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This chapter examines how historical and critical modalities of reading sacred scripture became central to modern biblical studies. It examines what “criticism” was, whence it came, what it did, and which critiques it sustained, before considering its prospects for future historical and literary analysis of the Bible.
This chapter takes as its central focus the triumphal games given by the Roman praetor Lucius Anicius Gallus in 167 BCE. The chapter deconstructs the hostile account of this event in Polybius’ Histories by examining how Anicius manipulated the musical dynamics of the spectacle in order to amplify the importance of his triumph. The second half of the chapter situates the episode in the context of broader developments in Greek and Roman musical culture during the second century BCE. As well as discussing the general treatment of music in Polybius’s Histories, it considers how the dissemination of Greek musical culture during this period sparked a reaction from senior members of the Roman political elite, as evidenced most notably by the fragmentary speeches of Cato the Elder and Scipio Aemilianus.
Onomastic congruence (a feature defined in this article) is characteristic of historiographic biographies from the Early Empire. The Synoptic Gospels display onomastic congruence, as well as conservatism in their treatment of names. The preservation of names, especially those centred around key roles and events, suggests that some names may have been preserved in the oral archives of early Christian communities to footnote living eyewitness sources, paralleling historiographical situations.
While global history’s emphasis on networks and its de-emphasis on the nation has brought about a fruitful platform for exploring interregional connections, this article argues that a global history recentered in the periphery and willing to draw from its rich national historiographies has the potential to reveal new forms of globalization and connection. It takes Argentina as an exemplary case to consider the ways in which tracing one nation’s many transnational and global orientations might bring to light motivations, geographical dimensions, and fields of power previously unseen.
This short chapter recapitulates the substantive advances made by the individual chapters in this volume before closing remarks on the difference between using probability to represent epistemic uncertainty and modelling variability, two exercises that are easily confused, and on the use of models to answer historical questions.
In this concise but stimulating book on history and Greek culture, Hans-Joachim Gehrke continues to refine his work on 'intentional history', which he defines as a history in the self-understanding of social groups and communities – connected to a corresponding understanding of the other – which is important, even essential, for the collective identity, social cohesion, political behaviour and the cultural orientation of such units. In a series of four chapters Gehrke illustrates how Greeks' histories were consciously employed to help shape political and social realities. In particular, he argues that poets were initially the masters of the past and that this dominance of the aesthetic in the view of the past led to an indissoluble amalgamation of myth and history and lasting tension between poetry and truth in the genre of historiography. The book reveals a more sophisticated picture of Greek historiography, its intellectual foundations, and its wider social-political contexts.
This is a comprehensive comparative view of the way the phenomenon of Byzantium has been treated by the historiographies of the polities that have emerged from its remains – Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Serbia and Turkey – from the Enlightenment to the present day. Synthesising a sprawling mass of material largely unknown to academic audiences, it highlights the important place Byzantium's representations occupy in the identity building and historical consciousness in that part of Europe. The diverse interpretations of the Byzantine phenomenon across and within these historiographic traditions are scrutinised against the backdrop of shifting geopolitical and cultural contexts, in constant dialogue and competition with each other and in communication with extra-regional, western and Russian, academic currents. The book will be of value to medieval historians, Byzantinists and historians of historiography as well as students of and specialists in modern politics, cultural and intellectual history.
Chapter 9 surveys the biblical exempla that appear in the most example-packed section of the work, the speeches made by the narrative character Josephus before the walls of Jerusalem to his Jewish comrades (De Excidio 5.15–16). This chapter most clearly illustrates Pseudo-Hegesippus’ hermeneutical ingenuity and intensive use of biblical exempla, while also showing how he infused the examples he drew from the Jewish Scriptures (the Christian Old Testament) with not only Roman but also overtly Christian ideology.
The Introduction frames the study as an argument about the use of biblical figures within the narrative of On the Destruction of Jerusalem (De Excidio Hierosolymitano). Bay maintains that a survey of the scriptural characters that appear in this text suggest that these remembered heroes were an important tool for how Pseudo-Hegesippus conceived of and communicated late Second Temple period Jewish history from a late antique Christian perspective. This chapter also recommends the Old Testament exempla of On the Destruction of Jerusalem as a good place to start literarily for approaching and understanding the background, aims, and inner logic of this text. Bay further explains how the biblical exempla of Pseudo-Hegesippus often appear within speeches placed into the mouths of historical characters in the narrative, a typical literary feature of ancient historiography. Finally, the Introduction helps situate this study within the history of scholarship – not only within the little work done on Pseudo-Hegesippus, but also in the context of various scholarly discussions in Classics, biblical studies, early Christianity, Jewish-Christian relations, and late antique literature.
This article examines a pair of anecdotes in the works of Suetonius and Cassius Dio, describing Nero's passionate late-career interest in the instrument known as the hydraulis or water-organ. The first half of the article contextualizes the water-organ episode in light of both the history of the instrument's reputation and the wider characterization of Nero in the literary sources. The rest of the article uses the episode to shed light on Nero's self-representation as princeps, focussing on the significance of the water-organ as both a musical instrument and a technological marvel. On the one hand, the organ's popularity with Roman audiences of the Early Imperial period made it a politically strategic choice for a music-loving emperor with strong populist leanings. On the other hand, the association of the organ with the intellectual world of Hellenistic Alexandria appealed to a certain group of Roman elites (including Nero himself), who shared a keen interest in technological innovation and technical knowledge more broadly. In the end, however, Nero's experiments with the water-organ were cleverly trivialized by hostile writers and redeployed as an illustration of the emperor's most appalling vices.
