The world that Alexander remade in his lifetime was transformed once more by his death in 323 BCE. His successors reorganized Persian lands to create a new empire stretching from the eastern Mediterranean as far as present-day Afghanistan, while in Greece and Macedonia a fragile balance of power repeatedly dissolved into war. Then, from the late third century BCE to the end of the first, Rome’s military and diplomatic might successively dismantled these post-Alexandrian political structures, one by one.
During the Hellenistic period (c. 323–30 BCE), small polities struggled to retain the illusion of their identity and independence, in the face of violent antagonism among large states. With time, trade growth resumed and centers of intellectual and artistic achievement sprang up across a vast network, from Italy to Afghanistan and Russia to Ethiopia. But the death of Cleopatra in 30 BCE brought this Hellenistic moment to a close—or so the story goes.
In Angelos Chaniotis’s view, however, the Hellenistic world continued to Hadrian’s death in 138 CE. Not only did Hellenistic social structures survive the coming of Rome, Chaniotis shows, but social, economic, and cultural trends that were set in motion between the deaths of Alexander and Cleopatra intensified during this extended period. Age of Conquests provides a compelling narrative of the main events that shaped ancient civilization during five crucial centuries. Many of these developments—globalization, the rise of megacities, technological progress, religious diversity, and rational governance—have parallels in our world today.
In the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum are more than six hundred ancient lamps that span the sixth century BCE to the seventh century CE, most from the Roman Imperial period and largely created in Asia Minor or North Africa. These lamps have much to reveal about life, religion, pottery, and trade in the ancient Graeco-Roman world. Most of the Museum’s lamps have never before been published, and this extensive typological catalogue will thus be an invaluable scholarly resource for art historians, archaeologists, and those interested in the ancient world.
The free online edition of this open-access catalogue, available at www.getty.edu/publications/ancientlamps/ includes zoomable high-resolution photography, multiple object views, and an interactive map. Also available are free PDF, EPUB, and Kindle/MOBi downloads of the book, CSV and JSON downloads of the object data from the catalogue, and JPG downloads of the main catalogue images.
The eighth and seventh centuries BCE were a time of flourishing exchange between the Mediterranean and the Near East. One of the period’s key imports to the Hellenic and Italic worlds was the image of the griffin, a mythical monster that usually possesses the body of a lion and the head of an eagle. In particular, bronze cauldrons bore griffin protomes—figurative attachments showing the neck and head of the beast. Crafted in fine detail, the protomes were made to appear full of vigor, transfixing viewers.
Bronze Monsters and the Cultures of Wonder takes griffin cauldrons as case studies in the shifting material and visual universes of preclassical antiquity, arguing that they were perceived as lifelike monsters that introduced the illusion of verisimilitude to Mediterranean arts. The objects were placed in the tombs of the wealthy (Italy, Cyprus) and in sanctuaries (Greece), creating fantastical environments akin to later cabinets of curiosities. Yet griffin cauldrons were accessible only to elites, ensuring that the new experience of visuality they fostered was itself a symbol of status. Focusing on the sensory encounter of this new visuality, Nassos Papalexandrou shows how spaces made wondrous fostered novel subjectivities and social distinctions.
Slavery may no longer exist as a legal institution, but we still find many forms of non-freedom in contemporary societies. It is a troubling paradox, and one this book addresses by considering a period in which the definition of slavery and freedom proved considerably flexible. Between more familiar forms of slavery—those of antiquity and of the Americas—the institution as it was practiced and theorized in the Byzantine Mediterranean was of a different nature.
Looking at the Byzantine concept of slavery within the context of law, the labor market, medieval politics, and religion, Youval Rotman illustrates how these contexts both reshaped and sustained the slave market. By focusing on a period of great change, his historical analysis brings a new perspective to concepts of slavery and freedom. In this period, when Byzantium had to come to terms with the rising power of the Islamic state, and to fight numerous wars over territory and economic interests, Rotman traces a shift in the cultural perception of slaves as individuals: they began to be seen as human beings instead of private property. His book analyzes slavery as a historical process against the background of the political, social, and religious transformation of the Mediterranean world, and demonstrates the flexible and adaptable character of this institution.
Arguing against the use of the term “slavery” for any extreme form of social dependency, Rotman shows instead that slavery and freedom are unrelated concepts. His work offers a radical new understanding of the geopolitical and religious dynamics that have defined and redefined slavery and freedom, in the past and in our own time.
