Federalism in Greek Antiquity (Beck and Funke, eds.)

This new edited collection of essays on federalism and interstate interactions in Greek antiquity caught my eye when it was published late in the fall:

  • Beck, Hans, and Peter Funke, eds.. Federalism in Greek Antiquity. Cambridge University Press, 2015.

As the publisher page notes, this is the first comprehensive study of the subject since the publication of Larsen’s Greek Federal States: their institutions and history (1968) and the work casts a much broader net to capture the various ways that Greeks cooperated for common cause through leagues, federal states, and interstate relations. The comprehensive survey includes some 29 chapters by nearly as many authors and makes use of non-literary sources such as coins, inscriptions, and archaeological evidence. Here’s the book description:

Federalism“The world of ancient Greece witnessed some of the most sophisticated and varied experiments with federalism in the pre-modern era. In the volatile interstate environment of Greece, federalism was a creative response to the challenge of establishing regional unity, while at the same time preserving a degree of local autonomy. To reconcile the forces of integration and independence, Greek federal states introduced, for example, the notion of proportional representation, the stratification of legal practice, and a federal grammar of festivals and cults. Federalism in Greek Antiquity provides the first comprehensive reassessment of the topic. It comprises detailed contributions on all federal states in Aegean Greece and its periphery. With every chapter written by a leading expert in the field, the book also incorporates thematic sections that place the topic in a broader historical and social-scientific context.”

Corinth appears frequently in the work (see some of the relevant passages in Google Books ) given both the important role of the League of Corinth and the Achaian League in the Hellenistic era, as well as interactions between Corinth and its colonies and various federations in the archaic and classical periods. The table of contents is available here as PDF. The first ten pages of the editors’ introductory essay, which outlines why scholars have often ignored federations in favor of polis interactions, can be found here. Hans Beck provides an overview of the project at this page.

More on Corinthian Colonization in Apollonia

In this new article in the International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, B. Kyle, L. A. Schepartz, and C. S. Larsen compare skeletal materials from Corinth and Apollonia in Albania to assess the impact of Corinthian colonization on the local Illyrian population as evident in human skeletal remains. Their conclusion: colonization led to greater stress on the local population. The article sounds speculative, and I would like to read the fine print (why are Neolithic burials part of the comparative group for colonization of the archaic era?), but this sort of comparative study of populations is always fascinating. Here’s the full reference:

Kyle, B., L. A. Schepartz, and C. S. Larsen. “Mother City and Colony: Bioarchaeological Evidence of Stress and Impacts of Corinthian Colonization at Apollonia, Albania.” International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, January 1, 2016, n/a – n/a. doi:10.1002/oa.2519.


Two of the authors on this paper published another article on the subject two years ago:

And the abstract:


This study uses bioarchaeological methods and interpretive frameworks, in conjunction with archaeological and textual evidence, to document and interpret the record of Greek colonial interactions between Corinth and local populations at Apollonia, Albania, in the region known as Illyria (modern Albania). A series of Illyrian human remains (n = 304; Early Iron Age – Hellenistic periods) and Corinthian human remains (n = 72; Neolithic – Hellenistic periods) were examined for evidence of physiological stress in order to characterize the impact of colonization. Statistical comparisons of pre- and post-colonial skeletal remains indicate that stress increased at Apollonia following colonization. This change may have resulted from impoverishment following Corinth’s extraction of local Illyrian resources and changes in sanitation and disease transmission associated with urbanism. Conversely, the record suggests a decrease in stress, although not to a significant extent, in Corinth. We speculate that decline in physiological stress in the Corinthian setting may reflect improved dietary quality and increased food availability


Corinthian Scholarship Monthly (December-February). Part 2

Here is the second part to last week’s post about new scholarship in the last three months.

You can find the full collection of articles and books related to Corinthian studies at the Corinthian Studies Zotero Page. If you don’t see URLs for articles and books below (they sometimes don’t transfer in the copy), visit the Zotero group page. The new entries are tagged according to master categories .ARCHAEOLOGY AND HISTORY or .NEW TESTAMENT AND EARLY CHRISTIAN.

As I noted previously, Version 2 of the library in RIS format is scheduled to be released by summer. I am always looking for reviewers of articles or books listed in the CSM posts. If you can write and are qualified, drop me a line.


Adams, Edward. The Earliest Christian Meeting Places: Almost Exclusively Houses? A&C Black, 2014. http://books.google.com/books?id=FNBBAgAAQBAJ.

Angeli Bernardini, Paola, ed. Corinto: luogo di azione e luogo di racconto : atti del convengo internazionale, Urbino, 23-25 settembre 2009. Pisa [etc.]: F. Serra, 2013. http://www.libraweb.net/result1.php?dettagliononpdf=1&chiave=2848&valore=sku&name=Luogo.jpg&h=870&w=600.

Balzat, Jean-Sébastien, and Benjamin W. Millis. “M. Antonius Aristocrates: Provincial Involvement with Roman Power in the Late 1st Century B.C.” Hesperia: The Journal of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens 82, no. 4 (December 2013): 651–72. doi:10.2972/hesperia.82.4.0651.

Batchvarov, Kroum N. “Clay Pipes and Smoking Paraphernalia from the Kitten Shipwreck, an Early Nineteenth-Century Black Sea Merchantman.” International Journal of Historical Archaeology 18, no. 1 (March 1, 2014): 1–19. doi:10.1007/s10761-013-0244-z.

Bradshaw, Paul F. Rites of Ordination: Their History and Theology. Liturgical Press, 2013. http://books.google.com/books?id=shQpnQEACAAJ.

Çakırlar, C., S. Ikram, and M-H. Gates. “New Evidence for Fish Processing in the Ancient Eastern Mediterranean: Formalised Epinephelus Butchery in Fifth Century Bc Kinet Höyük, Turkey.” International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, January 1, 2014, n/a–n/a. doi:10.1002/oa.2388.

Docter, Roald, and Babette Bechtold. “Two Forgotten Amphorae from the Hamburg Excavations at Carthage (Cyprus, and the Iberian Peninsula) and Their Contexts.” Carthage Studies 5 (2011) (2013): 91–128.

