John Addington Symonds (Bristol 1840 – Rome 1893) was one of Victorian Britain’s most prolific authors, with works that included poems, translations, travel essays, and scholarly studies on topics ranging from classical literature to the Renaissance to the poetry of his contemporaries. Today, however, he is usually remembered for his long unpublished Memoirs, a major early monument of queer life-writing, and for two privately printed, secretly circulated essays, one of which includes the earliest printed appearance in English of the word homosexual. This new word, first coined in German, has long provided a useful milestone for historians of sexuality charting the emergence not only of new typologies but also of whole new regimes of knowledge. But what of the rest of Symonds’s vast body of work? This book returns to Symonds, not as the origin of a now familiar history, but as a far more complex thinker, with an ambitious vision of the queerness of the world itself—and of what it means to live in it.
The Moon in the Greek and Roman imagination: Selenography in myth, literature, science and philosophy
The Moon exerted a powerful influence on ancient intellectual history, as a playground for the scientific imagination. This book explores the history of the Moon in the Greco-Roman imaginary from Homer to Lucian, with special focus on those accounts of the Moon, its attributes, and its ‘inhabitants’ given by ancient philosophers, natural scientists and imaginative writers including Pythagoreans, Plato and the Old Academy, Varro, Plutarch and Lucian. ní Mheallaigh shows how the Moon’s enigmatic presence made it a key site for thinking about the gaze (erotic, philosophical and scientific) and the relation between appearance and reality. It was also a site for hoax in antiquity as well as today. Central issues explored include the view from elsewhere (selēnoskopia), the relation of science and fiction, the interaction between the beginnings of science in the classical polis and the imperial period, and the limits of knowledge itself.
Sound leaves no ruins and no residues, but it is experienced constantly. It is ubiquitous but fleeting. Even silence has sound, even absence resonates. Sound and the Ancient Senses aims to hear the lost sounds of antiquity, from the sounds of the human body to those of the gods, from the bathhouse to the Forum, from the chirp of a cicada to the music of the celestial spheres. Sound plays so great a role in shaping our environments as to make it a crucial sounding board for thinking about space and ecology, emotions and experience, mortality and the divine, orality and textuality, and the self and its connection to others. From antiquity to the present day, poets and philosophers have strained to hear the ways that sounds structure our world and identities. This volume looks at theories and practices of hearing and producing sounds in ritual contexts, medicine, mourning, music, poetry, drama, erotics, philosophy, rhetoric, linguistics, vocality, and on the page, and shows how ancient ideas of sound still shape how and what we hear today. As the first comprehensive introduction to the soundscapes of antiquity, this volume makes a significant contribution to the rapidly growing fields of sound and voice studies and is the final volume of the series, The Senses in Antiquity.
Augustus’ success in implementing monarchical rule at Rome is often attributed to innovations in the symbolic language of power, from the star marking Julius Caesar’s deification to buildings like the Palatine complex and the Forum Augustum to rituals including triumphs and funerals. This book illuminates Roman subjects’ vital role in creating and critiquing these images, in keeping with the Augustan poets’ sustained exploration of audiences’ active part in constructing verbal and visual meaning. From Vergil to Ovid, these poets publicly interpret, debate, and disrupt Rome’s evolving political iconography, reclaiming it as the common property of an imagined republic of readers. In showing how these poets used reading as a metaphor for the mutual constitution of Augustan authority and a means of exercising interpretive libertas under the principate, this book offers a holistic new vision of Roman imperial power and its representation that will stimulate scholars and students alike.
Historical examples played a key role in ancient Roman culture, and Matthew Roller’s book presents a coherent model for understanding the rhetorical, moral, and historiographical operations of Roman exemplarity. It examines the process of observing, evaluating, and commemorating noteworthy actors, or deeds, and then holding those performances up as norms by which to judge subsequent actors or as patterns for them to imitate. The model is fleshed out via detailed case studies of individual exemplary performers, the monuments that commemorate them, and the later contexts – the political arguments and social debates – in which these figures are invoked to support particular positions or agendas. Roller also considers the boundaries of, and ancient alternatives to, exemplary modes of argumentation, morality, and historical thinking. The book will engage anyone interested in how societies, from ancient Rome to today, invoke past performers and their deeds to address contemporary concerns and interests.
