Anna A. Grotans
This chapter surveys the history of the Abbey of St. Gall, on the shores of Lake Constance, from its founding in the seventh century by Gallus to its cultural highpoints from the Carolingian period through the eleventh century. The library’s great treasures, including manuscripts of the fourth or fifth century, the famous Irish books, important Middle High German texts, are mentioned, and the as is the dispersal of St. Gall books at various periods. The ninth- and tenth-century St. Gall school is discussed, as are the Old High German studies of the monks, the music school, and some of the abbeys important writers (Notker, Ekkehard, Walahfrid).
This chapter surveys the use of abbreviations in Latin manuscripts of the Middle Ages. It provides illustrated examples of the most common abbreviations, and it discusses general abbreviation techniques. It concludes with an introduction to a computer database of medieval Latin abbreviations.
This chapter explores biographical receptions of Greek and Roman poets in the twentieth century. Classical scholarship has now begun to recognize ancient biography as a creative mode of reception in Antiquity. In the twentieth century and into the twenty-first, reading the texts of Greek and Roman poetry for the lives of their authors has been an especially rich and multifaceted mode of reception, providing for many readers a means of grappling with the ancient texts within the changing cultural landscape of modernity. Yet, unlike the medieval and early modern traditions of literary biography, in the twentieth century, academic and creative Lives have tended to part company. When it comes to Greek and Roman poets, though a few full-length literary biographies that still attempt to claim factual status have been produced, conventional narrative biographies that aim to set out the ‘facts’ are generally only found in isagogic contexts such as introductions to texts and translations, or textbooks of literary history. Moreover, partly because modern authors are acutely aware that there are few ‘facts’ beyond the poets’ works themselves on which to base their material, and partly as a broader consequence of modern preoccupations with fragmentation and the limits of knowledge, creative life-writing about the ancient poets in this period is found more frequently in ludic snapshots rather than full-blown narrative biographies.
The present paper focusses on the oldest version of the Alexander Romance (the so-called alpha recension). It is a composite work, made of heterogeneous elements whose combination generates tensions in the portrayal of the protagonist, Alexander. His presentation is multifocal: making use of letters, speeches, and dialogues, and multiplying the points of view, the narrator constructs a kaleidoscopic image of Alexander which is that of an actant rather than a character. Nevertheless, the emphasis put on Alexander’s singularity and exceptional destiny gives the Romance its consistency. The prevalence of an entertaining prospect implies a redirection of biographical tools for the benefit of fictitiousness.
This chapter discusses ancient biographies of statesmen. What is the nature of ancient political biography? It is the description of the life and deeds of a significant political player of the recent or far past, individually told or in a series, with the intent of edifying the readers. This means that such a work often has an encomiastic, or at any rate evaluative cast, and may even employ certain acknowledged untruths in order to bring out the characteristic significance of a given politician. This too is the aim with which intimate details or gossip are told: so as to convey a clear image of what kind of man Solon, Demosthenes, Augustus, or Nero was, and how this influenced his career and his deeds.
This chapter discusses ancient biography in the Italian Renaissance. One way to reveal some of the major trends and developments of ancient biography in the Renaissance is to examine the models chosen by Renaissance biographers. This approach not only illuminates the legacy of ancient biography, but also sheds some light on modern suppositions about ancient biography. Some of the models chosen will hardly be a surprise. Suetonius’s Lives of the Caesars and the Augustan History provided a model for biography as a history of civic and military leaders. Jerome’s Illustrious Men remained a blueprint for biography as bibliography and as literary history. Yet humanists also found models in Cicero, Varro, and Pliny, all of whom are today rarely thought of as biographers. Moreover, Renaissance authors did not always take up what one might think of as their model’s characteristic features. The chapter considers how some of the major authors of Renaissance biography worked and reworked their models to suit new needs. It also addresses five sub-types of biography: collective biographies of historical figures; collective biographies of literary figures; individual and comparative biographies; collective biographies in dialogue form; and collective biographies with portraits.
This chapter examines presences of ancient biography in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The popularity of biography in seventeenth-century Europe was mainly due to the numerous translations of Plutarch’s Parallel Lives. Conversely, Suetonius, whose Lives of the Caesars were extremely influential in the early modern period, was less read in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Meanwhile, Diogenes Laertius’ Lives of Eminent Philosophers contributed to the rise of literary and philosophical biography. However, the more life-writing is considered as a literary practice, the less its historical reliability is valued. If, in the seventeenth century, Lives were generally regarded as a historical genre, eighteenth-century philosophers criticized the historical interest of biography, at a time in which history began to be studied as a science more than as a pedagogical device.
Pere P. Ripollès
The minting of coins in the Iberian Peninsula spread in from the mid-fifth century
This article discusses the social history of the Jews. It determines the extent Jewish communities possessed an inner-Jewish social structure and looks at the social ties that existed between the local communities. Some notable Jewish historians like Martin Goodman and Ed P. Sanders provide some important insights into the social relations of the Jews. The article also looks at the extent Jews were socially integrated into their different environments. The history and geography of the Jews, along with the different social problems that they faced, are discussed.
This chapter surveys Old English glosses of Latin works in Anglo-Saxon manuscripts and discusses the format of glosses, the types of texts that were glossed, hermeneutic texts, merographs, dry-point glosses, glossae collectae, class glossaries, and alphabetical glossaries. The author also treats the production and study of grammar in Anglo-Saxon England, touching on the works of Bede, Tatwine, Boniface, Alcuin, Priscian, and Aelfric.