Forbes, Hamish A. “Off-Site Scatters and the Manuring Hypothesis in Greek Survey Archaeology: An Ethnographic Approach.” Hesperia: The Journal of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens 82, no. 4 (December 2013): 551–94. doi:10.2972/hesperia.82.4.0551.

Hall, Jonathan M. Artifact and Artifice: Classical Archaeology and the Ancient Historian. University of Chicago Press, 2014.

Heil, Andreas, and Gregor Damschen, eds. Brill’s Companion to Seneca: Philosopher and Dramatist. Leiden: Brill, 2013. http://books.google.com/books?id=9jqOAgAAQBAJ.

Jones, Catherine M. “Theatre of Shame: The Impact of Paul’s Manual Labour on His Apostleship in Corinth.” PhD Thesis, University of St. Michael’s College, 2013. https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/handle/1807/43420.

Laios, K., G. Tsoucalas, M. Karamanou, and G. Androutsos. “The Medical–Religious Practice of Votive Offerings and the Representation of a Unique Pathognomonic One Inside the Asclepieion of Corinth.” Journal of Religion and Health, 2013, 1–6. doi:10.1007/s10943-013-9811-1.

Lambert, Craig. “Norman Naval Operations in the Mediterranean.” Journal for Maritime Research 15, no. 2 (2013): 241–43. doi:10.1080/21533369.2013.852314.

Last, Richard. “Money, Meals and Honour: The Economic and Honorific Organization of the Corinthian Ekklesia.” PhD Thesis, University of Toronto, 2013.

Nichols, Aidan. Figuring out the Church: Her Marks, and Her Masters. Ignatius Press, 2013.

Polinskaya, Irene. A Local History of Greek Polytheism: Gods, People and the Land of Aigina, 800-400 BCE. Leiden: Brill, 2013. http://books.google.com/books?id=8FqNAgAAQBAJ.

Punt, Jeremy. “Framing Human Dignity through Domination and Submission? Negotiating Borders and Loyalties (of Power) in the New Testament.” Scriptura 112 (2013): 1–17. doi:10.7833/112-0-82.

Reed, David Alan. “Paul on Marriage and Singleness:  Reading 1 Corinthians with the Augustan Marriage Laws.” PhD Thesis, University of St. Michael’s College, 2013. https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/bitstream/1807/43426/1/Reed_David_A_201311_PhD_thesis.pdf.

Rowan, Clare. “Coinage as Commodity and Bullion in the Western Mediterranean, Ca. 550–100 BCE.” Mediterranean Historical Review 28, no. 2 (2013): 105–27. doi:10.1080/09518967.2013.837638.

Saliari, Konstantina, and Erich Draganits. “Early Bronze Age Bone Tubes from the Aegean: Archaeological Context, Use and Distribution.” Archeometriai Műhely [Archaeometry Workshop], 2013, 179–92.

Schoenborn, Christoph Cardinal. The Source of Life: Exploring the Mystery of the Eucharist. Ignatius Press, 2013. http://books.google.com/books?id=oydLAgAAQBAJ.

Spinks, Bryan D. Do This in Remembrance of Me: The Eucharist from the Early Church to the Present Day. SCM Press, 2013. http://books.google.com/books?id=-309AgAAQBAJ.

Stoneman, Richard. Pindar. I.B.Tauris, 2013. http://books.google.com/books?id=jwlgAgAAQBAJ.

Thiessen, Matthew. “‘The Rock Was Christ’: The Fluidity of Christ’s Body in 1 Corinthians 10.4.” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 36, no. 2 (December 1, 2013): 103–26. doi:10.1177/0142064X13506171.

Toffolo, Michael B., Alexander Fantalkin, Irene S. Lemos, Rainer C. S. Felsch, Wolf-Dietrich Niemeier, Guy D. R. Sanders, Israel Finkelstein, and Elisabetta Boaretto. “Towards an Absolute Chronology for the Aegean Iron Age: New Radiocarbon Dates from Lefkandi, Kalapodi and Corinth.” PLoS ONE 8, no. 12 (December 26, 2013): e83117. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0083117.

Wallace, Christopher. “Ager Publicus in the Greek East: I. Priene 111 and Other Examples of Resistance to the Publicani.” Historia 63, no. 1 (2014): 38–73.

———. “Ager Publicus in the Greek East: I. Priene 111 and Other Examples of Resistance to the Publicani.” Historia 63, no. 1 (2014): 38–73.

Walsh, Justin St P. Consumerism in the Ancient World: Imports and Identity Construction. Routledge, 2013. http://books.google.com/books?id=XU83AgAAQBAJ.

Corinthian Scholarship Monthly (November 2013)

Your latest round of new Corinthian scholarship published or posted online in the last month – just in time for the holiday season. Feel free to reply to this post if you have something to add. If you are interested and qualified to review any of the following, contact me at corinthianmatters@gmail.com.

For comprehensive bibliography related to the Corinthia, see this page and visit the Corinthia Library at Zotero.




Late Roman

New Testament



Corinthian Scholarship Monthly (October 2013)

Here’s the round-up of new Corinthiaka scholarship for the month of October. Happy Reading. You can also find these entries at the Corinthian Studies Group Library Page in Zotero.

Bronze Age

Early Iron Age-Hellenistic

Roman and Late Antique

New Testament and Early Christian

  • Brown, Alexandra R. “Creation, Gender, and Identity in (New) Cosmic Perspective: 1 Corinthians 11:2-16.” In The Unrelenting God: Essays on God’s Action in Scripture in Honor of Beverly Roberts Gaventa, edited by David J. Downs and Matthew L. Skinner, 172–193. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2013. http://books.google.com/books?id=uuBgAQAAQBAJ.
  • Downing, F. Gerald. Order and (Dis)order in the First Christian Century: A General Survey of Attitudes. BRILL, 2013. http://books.google.com/books?id=PfeZAAAAQBAJ
  • Eastman, Susan Grove. “Ashes on the Frontal Lobe: Cognitive Dissonance and Cruciform Cognition in 2 Corinthians.” In The Unrelenting God: Essays on God’s Action in Scripture in Honor of Beverly Roberts Gaventa, edited by David J. Downs and Matthew L. Skinner, 194–207. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2013. http://books.google.com/books?id=uuBgAQAAQBAJ
  • Schellenberg, Ryan S. Rethinking Paul’s Rhetorical Education: Comparative Rhetoric and 2 Corinthians 10–13. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2013. http://books.google.com/books?id=8TRXAQAAQBAJ
  • Van den Hoek, Annewies. “The Saga of Peter and Paul: Emblems of Catholic Identity in Christian Literature and Art.” In Pottery, Pavements, and Paradise: Iconographic and Textual Studies on Late Antiquity, edited by Annewies van den Hoek and John Joseph Herrmann, 301–326. BRILL, 2013. http://books.google.com/books?id=RcJSAQAAQBAJ


