Roman Historiography: An Introduction to its Basic Aspects and Development by Andreas Mehl, translated by Hans-Friedrich Mueller (Blackwell Introductions to the Classical World: Wiley-Blackwell) Roman Historiography: An Introduction to its Basic Aspects and Development presents a comprehensive introduction to the development of Roman historical writings in the ancient world. Andreas Mehl traces the arc of ancient historical writing about Rome from its origins with the authors of clan history and fragmentary annalists to the writings of Byzantine scholar Procopius, the last major historian of the ancient world. Rooting his survey in the context of its Greek predecessors, and within the broader framework of Roman literature and society, Mehl discusses every historical writer of significance in the ancient Roman era and provides much more than simple biographical detail. Also considered are essential themes such as genre, teleology, the idea of Rome, and exemplary moral conduct. By paying scrupulous attention to political context and religious developments throughout the ancient world, Mehl reveals the evolution and interpenetration of both pagan and Christian historiography. More
Tales of the Barbarians: Ethnography and Empire in the Roman West by Greg Woolf (Blackwell-Bristol Lectures on Greece, Rome and the Classical Tradition: Wiley-Blackwell) Tales of the Barbarians traces the creation of new mythologies in the wake of Roman expansion westward to the Atlantic. Providing a fresh perspective on the topic by examining passages from ancient writers in a new light, Woolf explores how ancient geography local histories and the stories of wandering heroes were woven together by Greek scholars and local experts to establish a place for Celts and Spaniards, Africans and Britons in the classical world. En route, this investigation assesses the impact of Roman imperialism on those intellectual endeavours, tracks the interplay of scientific and mythological reasoning, and asks why ancient stereotypes survived for so long after the first encounters in the contact zone. More
Past Minds: Studies in Cognitive Historiography by Luther Martin and Jesper Sorensen (Religion, Cognition, Culture: Equinox) How do historians understand the minds, motivations, intentions of historical agents? What might evolutionary and cognitive theorizing contribute to this work? What is the relation between natural and cultural history? Historians have been intrigued by such questions ever since publication in 1859 of Darwin's The Origin of Species, itself the historicization of biology. This interest reemerged in the latter part of the twentieth century among a number of biologists, philosophers and historians, reinforced by the new interdisciplinary finding of cognitive scientists about the universal capacities of and constraints upon human minds. The studies in this volume, primarily by historians of religion, continue this discussion by focusing on historical examples of ancient religions as well as on the theoretical promises and problems relevant to that study. More
New Perspectives on Late Antiquity by David Hernandez de la Fuente (Cambridge Scholars Publishing) Perhaps it is fully justified to think of Late Antiquity (3rd 7th centuries) as the first Renaissance of the Classical World. This period can be considered a fundamental landmark for the transmission of the Classical Legacy and the transition between the ancient and the medieval individual. During Late Antiquity the Classical Education or enkyklios paideia of Hellenism was linked definitively to the Judeo-Christian and Germanic elements that have modelled the Western World. The present volume combines diverse interests and methodologies with a single purpose unity and diversity, as a Neo-Platonic motto providing an overall picture of the new means of researching Late Antiquity. This collective endeavour, stemming from the 2009 1st International Congress on Late Antiquity in Segovia (Spain), focuses not only on the analysis of new materials and latest findings, but rather puts together different perspectives offering a scientific update and a dialogue between several disciplines. New Perspectives on Late Antiquity contains two main sections 1. Ancient History and Archaeology, and 2. Philosophy and Classical Studies including both overview papers and case studies. Among the contributors to this volume are some of the most relevant scholars in their fields, including P. Brown, J. Alvar, P. Barcela, C. Cododer, F. Fronterotta, D. Gigli, F. Lisi and R. Sanz. More
The Birth of Classical Europe: A History from Troy to
Augustine by Simon Price and Peter Thonemann
(Viking) An innovative and intriguing look at the
foundations of Western civilization from two leading
The influence of ancient Greece and Rome can be seen in every aspect of our lives. From calendars to democracy to the very languages we speak, Western civilization owes a debt to these classical societies. Yet the Greeks and Romans did not emerge fully formed; their culture grew from an active engagement with a deeper past, drawing on ancient myths and figures to shape vibrant civilizations.