In these times of heartbreaking violence, clashing religions, and a seemingly never-ending narrative of dichotomy between East and West, wonder at the religion and culture of the Middle East can be in short supply. However, the lyrical and philosophical travel writing in Swiss poet Philippe Jaccottet’s Calm Fire rekindles it, lifting us out of our ordinary locales and stories of violent conflict in the Middle East. Jaccottet’s poetic descriptions explore the rich cultural worlds of Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, and Israel, giving us uncommon glimpses into countries so often associated with turmoil, death and destruction. Expressing a poet’s admiration for the ecstasies of faith and a philosopher’s skepticism of these seemingly transformative feelings, Jaccottet dives deep into the religious cultures of the places he visits.
Ultimately, whether in his native Swiss Alps or among the cedars of Lebanon, the same question pervades Philippe Jaccottet’s work: How should we live? More than a simple palliative to a depressing news cycle, Calm Fire captures a true sense of place by celebrating and pondering ways of life through the immersive experience of travel.
An anthropological approach to an emerging form of transnational political engagement by independent civil society organizations
Activism and advocacy have drawn academic interest as alternative ways of achieving collective ends outside established political institutions. However, there has been very little theoretical attention aimed at the interconnections between the two spheres. In Civil Becomings: Performative Politics in the Amazon and the Mediterranean, Raúl Acosta examines the manner in which progressive nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and activists act in a more intermingled and processual way than scholars have previously acknowledged.
Acosta focuses on networks from the vantage point of two NGOs: one in Brazil that concentrated on environmental issues in the Amazon and another in Barcelona called the Mediterranean Social Forum. The focus of this research is not on organizational aspects of collaboration, but rather on the practices and contexts in which such cooperation occurs. Three major aspects of activist and advocacy networks are analyzed: their communicative characters, their collective performances of the political, and the negotiations they engage in between vernacular and cosmopolitan values.
This volume theorizes the cooperative actions of activist and advocacy networks as legitimating processes for the work of participating groups. In doing so, Acosta argues, they address the issues that justify a joint campaign or effort and also crucially underpin each participating collective as a worthy organization of civil society.
Cork oak has historically been an important species in the western Mediterranean—ecologically as a canopy or “framework” tree in natural woodlands, and culturally as an economically valuable resource that underpins local economies. Both the natural woodlands and the derived cultural systems are experiencing rapid change, and whether or not they are resilient enough to adapt to that change is an open question.
Cork Oak Woodlands on the Edge provides a synthesis of the most up-to-date, scientific, and practical information on the management of cork oak woodlands and the cultural systems that depend on cork oak.
In addition, Cork Oak Woodlands on the Edge offers ten site profiles written by local experts that present an in-depth vision of cork oak woodlands across a range of biophysical, historical, and cultural contexts, with sixteen pages of full-color photos that illustrate the tree, agro-silvopastoral systems, products, resident biodiversity, and more.
Cork Oak Woodlands on the Edge is an important book for anyone interested in the future of cork oak woodlands, or in the management of cultural landscapes and their associated land-use systems. In a changing world full of risks and surprises, it represents an excellent example of a multidisciplinary and holistic approach to studying, managing, and restoring an ecosystem, and will serve as a guide for other studies of this kind.
Ordinary people of antiquity interacted with the supernatural through a mosaic of beliefs and rituals. Exploring everyday life from 200 BCE to the end of the first century CE, Robert Knapp shows that Jews and polytheists lived with the gods in very similar ways. Traditional interactions provided stability even in times of crisis, while changing a relationship risked catastrophe for the individual, his family, and his community. However, people in both traditions did at times leave behind their long-honored rites to try something new. The Dawn of Christianity reveals why some people in Judea and then in the Roman and Greek worlds embraced a new approach to the forces and powers in their daily lives.
Knapp traces the emergence of Christianity from its stirrings in the eastern Mediterranean, where Jewish monotheism coexisted with polytheism and prayer mixed with magic. In a time receptive to prophetic messages and supernatural interventions, Jesus of Nazareth convinced people to change their beliefs by showing, through miracles, his direct connection to god-like power. The miracle of the Resurrection solidified Jesus’s supernatural credentials. After his death, followers continued to use miracles and magic to spread Jesus’s message of reward for the righteous in this life and immortality in the next.
Many Jews and polytheists strongly opposed the budding movement but despite major setbacks Christianity proved resilient and adaptable. It survived long enough to be saved by a second miracle, the conversion of Emperor Constantine. Hand in hand with empire, Christianity began its long march through history.
The papers in this volume are based on a 2006 Princeton University symposium in honor of Glen W. Bowersock on the occasion of his retirement from the faculty of the Institute for Advanced Study. Here a distinguished international group of ancient historians explores the classical antiquity that Bowersock has given us over a scholarly career of almost fifty years.
