Josephus and the Theologies of Ancient Judaism (OUP) £47.99
Jonathan Klawans’s Josephus and the Theologies of Ancient Judaism cuts against the grain of rabbinic studies to establish the value of Flavius Josephus’s descriptions of the religious ideas of various Jewish sects for reconstructing the world of ideas (the theologies) at play in early Judaism. It is intended as a response to the prevalent approach to the study of early Judaism, which focuses on legal or halakhic issues rather than matters of religious belief. Klawans illuminates Josephus’s description of early Jewish sects (the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes) against distinct bodies of literature including Rabbinic sources, Qumran scrolls, and wisdom literature, especially Ben Sira. He is also concerned to show how various beliefs operate in connection with historical events, from the Hasmonean rebellion to after the destruction of the Temple. He demonstrates, for example, that beliefs about resurrection may have been less a reaction to social or historical circumstances than scholars have claimed and that the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE may not have created such a severe theological crises as previously thought. He provides alternative explanations for beliefs about the afterlife and shows that the reaction to the Temple’s loss may have been more easily dealt with in terms of preexisting theological ideas and analogies. In each case, Klawans brings to the forefront Josephus’s own views about these matters and shows how they are important for a more balanced assessment of the history of early Judaism.
Aristotle on Perceiving Objects (OUP) Anna Marmodoro £47.99
How can we explain the structure of perceptual experience? What is it that we perceive? How is it that we perceive objects and not disjoint arrays of properties? By which sense or senses do we perceive objects? Are our five senses sufficient for the perception of objects? Aristotle investigated these questions by means of the metaphysical modeling of the unity of the perceptual faculty and the unity of experiential content. His account remains fruitful-but also challenging-even for contemporary philosophy. This book offers a reconstruction of the six metaphysical models Aristotle offered to address these and related questions, focusing on their metaphysical underpinning in his theory of causal powers. By doing so, the book brings out what is especially valuable and even surprising about the topic: the core principles of Aristotle’s metaphysics of perception are fundamentally different from those of his metaphysics of substance. Yet, for precisely this reason, his models of perceptual content are unexplored territory. This book breaks new ground in offering an understanding of Aristotle’s metaphysics of the content of perceptual experience and of the composition of the perceptual faculty.
Tom Holland’s wonderful translation is now available in a stunning paperback edition.
3 for 2 in store or 30% off online!
Tom Holland’s ‘stirring new translation’ (Telegraph) of Herodotus’ Histories, one of the great books in Western history – now in paperback. The Histories of Herodotus, completed in the second half of the 5th century BC, is generally regarded as the first work of history and the first great masterpiece of non-fiction writing. Joined here are the sheer drama of Herodotus’ narrative of the Persian invasions of Greece, and the endless curiosity – turning now to cannabis, now to the Pyramids – which make his book the source of so much of our knowledge of the ancient world. This absorbing new translation, by one of Britain’s most admired young historians, allows all the drama and mysteriousness of this great book to be fully appreciated by modern readers. Tom Holland is the author of Rubicon: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic, which won the Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History and was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize. Persian Fire, his history of the Graeco-Persian wars, won the Anglo-Hellenic League’s Runciman Award in 2006. His most recent book, In the Shadow of the Sword, describes the collapse of Roman and Persian power in the Near East, and the emergence of Islam. He has adapted Homer, Herodotus, Thucydides and Virgil for the BBC, and is the presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Making History. In 2007, he was the winner of the Classical Association Prize awarded to ‘the individual who has done most to promote the study of the language, literature and civilisation of Ancient Greece and Rome’. He served two years as the Chair of the Society of Authors 2009-11. Paul Cartledge is the inaugural A. G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture at the University of Cambridge. His numerous books include Sparta and Lakonia: A Regional History 1300-362 BC; The Greeks: A Portrait of Self and Others; Thermopylae: The Battle That Changed the World; Ancient Greece. A Very Short Introduction; and After Thermopylae: The Oath of Plataea and the End of the Graeco-Persian Wars. He is an Honorary Citizen of Sparta, Greece and holds the Gold Cross of the Order of Honour conferred by the President of the Hellenic Republic. “Unquestionably the best English translation of Herodotus to have appeared in the last half-century, and there have been quite a few …fast, funny, opinionated, clear and erudite…I am in awe of Tom Holland’s achievement”. (Edith Hall, TLS). “A labour of love …full of rattling good yarns …the minister for education should present each of his cabinet colleagues with a copy of Holland’s admirable translation”. (Economist). “Tom Holland has been captivated by Herodotus since he was a child. His pleasure shines through his relaxed, idiomatic, expansive and often dramatic translation…He, like Herodotus, is a storyteller par excellence”. (Peter Jones, New Statesman).