In The Birth of Classical Europe, the latest entry in the Penguin History of Europe, historians Simon Price and Peter Thonemann present a fresh perspective on classical culture in a book full of revelations about civilizations we thought we knew. In this impeccably researched and immensely readable history we see the ancient world unfold before us, with its grand cast of characters stretching from the great Greeks of myth to the world-shaping Caesars. A landmark achievement, The Birth of Classical Europe provides insight into an epoch that is both incredibly foreign and surprisingly familiar. More
Roman Attitudes Toward the Christians: From Claudius to Hadrian by John Granger Cook (Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen Zum Neuen Testament: Mohr Siebeck) John Granger Cook investigates the earliest interactions between Roman authorities and Christians. The events in Claudius' time surrounding "Chrestos" and possible Jewish Christians are fascinating but obscure. The persecutions of Nero and Trajan may be crucial for interpreting certain texts of the New Testament, including the Gospel of Mark, 1 Peter, and the Apocalypse. Scholars have become increasingly skeptical of a persecution of the Christians during Domitian's rule, and the evidence is not strong. The rescript of Hadrian did little to change Trajan's policy with regard to the Christians. Although the texts provide no evidence for a general law against the Christians (probably no such law existed until the time of Decius), they do give some indication of the way magistrates characterized ("constructed") constructed") Christians: to Nero and his prefects the Christians were arsonists and harbored intense hatred of the human race; to Pliny and Trajan they were people who did not "supplicate our gods." More
War and Revolution in the Caucasus: Georgia Ablaze by
Stephen F. Jones (ThirdWorlds: Routledge)
The South Caucasus has traditionally been a
playground of contesting empires. This region, on the
edge of Europe, is associated in Western minds with
ethnic conflict and geopolitical struggles. In August
2008, yet another war broke out in this distant European
periphery as Russia and Georgia clashed over the secessionist
territory of South Ossetia. The war had global
ramifications culminating in deepening tensions between
Russia on the one hand, and Europe and the USA on the
other. Speculation on the causes and consequences of the
war focused on Great Power rivalries and a new Great Game, on oil
pipeline routes, and Russian imperial aspirations.
This book takes a different tack which focuses on the domestic roots of the August 2008 war. Collectively the authors in this volume present a more multidimensional context for the war. They analyze historical relations between national minorities in the region, look at the link between democratic development, state-building, and war, and explore the role of leadership and public opinion. Digging beneath often simplistic geopolitical explanations, the authors give the national minorities and Georgians themselves, the voice that is often forgotten by Western analysts.
This book is based on a special issue of Central Asian Survey. More
Russian-Muslim Confrontation in the Caucasus
by Muhammad Tahir al-Qarakhi and Lev Tolstoi, edited by
Thomas Sanders, Ernest Tucker and Gary Hamburg (Soas/Routledge
Studies on the Middle East: Routledge) This book presents two important texts, The Shining
of Daghestani Swords by al-Qarakhi and a new translation
for a contemporary readership of Lev Tolstoi's Hadji
Murat, illuminating the mountain war between the Muslim
peoples of the Caucasus and the imperial Russian army
from 1830 to 1859. The editors offer a complete
commentary on the various intellectual and religious
contexts that shaped the two texts and explain the
historical significance of the Russian—Muslim
confrontation. It is shown that the mountain war was a
clash of two cultures, two religious outlooks and two
different worlds. The book provides an important
background to the ongoing contest between Russia and
indigenous people for control of the Caucasus. The two
translations are accompanied by short introductions and
by a longer commentary intended for readers who desire a
broader introduction to the tragic conflict in the
Caucasus whose effects still reverberate in the
Thus, this book presents two perspectives on the Caucasus: Tolstoi's enlightened European viewpoint and al-Qarakhi's indigenous interpretation. The commentary at the end of this work analyzes the war of worlds between imperial Russia and the Islamic mountaineers. Because of the currency of the subject matter, the eminence of Tolstoi, and the privileged proximity of al-Qarakhi to Imam Shamil and to the imam's view of the conflict, we think this book is an excellent case study of cultural collision. As such we hope it will be of interest to specialists in Russian and Middle Eastern studies, to teachers of world and European history courses, and to the educated public in the English-speaking world and beyond. More
H. M. Jones and the Later Roman Empire edited by
David M. Gwynn (Brill's Series on the Early Middle Ages,
15: Brill Academic) The appearance in 1964 of A.H.M. Jones’
Roman Empire 284–602: A Social, Economic, and
Administrative Survey transformed the study of the Late
Antique world. In this volume a number of leading
scholars reassess the impact of Jones’ great work, the
influences that shaped his scholarship, and the legacy
he left for later generations. Jones’ historical method,
his fundamental knowledge of Late Roman political,
social, economic and religious structures, and his
famous assessment of the Decline and Fall of Rome are
re-examined here in the light of modern research. This
volume offers a valuable aid to academics and students
alike who seek to better understand and exploit the
priceless resource that is the Later Roman Empire.
