Corinthiaka, July 31, 2015

Here is this Friday’s dose of Corinthiaka–the ephemeral material, news, and blogs to go online over the last two weeks. Or at least the material that my alerts captured.

Archaeology and Classics:

  • One of those sweet 3D video fly-overs from Lechaion to Corinth in the Second century. Lots of inaccuracy combined with imaginative reconstruction here, but also some value. I love the view down the road from Lechaion (Georgios Terzis, “History in 3D” @DailyMotion)

Corinth3D_1

Corinth3D_2

 

 

 

New Testament:

Modern Greece:

 

The Western Argolid Archaeological Project

The Canadian Institute in Greece has updated its digital archive of archaeological projects and research with content on the Western Argolid Regional Project. The summary includes information on personnel, survey type, five-year research plan, description of study area, detailed research goals, methodology, maps, and references. Images from the 2015 season are included with the report.

If you missed the WARP 2015 season, the team actively blogged about their work on the project website. The project is establishing a new standard of survey that combines fine-grained mapping of artifact distributions–the hyper-intensive–with substantial territorial coverage of landscapes. Over two seasons, field teams have surveyed over 13 sq km of territory using relatively small survey units–and the third season promises to add another 6 sq km to that total. In this sense, WARP improves on previous work by projects such as the Eastern Korinthia Archaeological Survey, which captured fine-grained distributions but only at limited coverage (ca. 4 sq km).

Reading 1 Corinthians with Philosophically Educated Women (Barnes)

The last issue of the Review of Biblical Literature includes a critical review of Nathan Barnes’ book, Reading 1 Corinthians with Philosophically Educated Women, Eugene, OR, 2014: Wipf and Stock Publishers. The book, which revises Barnes’ PhD dissertation on the subject (2012), explores how philosophically educated women in the young Corinthian church would have interacted with concepts such as family, marriage, and patronage. As the publisher page describes the work:

“Women were involved in every popular philosophy in the first century, and the participation of women reaches back to the Greek origins of these schools. Philosophers often taught their daughters, wives, and other friends the basic tenets of their thinking. The Isthmian games and a tolerance for independent thinking made Corinth an attractive place for philosophers to engage in dialogue and debate, further facilitating the philosophical education of women. The activity of philosophically educated women directly informs our understanding of 1 Corinthians when Paul uses concepts that also appear in popular moral philosophy. This book explores how philosophically educated women would interact with three such concepts: marriage and family, patronage, and self-sufficiency.”

With the reviewer, I am skeptical that there were many elite educated women among the first Christian communities in Corinth. Recent scholarship has significantly undermined the older view that elite and well-born individuals factored significantly in the Corinthian ekklesia by calling attention to the poor and their worlds defined by tremendous contrast and inequalities. So, Timothy Brookins concludes in his review of Barnes’ work, “Given that there probably were no “elites” in the Corinthian church, that many elites were not philosophically educated, and that the phenomenon of philosophically educated women was very rare as it was (Barnes’s catalog notwithstanding), it seems difficult to sustain the case, given the evidence provided, that Paul’s church really contained any elite, philosophically educated women.”  The debate over rich and poor in early Christian communities is not over, of course, but one must acknowledge that the scholarly pendulum has swung back to the poor.

Still, as Brookin notes in his reviewReading 1 Corinthians with Philosophically Educated Women offers valuable insights into how individuals in these developing communities may have heard Paul’s message and instructions.  A couple of excerpts from the review:

In this book Nathan Barnes asks how Paul’s interaction with the ideas of popular contemporary Hellenistic moral philosophy might have been heard by wealthy, “philosophically educated women” within the church at Corinth. We follow the text of 1 Corinthians through the lenses of two, (re)constructed, philosophically educated women—Sophia, a sympathetic listener; and Fortuna, an unsympathetic one—examining how each of these women might have responded to Paul’s discussions of patronage (esp. 1 Cor 1–4), marriage and family (esp. 1 Cor 7), and self-sufficiency (esp. 1 Cor 9)….

Despite these criticisms, the book makes a valuable and much needed contribution to the field. It reminds us of the critical importance of understanding the value systems of the first century to interpretation of the New Testament and, through its unique approach, constrains us to listen to Paul’s interaction with those systems through the ears of “real” (i.e., hypothetically reconstructed) Corinthian church members. Barnes’s choice to follow two listeners separately rather than reading through a homogeneous audience-collectivity helps illustrate the point that not everyone in the ancient world thought in the same way (which those of us who “model” the ancient world can easily forget). At many points the exercise helps raise our awareness to issues that we do not always bear in mind (e.g., To what extent were Paul’s letters constrained by the responses he anticipated from the church’s wealthier patrons?). Attention to more “marginal” members of the ancient community, especially those who have been left to the sidelines in modern scholarship, represents a welcome contribution as well. In that regard, one hopes that this book represents one of many more studies to come.”