  • Hadler, H., A. Vött, B. Koster, M. Mathes-Schmidt, T. Mattern, K. Ntageretzis, K. Reicherter, and T. Willershäuser. “Multiple late-Holocene Tsunami Landfall in the Eastern Gulf of Corinth Recorded in the Palaeotsunami Geo-archive at Lechaion, Harbour of Ancient Corinth” (2013).
  • Williams, Charles K., II. “Corinth, 2011: Investigation of the West Hall of the Theater.” Hesperia: The Journal of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens 82, no. 3 (2013): 487–549. doi:10.2972/hesperia.82.3.0487.

Corinthiaka at the AIA

The AIA has posted a preliminary program of the 70+ paper sessions, workshops, and colloquia for the AIA in Seattle in January 2013.  As in previous years (2012, 2011), the Corinthia makes a good showing. If you’re going to the AIA and want to blog or tweet or report on the conference (or parts of it), let me know.

By order of session…

Session 1E: Gold Medal Colloquium in Honor of Jeremy B. Rutter: Minding the Gap: A Problem in Eastern Mediterranean Chronology, Then and Now

  • “Bridging the Gaps Among the Small Worlds of the EBA Aegean” (Daniel J. Pullen, The Florida State University)

Session: 1G: Recent Fieldwork in Greece and Turkey

  • “Excavations at Nemea: the 2012 season” (Kim Shelton, University of California, Berkeley)

Session: 1H: New Analytical Perspectives on Ceramics in Korinthia, Attica, and the Argolid

  • “Ceramic Fabric Analysis and Urban Survey: the Case of Sikyon” (Conor Trainor, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, and Evangelia Kiriatzi, British School at Athens)
  • “Crafting Choices: Early Helladic Ceramic Production and Consumption in Corinthia and the Argolid, Greece” (Clare Burke Davies, University of Sheffield, Peter M. Day, University of Sheffield, Daniel Pullen, Florida State University, James Wiseman, Boston University, Anthi Theodorou-Mavrommatidi, University of Athens, Angeliki Kossyva, 4th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, Greece, and Alcestis Papadimitriou, 4th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities,Greece)
  • “Petrographic Study of Late Helladic Cooking Pots from the Corinthia” (Debra A. Trusty, Florida State University)
  • “The Production and Distribution of Corinthian Cooking and Southern Argolid Fabrics in the Late Roman Northeast Peloponnese” (Heather Graybehl, University of Sheffield, Samantha Ximeri, University of Sheffield, Mark D. Hammond, University of Missouri-Columbia, Christian Cloke, University of Cincinnati, and Peter M. Day, University of Sheffield)

Session: 1I: Cult and Context

  • “The Perachora Peninsula and the Sanctuary of the Heraion: You Can’t Get There from Here” (Angela Ziskowski, Coe College, and Daniel Lamp, Architect)
  • “Containers and Cult: Recent Research on Amphora Assemblages at Ephesos and Corinth” (Mark L. Lawall, University of Manitoba)

Session: 2A: Roman Greece

  • “Small Change: A Re-examination of the End of Local Bronze Coinage in the Corinthia in the Second Century B.C.E.” (Andrew Connor, University of Cincinnati)
  • “The Rejection of Roman Imperial Portrait Models in the Greek Provinces in the Middle of the Third Century” (Lee Ann Riccardi, The College of New Jersey)
  • “Cattle and Catering at Corinth: Analysis of over One Ton of Animal Bones from the Theatre Excavations” (Michael R MacKinnon, University of Winnipeg)

Session 2B: Greek Sculpture

  • “Sculptures from an Athletic Complex at Corinth” (Mary C Sturgeon, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill)

Session: 3A: The Afterlives of Monuments: Re-use and Transformation in the Ancient World

  • “The Archaic Colonnade at Ancient Corinth: A Case of Julio-Claudian Spolia” (Jon Frey, Michigan State University)

Session: 4F: New Research on Mainland Greece

  • “Terraces and the Organization of Agricultural Production at Late Bronze Age Korphos-Kalamianos” (Lynne A. Kvapil, Xavier University)

Session: 5D: Greeks Overseas

  • “Syracuse-Corfu-Corinth: A Western Wind in Early Doric Architecture” (Philip Sapirstein, Albright Institute of Archaeological Research)

Session: 7G: Managing Archaeological Data in the Digital Age: Best Practices and Realities

  • “The Archaeological Resource Cataloging System (ARCS): A New Practical Approach for Archives, Scholarly Access, and Learning” (Timothy E. Gregory, The Ohio State University, and Jon M. Frey, Michigan State University)

Corinthian Scholarship (monthly): June-August

The second installment of Corinth-related scholarship that went digital in June-August. Happy reading!



Roman-Late Antique

New Testament and Early Christianity

Medieval and Post-Medieval

Pauline and Early Christian Corinth: 2011 Publications

Our series continues today with the 2011 publications related mainly to Early Christian Corinth and the interpretation of 1 Corinthians and 2 Corinthians.  About 100 publications on the subject were indexed online this year.  The list also includes 2009 and 2010 publications that were reviewed in 2011.

As with the other 2010 and 2011 bibliographies, I created the list from Google alerts and Worldcat, neither of which register exhaustively (it should be obvious that books and articles not indexed online are not included here).  The list includes only dissertations, books, and articles, and excludes conference papers, master’s theses, fiction, and general works that indirectly touch on Pauline Corinth.  This 2011 bibliography will live permanently here.

Thanks again to Messiah College History major Amanda Mylin for help in putting this together.

