Research

Books by Classics Faculty

  • Melchizedek

    The biblical figure Melchizedek appears just twice in the Hebrew Bible, and once more in the Christian New Testament. Cited as both the king of Shalem-understood by most scholars to be Jerusalem-and as an eternal priest without ancestry, Melchizedek's appearances become textual justification for tithing to the Levitical priests in Jerusalem and for the priesthood of Jesus Christ himself. But what if the text was manipulated?

    Robert R. Cargill explores the Hebrew and Greek texts concerning Melchizedek's encounter with Abraham in Genesis as a basis to unravel the biblical mystery of this character's origins. The textual evidence that Cargill presents shows that Melchizedek was originally known as the king of Sodom and that the later traditions about Sodom forced biblical scribes to invent a new location, Shalem, for Melchizedek's priesthood and reign. Cargill also identifies minor, strategic changes to the Hebrew Bible and the Samaritan Pentateuch that demonstrate an evolving, polemical, sectarian discourse between Jews and Samaritans competing for the superiority of their respective temples and holy mountains. The resulting literary evidence was used as the ideological motivation for identifying Shalem with Jerusalem in the Second Temple Jewish tradition.

    A brief study with far-reaching implications, Melchizedek, King of Sodom reopens discussion of not only this unusual character, but also the origins of both the priesthood of Christ and the role of early Israelite priest-kings.

  • The Iliad

    One of the oldest extant works of Western literature, the Iliad is a timeless epic poem of great warriors trapped between their own heroic pride and the arbitrary, often vicious decisions of fate and the gods. Renowned scholar and acclaimed translator Peter Green captures the Iliad in all its surging thunder for a new generation of readers.

    Featuring an enticingly personal introduction, a detailed synopsis of each book, a wide-ranging glossary, and explanatory notes for the few puzzling in-text items, the book also includes a select bibliography for those who want to learn more about Homer and the Greek epic. This landmark translation—specifically designed, like the oral original, to be read aloud—will soon be required reading for every student of Greek antiquity, and the great traditions of history and literature to which it gave birth.

  • Hellenistic Science at Court

    The development of science in the modern world is often held to depend on such institutions as universities, peer-reviewed journals, and democracy. How, then, did new science emerge in the pre-modern culture of the Hellenistic Egyptian monarchy? Berrey argues that the court society formed around the Ptolemaic pharaohs Ptolemy III and IV (reigned successively 246-205/4 BCE) provided an audience for cross-disciplinary, learned knowledge, as physicians, mathematicians, and mechanicians clothed themselves in the virtues of courtiers attendant on the kings. The multicultural Greco-Egyptian court society prized entertainment that drew on earlier literature, mixed genres and cultures, and highlighted motion and sound. New cross-disciplinary science in the Hellenistic period gained its social currency and subsequent scientific success through its entertainment value as court science. Ancient court science sheds light on the long history of scientific interdisciplinarity.

  • From Cooking Vessels to Cultural Practices in the Late Bronze Age Aegean
    Edited with Julie Hruby

    Late Bronze Age Aegean cooking vessels illuminate prehistoric cultures, foodways, social interactions, and communication systems. While many scholars have focused on the utility of painted fineware vessels for chronological purposes, the contributors to this volume maintain that cooking wares have the potential to answer not only chronological but also economic, political, and social questions when analysed and contrasted with assemblages from different sites or chronological periods. The text is dedicated entirely to prehistoric cooking vessels, compiles evidence from a wide range of Greek sites and incorporates new methodologies and evidence. The contributors utilise a wide variety of analytical approaches and demonstrate the impact that cooking vessels can have on the archaeological interpretation of sites and their inhabitants. These sites include major Late Bronze Age citadels and smaller settlements throughout the Aegean and surrounding Mediterranean area, including Greece, the islands, Crete, Italy, and Cyprus. In particular, contributors highlight socio-economic connections by examining the production methods, fabrics and forms of cooking vessels. Recent improvements in excavation techniques, advances in archaeological sciences, and increasing attention to socioeconomic questions make this is an opportune time to renew conversations about and explore new approaches to cooking vessels and what they can teach us.

