the year 44 BC, when Julius Caesar was killed, Augustus was a mere teenager who had been adopted into Caesar’s household. His reaction to Caesar’s death was to step forward and proclaim himself Caesar’s rightful successor. The Senate did not take him seriously, but over the following months he raised his own army and, after defeating Mark Antony in battle, became one of the three most powerful men in Rome. He was not yet 20 years old. Over the next ten years he consolidated his power in Rome, and finally overthrew the last of his rivals in 31 BC. From that moment on Rome became an empire, and Augustus its first emperor. This is the story of how one man rose to become the most powerful man in the world, and stabilised an empire that had been racked by decades of civil war. Augustus’s achievements, and his legacy, are almost unparalleled. Like Julius Caesar, he presided over a huge expansion in wealth and territory. Like Caesar he was honoured by having a month of the year named after him. But unlike Caesar he was able to keep hold of power for over 40 years, and bequeath the empire, whole, to his successors.
Turia. A Roman Woman’s Civil War (OUP) Josiah Osgood £18.99
The civil wars that brought down the Roman Republic were fought on more than battlefields. Armed gangs infested the Italian countryside, in the city of Rome mansions were besieged, and bounty-hunters searched the streets for “public enemies.” Among the astonishing stories to survive from these years is that of a young woman whose parents were killed, on the eve of her wedding, in the violence engulfing Italy. While her future husband fought overseas, she staved off a run on her father’s estate. Despite an acute currency shortage, she raised money to help her fiance in exile. And when several years later, her husband, back in Rome, was declared an outlaw, she successfully hid him, worked for his pardon, and joined other Roman women in staging a public protest. The wife’s tale is known only because her husband had inscribed on large slabs of marble the elaborate eulogy he gave at her funeral. Though no name is given on the inscriptions, starting as early as the seventeenth century, scholars saw saw similarities between the contents of the inscription and the story, preserved in literary sources, of one Turia, the wife of Quintus Lucretius. Although the identification remains uncertain, and in spite of the other substantial gaps in the text of the speech, the “Funeral Speech for Turia” (Laudatio Turiae), as it is still conventionally called, offers an extraordinary window into the life of a high-ranking woman at a critical moment of Roman history. In this book Josiah Osgood reconstructs the wife’s life more fully than it has been before by bringing in alongside the eulogy stories of other Roman women who also contributed to their families’ survival while working to end civil war. He shows too how Turia’s story sheds rare light on the more hidden problems of everyday life for Romans, including a high number of childless marriages. Written with a general audience in mind, Turia: A Roman Woman’s Civil War will appeal to those interested in Roman history as well as war, and the ways that war upsets society’s power structures. Not only does the study come to terms with the distinctive experience of a larger group of Roman women, including the prudence they had to show to succeed , but also introduces readers to an extraordinary tribute to married love which, though from another world, speaks to us today.