Contributors are Averil Cameron, Peter Garnsey, David Gwynn, Peter Heather, Caroline Humfress, Luke Lavan, Wolfgang Liebeschuetz, Stefan Rebenich, Alexander Sarantis, Roger Tomlin, Bryan Ward-Perkins, and Michael Whitby. More
Enduring Loss in Early Modern Germany: Cross Disciplinary
Perspectives edited by Lynne Tatlock, series editor Thomas Al Brady,
Jr & Roger Chickering (Studies in Central European Histories: Brill)
Enduring Loss in Early Modern Germany assembles cross-disciplinary perspectives on the experience of and responses to forms of material and spiritual loss in early modern Germany. It traces how individuals and communities registered, coped with, and made sense of such events as war, religious reform, bankruptcy, religious marginalization, the death of spouses and children, and the loss of freedom of movement through a spectrum of activities including writing poetry, keeping diaries, erecting monuments, collecting books, singing, painting, repeatedly migrating, and painting, and thereby not only turned loss into gain but self-consciously made history. More
Ecstatic Transformation: On the Uses of Alterity in the Middle Ages by Michael Uebel (The New Middle Ages: Palgrave Macmillan) studies the manner in which medieval ways of knowing the Oriental "other" were constructed around the idea of a utopic East as located in the legend and Letter of Prester John (c. 1160). The birth of utopic thinking, it argues, is tied to an understanding of alterity having as much to do with the ways the medieval West understood itself as the manner in which the foreign was mapped. Drawing upon the insights of cultural studies, film studies, and psychoanalysis, this book rethinks the contours of the known and the unknown in the medieval period. It demonstrates how the idea of otherness intersected in intricate ways with other categories of difference (spatial, gender, and religious). Scholars in the fields of history as well as literary and religious studies will be interested in the manner in which the book considers the formal dimensions of how histories of the Oriental "other" were written and lived. More
Secret Societies Of The Middle Ages: The Assassins, Templars & the Secret Tribunals of Westphalia by Thomas Keightley, James Wasserman (Weiser Books) explores the foundations of modern secret societies, examining the history and known facts`of three very different organizations. More
The Conservative Revolutionaries: The Protestant and Catholic Churches in Germany after Radical Political Change in the 1990s by Barbara Theriault (Monographs in German History: Berghahn Books) During the forty years of division, the Protestant and Catholic churches in Germany were the only organizations to retain strong ties and organizational structures: they embodied continuity in a country marked by discontinuity. As such, the churches were both expected to undergo smooth and rapid institutional consolidation and undertake an active role in the public realm of the new eastern German states in the 1990s. Yet critical voices were heard over the West German system of church-state relations and the public role it confers on religious organizations, and critics often expressed the idea that despite all their difficulties, something precious was lost in the collapse of the German democratic republic. Against this backdrop, the author delineates the conflicting conceptions of the Protestant and Catholic churches' public role and pays special attention to the East German model, or what is generally termed the "positive experiences of the GDR and the Wende."