The topics offered in East and West range throughout the ancient world from the second century bce to late antiquity, from Hellenistic Greece and Republican Rome to Egypt and Arabia, from the Second Sophistic to Roman imperial discourse, from Sulla’s self-presentation in his memoirs to charitable giving among the Manichaeans in Egypt.
This collection of essays represents the first attempt to take in Glen Bowersock’s well-developed scholarly interests as a whole. The contributors open up new avenues that often run well beyond the conventional geographical and temporal boundaries of the Greco-Roman Mediterranean, leading to a host of fresh insights into antique thought and life.
During the Middle Paleolithic, various populations ancestral to modern Homo sapiens inhabited Africa, while Europe was homeland to the Neandertals. Recent archaeological investigations have provided data showing that the abrupt transition from the Middle to the Upper Neolithic, during which these populations met and interacted, was a fast-moving period of change for both groups.
In this volume, the expansion of modern humans and their impact on the populations of Neandertals in Europe, Western Asia, and Northern Africa is discussed in depth, with particular focus on the lithic industries of the late Middle and early Upper Paleolithic.
The vast empire that Alexander the Great left at his death in 323 BC has few parallels. For the next three hundred years the Greeks controlled a complex of monarchies and city-states that stretched from the Adriatic Sea to India. F. W. Walbank’s lucid and authoritative history of that Hellenistic world examines political events, describes the different social systems and mores of the people under Greek rule, traces important developments in literature and science, and discusses the new religious movements.
By developing the broadest and most inclusive definition of the term "map" ever adopted in the history of cartography, this inaugural volume of the History of Cartography series has helped redefine the way maps are studied and understood by scholars in a number of disciplines.
Volume One addresses the prehistorical and historical mapping traditions of premodern Europe and the Mediterranean world. A substantial introductory essay surveys the historiography and theoretical development of the history of cartography and situates the work of the multi-volume series within this scholarly tradition. Cartographic themes include an emphasis on the spatial-cognitive abilities of Europe's prehistoric peoples and their transmission of cartographic concepts through media such as rock art; the emphasis on mensuration, land surveys, and architectural plans in the cartography of Ancient Egypt and the Near East; the emergence of both theoretical and practical cartographic knowledge in the Greco-Roman world; and the parallel existence of diverse mapping traditions (mappaemundi, portolan charts, local and regional cartography) in the Medieval period.
Throughout the volume, a commitment to include cosmographical and celestial maps underscores the inclusive definition of "map" and sets the tone for the breadth of scholarship found in later volumes of the series.
A History of the Vandals
Torsten Cumberland Jacobsen Westholme Publishing, 2012 Library of Congress D139.J33 2012 | Dewey Decimal 936.00439
The First General History in English of the Germanic People Who Sacked Rome in the Fifth Century AD and Established a Kingdom in North Africa
The fifth century AD was a time of great changes in the Mediterranean world. In the early 400s, the Roman Empire ranged from the lowlands of Scotland to the Upper Nile and from Portugal to the Caucasus. It was almost at its widest extent, and although ruled by two emperors—one in the West and one in the East—it was still a single empire. One hundred years later, Roman control of Western Europe and Western North Africa had been lost. In its place, a number of Germanic kingdoms had been established in these regions, with hundreds of thousands of Germanic and other peoples settling permanently inside the former borders of the Western Roman Empire.
One of the most fascinating of these tribes of late antiquity were the Vandals, who over a period of six hundred years had migrated from the woodland regions of Scandinavia across Europe and ended in the deserts of North Africa. In A History of the Vandals, the first general account in English covering the entire story of the Vandals from their emergence to the end of their kingdom, historian Torsten Cumberland Jacobsen pieces together what we know about the Vandals, sifting fact from fiction. In the middle of the fifth century the Vandals, who professed Arianism, a form of Christianity considered heretical by the Roman emperor, created the first permanent Germanic successor state in the West and were one of the deciding factors in the downfall of the Western Roman Empire. Later Christian historians described their sack of Rome in 455 and their vehement persecution of Catholics in their kingdom, accounts that were sensationalized and gave birth to the term “vandalism.”
In the mid-sixth century, the Vandals and their North African kingdom were the first target of Byzantine Emperor Justinian’s ambitious plan to reconquer the lost territories of the fallen Western Empire. In less than four months, what had been considered one of the strongest Germanic kingdoms had been defeated by a small Roman army led by the general Belisarius. Despite later rebellions, this was the end of the Germanic presence in North Africa, and in many ways the end of the Arian heresy of Christianity. For the Romans it was the incredibly successful start of the reconquest of the lost lands of the Western Empire.
