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Studies in Mediterranean Antiquity and Classics
Number of Followers: 27  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 1934-3442
Published by Macalester College Homepage  [5 journals]
  • Reconciling Apostasy in Genesis Rabbah 80: A Rabbinic Response to

    • Authors: Ethan Levin
      Abstract: In the beginning of the 5th century, Palestine saw an economic boom and an extensive cultural shift due to the Christianization of the Roman empire. Intermingling between Jews and Gentiles must have been at an all time high in the prospering cities of Palestine, so to cordon off the Jew from the Christianized world, the Palestinian rabbis turned towards the polemical tools of intermarriage and ethnicity. The legal restriction of intermarriage with Gentiles on the grounds of their abhorrent, yet enticing, sacreligious practices served as a concrete barrier to apostasy codified in Jewish practice. This legal thought has a long tradition, from Deuteronomy 7 to the Second Temple Period. The Yerushalmi subverts the Second Temple period text Jubilees understanding of intermarriage to present a view on intermarriage that is synonymous with the one found in Genesis Rabbah 80, in which intermarriage is banned on moral-religious grounds and zealotry is frowned upon. Classifying themselves as an ethno-religious group complicates the nature of identification with Judaism in Late Antiquity. A Jew would remain a Jew even if that Jew intermarried and apostatized: Judaism is marked not just by practice, but also by ethnicity.
      PubDate: Wed, 06 May 2020 14:05:38 PDT
  • Cyclopes and Moon-men: The Relationship Between Hospitality and Civility
           in the Odyssey and True History

    • Authors: Charlotte Houghton
      Abstract: Since ancient times, the Odyssey has been a source of inspiration for writers and artists. One especially interesting piece of fiction based on the Homeric epic is Lucian’s True History, written in the second century CE. As a first person narrative, Lucian recounts his fantastical adventures, rivalling Odysseus in strangeness, but with one major caveat: it is all a lie, as he tells his readers at the outset (True History, 1.2). In his parodic take on the Odyssey, Lucian interacts with numerous strange people and creatures; most important for this paper are the Moon-men. This paper focuses on the role that ideas of xenia, or hospitality, plays in the construction of civility, and how Lucian, in his interactions with the Moon-men, uses the Odyssean framework of guesting to show that being Greek, being civilized, is not innate, but a series of rituals that can be learned, and that anyone can become civilized. I focus specifically on the rituals of reception and the giving of parting gifts, the bookends of hospitality rituals. In the Odyssey, these expectations are illustrated in Pylos and Sparta as Telemachus learns from Nestor and Menelaus respectively, as well as with the Phaeacians when they host Odysseus. Polyphemus, on the contrary, often ignores the rituals, since he is seen as living outside the reach of Greek civilization. In the True History, I examine similar scenes with the Moon-men, whom Lucian presents as more complicated--physically very different from the Greek protagonists, but still able to learn Greek behavior, become civilized. The article looks at how Lucian blurs the distinctions that the Odyssey establishes between people who are Greek, people who are civilized, and those who exist outside that realm.
      PubDate: Wed, 06 May 2020 14:05:28 PDT
  • From the Heroides: Re-Centering Myth through Epistolary Form

    • Authors: Trey M. Muraoka
      Abstract: In The Heroides, Ovid writes many poems formatted as epistles from jilted women in mythology to their respective lovers. But why letters and why not monologues' After looking at his poems for Penelope, Dido, Ariadne, Oenone, and Briseis, I argue that the epistolary format establishes the female voice and power and uses an important part of Roman culture to maintain contact. In this format, Ovid is re-centering the myths around women and making them the main characters of their myth. By doing so, Ovid forces the reader to reconsider the “heroes” and life for females.
      PubDate: Thu, 28 Jul 2016 15:25:18 PDT
  • Alienation and Fragmentation: The Poetry of War Memory in the Odyssey and
           E.E. Cummings

    • Authors: Jake Sawyer
      Abstract: Current Homeric war trauma scholarship surrounding the Odyssey often has a limited, though brilliantly constructed focus looking only at Odysseus’ personal experience through psychological models. By engaging with other war poetry, specifically the work of the American poet and World War I veteran E.E. Cummings, new perspectives about war trauma and the military to civilian transition are brought to the Odyssey. This paper uses both the psychological models and an analysis of E.E. Cummings poetry in order to draw comparison to the epic and expand the scope of current scholarship by including the characters of Agamemnon and Menelaus. By looking at the Odyssey through Cummings’ works and experiences, further signs of war’s aftermath are revealed, specifically the destabilization of society and the natural world after the Trojan War. E.E. Cummings’ reflections on war address themes that psychological models are less able to express.
      PubDate: Thu, 28 Jul 2016 15:25:15 PDT
  • On the Agency of Penelope: Odyssey 18.158-163

    • Authors: Connor Q. North
      Abstract: In its current state, Homeric scholarship has dedicated little effort to elucidating the role and nature of the mind within the Odyssey and Illiad, and in particular to discerning the relations and distinctions between the diverse range of terms for intellectual activity. As a result, it is necessary to develop a more nuanced understanding of these terms to more fully appreciate the motivation of Homeric characters. A particularly important passage for these considerations is located at 18.158-163, where Athena provokes the laughter of Penelope. Through a careful analysis of the pertinent terms relating to laughter and the mind, this study argues that Penelope, though the object of inspiration, retains her personal agency despite Athena’s inspiration because of the nature of the intellectual organs affected.
      PubDate: Thu, 28 Jul 2016 15:25:11 PDT
  • Lamenting a Wasting Disease: A Commentary on Psalm 6

    • Authors: Kyle Ronchetto
      Abstract: Psalm 6, attributed ot King David, laments a wasting disease and brings up questions of God's justice and mercy. Through a detailed translation and analysis of the psalm, the reader can see that the psalmist seeks answers as to the cause of his disease and pleads with God for healing. He questions God's goodness, but despite this he trusts that God will hear his prayer and heal him and do justice to those who caused the disease. Ultimately God's justice, mercy, and goodness are shown to be operative, and the wrong is made right.
      PubDate: Thu, 28 Jul 2016 15:25:07 PDT
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