1 Corinthians

Bailey, Kenneth, Paul through Mediterranean Eyes: Cultural Studies in 1 Corinthians, Downers Grove, IL, 2011: Intervarsity Press Academic.

Baker, William R., “Hat or hair in 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 or does it matter?: what are Christian women to do?,” in Elizabeth A. McCabe (ed.), Women in the biblical world : a survey of old and new testament perspectives. vol. 2, Lanham, MD, 2011: University Press of America.

Barnett, Paul W., The Corinthian Question: Why did the Church Oppose Paul?  Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press (2011). (Review by Matt Malcolm in Part One and Part Two and comments).

Bechtol, Harris B., “Paul and Kierkegaard: A Christocentric Epistemology,” in The Heythrop Journal (2011).

Brock, Brian, “Theologizing Inclusion: 1 Corinthians 12 and the Politics of the Body of Christ,” in Journal of Religion, Disability and Health 15.4 (2011), 351-376.

Brookins, Tim, “The Wise Corinthians: Their Stoic Education and Outlook,” Journal of Theological Studies 62.1

Burke, T.J., and B.S. Rosner (eds.), Paul as Missionary: Identity, Theology, Activity, and Practice, Library of New Testament Studies, no. 420, London 2011: T & T Clark.

Cameron, R., and M.P. Miller (eds), Redescribing Paul and the Corinthians, Atlanta 2011: Society of Biblical Literature.

Carter, Christopher L., The Great Sermon Tradition as a Fiscal Framework in 1 Corinthians: Towards a Pauline Theology of Material Possessions (New York 2010: T&T Clark). (RBL review here).

Ciampa, Roy E., and Brian S. Rosner, First Letter to the Corinthians, Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2010). (Reviewed in here) and Expository Times.

Coppins, Wayne, “To Eat or not to Eat Meat?  Conversion, Bodily Practice, and the Relationship between Formal Worship and Everyday Life in the Anthropology of Religion in 1 Corinthians 8:7,” in Biblical Theology Bulletin 41.2 (2011), 84-91.

Dace, Balode, Gottesdienst in Korinth, Frankfurt 2011: P. Lang.

Elledge, C.D., “Future Resurrection of the Dead in Early Judaism: Social Dynamics, Contested Evidence,” Currents in Biblical Research 9.3 (2011), 394-421.

Ellington, Dustin, “Imitating Paul’s Relationship to the Gospel: 1 Corinthians 8.1-11.1,” in Journal for the Study of the New Testament 33.3 (2011), 303-315.

Estep, James Riley, “Women in Greco-Roman education and its implications for 1 Corinthians 14 and 1 Timothy 2,” in Elizabeth A. McCabe (ed.), Women in the biblical world : a survey of old and new testament perspectives. vol. 2, Lanham, MD, 2011: University Press of America.

Friesen, Steven J., Daniel N. Schowalter and James C. Walters, Corinth in context: comparative studies on religion and society (Supplements to Novum Testamentum vol. 134; E. J. Brill, Leiden 2010). Reviews at Journal of Roman Archaeology (Dennis E. Smith), Journal of Theological Studies (David Horrell), Religious Studies Review (Richard S. Ascough), The Expository Times (Jane Heath), and  Journal for the Study of the New Testament (Peter Oakes).

George, R.T., “`Body Politics of Paul’ in Corinth: Temple and the Rules of Purity in Constructing Identify in 1 Cor.5:9-13,” in Bible Bhashyam 37.1 (2011), 74-99.

Goodacre, M., “Does περιβολαιον Mean ‘Testicle’ in 1 Corinthians 11:15?” in JBL 130.2 (2011), 391-396.

Hansen, Bruce, ‘All of You are One’: The Social Vision of Gal. 3.28, 1 Cor. 12.13 and Col. 3.11, London 2010: T&T Clark. Reviewed in Journal for the Study of the New Testament (Peter Oakes) and Religious Studies Review (K. Cukrowski)

Harbour, Brian L., Contextualizing the Gospel : a homiletic commentary on 1 Corinthians, Macon, GA, 2011: Smyth & Helwys Pub., Inc.

Hwang, J., “Turning the Tables on Idol Feasts: Paul’s Use of Exodus 32:6 in 1 Corinthians 10:7,” in Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 54.3 (2011), 573-588.

Inkelaar, Harm-Jan, Conflict over wisdom: the theme of 1 Corinthians 1-4 rooted in scripture, Leuven 2011: Peeters.

Jipp, J.W., “Death and the human predicament, salvation as transformation, and bodily practices in 1 Corinthians and the Gospel of Thomas,” in M.F. Bird and J. Willitts (eds), Paul and the gospels : christologies, conflicts, and convergences, London 2011: T & T Clark.

Kim, Yung Suk, “Imitators“ (Mimetai) in 1 Cor. 4:16 and 11:1: A New Reading of Threefold Embodiment,” in Horizons in Biblical Theology 33.2 (2011), 147-170.

King, Fergus J., “Mission-Shaped or Paul-Shaped?  Apostolic Challenges to the Mission-Shaped Church,” in Journal of Anglican Studies 9.2 (November 2011), 223-246.

Lakey, Michael, Image and Glory of God: 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 as a Case Study in Bible, Gender and Hermeneutics, London 2010: T&T Clark. (Reviewed in Journal for the Study of the New Testament (David Wenham); Reviews in Religion & Theology (Edward Mackenzie), Religious Studies Review (Joseph A. Marchal).

Levison, John R., “Paul in the Stoa Poecile: A Response to Troels Engberg-Pedersen, Cosmology and Self in the Apostle Paul: The Material Spirit (Oxford, 2010),” in Journal for the Study of the New Testament 33.4 (2011), 415-432

Macchia, Frank D., “The Spirit-baptised Church,” in International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church 11.4 (2011), 256-268.

MacDonald, M.Y., and L.E. Vaage, “Unclean but Holy Children: Paul’s Everyday Quandary in 1 Corinthians 7:14c,” in Catholic Biblical Quarterly 73.3 (2011), 526-546.

Madigan, Daniel A., “The Body of Christ: 1 Corinthians 11:23-27 and 12:12-13, 27,” in David Marshall (ed.), Communicating the Word: Revelation, Translation, and Interpretation in Christianity and Islam: a record of the seventh Building Bridges seminar convened by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rome, May 2008, Georgetown University Press 2011, pp. 83-87.