The narrow neck of land that joins the Peloponnese with the Greek mainland was central to the fortunes of the city of Corinth and the history of Greece from the classical Greek period to the end of the ancient world. Corinth was perfectly situated for monitoring land traffic between Athens and Sparta and overland movements between eastern and western seas.
David Pettegrew’s book offers a new history of the Isthmus of Corinth from the Romans’ initial presence in Greece during the Hellenistic era to the epic transformations of the Empire in late antiquity. A new interpretation of the extensive literary evidence outlines how the Isthmus became the most famous land bridge of the ancient world, central to maritime interests of Corinth, and a medium for Rome’s conquest, annexation, and administration in the Greek east. A fresh synthesis of archaeological evidence and the results of a recent intensive survey on the Isthmus describe the physical development of fortifications, settlements, harbors, roads, and sanctuaries in the region. The author includes chapters on the classical background of the concept isthmos, the sacking of Corinth and the defeat of the Achaean League, colonization in the Late Roman Republic, the Emperor Nero’s canal project and its failure, the growth of Roman settlement in the territory, and the end of athletic contests at Isthmia. The Isthmus of Corinth offers a powerful case study in the ways that shifting Mediterranean worlds transformed a culturally significant landscape over the course of a millennium.
The story of how Latin and Arabic spread across the Mediterranean to create a cosmopolitan world of letters.
In this ambitious book, Karla Mallette studies the nature and behaviors of the medieval cosmopolitan languages of learning—classical Arabic and medieval Latin—as they crossed the Mediterranean. Through anecdotes of relationships among writers, compilers, translators, commentators, and copyists, Mallette tells a complex story about the transmission of knowledge in the period before the emergence of a national language system in the late Middle Ages and early modernity.
Mallette shows how the elite languages of learning and culture were only tenuously related to the languages of everyday life. These languages took years of study to master, marking the passage from intellectual childhood to maturity. In a coda to the book, Mallette speculates on the afterlife of cosmopolitan languages in the twenty-first century, the perils of monolingualism, and the ethics of language choice. The book offers insight for anyone interested in rethinking linguistic and literary tradition, the transmission of ideas, and cultural expression in an increasingly multilingual world.
Distinguished historians of the ancient world analyze the earliest developments in human history and the rise of the first major civilizations, from the Middle East to India and China.
In this volume of the six-part History of the World series, Hans-Joachim Gehrke, a noted scholar of ancient Greece, leads a distinguished group of historians in analyzing prehistory, the earliest human settlements, and the rise of the world’s first advanced civilizations.
The Neolithic period—sometimes called the Agrarian Revolution—marked a turning point in human history. People were no longer dependent entirely on hunting animals and gathering plants but instead cultivated crops and reared livestock. This led to a more settled existence, notably along rivers such as the Nile, Tigris, Euphrates, Ganges, and Yangzi. Increased mastery of metals, together with innovations in tools and technologies, led to economic specialization, from intricate crafts to deadlier weapons, which contributed to the growth of village communities as well as trade networks. Family was the fundamental social unit, its relationships and hierarchies modeled on the evolving relationship between ruler and ruled. Religion, whether polytheist or monotheist, played a central role in shaping civilizations from the Persians to the Israelites. The world was construed in terms of a divinely ordained order: the Chinese imperial title Huangdi expressed divinity and heavenly splendor, while Indian emperor Ashoka was heralded as the embodiment of moral law.
From the latest findings about the Neanderthals to the founding of imperial China to the world of Western classical antiquity, Making Civilizations offers an authoritative overview of humanity’s earliest eras.
The cultural theorist Iain Chambers is known for his historically grounded, philosophically informed, and politically pointed inquiries into issues of identity, alterity, and migration, and the challenge postcolonial studies poses to conventional Western thought. With Mediterranean Crossings, he challenges insufficient prevailing characterizations of the Mediterranean by offering a vibrant interdisciplinary and intercultural interpretation of the region’s culture and history. The “Mediterranean” as a concept entered the European lexicon only in the early nineteenth century. As an object of study, it is the product of modern geographical, political, and historical classifications. Chambers contends that the region’s fundamentally fluid, hybrid nature has long been obscured by the categories and strictures imposed by European discourse and government.
In evocative and erudite prose, Chambers renders the Mediterranean a mutable space, profoundly marked by the linguistic, literary, culinary, musical, and intellectual dissemination of Arab, Jewish, Turkish, and Latin cultures. He brings to light histories of Mediterranean crossings—of people, goods, melodies, thought—that are rarely part of orthodox understandings. Chambers writes in a style that reflects the fluidity of the exchanges that have formed the region; he segues between major historical events and local daily routines, backwards and forwards in time, and from one part of the Mediterranean to another. A sea of endlessly overlapping cultural and historical currents, the Mediterranean exceeds the immediate constraints of nationalism and inflexible identity. It offers scholars an opportunity to rethink the past and present and to imagine a future beyond the confines of Western humanistic thought.