Nature in German History by Christof Mauch (Berghahn Books) Germany is a key test case for the burgeoning field of environmental history; in no other country has the landscape been so thoroughly politicized throughout its past as in Germany, and in no other country have ideas of `nature' figured so centrally in notions of national identity. The essays collected in this volume — the first collection on the subject in either English or German — place discussions of nature and the human relationship with nature in their political contexts. Taken together, they trace the gradual shift from a confident belief in humanity's ability to tame and manipulate the natural realm to the Umweltbewujl'tsein driving the contemporary conservation movement. Nature in German History also documents efforts to reshape the natural realm in keeping with ideological beliefs — such as the Romantic exultation of `the wild' and the Nazis' attempts to eliminate `foreign' flora and fauna — as well as the ways in which political issues have repeatedly been transformed into discussions of the environment in Germany. More
Jacob Burckhardt's Social and Political Thought by Richard Sigurdson (University of Toronto Press) Best known as the author of The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy, Swiss historian Jacob Burckhardt (1818—97) is one of the most important figures in the development of European historiography. His critique of modernity and his emphasis on the importance of cultural history have helped to shape intellectual history in Europe, as have his analyses of political power, particularly those concerning totalitarianism. In this work, the first book-length study in English of Burckhardt's political and social thought, Richard Sigurdson explores the major themes in Burckhardt's political writings: the relationship between the individual and mass society, the tensions between equality and excellence, the quality and nature of culture in a mass age, and the role of the intellectual in the modern world.
Sigurdson's study sheds light on some of the most enduring elements of Burckhardt's life and work, while engaging the reader in disputes over fundamental issues in intellectual history. Of particular interest is an extensive discussion of Burckhardt's relationship with Friedrich Nietzsche, who regarded the older man as a spiritual kin and intellectual mentor. A unique and fascinating portrait of Burckhardt and his contribution, this book fills a significant gap in the literature, and will appeal to historians of social and political ideas, as well as historiographers, political theorists, philosophers, and cultural historians.
This is a book about the political ideas of the nineteenth-century Swiss cultural historian Jacob Burckhardt (1818-97). He is one of those thinkers relatively well known among educated people, but not so prominent as to be immediately recognizable by everyone. His book on The Culture of the Renaissance in Italy (1860) is still widely read by successive new cohorts of students and scholars. As well, his name crops up in studies of European history, culture, art, architecture, painting, and so on. He is usually regarded as a venerable old-style scholar with wise things to say on a number of weighty topics. Aside from his groundbreaking hypothesis about the nature of the Renaissance, his lectures on the Greeks and his reflections on the general course of events in world history are the most often quoted by learned writers. There are also many Burckhardt admirers among professional historiographers and philosophers of history. His pioneering work in cultural history and his emphasis on historical style, they tell us, provide useful lessons for contemporary scholars. Of course, there is also a small but hard-core group of devoted Burckhardt scholars who have mined the archives and produced a treasure trove of scholarship. Primarily their work is published in German, though there is a rich and profound English-language literature as well. The cradle of Burckhardt scholarship is at his home university in his beloved home city of Basel, Switzerland, where monumental efforts have been made to disseminate his work, analyse its historical significance, and celebrate his achievements. Most stunning in this regard is the complete, critical edition of Burckhardt's writings currently under preparation. Twenty-seven volumes are planned, some of which have now appeared. The final work will include multiple volumes containing previously unpublished or partially published material.
I have the greatest respect for the work of the true Burckhardt scholars. But I admit that I come to the topic from the margins of this industry. For one thing, unlike most of the serious writers on Burckhardt I am a political scientist and not a historian. As such, my interest is mainly in Burckhardt's social and political ideas. That's what this book is about. In particular, I am intrigued by his culture critique of modernity, and by his analysis of the distinctive features of the politics of the modern world. I am also fascinated with Burckhardt's place within the history of European political thinking. With this book I hope to make a modest contribution to the larger project of intellectual history, especially to the study of the history of social and political ideas of the tumultuous nineteenth century. My objective is not to advocate Burckhardt's political point of view. Rather, it is to explicate his political views, which have been previously under-appreciated, and to give his ideas the kind of careful consideration that might spur on others to engage in further examination and critical analysis.