Anthropology and the humanities both deal with man, but they deal with utterly different kinds of man. To put them together was a difficult task, therefore: it was not a simple question of reconciling two disciplines, but of reconciling two different types of human being: the Romans and the ‘savages’, ‘classical’ and ‘primitive’ man. The more comparative the anthropology of Rome demonstrates itself to be – proposing a comparison of Roman culture with the culture of others, with non-Romans in the broadest sense of the term – the more it is perceived to be distinct from the rest of Classical Studies. There is so much emic attention in details and their related historical aspects, but so much etic freedom in using concepts linked to the culture of the observer. Clyde Kluckhohn insisted several times in his work on the indissoluble connection between anthropology on the one hand, and an interest in what we could define as ‘oddities’ on the other. This article discusses anthropology and the textuality of Roman culture.
Liv Mariah Yarrow
Under the Antonine emperors, imperial and provincial coinage largely follow the pattern of prior periods, with certain significant developments both in minting practices and iconographic representations. The major changes of Antonine coinage can be contextualized within three interlinking categories: coin production and output, changes in the presentation of the emperor and his family, and Rome's changing relationship with the provinces and the interrelationships between provincial cities. There was a trend of decline in the weight and fineness of the denarius, and a similar decline in the weight of the aureus; at the same time, smaller bronze denominations were minted with less frequency at Rome. Even more provincial mints appeared, and there was significant production of precious metal coinage at regional centers such as Caesarea in Cappadocia.
This chapter examines quantitative methods in the study of manuscripts, discussing the quantification of various measureable aspects of medieval book production, the typographic composition of early printing shops, the physical characteristics of manuscripts, and the measurements of page layouts, while arguing that the quantitative study of books is fundamentally focused on understanding the “why” of book production, rather than the “who, what, when, where, and how”.
Christian Julien Robin
This article discusses the strong links between Arabia and Ethiopia in Late Antiquity. These links were primarily commercial and cultural, but sometimes also political. The Ethiopians borrowed their script from the Arabians, and this facilitated by the fact that the two peoples spoke kindred languages, belonging to the same Semitic family. Arabia and Ethiopia also shared the same off-center position in relation to the great poles of civilisation in the Near East, with which however they maintained intense relations that went back at least to the beginning of the first millennium
This chapter examines the Arabic biographical tradition. The genre of biographical writing is a celebrated, multifaceted, and widely practised field of Arabic literature. Basic forms of biographical compilation can be shown from the first century of Islam (seventh century), initially orally transmitted and later in writing. The Arabic biographical tradition was mainly developed from within Islam, to which it owes its noticeable character. It probably originated from the earnest aspiration of generations following the initial period to preserve knowledge about the central figures of that era. For that reason, biographical transmission, initially, was a highly religion-orientated discipline. Nevertheless, or perhaps even due to this stimulus, there developed a huge field of different biographical genres and specialized life-writing.
Marijke Van der Veen
The archaeobotanical evidence for food and farming in Roman Britain reveals continuity in the two principal cereals grown, but a marked increase in the scale of arable production in central-southern and eastern England, though not in the western and northern areas of Britain. Innovation comes in the form of horticulture: the growing of fruits, vegetables, and herbs for market. Exotic foods brought in by the Roman army created diverse consumer groups. Combined, these developments resulted in larger dietary breadth, growing diversity and regionality, increased social inequality in diet and economic opportunity, and new social realities at household and community levels.
The idea of classifying archaeology as a ‘tool’ alongside prosopography, metre, and numismatics, while ‘culture change’, ‘urbanism’, and ‘fall and transitions’ are classified under ‘history’, is provocative to any archaeologist. Romanisation – a topic that has been prominent in the English-speaking literature of the last two decades – seems to involve an implicit rather than an explicit synthesis of archaeology and history. An archaeology of urbanism in the Roman Empire will highlight the hugely varied nature of what we might class as Roman cities and bring us up against problems of functional definition, and it will document the dynamism of life in these places in all its varied forms and illuminate accompanying phenomena in vivid detail. It will also give us images of living and dead city inhabitants and their lifestyles; it will tell us about both poor and rich – in an unstructured way. An archaeology of urbanism will produce a great deal of information that reflects at one remove social structures and social organisation, while yielding little statistical information which can be converted straightforwardly into sociological data.
This article discusses Armenian history in Late Antiquity. It considers the multiple and varied influences upon all aspects of Armenian society and culture, from far-reaching decisions made at the highest level with immediate implications, such as the redrawing of boundaries between the Roman and Persian sectors of Armenia, or redefining what constituted orthodox belief, to the slow development of ideas, traditions, and practices at a regional and a local level.
S. Peter Cowe
This chapter discusses the diverse Armenian biographical material, which was transmitted directly or indirectly in written form and hence dependent on the existence of a writing system. Particular historical forces converged to realize this project as part of a process to diffuse literacy in Southern Caucasia in the early fifth century. Initiated primarily as a means of advancing the cause of Christian proclamation and solidarity in the region, the movement to inaugurate a literate tradition inspired the participation of pluralist trends in Armenian society to employ the medium to engage in dialogue on issues of collective identity and values. By the end of the Umayyad era, that process of exchange resulted in the construction of a relatively connected master narrative of Armenian origins and the course of secular and sacred history that included a gallery of variegated portraits of the pre-eminent figures who shaped these developments, a selection of which will form the focus of the chapter’s discussion. The criteria for selection include literary significance, the prominence of the individuals portrayed, and the texts’ rhetorical impact on Armenian society, in both the religious and cultural spheres.