Read the rest of the review here.

Wiley Blackwell Companion to Patristics (ed. Parry)

What do Patristic studies have to do with Corinth? Quite a lot. One of the interesting bits of research I completed over the last several years was working through the Roman and late antique references to Corinth, Kenchreai, and the Isthmus in the TLG to study the changing patterns of discourse about the city and region. There are well over a thousand late references to Corinthian matters found in late antique and Byzantine commentaries, homilies, theological reflections, and practical spiritual treatises on the Corinthian correspondence. Most, of course, are reflections on St. Paul’s letters to the Corinthians: John Chrysostom’s homilies on both letters survive completely, and a good selection of other late antique sources have been translated in Gerald Bray’s Commentaries on Romans and 1-2 Corinthians, one volume of the Ancient Christian Texts series (IVP Academic).

The patristic discourse about the city and region may not provide much detail about Corinth’s social and economic life but the patterns are nonetheless interesting. I have noted in The Isthmus of Corinth that the Christianization of the educated classes of the Mediterranean created a new discourse about Corinth and its sites. Men and women were thinking, talking, hearing, and writing about Corinth as much as (if not more than) they had in earlier periods but in fundamentally different ways.

This new Wiley Blackwell Companion to Patristics should be relevant to understanding these late antique and Byzantine interpreters. Here are the details:

Parry, Ken, ed. Wiley Blackwell Companion to Patristics. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, 2015.

“This comprehensive volume brings together a team of distinguished scholars to create a wide-ranging introduction to patristic authors and their contributions to not only theology and spirituality, but to philosophy, ecclesiology, linguistics, hagiography, liturgics, homiletics, iconology, and other fields.

• Challenges accepted definitions of patristics and the patristic period – in particular questioning the Western framework in which the field has traditionally been constructed
• Includes the work of authors who wrote in languages other than Latin and Greek, including those within the Coptic, Armenian, Syriac, and Arabic Christian traditions
• Examines the reception history of prominent as well as lesser-known figures, debating the role of each, and exploring why many have undergone periods of revived interest
• Offers synthetic accounts of a number of topics central to patristic studies, including scripture, scholasticism, and the Reformation
• Demonstrates the continuing role of these writings in enriching and inspiring our understanding of Christianity”

