To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
This chapter maps out some key themes and questions for the volume as a whole. Studies of late Hellenistic Greek literature have tended to focus narrowly on individual texts and authors. The goal of this volume is to generate a set of new readings that do justice to the intertextual richness of the writings of this period. The introduction also aims to move beyond rigid accounts of the start and end-points of the ‘Hellenistic period', bringing late Hellenistic literature into dialogue with its later imperial equivalents in ways which draw attention to both the similarities and the differences between them.
This chapter draws on approaches from the environmental humanities in exploring the hypothesis that late Hellenistic literature was unusually positive in its representations of landscape alteration. It first sketches out the predominantly negative tradition of representing landscape alteration in ancient literature from Herodotus onwards, before examining the more celebratory versions that we find in Strabo and Diodorus Siculus. At the same time it points out, with special reference to the work of Diodorus, that even the most positive treatments of that theme tend to show signs of equivocation and ambiguity. That conclusion has implications for our understanding of the long history of human interaction with the environment: it helps to expose the risks of over-simplification involved in any account that seeks to generalise about the idea that ancient culture either anticipates or stands in contrast with modern anthropocentrism. In the process the chapter also explores some of the similarities and differences between ancient and modern representations of environmental damage, pointing out especially that ancient accounts anticipate in some respects modern concerns with the impact of environmental alteration on human populations.
Late Hellenistic Greek literature, both prose and poetry, stands out for its richness and diversity. Recent work has tended to take an author-by-author approach that underestimates the interconnectedness of the literary culture of the period. The chapters assembled here set out to change that by offering new readings of a wide range of late Hellenistic texts and genres, including historiography, geography, rhetoric and philosophy, together with many verse texts and inscriptions. In the process, they offer new insights into the various ways in which late Hellenistic literature engaged with its social, cultural and political contexts, while interrogating and revising some of the standard narratives of the relationship between late Hellenistic and imperial Greek literary culture, which are too often studied in isolation from each other. As a whole the book prompts us to rethink the place of late Hellenistic literature within the wider landscape of Greek and Roman literary history.
How did ancient scientific and knowledge-ordering writers make their work authoritative? This book answers that question for a wide range of ancient disciplines, from mathematics, medicine, architecture and agriculture, through to law, historiography and philosophy - focusing mainly, but not exclusively, on the literature of the Roman Empire. It draws attention to habits that these different fields had in common, while also showing how individual texts and authors manipulated standard techniques of self-authorisation in distinctive ways. It stresses the importance of competitive and assertive styles of self-presentation, and also examines some of the pressures that pulled in the opposite direction by looking at authors who chose to acknowledge the limitations of their own knowledge or resisted close identification with narrow versions of expert identity. A final chapter by Sir Geoffrey Lloyd offers a comparative account of scientific authority and expertise in ancient Chinese, Indian and Mesopotamian culture.