Mediterranean in Dis/order reveals the connection between space and politics by examining the role that space has played in insurgencies, conflicts, uprisings, and mobilities in the Mediterranean region. With this approach, the authors are able to challenge well-established beliefs about the power structure of the state across different disciplines (including political science, history, sociology, geography, and anthropology), and its impact on the conception, production, and imagination of space in the broader Mediterranean. Further, they contribute to particular areas of studies, such as migration, political Islam, mobilization, and transition to democracy, among others. The book, infusing critical theory, unveils original and revelatory case studies in Tunisia, Libya, Lebanon, Turkey, Syria, Morocco, and the EU Mediterranean policy, through a various set of actors and practices—from refugees and migrations policies, to Islamist or students’ movements, architectural sites, or movies. This multidisciplinary perspective on space and power provides a valuable resource for practitioners interested in how space, context, and time interact to produce institutions, political subjectivities, and asymmetries of power, particularly since the turning point of the Arab uprisings. The book also helps readers understand the conditions under which the uprisings develop, giving a clearer picture about various national, regional, and international dynamics.
In The Mediterranean Incarnate, anthropologist Naor Ben-Yehoyada takes us aboard the Naumachos for a thirty-seven-day voyage in the fishing grounds between Sicily and Tunisia. He also takes us on a historical exploration of the past eighty years to show how the Mediterranean has reemerged as a modern transnational region. From Sicilian poaching in North African territory to the construction of the TransMediterranean gas pipeline, Ben-Yehoyada examines the transformation of political action, imaginaries, and relations in the central Mediterranean while detailing the remarkable bonds that have formed between the Sicilians and Tunisians who live on its waters.
The book centers on the town of Mazara del Vallo, located on the southwestern tip of Sicily some ninety nautical miles northeast of the African shore. Ben-Yehoyada intertwines the town’s recent turbulent history—which has been fraught with conflicts over fishing rights, development projects, and how the Mediterranean should figure in Italian politics at large—with deep accounts of life aboard the Naumacho, linking ethnography with historical anthropology and political-economic analysis. Through this sophisticated approach, he crafts a new viewpoint on the historical processes of transnational region formation, one offered by these moving ships as they weave together new social and political constellations.
The Mediterranean is a diverse and volatile region, especially in its post—Cold War state, and it is entering a new phase of uncertainty. Twenty-two sovereign states surround this body of water: six are part of the Western alliance system, three have engaged in or supported terrorism, and others face serious internal tensions arising from territorial claims and ethnic strife. An expansion of a previous issue of Mediterranean Quarterly, this book brings together a distinguished array of diplomats, politicians, scholars, and policymakers representing twelve countries and a variety of interests and ideas to discuss this unique region and to explore its prospects for peace and stability. New essays in this expanded volume include a reflection by former President Jimmy Carter on the causes of war and their links to human suffering, a prophetic analysis of the post-Cold War environment in the Mediterranean by former U.N. Secretary General Boutros-Boutros Ghali, an essay on the strategic significance of Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean by the former Turkish ambassador to the United States, and, in light of recent events in Kosovo and elsewhere in the former Yugoslavia, a piece on the issue of Balkan security by the editor. Introducing the volume is a foreword by former U.S. Secretary of State George P. Schultz and an essay focusing on NATO in the Mediterranean by Javier Solana, the Secretary General of NATO. Central to the Mediterranean debate is the question of NATO’s role in its future. Some contributors suggest that the southward expansion of NATO could be an important first step toward stability, while others argue that the Mediterranean should be treated as an integrated geostrategic region, with a central place in Western security considerations. Other essays discuss the comparative experience of UNPROFOR and IFOR in the former Yugoslavia; the role of Italy in the future of the Mediterranean; the economic challenges facing the Middle East; and the role of Israel and its relationship to its neighbors. Mediterranean Security at the Crossroads is one of the first in-depth looks at this region from a strictly post-Cold War perspective.
Contributors. Hanan Bar-On, Ted Galen Carpenter, Jimmy Carter, Charles G. Cogan, Gregorios Demestichas, Boutros-Boutros Ghali, Carlo Jean, Nuzhet Kandemir, Nicolai A. Kovalsky, William H. Lewis, Peter H. Liotta, John A. MacInnis, Phebe Marr, Matthew Nimetz, George P. Schultz, Javier Solana, Richard F. Staar, Nikolaos A. Stavrou, George Vella, W. Bruce Weinrod
Although scholars have long been aware of the crucial roles that gender plays in music, and vice versa, the contributors to this volume are among the first to systematically examine the interactions between the two. This book is also the first to explore the diverse, yet often strikingly similar, musics of the areas bordering the Mediterranean from comparative anthropological perspectives.