Malcolm, Matthew, Paul and the Rhetoric of Reversal: Kerygmatic Rhetoric in the Arrangement of 1 Corinthians, Ph.D. Thesis, University of Nottingham, Nottingham 2011.

Massey, Preston T., “Is there a Case for Elite Roman ‘New Women’ causing Division at Corinth?” in Revue Biblique 118.1 (2011), 76-93

Massey, Preston T., “Long Hair as a Glory and as a Covering Removing an Ambiguity from 1 Cor 11:15,” in Novum Testamentum 53.1 (2011), 52-72.

Mayordomo, Moisés, ““Act Like Men!” (1 Cor 16:13): Paul’s Exhortation in Different Historical Contexts,” in CrossCurrents 61.4 (December 2011), 515-528.

McRae, Rachel M., “Eating with Honor: The Corinthian Lord’s Supper in light of Voluntary Association Meal PracticesJournal of Biblical Literature 130.1 (2011), 165-181.

Mihaila, Corin, Paul-Apollos Relationship and Paul’s Stance toward Greco-Roman Rhetoric: An Exegetical and Socio-historical Study of 1 Corinthians 1-4 (Library Of New Testament Studies), New York 2009: T&T Clark.  Reviewed in Religious Studies Review (Goodrich).

Montague, G.T., First Corinthians (Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture), Grand Rapids 2011: Baker Academic.

Noordgard, Stefan, “Paul’s Appropriation of Philo’s Theory of `Two Men’ in 1 Corinthians 15.45-49,” New Testament Studies 57.3 (2011), 348-365.

Osiek, C., 2011, ‘How much do we really know about the lives of early Christ followers?’, HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies 67(1), Art. #841

Poirier, The Tongues of Angels: The Concept of Angelic Languages in Classical Jewish and Christian Texts, Tübingen 2010: Mohr Siebeck. (Reviewed in Journal for the Study of the New Testament 33.5 (Aug. 2011)).

Ramelli, Ilaria L. E., “Spiritual Weakness, Illness, and Death in 1 Corinthians 11:30,” Journal of Biblical Literature 130.1 (2011), 145-163.

Rasimus, Tuomas, Troels Engberg-Pedersen, Ismo Dunderberg (ed.), Stoicism in Early Christianity.   Peabody, MA:  Hendrickson Publishers, 2010. (BMCR review here).

Roberts, V., True spirituality : the challenge of 1 Corinthians for the twenty-first-century church, Nottingham 2011: Inter-Varsity.

Rosner, Brian, (ed.), The Wisdom of the Cross: Exploring First Corinthians (Apollos 2011). (Review available here)

Rudolph, David J., A Jew to the Jews: Jewish Contours of Pauline Flexibility in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23, Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2. Reihe 304, Tubingen 2011: Mohr Siebeck.

Schmidt, Thomas, and Pascale Fleury (eds.), Perceptions of the Second Sophistics and Its Time (2011)

Spurgeon, A.B., “Pauline Commands and Women in 1 Corinthians 14,” in The Bibliotheca sacra 168, no. 671 (2011), 317-333

Thiselton, A.C., “Wisdom in the Jewish and Christian Scriptures: Wisdom in the New Testament,” Theology (July 2011) 114.4, 260-268

Tolmie, D.F., 2011, ‘Angels as arguments? The rhetorical function of references to angels in the Main Letters of Paul, HTS

Wagner, J. Ross, “Baptism ‘Into Christ Jesus’ and the Question of Universalism in Paul,” Horizons in Biblical Theology 33.1 (2011), 45-61.

Walsh, Milton, In Memory of Me: A Meditation on the Roman Canon, Ignatius Press: San Francisco 2011.

Zenner, Samuel, The Gospel of Thomas: In the Light of Early Jewish, Christian and Islamic Esoteric Trajectories, London 2011: The Matheson Trust.

2 Corinthians

Eight papers on 2 Corinthians 5:14-21  have recently been made available for reading at this website.  These were delivered as part of two sessions on 2 Corinthians at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature Conference in San Francisco, November 2011.  Note that “The papers are protected by copyright and may only be used by participants in the context of our SBL seminars in San Francisco. For questions please contact the seminar chairs.”

Ashley, E.A., Paul’s defense of his ministerial style : a study of his second letter to the Corinthians, Lewiston, NY, 2011: Mellen Press.

Barrier, Jeremy W., “Two visions of the Lord: a comparison of Paul’s revelation to his opponents’ revelation in 2 Corinthians 12:1-10,” in C. Osiek, D.L. Balch, and J.T. Lamoreaux (eds.), Finding a woman’s place : essays in honor of Carolyn Osiek, R.S.C.J.  Princeton Theological Monograph Series 150, Eugene, OR, 2011: Pickwick Publications.

Becker, Joseph P., Paul’s Use of χαρις in 2 Corinthians 8-9: an Ontology of Grace, Lewiston, NY, 2011: Edwin Mellen Press.

Bieringer, R., 2011, ‘The comforted comforter: The meaning of παρακαλέω or παράκλησις terminology in 2 Corinthians’, HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies 67.1 (2011), Art. #969

Hafemann, Scott J., Suffering and the Spirit : an exegetical study of II Cor. 2:14-3:3 within the context of the Corinthian correspondence, Eugene, OR 2011: Wipf & Stock.

Hood, J.B., “The Temple and the Thorn: 2 Corinthians 12 and Paul’s Heavenly Ecclesiology,” in Bulletin for Biblical research 21.3 (2011), 357-370.

Kaplan, Jonathan, “Comfort, O Comfort, Corinth: Grief and Comfort in 2 Corinthians 7:5–13a,” Harvard Theological Review 104.4 (2011), 433-446.

Kurek- Chomycz, D.A., “Spreading the sweet scent of the gospel as the cult of the wise: on the backdrop of the olfactory metaphor in 2 Corinthians 2:14-16,” in C. Eberhart (ed.), Ritual and Metaphor: Sacrifice in the Bible, Atlanta 2011, 115-134: Society of Biblical Literature.