CONTENTS

Preface x

Notes on Contributors xi

Part I Introduction 1

1 The Nature and Scope of Patristics 3
Ken Parry

Part II Collecting the Fathers 13

2 Byzantine Florilegia 15
Alexander Alexakis

3 Modern Patrologies 51
Angelo Di Berardino

Part III Studies in Reception History I: Individual Fathers 69

4 Irenaeus of Lyons 71
Denis Minns

5 Clement of Alexandria 84
Piotr Ashwin ]Siejkowski

6 Origen of Alexandria 98
Mark Edwards

7 Athanasius of Alexandria 111
David M. Gwynn

8 Ephrem of Nisibis 126
Andrew Palmer

9 John Chrysostom 141
Wendy Mayer

10 Augustine of Hippo 155
Kazuhiko Demura

11 Cyril of Alexandria 170
Hans van Loon

12 Shenoute of Atripe 184
Janet Timbie

13 Nestorius of Constantinople 197
George Bevan

14 Dionysius the Areopagite 211
István Perczel

15 Severus of Antioch 226
Youhanna Nessim Youssef

16 Gregory the Great 238
Bronwen Neil

17 Maximos the Confessor 250
Andrew Louth

18 John of Damascus 264
Vassilis Adrahtas

19 Gregory of Narek 278
Abraham Terian

20 Gregory Palamas 293
Marcus Plested

Part IV Studies in Reception History II: Collective Fathers 307

21 The Cappadocian Fathers 309
H. Ashley Hall

22 The Desert Fathers and Mothers 326
John Chryssavgis

23 The Iconophile Fathers 338
Vladimir Baranov

Part V Studies in the Fathers 353

24 Scripture and the Fathers 355
Paul Blowers

25 Hagiography of the Greek Fathers 370
Stephanos Efthymiadis

26 Liturgies and the Fathers 385
Hugh Wybrew

27 Fathers and the Church Councils 400
Richard Price

28 The Fathers and Scholasticism 414
James R. Ginther

29 The Fathers and the Reformation 428
Irena Backus

30 The Fathers in Arabic 442
Alexander Treiger

31 The Greek of the Fathers 456
Klaas Bentein

32 The Latin of the Fathers 471
Carolinne White

33 Reimagining Patristics: Critical Theory as a Lens 487
Kim Haines ]Eitzen

Index 497

An old dream realized at last, ship-canal through isthmus

The Library of Congress continues to build its collections of prints and photographs with a few Corinthian ones among them. I love this old stereo card print from 1906 showing the Corinth canal, opened little more than a decade earlier on July 25, 1893.

CanalSlide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Metadata from the Library of Congress:

Title: An old dream realized at last, ship-canal through isthmus, E.S.E. Corinth, Greece

Summary: Man standing on bridge above canal in foregrd.

Created / Published: c1906.

Notes:

–  Stereo copyrighted by Underwood & Underwood.

–  No. (36) 9305.-  This record contains unverified, old data from caption card.

–  Caption card tracings: Canals…; Greece Corinth; Photog. I.; Shelf.

 

 

Classical Archaeology in Context (Haggis and Antonaccio, eds.)

This new book published by Walter de Gruyter GmbH should be of wide interest for classical archaeologists who understand how particular contexts, theory, and method frame archaeological research, data, results, and conclusions at the end of the day. As one of the longest-running excavations in the Mediterranean, references to Corinth are plentiful. I am also glad to see due attention paid to smaller rural sites in the Mediterranean. Here are the details:

Haggis, Donald, and Carla Antonaccio, eds. Classical Archaeology in Context: Theory and Practice in Excavation in the Greek World. Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG, 2015.

 

“This book compiles a series of case studies derived from archaeological excavation in Greek cultural contexts in the Mediterranean (ca. 800-100 B.C), addressing the current state of the field, the goals and direction of Greek archaeology, and its place in archaeological thought and practice. Overviews of archaeological sites and analyses of assemblages and contexts explore how new forms of data; methods of data recovery and analysis; and sampling strategies have affected the discourse in classical archaeology and the range of research questions and strategies at our disposal. Recent excavations and field practices are steering the way that we approach Greek cultural landscapes and form broader theoretical perspectives, while generating new research questions and interpretive frameworks that in turn affect how we sample sites, collect and study material remains, and ultimately construct the archaeological record. The book confronts the implications of an integrated dialogue between realms of data and interpretive methodologies, addressing how reengagement with the site, assemblage, or artifact, from the excavation context can structure the way that we link archaeological and systemic contexts in classical archaeology.”

CONTENTS

1. Donald C. Haggis and Carla M. Antonaccio, “A Contextual Archaeology of Ancient Greece”

Historical Contexts and Intellectual Traditions

2. James Whitley, “Scholarly Traditions and Scientific Paradigms: Method and Reflexivity in the Study of Ancient Praisos

3. Carla M. Antonaccio, “Re-excavating Morgantina”

4. David B. Small, “A Defective Master Narrative in Greek Archaeology

5. Tamar Hodos, “Lycia and Classical Archaeology: The Changing Nature of Archaeology in Turkey”

Mortuary Contexts

6. Alexandra Alexandridou, “Shedding Light on Mortuary Practices in Early Archaic Attica: The Case of the Offering Trenches” 

7. Anna Lagia, “The Potential and Limitations of Bioarchaeological Investigations in Classical Contexts in Greece: An Example from the Polis of Athens”

Urban and Rural Contexts

8. Jamieson C. Donati, “The Greek Agora in its Peloponnesian Context(s)” 

9. Donald C. Haggis, “The Archaeology of Urbanization: Research Design and the Excavation of an Archaic Greek City on Crete”

10. Manolis I. Stefanakis, Konstantinos Kalogeropoulos, Andreas Georgopoulos, and Chryssi Bourbou, “Exploring the Ancient Demos of Kymissaleis on Rhodes: Multdisciplinary Experimental Research and Theoretical Issues” 

11. Kalliope E. Galanaki, Christina Papadaki, and Kostis S. Christakis, “The Hellenistic Settlement on Prophetes Elias Hill at Arkalochori, Crete: Preliminary Remarks”