  • The Cities That Built the Bible

    The Cities That Built the Bible is a magnificent tour through fourteen cities: the Phoenicia cities of Tyre, Sidon, and Byblos, Ugarit, Nineveh, Babylon, Megiddo, Athens, Alexandria, Jerusalem, Qumran, Bethlehem, Nazareth, and Rome. Along the way, Cargill includes photos of artifacts, dig sites, ruins, and relics, taking readers on a far-reaching journey from the Grotto of the Nativity to the battlegrounds of Megiddo, from the towering Acropolis of Athens to the caves in Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered.

  • Platonic Inquiries
    Edited with Claudia D’Amico and Natalia Strok

    This anthology of 24 essays by scholars from around the world is published in association with the International Society for Neoplatonic Studies: it contains many of the papers presented in their 2015 annual conference.

  • The Rhetorical Exercises of Nikephoros Basilakes
    co-edited by Jeffrey Beneker

    Progymnasmata, preliminary exercises in the study of declamation, were the cornerstone of elite education from Hellenistic through Byzantine times. Using material from Greek literary, mythological, and historical traditions, students and writers composed examples ranging from simple fables to complex arguments about fictional laws. In the Byzantine period, the spectrum of source material expanded to include the Bible and Christian hagiography and theology.

    This collection was written by Nikephoros Basilakes, imperial notary and teacher at the prestigious Patriarchal School in Constantinople during the twelfth century. In his texts, Basilakes made significant use of biblical themes, especially in character studies—known as ethopoeiae—featuring King David, the Virgin Mary, and Saint Peter. The Greek exercises presented here, translated into English for the first time, shed light on education under the Komnenian emperors and illuminate literary culture during one of the most important epochs in the long history of the Byzantine Empire.

  • Latin for the New Millennium, Level 3 Student Text
    co-edited by LeaAnn A. Osburn

    Latin for the New Millennium provides students a comprehensive grounding in the full legacy of Latin literature.

    LNM Level 3 is designed for all Latin 3 students irrespective of the text they used for Latin 1 and 2. Extensive review materials as well as ample vocabulary and grammar/syntax notes make this text especially student-friendly.

    LNM Level 3 builds on the strong foundation of Levels 1 and 2 and provides students an in-depth experience of Caesar, Catullus, Cicero, Horace, Ovid, and Vergil as well as of the Renaissance writer Erasmus. This text provides students an introduction to unadapted Latin literature and builds their literary analysis skills.

  • Latin for the New Millennium, Latin 3 Select Latin Enrichment Readings
    co-edited by LeaAnn A. Osburn

    This short reader offers exposure to Caesar, Catullus, Cicero, Horace, Ovid, and Vergil as well as the baroque-era poets Lieven De Meyere and Mathias Casimir Sarbiewski. Ample notes and vocabulary aids assist students reading these unadapted Latin passages. Incorporate this reader near the end of your grammar lessons to accustom students to reading a variety of unadapted Latin authors and genres, use it to fill those last 3 to 4 weeks of the semester after finishing Latin 2, or use it as an enrichment text for Latin 3.

  • Book Cover
    co-authored with Iain Gardner and Jason BeDuhn

    In Mani at the Court of the Persian Kings the authors explore evidence arising from their project to edit the Chester Beatty Kephalaia codex. This new text presents Mani at the heart of Sasanian Iran in dialogue with its sages and nobles, acting as a cultural mediator between East and West and interpreter of Christian, Iranian, and Indian traditions. Nine chapters study Mani’s appropriation of the ‘law of Zarades’ and of Iranian epic; suggest a new understanding of his last days; and analyse his formative role in the history of late antique religions. 

    These interdisciplinary studies advance research in several fields and will be of interest to scholars of Manichaeism, Sasanian Iran, and the development of religions in Late Antiquity.