From Spanish flamenco to Algerian raï, Greek rebetika to Turkish pop music, Sephardi and Berber songs to Egyptian belly dancers, the contributors cover an exceedingly wide range of geographic and musical territories. Individual essays examine musical behavior as representation, assertion, and sometimes transgression of gender identities; compare men's and women's roles in specific musical practices and their historical evolution; and explore how music and gender relate to such issues as ethnicity, nationality, and religion. Anyone studying the musics or cultures of the Mediterranean, or more generally the relations between gender and the arts, will welcome this book.
Caroline Bithell, Joaquina Labajo, Jane C. Sugarman, Carol Silverman, Goffredo Plastino, Gail Holst-Warhaft, Edwin Seroussi, Marie Virolle, Terry Brint Joseph, Deborah Kapchan, Karin van Nieuwkerk, Svanibor Pettan, Martin Stokes, Philip V. Bohlman
Beginning with the Roman army’s first foray beyond its borders and concluding with the death of Hadrian in 138 CE, this panoramic history of the early Roman Empire recounts the wars, leaders, and social transformations that lay the foundations of imperial success.
Between 264 BCE, when the Roman army crossed into Sicily, and the death of Hadrian nearly three hundred years later, Rome became one of the most successful multicultural empires in history. In this vivid guide to a fascinating period, David Potter explores the transformations that occurred along the way, as Rome went from republic to mercenary state to bureaucratic empire, from that initial step across the Straits of Messina to the peak of territorial expansion.
Rome was shaped by endless political and diplomatic jockeying. As other Italian city-states relinquished sovereignty in exchange for an ironclad guarantee of protection, Rome did not simply dominate its potential rivals—it absorbed them by selectively offering citizenship and constructing a tiered membership scheme that allowed Roman citizens to maintain political control without excluding noncitizens from the state’s success. Potter attributes the empire’s ethnic harmony to its relative openness.
This imperial policy adapted and persisted over centuries of internal discord. The fall of the republican aristocracy led to the growth of mercenary armies and to the creation of a privatized and militarized state that reached full expression under Julius Caesar. Subsequently, Augustus built a mighty bureaucracy, which went on to manage an empire ruled by a series of inattentive, intemperate, and bullying chief executives. As contemporary parallels become hard to ignore, The Origin of Empire makes clear that the Romans still have much to teach us about power, governance, and leadership.
Antiquarian, lawyer, and cat lover Nicolas Fabri de Peiresc (1580–1637) was a “prince” of the Republic of Letters and the most gifted French intellectual in the generation between Montaigne and Descartes. From Peiresc’s study in Aix-en-Provence, his insatiable curiosity poured forth in thousands of letters that traveled the Mediterranean, seeking knowledge of matters mundane and exotic. Mining the remarkable 70,000-page archive of this Provençal humanist and polymath, Peter N. Miller recovers a lost Mediterranean world of the early seventeenth century that was dominated by the sea: the ceaseless activity of merchants, customs officials, and ships’ captains at the center of Europe’s sprawling maritime networks. Peiresc’s Mediterranean World reconstructs the web of connections that linked the bustling port city of Marseille to destinations throughout the Western Mediterranean, North Africa, the Levant, and beyond.
“Peter Miller’s reanimation of Peiresc, the master of the Mediterranean, is the best kind of case study. It not only makes us appreciate the range and richness of one man’s experience and the originality of his thought, but also suggests that he had many colleagues in his deepest and most imaginative inquiries. Most important, it gives us hope that their archives too will be opened up by scholars skillful and imaginative enough to make them speak to us.” —Anthony Grafton, New York Review of Books
The search for the biblical Philistines, one of ancient Israel’s most storied enemies, has long intrigued both scholars and the public. Archaeological and textual evidence examined in its broader eastern Mediterranean context reveals that the Philistines, well-known from biblical and extrabiblical texts, together with other related groups of “Sea Peoples,” played a transformative role in the development of new ethnic groups and polities that emerged from the ruins of the Late Bronze Age empires. The essays in this book, representing recent research in the fields of archaeology, Bible, and history, reassess the origins, identity, material culture, and impact of the Philistines and other Sea Peoples on the Iron Age cultures and peoples of the eastern Mediterranean. The contributors are Matthew J. Adams, Michal Artzy, Tristan J. Barako, David Ben-Shlomo, Mario Benzi, Margaret E. Cohen, Anat Cohen-Weinberger, Trude Dothan, Elizabeth French, Marie-Henriette Gates, Hermann Genz, Ayelet Gilboa, Maria Iacovou, Ann E. Killebrew, Sabine Laemmel, Gunnar Lehmann, Aren M. Maeir, Amihai Mazar, Linda Meiberg, Penelope A. Mountjoy, Hermann Michael Niemann, Jeremy B. Rutter, Ilan Sharon, Susan Sherratt, Neil Asher Silberman, and Itamar Singer.