12. Evi Margaritis, “Cultivating Classical Archaeology: Agricultural Activities, Use of Space and Occupation Patterns in Hellenistic Greece” 

Sanctuary Contexts

13. Athanasia Kyriakou and Alexandros Tourtas, “Detecting Patterns through Context Analysis: A Case Study of Deposits from the Sanctuary of Eukleia at Aegae (Vergina)” 

14. Dimitra Mylona, “From Fish Bones to Fishermen: Views from the Sanctuary of Poseidon at Kalaureia”

Paul’s Political Strategy in 1 Corinthians 1-4 (Bitner)

Bradley Bitner’s new book on Paul’s political theology, published last month with Cambridge University Press, looks to offer an interesting approach to understanding the opening chapters of the New Testament letter of 1 Corinthians. Here are the details from the publisher page:

Bitner, Bradley J. Paul’s Political Strategy in 1 Corinthians 1-4. Cambridge University Press, 2015.

Introduction: constituting the argument

Part I. Constitution and Covenant in Corinth:
1. Paul and politics
2. Law and life
3. The Corinthian constitution
4. Traces of covenant in Corinth
5. Constituting Corinth, Paul, and the assembly
Part II. Constitution and Covenant in 1 Corinthians 1:1-4:6:
6. 1 Corinthians 1:4-9 and the politics of thanksgiving
7. 1 Corinthians 3:5-4:5 and the politics of construction
Conclusion: comparison of constitutions.

Paul's Political Strategy in 1 Corinthians 1–4This volume examines 1 Corinthians 1-4 within first-century politics, demonstrating the significance of Corinth’s constitution to the interpretation of Paul’s letter. Bradley J. Bitner shows that Paul carefully considered the Roman colonial context of Corinth, which underlay numerous ecclesial conflicts. Roman politics, however, cannot account for the entire shape of Paul’s response. Bridging the Hellenism-Judaism divide that has characterised much of Pauline scholarship, Bitner argues that Paul also appropriated Jewish-biblical notions of covenant. Epigraphical and papyrological evidence indicates that his chosen content and manner are best understood with reference to an ecclesial politeia informed by a distinctively Christ-centred political theology. This emerges as a ‘politics of thanksgiving’ in 1 Corinthians 1:4-9 and as a ‘politics of construction’ in 3:5-4:5, where Paul redirects gratitude and glory to God in Christ. This innovative account of Paul’s political theology offers fresh insight into his pastoral strategy among nascent Gentile-Jewish assemblies.

The Isthmus of Corinth Project (Coming Spring 2016)

One of the research projects I will not be working on all summer is my long-labored book, The Isthmus of Corinth: Crossroads of the Mediterranean World. I put the final touches on the manuscript during my fieldseason in Cyprus (with the Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeological Project) just in time for the deadline with University of Michigan Press. I’m happy to report that the manuscript is now out of my hands at last and will enter the production queue with a scheduled publication of Spring 2016. That’s all good news of course since this project required a full sabbatical to complete along with the better part of my summers for the last three years. I’ve updated the project page to reflect the final state of the manuscript. There may be small changes in the next few months, but nothing major.

IsthmusAerial_KRP

Here is my description of the work from the project page:

The Isthmus of Corinth: Crossroads of the Mediterranean World is a study of the relationship of local, regional, and global interactions in the Roman Mediterranean. Its starting point is the ancient and modern view that the land bridge was a constantly connecting and essential landscape throughout Corinth’s history that altered its economy and character in consistent ways. From the destruction of the Greek city by the Romans to the end of antiquity, historians, poets, orators, and preachers characterized Corinth as an exceptional kind of maritime city made prosperous and powerful from its crossroads, facilities for traffic, commercial markets, pilgrim sites, naval fleet, and decadent pleasures.  The ancient consensus that a timeless landscape determined the history, wealth, and character of the city, was adopted almost wholesale by European travelers and the first classical and biblical scholars of the 18th-19th centuries.

The book argues against the timeless view of the Corinthian Isthmus and shows instead how the landscape changed frequently in its connection to a wider Mediterranean world. The chapters of the work survey the extant Greek and Latin literature for the Isthmus  and synthesize archaeological evidence, especially the data from the Eastern Korinthia Archaeological Survey. The chapters begin with the sixth century BCE and step in chronological increments to the fifth century CE.

The table of contents with brief summary:

List of Illustrations

List of Tables

Preface

1. Introduction

Outlines the problem of the essential or timeless view of the Corinthian Isthmus. Makes the argument for contingency.