Antigonus The One-Eyed by Jeff Champion £19.99
Plutarch described Antigonus the One Eyed (382-301 BC) ‘as ‘the oldest and greatest of Alexander’s successors,’ Antigonus loyally served both Philip II and Alexander the Great as they converted his native Macedonia into an empire stretching from India to Greece. After Alexander’s death, Antigonus, then governor of the obscure province of Phrygia, seemed one of the least likely of his commanders to seize the dead king’s inheritance. Yet within eight years of the king’s passing, through a combination of military skill and political shrewdness, he had conquered the Asian portion of the empire. His success caused those who controlled the European and Egyptian parts of the empire to unite against him. For another fourteen years he would wage war against a coalition of the other Successors, Ptolemy, Lysimachus, Seleucus and Cassander. In 301 he would meet defeat and death in the Battle of Ipsus. The ancient writers saw Antigonus’ life as a cautionary tale about the dangers of hubris and vaulting ambition. Despite his apparent defeat, his descendants would continue to rule as kings and create a dynasty that would rule Macedonia for over a century. Jeff Champion narrates the career of this titanic figure with the focus squarely on the military aspects.
From Assyria to Iberia (Yale UP) £50
This comprehensive book explores the spectacular art of the first millennium B.C. from the Near East to Western Europe. This was the world of Odysseus, in which trade proliferated with Phoenician merchants; of King Midas, whose tomb was adorned with treasures; and of the Bible, whose stories are illuminated by recent artistic and archaeological discoveries. It was also a time of rich cultural exchange across the Mediterranean and Near East as diverse populations interacted through trade, travel and migration. From Assyria to Iberia showcases masterpieces that reflect the cultural encounters of this era. Beautiful illustrations convey the significance of more than 300 objects drawn from collections around the globe. These objects include carved reliefs from the majestic palaces of ancient Assyria, Phoenician fine bronze metalwork and carved ivories, Egyptain statues, and luxurious jewellery. Texts by over 80 international scholars provide a compelling picture of this fascinating period, one that is essential to understanding the origins of Western culture and art.
Plato’s Rivalry with Medicine (OUP) £42
While scholars typically view Plato’s engagement with medicine as uniform and largely positive, Susan B. Levin argues that from the Gorgias through the Laws, his handling of medicine unfolds in several key phases. Further, she shows that Plato views medicine as an important rival for authority on phusis (nature) and eudaimonia (flourishing). Levin’s arguments rest on careful attention both to Plato and to the Hippocratic Corpus. Levin shows that an evident but unexpressed tension involving medicine’s status emerges in the Gorgias and is explored in Plato’s critiques of medicine in the Symposium and Republic. In the Laws, however, this rivalry and tension dissolve. Levin addresses the question of why Plato’s rivalry with medicine is put to rest while those with rhetoric and poetry continue. On her account, developments in his views of human nature, with their resulting impact on his political thought, drive Plato’s striking adjustments involving medicine in the Laws. Levin’s investigation of Plato is timely: for the first time in the history of bioethics, the value of ancient philosophy is receiving notable attention. Most discussions focus on Aristotle’s concept of phronesis (practical wisdom); here, Levin argues that Plato has much to offer bioethics as it works to address pressing concerns about the doctor-patient tie, medical professionalism, and medicine’s relationship to society.
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.