The first comprehensive history of the cultural impact of the Phoenicians, who knit together the ancient Mediterranean world long before the rise of the Greeks.
Imagine you are a traveler sailing to the major cities around the Mediterranean in 750 BC. You would notice a remarkable similarity in the dress, alphabet, consumer goods, and gods from Gibraltar to Tyre. This was not the Greek world—it was the Phoenician. Based in Tyre, Sidon, Byblos, and other cities along the coast of present-day Lebanon, the Phoenicians spread out across the Mediterranean building posts, towns, and ports. Propelled by technological advancements of a kind unseen since the Neolithic revolution, Phoenicians knit together diverse Mediterranean societies, fostering a literate and sophisticated urban elite sharing common cultural, economic, and aesthetic modes.
The Phoenician imprint on the Mediterranean lasted nearly a thousand years, beginning in the Early Iron Age. Following the trail of the Phoenicians from the Levant to the Atlantic coast of Iberia, Carolina López-Ruiz offers the first comprehensive study of the cultural exchange that transformed the Mediterranean in the eighth and seventh centuries BC. Greeks, Etruscans, Sardinians, Iberians, and others adopted a Levantine-inflected way of life, as they aspired to emulate Near Eastern civilizations. López-Ruiz explores these many inheritances, from sphinxes and hieratic statues to ivories, metalwork, volute capitals, inscriptions, and Ashtart iconography.
Meticulously documented and boldly argued, Phoenicians and the Making of the Mediterranean revises the Hellenocentric model of the ancient world and restores from obscurity the true role of Near Eastern societies in the history of early civilizations.
Religious beliefs and practices, which permeated all aspects of life in antiquity, traveled well-worn routes throughout the Mediterranean: itinerant charismatic practitioners journeying from place to place peddled their skills as healers, purifiers, cursers, and initiators; and vessels decorated with illustrations of myths traveled with them. New gods encountered in foreign lands by merchants and conquerors were sometimes taken home to be adapted and adopted. A full understanding of this complex spiritual world unfolds in Religions of the Ancient World, the first basic reference work that collects and organizes available information to offer an expansive, comparative perspective.
At once sweeping in scope and groundbreaking in format, the Guide eschews the usual encyclopedic approach, instead presenting, side by side, materials from ten cultures and traditions. Thus specific beliefs, cults, gods, and ritual practices that arose and developed in Mediterranean religions--of Egypt, Anatolia and the Near East, Mesopotamia, Iran, Greece, and the Roman world, from the third millennium to the fourth century C.E.--are interpreted in comparison with one another, and with reference to aspects that crisscross cultural boundaries, such as Cosmology, Myth, Law and Ethics, and Magic. Written by leading scholars of ancient religion, the essays in this guide sketch the various religious histories, raise central theoretical issues, and examine individual topics such as Sacred Times and Spaces; Prayers, Hymns, Incantations, and Curses; Sin, Pollution, and Purity; Death, the Afterlife, and Other Last Things; Divination and Prophecy; Deities and Demons; and Sacred Texts and Canonicity.
Clearly and stylishly written, grandly illustrated, this comprehensive work welcomes readers as never before into the diversity and interconnections of religion in the ancient world.
Resisting Europe conceptualizes the foreign policies of Europe—defined as the European Union and its member states—toward the states in its immediate southern “neighborhood” as semi-imperial attempts to turn these states into Europe’s southern buffer zone, or borderlands. In these hybrid spaces, different types of rules and practices coexist and overlap, and negotiations over meaning and implementation take place. This book examines the diverse modalities by which states in the Mediterranean Middle East and North Africa (MENA) reject, resist, challenge, modify, or entirely change European policies and preferences and provides rich empirical evidence of these contestation practices in the fields of migration and border control, banking and finance, democracy promotion, and telecommunications. It addresses the complex question of when and how MENA states capitalize on their leverage and interdependence in their relationships with Europe and contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of Europe–Middle East relations, while engaging with broader debates on power and interdependence, order, and contestation in international relations. While a contribution on the practices of resistance and contestation of MENA states vis-à-vis European policies and preferences in this geopolitically significant region was overdue, this volume leads the way for subsequent studies that seek to overcome the constraints of exceptionalism so characteristic of research of the Middle East, Europe/the European Union, and certainly of their relationship.
