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Religions and Politics in the Hellenistic and Roman Periods


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edited by Emilio Gabba and Morton Smith
pp. XXXVIII-642, Como
data stampa: 1985
codice isbn: 529140

From the hundreds of works published by Elias Bickerman this collection presents twenty-five papers on political history and on paganism in the ancient world. Papers on ancient Judaism and Christianity have already appeared in a fuller collection. Even these two collections will give only a curtailed representation of the extraordinary range of his learning. His important work on ancient chronology, Ptolemaic legal documents, Seleucid administration, the social history of Mesopotamia and Persia, and Byzantine history, his occasional but brilliant papers on anthropological questions, general historiography, and modern history, have been all but ignored, for the sake of producing a volume of limited scope but of general interest to students of the area of concentration: the classical, hellenistic, and Roman worlds.

Within this area papers have been chosen not only because of the historical importance of the points they demonstrated - many, now, "accepted opinions" to be found in the handbooks - but also as displays of Bickerman's peculiar merits: his amazing precision, extraordinary control of telling details to illustrate his points, uncanny gift of finding parallels in remote fields of history, and (more important) his eye for neglected questions and his grasp of essentials. These qualities make the following essays didactic examples of historiography; they are also works of art. In this refractory material and in languages never his own, Bickerman attained the clarity and elegance of Saite carving in obsidian. Papers which did not meet his requirement of beauty, regardless of whether or not they proved their points, were put aside and finally, by his order, destroyed. In those he selected for publication there is an unobtrusive but uncompromising care for proportion and structure, especially intellectual structure. The evidence and arguments are introduced, the objections and answers balanced, with the precision of elements in a Mozart sonata. The deliberate contrast and concord of historic and artistic truth is not the least of their beauties.

Indice:

Preface

Elias J. Bickerman (by M. Smith)
Bibliography of the Writing of Elias J. Bickerman (by F. Parente)

Die römische Kaiserapotheose
Bellum Antiochicum
Alexandre le Grand et les villes d’Asie
Les préliminaires de la Seconde Guerre de Macédonie
Notes sur Polybe
La cité grecque dans les monarchies hellénistiques
The Orphic Blessing
La lettre d’Alexandre le Grand aux bannis grecs
An Oath of Hannibal
Bellum Philippicum: some Roman and Greek Views concerning the Causes of the Second Macedonian War
La lettre de Mithridate dans les «Histoires» de Salluste
Apocryphal Correspondence of Pyrrhus
Remarques sur le droit des gens dans la Grèce classique
La trêve de 423 av. J.C. entre Athènes et Sparte
Hannibal’s Covenant
Origines Gentium
Autonomia. Sur un passage de Thucydide (I, 144,2)
Filius Maiae (Horace, Odes I 2,43)
Sur un passage d’Hypéride (Epitaphios, col. VIII)
The Seleucids and the Achaemenids
Some Reflections on Early Roman History
Diva Augusta Manciana
La conception du mariage à Athènes
Love Story in the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite
Darius I, Pseudo-Smerdis, and the Magi

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