Pufendorf is mainly remembered as a natural law philosopher but he was also an influential historian and a public intellectual. Apart from an early phase where his historical interests followed a conventional antiquarian course he focused on recent or contemporary history as evidenced by his popular and much translated, adapted and imitated European History (1680), his acerbic pamphlet History of Popedom (1679), and the monumental ex officio treatments of recent history of Sweden and Brandenburg: History of Gustavus Adolphus and Christina (1686), History of Charles Gustavus (1696) and History of Frederick William (1695). Pufendorf's historical works are informed by a clear and simple vision of states as unified agents acting within a framework of real (moderate) and imaginary (unrealistic), permanent (geopolitical) and temporary (contingent) interests. He combined this vision, informed by his natural law theory, with an abiding interest in diplomacy and decision making and a corresponding disregard for the concrete political players and the action on the battlefield. As royal Swedish and later electoral Brandenburg historiographer he had privileged access to archival sources. He used this to bolster his authority but also to present a firmly streamlined and occasionally biased account in harmony with his religious and political loyalties.
This roundtable takes up old themes and new perspectives in the field of political history. Scholars engage with six questions across three main categories: the scope of the field, current debates, and teaching. The first two questions ask how we should think about political power and the boundaries of what constitute political history. The section on current debates interrogates the relationship between governing and social movements during the GAPE, and how to situate the political violence of the January 6, 2021, Capitol Hill riot in historical perspective. The final section on teaching takes up two very different challenges. One question is a perennial concern about connecting with students in the classroom about political history. The other dilemma is how to respond to the growing cascade of censorship laws passed by state legislatures that prohibit the teaching of so-called “divisive concepts.”
The “Afterword” briefly reiterates the main points about the story of Graignes. It emphasizes that ordinary people, non-elites, did extraordinary things, effecting the course of military and foreign policy during the Normandy campaign.
In this volume, Carson Bay focuses on an important but neglected work of Late Antiquity: Pseudo-Hegesippus' On the Destruction of Jerusalem (De Excidio Hierosolymitano), a Latin history of later Second Temple Judaism written during the fourth century CE. Bay explores the presence of so many Old Testament figures in a work that recounts the Roman-Jewish War (66–73 CE) and the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE. By applying the lens of Roman exemplarity to Pseudo-Hegesippus, he elucidates new facets of Biblical reception, history-writing, and anti-Judaism in a text from the formative first century of Christian Empire. The author also offers new insights into the Christian historiographical imagination and how Biblical heroes and Classical culture helped Christians to write anti-Jewish history. Revealing novel aspects of the influence of the Classical literary tradition on early Christian texts, this book also newly questions the age-old distinction between the Christian and the Classical (or 'pagan') in the ancient Mediterranean world.
The Introduction provides a synopsis of the book. It presents major themes and a chapter outline, and it reviews the limited historiography on Graignes. What has been written about Graignes has been largely limited to amateur historians who focus on weapons and combat. The introduction highlights that this study is based on multi-national research and that it points to the roles of non-elites in making foreign and military policy. In particular, the women of Graignes played major roles in aiding US paratroopers.
The English free state or republic (1649–53) has always been seen as a failure, which almost no one outside the small coterie of its leaders genuinely wanted or actively supported. Historians have also belittled the importance of the political thought of the republican period. They have explored John Milton’s and Marchamont Nedham’s writings in defence of the republic but have mainly focused on de facto arguments that the free state could demand obedience because it offered peace and security. The Introduction explains how scholars have failed to properly examine the political thought of the period and have underestimated its breadth and depth. It also argues that, once we explore the pamphlet literature published during the free state, we can appreciate the importance of these pamphleteers’ political thinking. The aim is to offer a complete reassessment of the political thought of the English free state and to map the terrain of what it was possible to think.
English republicanism has long been a major theme in the history of political thought, but the years of the English free state are often overlooked. Drawing on a wide range of sources, including the vast political pamphlet literature of the era, The Political Thought of the English Free State, 1649–1653 offers a provocative reassessment of the English Revolution and an original new perspective on English republicanism. Markku Peltonen explores the arguments in defence of the English free state and demonstrates the profound importance of the republican period. The pamphleteers who defended the free state maintained that the people, or their representatives, could alter the form of government whenever they deemed it advantageous, put forward powerful anti-monarchical arguments and widely shared the republican conviction that individual freedom could only materialise in a free state. Peltonen also highlights the unprecedented debate over whether the free state was an aristocracy or democracy and shows how, for the first time in English history, democracy was not only robustly defended but understood as representative.
Assessing the relationships between Johnson’s attitudes toward history and historical writing and British historiographical conditions during the first half of the eighteenth century can offer useful perspectives on his sometimes contradictory views. For Johnson, many of the problems in contemporary British historiography, ranging from the ubiquity of inadequate compilations to the strikingly overt politicization of all historical writing at the time, involved questions of authorial control. To enlarge the truncated narratives and expand the scope of the kinds of histories Johnson saw being written by his contemporaries, he turned to forms of social and cultural history, along with parahistorical genres such as memoir and biography, in order to engage the increased readership for historical writing during the period. Although Johnson’s thought characteristically generalizes, his negativity about historical writing can often be understood in more specific terms, as reactions to the contemporary situation in British historiography.