“How could I allow my soldiers to sail on this disloyal and cruel sea?” These words, attributed to the most powerful caliph of medieval Islam, Umar Ibn al-Khattab (634–644), have led to a misunderstanding in the West about the importance of the Mediterranean to early Islam. This body of water, known in Late Antiquity as the Sea of the Romans, was critical to establishing the kingdom of the caliphs and for introducing the new religion to Europe and Africa. Over time, it also became a pathway to commercial and political dominion, indispensable to the prosperity and influence of the Islamic world. Sea of the Caliphs returns Muslim sailors to their place of prominence in the history of the Islamic caliphate.
As early as the seventh century, Muslim sailors competed with Greek and Latin seamen for control of this far-flung route of passage. Christophe Picard recreates these adventures as they were communicated to admiring Muslims by their rulers. After the Arab conquest of southern Europe and North Africa, Muslims began to speak of the Mediterranean in their strategic visions, business practices, and notions of nature and the state. Jurists and ideologues conceived of the sea as a conduit for jihad, even as Muslims’ maritime trade with Latin, Byzantine, and Berber societies increased.
In the thirteenth century, Christian powers took over Mediterranean trade routes, but by that time a Muslim identity that operated both within and in opposition to Europe had been shaped by encounters across the sea of the caliphs.
This book gathers French writer Michel Butor's essays on his travel in the Mediterranean. Included are pieces on Cordova, Istanbul, Salonica, Delphi, Crete, and northern Italy, as well as an extended essay on Egypt--where, when he was 24, Butor spent a year teaching French in a secondary school. Michel Butor is one of the leading exponents of the avant-garde writing that emerged in France in the 1950s .
Subaltern studies, the study of non-elite or underrepresented people, have revolutionized the writing of Middle Eastern history. Subversives and Mavericks in the Muslim Mediterranean represents the next step in this transformation. The book explores the lives of eleven nonconformists who became agents of political and social change, actively organizing new forms of resistance—against either colonial European regimes or the traditional societies in which they lived—that disrupted the status quo, in some cases, with dramatic results. These case studies highlight cross-border connections in the Mediterranean world, exploring how these channels were navigated.
Chapters in the book examine the lives of subversives and mavericks, such as Tawhida ben Shaykh, the first Arab woman to receive a medical degree; Mokhtar al-Ayari, a radical Tunisian labor leader; Nazli Hanem, Kmar Bayya, and Khiriya bin Ayyad, three aristocractic women who resisted the patriarchal structures of their societies by organizing and participating in intellectual salons for men and women and advocating social reform; Qaid Najim al-Akhsassi, an ex-slave and military officer, who fought against French and Spanish colonial expansion; and Boubeker al-Ghandjawi, a nearly illiterate trader who succeeded, though his diverse connections, in establishing important relations between the Moroccan sultan and the representative of the British government. Although based on individual and local perspectives, Subversives and Mavericks in the Muslim Mediterranean reveals new and unrecognized trans-local connections across the Muslim world, illuminating our understanding of these societies beyond narrow elite circles.
The burgeoning field of disability studies has recently emerged within the humanities and social sciences and, as a result, disability is no longer seen as the biological condition of an individual body but as a complex product of social, political, environmental, and biological discourses. The groundbreaking essays of This Abled Body engage biblical studies in conversation with the wider field of disability studies. They explore the use of the conceptual category “disability” in biblical and Near Eastern texts and examine how conceptions of disability become a means of narrating, interpreting, and organizing human life. Employing diverse approaches to biblical criticism, scholars explore methodological issues and specific texts related to physical and cognitive disabilities. Responses to the essays by established disability activists and academics working in the social sciences and humanities conclude the volume. The contributors are Martin Albl, Hector Avalos, Bruce C. Birch, Carole R. Fontaine, Thomas Hentrich, Nicole Kelley, Janet Lees, Sarah J. Melcher, David Mitchell, Jeremy Schipper, Sharon Snyder, Holly Joan Toensing, Neal H. Walls, and Kerry H. Wynn.
Pottery made in the Aegean during the Late Bronze Age has been found in many parts of the Mediterranean—Mycenaean dinner and storage vessels, for example, have been discovered at some four hundred sites outside Greece. These artifacts provide one of the main sources of information on Mycenaean trade and interregional contact, but the role of pottery in international exchange during this period is still not properly understood. Gert Jan van Wijngaarden brings us closer with this study, which investigates patterns of consumption for the three biggest importers of Mycenaean pottery: the Levant, Cyprus, and Italy.