A secondary aim of this book is to help introduce Burckhardt to a larger English-speaking academic audience. In this spirit, I've tried to gear the contents of the book to a wide readership, including political scientists, cultural critics, humanists, social scientists, European specialists, and anyone else interested in the general intellectual history of the nineteenth century. Of course, I hope that Burckhardt specialists too will find something of worth in these pages. I use the most accessible sources, quoting from the standard English translations when-ever possible. Original texts in German are used where necessary, though the publication of the complete critical edition was not under-way in time for me to consult this definitive source.
Like Karl Marx, who was born in the same year as he, Burckhardt was a keen analyst and powerful critic of modern capitalism, with its ethos of materialism and consumerism. But unlike Marx, who envisioned the dictatorship of the proletariat and the violent overthrow of the bourgeoisie as the avenues towards emancipation, Burckhardt anticipated a dictatorship of an altogether different type and greatly feared that it would grant power to the worst types of people and unleash a spirit of revenge that would annihilate freedom and individuality. Specifically, he feared that mass democracy and popular rule would result in a new kind of despotism — not direct rule by the masses themselves, but a dictatorship of unscrupulous leaders who would enhance and justify their power on the basis that they alone could serve the will of the people. Burckhardt foresaw a new `Caesarism' — a form of rule that arises from lack of genuine authority and from mass willingness to be led by anyone, even by the most violent usurpers and demagogues (characters he famously dubbed `terribles simplificatenrs'). Like Alexis de Tocqueville and J.S. Mill, Burckhardt saw in the drive towards greater equality and political participation a serious threat to individual liberty and cultural freedom. But unlike them, he saw no redeeming features in the liberal and democratic spirit of the age.
Burckhardt none the less carved out a distinctive place for himself within the group of distinguished scholars and thinkers who flourished in Basel's welcoming intellectual climate. His original contributions to cultural history and art criticism are best known, but his teachings and writings cover a wide range of themes – from music and architecture to politics and religion. As well, he remained highly engaged with many key social and political questions, commenting on many in his lectures and letters. This book focuses primarily on the distinctiveness and significance of these social and political aspects of Burckhardt's unique worldview. As well as examining his commentary on such matters as democracy, freedom, power, and the state, my study of Burckhardt's political thinking entails a good deal of attention to his 'philosophy of history' (a term that Burckhardt would reject, since he was not 'philosophical'). Most telling in this regard are his analyses of the intricate relationships between history and philosophy and between culture and politics. Finally, any discussion of Burckhardt's politics leads to the question of his relationship to Nietzsche, who looms so large in modern political philosophy.
Hence the plan for the rest of this book is as follows: Part I, 'Burckhardt and the Birth of Cultural History,' contains the first three chapters. In chapter 1 I argue, contrary to many Burckhardt scholars, that Burckhardt's political reflections are neither frivolous nor irrelevant. More specifically, this chapter combines biographical information about Burckhardt with an analysis of his major writings in order to challenge the notion that Burckhardt was simply a cultural historian and not a serious political thinker. Chapter 2 examines the confrontation between Burckhardt's 'cultural history' (Kulturgeschichte) and modern 'political history,' especially as it is represented by Ranke and the nationalist historians of the Prussian-German school. Chapter 3 traces the foundations of Burckhardt's cultural history in response to Schopenhauer and reaction to Hegel and explains its methods – contemplation, the search for aristocratic style, and poetic history – and its implications for politics and culture. Chapters 4 to 6 make up Part II, 'Burckhardt's Political Analysis.' Chapter 4 begins a more focused discussion of the specifics of Burckhardt's politics. Its key organizing principles are Burckhardt's pessimism and scepticism, his organicism, his view of human nature, and his concept of historical greatness. Chapter 5 explores the interconnections between Burckhardt's concepts of freedom, the state, and society, including a critical analysis of his relations to thinkers such as Tocqueville, Mill, Humboldt, and Burke. The final chapter examines the crucial issue of Burckhardt's relation to Friedrich Nietzsche, including an analysis of the political importance of the similarities and the profound differences in their social and political thinking, which confirm Burckhardt's ultimate humanism.
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