The Hippocrates Code: Unraveling the Ancient Mysteries of Modern Medical Terminology
In this book lies a key for decoding modern medical terminology, a living language that, despite some quirks, is best approached as an ordered system. Rather than presenting a mere list of word elements to be absorbed through rote memorization, The Hippocrates Code offers a thorough, linguistically-centered explanation of the rules of the terminological game, both for the language of medicine and for scientific vocabulary in general. Its careful exposition of Latin and Greek linguistic principles—along with a healthy dose of innovative exercises—empowers students to successfully employ the word elements that are the building blocks of modern medical terminology. Along the way, fascinating discussions of the practice of medicine in the ancient world provide an integral aid to the understanding of medical vocabulary.
Generations of scholars have grappled with the origins of ‘palace’ society on Minoan Crete, seeking to explain when and how life on the island altered monumentally. Emily Anderson turns light on the moment just before the palaces, recognizing it as a remarkably vibrant phase of socio-cultural innovation. Exploring the role of craftspersons, travelers and powerful objects, she argues that social change resulted from creative work that forged connections at new scales and in novel ways. This study focuses on an extraordinary corpus of sealstones which have been excavated across Crete. Fashioned of imported ivory and engraved with images of dashing lions, these distinctive objects linked the identities of their distant owners. Anderson argues that it was the repeated but pioneering actions of such diverse figures, people and objects alike, that dramatically changed the shape of social life in the Aegean at the turn of the second millennium BCE.
The first lessons we learn in school can stay with us all our lives, but this was nowhere more true than in the last decades of the fourteenth century when grammar-school students were not only learning to read and write, but understanding, for the first time, that their mother tongue, English, was grammatical. The efflorescence of Ricardian poetry was not a direct result of this change, but it was everywhere shaped by it. This book characterizes this close connection between literacy training and literature, as it is manifest in the fine and ambitious poetry by Gower, Langland and Chaucer, at this transitional moment. This is also a book about the way medieval training in grammar (or grammatica) shaped the poetic arts in the Middle Ages fully as much as rhetorical training. It answers the curious question of what language was used to teach Latin grammar to the illiterate. It reveals, for the first time, what the surviving schoolbooks from the period actually contain. It describes what form a “grammar school” took in a period from which no school buildings or detailed descriptions survive. And it scrutinizes the processes of elementary learning with sufficient care to show that, for the grown medieval schoolboy, well-learned books functioned, not only as a touchstone for wisdom, but as a knowledge so personal and familiar that it was equivalent to what we would now call “experience.”
Fragmented, buried, and largely lost, the classical past presents formidable obstacles to anyone who would seek to know it. Deep Classics is the study of these obstacles and, in particular, of the way in which the contemplation of the classical past resembles—and has even provided a model for—other kinds of human endeavor. This volume offers a new way to understand the modalities and aims of Classics itself, through the ages. Its individual chapters draw fruitful connections between the reception of the classical and current concerns in the philosophy of mind, cognitive theory, epistemology, media studies, sense studies, aesthetics, queer theory, the history of science and eco-criticism. This groundbreaking collection of essays makes a pointed intervention in the study of the classical tradition, now generally known as classical reception studies.
Long before the invention of the phonograph, the written word was unrivaled as a medium of the human voice. In The Ancient Phonograph, Shane Butler takes us back to an age, long before Edison, when writing itself was still relatively new. He meticulously reconstructs a series of Greek and Roman soundscapes ranging from Aristotle to Augustine. Here the real voices of tragic actors, ambitious orators, and singing emperors blend with the imagined voices of lovesick nymphs, tormented heroes, and angry gods. The resonant world we encounter in ancient sources is at first unfamiliar, populated by texts that speak and sing, often with no clear difference between the two. But Butler discovers a commonality that invites a deeper understanding of why voices mattered then, and why they have mattered since.
With later examples that range from Petrarch to Puccini, Mozart to Jimi Hendrix, Butler offers an ambitious attempt to rethink the voice — as an anatomical presence, a conceptual category, and a source of pleasure and wonder. He carefully and critically assesses the strengths and limits of recent theoretical approaches to the voice by Adriana Cavarero and Mladen Dolar and makes a rich and provocative range of ancient material available for the first time to students and scholars in voice studies, sound studies, and media theory. The Ancient Phonograph will appeal not only to classicists but to anyone interested in the verbal arts — literature, oratory, song — and the nature of aesthetic experience.