The 4th/5th century Greco-Egypto-Roman poet Nonnus of Panopolis composed a huge epic work in 48 books on Dionysus, the Dionysiaca, as well as an epic poetic paraphrase of the gospel of John, both in Homeric idiom and meter. In his version of the famous Johannine prologue, Nonnus writes: ἐν ἀχλυόεντι δὲ κόσμῳ οὐρανίαις σελάγιζε βολαῖς γαιήοχος […]
I recently reviewed George Demacopoulos’ The Invention of Peter: Apostolic Discourse and Papal Authority in Late Antiquity (2013), part of the “Divinations” series published by University of Pennsylvania Press, for Classical Journal Online, and thought it may be of interest to some of our readers. You can find it here.
Larry Hurtado reports that the concept of Jesus receiving attributions of divinity and religious devotion in the years immediately following his crucifixion is now something of a consensus position among scholars of the field. He gives some further commentary and explanation here, concluding with these remarks: But the earliest clear indications of believers treating Jesus […]
Dr. Peter Brown here reviews three books which, he says, highlight “submerged worlds.” The political struggles between the late Roman Empire and the neo-Persian or Sassanian Empire have received relatively scant treatment over the years, certainly when compared to the body of work dealing with earlier Greek and Roman interactions with Persia. But this struggle, […]
In his classic introduction to late antiquity, Peter Brown notes that the idea of the “patron saint” is an outgrowth of the social dynamics of the late Roman Empire, in which common people – clients – needed advocates at a distant court to which they did not have access. It was, then, not an outgrowth […]
Last week I referred to the “progressivist” strain in Greek cultural thinking, which was associated with Prometheus and which tracked a general advancement of mankind from his earliest days to the present. But there is another strain as well, the “primitivist” one, in which the history of mankind is described as a general decline over […]