Robin Whelan writes on his new book: Christian controversy and identity in late antique North Africa
Whelan: “It is easy to read the many Nicene polemical texts from Vandal Africa as statements of the obvious. They repeat and reframe inherited knowledge about Arius and Arians, rehashing narratives, tropes and rhetorical strategies with which modern scholars of late ancient Christianity are all too familiar. But these texts are not simply repositories of conventional wisdom or anthologies of anti-Arian arguments for theoretical use. They reveal a live contest for ecclesiastical authority in post-imperial Africa. More than that, North African Nicene literature demonstrates what might otherwise have been an interesting thought experiment: what would have happened if you made the (safely ‘orthodox’) Nicene churchmen of the fifth-century Mediterranean into heretics?”
Book Note: Yonatan Moss, Incorruptible Bodies: Christology, Society, and Authority in Late Antiquity (Oakland: University of California Press, 2016)
McGlothlin: “One of the great strengths of Moss’s approach is that he asks the question, “Why this controversy now?” Why did Severus and Julian, who had apparently disagreed amicably over the corruptibility of Christ’s pre-resurrection body before imperial persecution set in, end up in such an acrimonious controversy on this same question while suffering in exile? Ultimately, Moss’s answer is that both Julian and Severus were trying to find a new foundation for their authority, and both men sought a perfect foundation.”
Articles and News
Purim piece at the British Library blog on their collection of Esther Megillot.
Catherine Bonesho with a great reflection on Purim in the Late Roman Empire.
On illegal papyrus and countering unprovenanced artefact trading.
Launch of database of early Roman Palestine military inscriptions and papyri.
BMCR sends out a request to help keep its reviews open access with a platform update.
Revisit an excellent post from way back when, dealing with the painted tombs in Paestum.
New series from Gorgias Press: Biblical and Apocryphal Christian Arabic Texts.
In detail look at how digitizing a medieval manuscript works in practice.
@AnnetteYReed had a great idea & I'm copying it. My 2016 @Brill_Religious book just came out in paperback--reply here with a quote about religion & matching gif and the one with the most likes on Mar 15 gets my hot-off-the-press author's copy & Dept mug.https://t.co/GQotxUUAgy— Russell McCutcheon (@McCutcheonSays) March 1, 2018
If you are defending or have recently defended a dissertation in the areas of New Testament Studies, Classics (esp. Late Antiquity), late antique Christianity, and Byzantine Studies, DM me about publishing a dissertation spotlight in @ancientjew ! Please spread the word!— Erin Galgay Walsh (@ErinCGW) February 25, 2018
Another #EarlyChristian sarcophagus from the Vatican's Pio Cristiano collection with scenes of Moses receiving the 10 commandments and the binding of Isaac on either side of the portrait shell of the deceased. https://t.co/bRis81RRFe #photography #Bible #LateAntiquity— Arthur Urbano (@arturoviaggia) February 26, 2018