Litwa, M. David, “Paul’s Mosaic Ascent: An Interpretation of 2 Corinthians 12.7-9,” in New Testament Studies 57.2 (2011), 538-557.

Milinovich, T., Now is the day of salvation: an audience-oriented study of 2 Corinthians 5:16-6:2, Eugene, OR, 2011: Pickwick Publications.

Murphy-O’Connor, Jerome, Keys to Second Corinthians: Revisiting the Major Issues, Oxford 2009: Oxford University Press.  Reviewed in Review of Biblical Literature (Victor Paul Furnish and vanThanh Nguyen), Reviews in Religion and Theology (Barram), and Theology Today 67.4 (Soards).

Novick, T., “Peddling Scents: Merchandise and Meaning in 2 Corinthians 2:14-17,” JBL 130.3 (2011), 543-549.

Nsongisa Kimesa,Chantal, ‘L’agir puissant du Christ parmi les chrétiens’: Une étude exégético-théologique de 2Co 13,1-4 et Rm 14,1-4, Rome 2010: Gregorian & Biblical.  (Reviewed in Journal for the Study of the New Testament 33.5 (Aug. 2011)).

Ogerea, Julien M., “Paul’s Leadership Ethos in 2 Cor 10–13: A Critique of 21st Century Pentecostal Leadership”, in Australasian Pentecostal Studies 13 (2010), pp. 21-40.

Starling, David Ian, Not My People: Gentiles as Exiles in Pauline Hermeneutics, (Gottingen: 2011: de Gruyter)

Stegman, SJ, Thomas D. Second Corinthians (Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture), Grand Rapids 2009: Baker Academic.  Reviewed in Religious Studies Review (Seesengood)

Tolmie, D.F., 2011, ‘Angels as arguments? The rhetorical function of references to angels in the Main Letters of Paul, HTS

Van Oyen, Geert, “The Character of Eve in the New Testament: 2 Corinthians 11.3 and 1 Timothy 2.13-14,” in Bob Becking and Susan Hennecke (eds.), Out of Paradise: Eve and Adam and their Interpreters, Sheffield 2011: Sheffield Phoenix Press.

Wallace, James Buchanan, Snatched into Paradise (2 Cor 12:1-10): Paul’s Heavenly Journey in the Context of Early Christian Experience, Berlin 2011: De Gruyter.

Welborn, L.,“Paul and Pain: Paul’s Emotional Therapy in 2 Corinthians 1.1–2.13; 7.5–16 in the Context of Ancient Psychagogic Literature,” in New Testament Studies 57.4 (2011), 547-570.

Welborn, L., An end to enmity : Paul and the “wrongdoer” of Second Corinthians, Berlin 2011: De Gruyter.

Walker, Jr., William O., “Apollos and Timothy As the Unnamed ‘Brothers’ in 2 Corinthians 8:18-24,” The Catholic Biblical Quarterly 73.2 (April 2011), 318-338.

Apostle Paul and Pauline Corinth

Barclay, John M.G. Pauline churches and Diaspora Jews, Tübingen 2011: Mohr Siebeck.

Barentsen, Jack, Emerging leadership in the Pauline mission: a social identity perspective on local leadership development in Corinth and Ephesus, Princeton Theological Monograph, Eugene, OR, 2011: Pickwick Publications

Billings, Bradly S., “From House Church to Tenement Church: Domestic Space and the Development of Early Urban Christianity—The Example of Ephesus,” in The Journal of Theological Studies 62.2 (2011), 541-569.

Callewaert, Joseph, The World of Saint Paul, San Francisco 2011: Ignatius Press.

Cosby, Michael R., Apostle on the Edge: An Inductive Approach to Paul, Louisville 2009: Westminster John Knox Press. (Review by James Howard).

Engberg-Pedersen, Troels, Cosmology and Self in the Apostle Paul: The Material Spirit, Oxford 2010: Oxford University Press. Reviews at RBL by L. Ann Jervis and Kevin McCruden).

Friesen, Steven J., Daniel N. Schowalter and James C. Walters, Corinth in context: comparative studies on religion and society (Supplements to Novum Testamentum vol. 134; E. J. Brill, Leiden 2010). Reviews at Journal of Roman Archaeology (Dennis E. Smith), Journal of Theological Studies (David Horrell), Religious Studies Review (Richard S. Ascough), The Expository Times (Jane Heath), and Journal for the Study of the New Testament (Peter Oakes).

Goodrich, John K., “Erastus of Corinth (Romans 16.23): Responding to Recent Proposals on his Rank, Status, and Faith” in New Testament Studies 57.4 (2011), 583-593.

Osiek, C., 2011, ‘How much do we really know about the lives of early Christ followers?’, HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies 67(1), Art. #841

Padgett, Alan, As Christ Submits to the Church: A Biblical Understanding of Leadership and Mutual Submission, Grand Rapids 2011: Baker Academic.

Stanley, Christopher (ed.), The colonized Apostle : Paul through postcolonial eyes, Minneapolis 2011: Fortress Press.

Thompson, James W., Moral Formation According to Paul: The Context and Coherence of Pauline Ethics, Grand Rapids 2011: Baker Academic.

Thuraisingham, Ranjit. A.,  “A contemporary scientific reading of St. Paul on human duality,” in Journal for Interdisciplinary Research on Religion and Science 9 (2011), 150-169.

Tucker, J. Brian, Remain in your calling : Paul and the continuation of social identities in 1 Corinthians, Eugene, OR 2011: Pickwick Publications.

Westerholm, Stephen (ed.), The Blackwell Companion to Paul, Malden, MA 2011: Wiley-Blackwell.

Wood, Beulah, The People Paul Admired: The House Church Leaders of the New Testament, Eugene, OR, 2011: Wipf and Stock.



Berding, Kenneth, “Polycarp’s Use of 1 Clement: An Assumption Reconsidered,” in Journal of Early Christian Studies 19.1 (2011), 127-139.

Blackwell, Ben C., Christosis: Pauline soteriology in light of deification in Irenaeus and Cyril of Alexandria, Tübingen 2011: Mohr Siebeck.

De Wet, Chris L., “John Chrysostom’s exegesis of the spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12:27-13:3): a commentary on Homilia in I Epistulam ad Corinthios 32,” in Ekklesiastikos Pharos 93 (2011), 104-117.