2. The Isthmos

Surveys the conceptions and definitions of the isthmus in the Classical and Hellenistic era and offers a new interpretation of the famous passage in Thucydides about how the Isthmus made Corinth wealthy and powerful

3. The Gate

Surveys the physical landscape of fortifications and settlements that the Romans encountered in the late third century BCE. Outlines the physical developments of the regional structures from the archaic to Hellenistic periods, with special attention to the Eastern Korinthia Archaeological Survey data.

4. The Fetter

Surveys the central place of the Isthmus in the interpretation the Roman destruction of Greek Corinth and the great catastrophe of the loss of Greek freedom.

5. The Portage

Analyzes the changing historical significance of ship portages over the Corinthian Isthmus in antiquity. The center of the chapter is the remarkable portage of the orator Marcus Antonius, grandfather of the famous triumvir, in 102/101 BCE. The chapter contextualizes Marcus Antonius in light of the frameworks of Roman aristocratic values and imperialism during the interim period.

6. The Bridge

Studies the important place of the Isthmus for the first century of the Roman colony’s history. Offers a new interpretation of Strabo’s influential interpretation of the landscape.

7. The Center

A study of the meaning of canalization in antiquity, and especially the Emperor Nero’s failed canal effort. Situates Nero’s enterprise within the particular imperial frameworks of the 50s-60s CE. Also discusses the long-term effects of the canal enterprise on the landscape during the later first to early third centuries CE, including settlement documented in the Eastern Korinthia Survey.

8. The District

A study of the fragmentation of the essentializing conception of the Corinthian Isthmus in the later third to early fifth centuries, including the later Roman transformation of the panhellenic sanctuary at Isthmia.

9. Conclusion

****************************************************************

I’ll be posting more on this project in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.

 

Corinthiaka

I’ve been cleaning my inbox of alerts this week and have a little bundle of mid-summer Corinthiaka to get out. Here’s some of the latest ephemera from the blogosphere:

Archaeology:

New Testament:

Videos:

 

Corinth Excavations, Places and Monuments

The American School of Classical Studies Excavations at Corinth continues to add digital resources that will be of interest and use to archaeologists, tourists, teachers, preachers, writers, and the broader public. In the past, I’ve covered their Field Trip App, which allows anyone with a mobile phone to take a virtual tour of Ancient Corinth with expert summary descriptions, photos, and bibliography in hand. Then there’s this excellent page devoted to GIS and historical maps of the Corinthia where users can access ready-made maps of the city and region, or build their own from downloadable DEMs, cultural and natural layers, basemap images, and shapefiles.

As a big fan of gazetteers (I’ve been working on one for the eastern Corinthia for years now), I would like to draw attention  to this Places and Monuments table. The page provides a standard set of metadata related to some 268 sites and monuments. Coverage is best for the urban center, of course, but I also noted quite a few sites in the broader region. The gazetteer also includes associated photographs, plans, and maps. The summary information is on the short side but the associated media and bibliography make this great place to start for researching and learning about particular places in the region.

Standardized data looks like this:

Collection: Corinth
Type: Monument
Name: Acrocorinth
Description: Acrocorinth (575 meters high) was described by the Roman historian Polybius as one of the “fetters of Greece” because it controlled not only the route across the Isthmus, but also the pass between the Isthmus and Mount Oneion leading south towards Cleonai and Argos, and the coastal road west to Sikyon. The earliest fortifications now extant date to the later 4th century B.C. These were breached by Demetrius Poliorcetes from the location of the Sysipheum and later reduced and rendered indefensible by Mummius in 146 B.C. The present fortifications largely represent work and rework of the Byzantine, Ottoman, Venetian and Early Modern periods. Within the walls are the remains of the Ottoman period described by various travelers including Evliya Çelebi in 1668 and Wheler and Spon in 1676. They include the remains of mosques, fountains and houses. Next to the Upper Peirene fountain are the barracks of King Otto’s Bavarian garrison.
Site: Acrocorinth
City: Ancient Corinth
Country: Greece
References: Publication: Blegen et al., Corinth 3.1, 1930
Publication: Carpenter & Bon, Corinth 3.2, 1936
Publication: MacKay, Hesperia 37.4, 1968
Plans and Drawings (13)
Images (543)
Notebooks (7)

And several screenshots give you an idea of the content and coverage. Kudos to the Corinth staff for making digital resources a key part of their mission.

Screenshot (64) Screenshot (67) Screenshot (66) Screenshot (65)