De Wet, Chris L., “John Chrysostom’s Exegesis on the Resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15,” in Neotestamentica 45.1 (2011), 92-114.

Downs, David G., “Redemptive Almsgiving and Economic Stratification in 2 Clement” in Journal of Early Christian Studies 19.4 (Winter 2011).

Mitchell, Margaret M., Paul, the Corinthians and the Birth of Christian Hermeneutics (Cambridge 2010). (Reviewed in BMCR and RBL and Religious Studies Review (P. Gray)).

Radde-Gallwitz, Andrew, “The Holy Spirit as Agent, not Activity: Origen’s Argument with Modalism and its Afterlife in Didymus, Eunomius, and Gregory of Nazianzus,” in Vigiliae Christianae 65.3 (2011), 227-248.

Stander, H., 2011, ‘Chrysostom on hunger and famine, HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies 67(1), Art. #880

Wells, Christopher, “Word of Love: The Sacramental Itinerary of 1 Corinthians,” Anglican Theological Review 93.4 (2011), 581-598.

Ancient Corinth: 2011 Publications

I finally had time this week to gather together the 2011 publications for various aspects of Corinth’s history.  The first installment today includes about 3 dozen publications related to the history and archaeology of Corinth in antiquity, i.e., from the Bronze Age to Late Antiquity.  I will follow the rest of the week with sections on Medieval-Modern, Geology and Environment, and New Testament & Early Christian Studies.

As in my 2010 year in review, I created this list from Google alerts and Worldcat.  Since neither of these is comprehensive, I do not claim that this list is exhaustive.  Nonetheless, it is probably a fair representation of the materials published in the last year.  The list focuses on academic publications (books, articles, and dissertations) that relate directly to the archaeology and history of the Corinthia, or refer frequently to Corinth.  It excludes conference papers, master’s theses, historical fiction, and general works that indirectly touch on Corinth (i.e., some of the material that I do usually include in Corinthian Scholarship (monthly)).

If you published on material in 2011 that is relevant to the list, please send my way along with links if available.  The updated list will live permanently here.

Thanks to Messiah College Historymajor Amanda Mylin for help in putting this together.

Bronze Age

Tartaron, Thomas F., Daniel J. Pullen, Richard K. Dunn, Lita Tzortzopoulou-Gregory, Amy Dill, Joseph I. Boyce, “The Saronic Harbors Archaeological Research Project (SHARP): Investigations at Mycenaean Kalamianos, 2007-2009,” in Hesperia 80.4 (2011), 559-634.

Weiberg, Erika, “The invisible dead : The case of the Argolid and Corinthia during the Early Bronze Age,” in Helen Cavanagh, William Cavanagh and James Roy (eds.),Honouring the Dead in the Peloponnese: Proceedings of the conference held at Sparta 23-25 April 2009, CSPS Online Publication 2 prepared by Sam Farnham, 2011, pp. 781-796.

Geometric to Hellenistic

Athanassaki, L., and E. Bowie (eds.), Archaic and Classical Choral Song: Performance, Politics and Dissemination(de Gruyter 2011)

Barone, G., P. Mazzoleni, E. Aquilia, V. Crupi, F. Longo, D. Majolino, V. Venuti, and G. Spagnolo, “Potentiality of non-destructive XRF analysis for the determination of Corinthian B amphorae provenance,” in X-Ray Spectrometry40.5 (2011), 333-337.

Burnett, Anne Pippin, ”Servants of Peitho: Pindar fr.122 S“, GRBS 51 (2011).

Coldstream, N., Greek Geometric Pottery. Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum. Great Britain, Fascicule 25; The British Museum, Fascicule 11. London:  British Museum, 2010. (BMCR review here).

Dawson, A., “Seeing Dead People: A Study of the Cypselids,” Australian Society for Classical Studies, Selected Papers from the 32nd Annual Conference, 2011 (PDF)

Dubbini, Rachele, Dei nello spazio degli uomini : i culti dell’agora e la costruzione di Corinto arcaica, Rome 2011: L’Erma di Bretschneider.

Foley, Brendan P.,Maria C. Hansson, Dimitris P. Kourkoumelis, Theotokis A. Theodoulou, “Aspects of ancient Greek trade re-evaluated with amphora DNA evidence,” in Journal of Archaeological Science 39.2 (2012), 389-398.

Gassner, Verena, “Amphorae Production of the Ionic‐Adriatic Region,” in FACEM (version 06/06/2011).

Greene, Elizabeth S., Justin Leidwanger, and Harun A. Özdaş, “Two Early Archaic Shipwrecks at Kekova Adası and Kepçe Burnu, Turkey,” in IJNA40.1 (2011), 60-68.

Howan, V., “Three Fleets or Two,” in Australian Society for Classical Studies, Selected Papers from the 32nd Annual Conference, 2011 (on the Corinthian War)

Krystalli-Vosti, Kalliopi, and Erik Østby, “The Temples of Apollo at Sikyon,” in Bolletino di Archeologia On Line 2011.

Leenen, M., “The Evolution of Roman Diplomatic Interaction with the Achaean League, 200-146 B.C.E.,” in Australian Society for Classical Studies, Selected Papers from the 32nd Annual Conference, 2011 (PDF)

Mannino, M.R., and S. Orecchio, “Chemical characterization of ancient potteries from Himera and Pestavecchia necropolis (Sicily, Italy) by Inductively Coupled Plasma-Optical Emission Spectrometry (ICP-OES),” in Microchemical Journal97.2 (2011), 165-172.

McPhee, Ian D., and Elizabeth G. Pemberton, Corinth VII.6. Late Classical Pottery from Ancient Corinth: Drain 1971-1 in the Forum Southwest, Princeton 2011? (in production): American School of Classical Studies at Athens.

Morgan, C., “Isthmia and beyond. How can quantification help the analysis of EIA sanctuary deposits?,” in Samuel Verdan, Thierry Theurillat and Anne Kenzelmann Pfyffer (eds.), Early Iron Age Pottery: A Quantitative Approach. Proceedings of the International Round Table organized by the Swiss School of Archaeology in Greece (Athens, November 28-30, 2008), BAR International Series 2254 (2011), 11-18.

Pettegrew, David K., “The Diolkos of Corinth,” AJA 115.4 (2011), pp. 549-574. Images here.

Rhodes, Robin, “The Woodwork of the Seven Century Temple on Temple Hill in Corinth,” in Alexander von Kienlin (ed.), Holztragwerke der Antike : Internazionale Konferenz 30. März – 1. April 2007 in München, Byzas Vol. 11, Istanbul 2011: German Archaeological Institute.

Robinson, Betsey, Histories of Peirene: A Corinthian Fountain in Three Millennia, Princeton 2011: American School of Classical Studies at Athens. (Reviews at Corinithianmatters and the New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

Tsiafakis, Despoina, “The Ancient Settlement at Karabournaki: the Results of the Corinthian and Corinthian Type Pottery Analysis,” in Bolletino di Archeologia On Line 2011.

Roman Corinth

Flament, C., and P. Marchetti, Le monnayage argien d’époque romaine: d’Hadrien à Gallien, Athens 2011: French School of Athens.

Frangoulidis, Stavros, “From impulsiveness to self-restraint: Lucius’ stance in Apuleius’ Metamorphoses,” Trends in Classics3.1 (2011), pp. 113–125

Friesen, Steven J., Daniel N. Schowalter and James C. Walters, Corinth in context: comparative studies on religion and society, Supplements to Novum Testamentum vol. 134, Leiden 2010: E. J. Brill. Reviews at Journal of Roman Archaeology (Dennis E. Smith), Journal of Theological Studies (David Horrell), Religious Studies Review (Richard S. Ascough), and The Expository Times(Jane Heath).

Melfi, Milena, “Uestigiis reuolsorum donorum, tum donis diues erat (Livy XLV, 28): the Early Roman Presence in the Asklepieia of Greece,” in Bolletino di Archaeologia On Line 2011

Palinkas, Jennifer, and James A. Herbst, “A Roman Road Southeast of the Forum at Corinth: Technology and Urban Development,” in Hesperia80 (2011), 287-336.

Papaioannou, Maria, “East Meets West: the Pottery Evidence from Abdera,” in Bolletino di Archaeologia On Line 2011

Pettegrew, David K., “The Diolkos of Corinth,” AJA 115.4 (2011), pp. 549-574. Images here.

Quercia, A., A. Johnston, A. Bevan, J. Conolly and A. Tsaravopoulos, “Roman Pottery from an Intensive Survey of Antikythera, Greece,” in Annual of British School at Athens106 (2011).

Robinson, Betsey, Histories of Peirene: A Corinthian Fountain in Three Millennia, Princeton 2011: American School of Classical Studies at Athens. (Reviews at Corinithianmatters and the New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

Spaeth, Barbette Stanley, “Imperial Cult in Roman Corinth: a Response to Karl Galinsky’s ‘The Cult of the Roman Emperor: Uniter or Divider?,’” in J. Brodd and J.L. Reed (eds.), Rome and Religion: A Cross-disciplinary Dialogue on the Imperial Cult, Atlanta 2011, 61-82: Society of Biblical Literature.

Stover, Tim, “Unexampled Exemplarity: Medea in the Argonautica of Valerius Flaccus,” Transactions of the American Philological Association141.1 (2011).

Tilg, Stefan, “Religious Feasting in Apuleius’s Metamorphoses: Appetite for Change?,” in
Transactions of the American Philological Association 141.2 (2011), 387-400.

Ubelaker, D.H., and J.L. Rife, “Skeletal analysis and mortuary practice in an Early Roman chamber tomb at Kenchreai, Greece,” in International Journal of Osteoarchaeology21.1 (2011), 1-18.

Late Antiquity

Brown, Amelia R., “Banditry or Catastrophe?: History, Archaeology, and Barbarian Raids on Roman Greece,” in R.W. Mathisen & D. Shanzer, eds., Romans, Barbarians, and the Transformation of the Roman World: Cultural Interaction and the Creation of Identity in Late Antiquity, Farnham 2011: Ashgate, pp. 79-96.

Cherf, William J., “Procopius De aedificiis 4.2.1–22 on the Thermopylae Frontier,” in Byzantinische Zeitschrift 104.1 (2011), 71–113.

Curta, Florin, “Still Waiting for the Barbarians?  The Making of the Slavs in ‘Dark-Age’ Greece,” in F. Curta (ed.), Neglected Barbarians, Turnhout Brepols Publishers: 2010, published online November 2011.

Friesen, Steven J., Daniel N. Schowalter and James C. Walters, Corinth in context: comparative studies on religion and society, Supplements to Novum Testamentum vol. 134, Leiden 2010: E. J. Brill. Reviews at Journal of Roman Archaeology (Dennis E. Smith), Journal of Theological Studies (David Horrell), Religious Studies Review (Richard S. Ascough), and The Expository Times(Jane Heath).

Hadler, Hanna, Andreas Vött, Benjamin Koster, Margret Mathes-Schmidt, Torsten Mattern, Konstantin Ntageretzis, Klaus Reicherter, Dimitris Sakellariou, Timo Willershäuser, “Lechaion, the Ancient Harbour of Corinth (Peloponnese, Greece) destroyed by Tsunamigenic Impact,” pp. 70-73.   [Article reviewed at Corinthian Matters]

Quercia, A., A. Johnston, A. Bevan, J. Conolly and A. Tsaravopoulos, “Roman Pottery from an Intensive Survey of Antikythera, Greece,” in Annual of British School at Athens106 (2011).

Robinson, Betsey, Histories of Peirene: A Corinthian Fountain in Three Millennia, Princeton 2011: American School of Classical Studies at Athens. (Reviews at Corinithianmatters and the New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

What was shipped in Greek amphoras? A reevaluation through DNA analysis

One of the big stories covered by archaeology blogs last month was the announcement that a team of researchers had determined the ancient content of Greek amphoras through the analysis of residual DNA.  News of this discovery appeared in this article in Science and this one in Nature, and both summarized a technical article now in press in Journal of Archaeological Science: B.P. Foley, M.C. Hansson, D.P. Kourkoumelis, T.A. Theodoulou, “Aspects of Ancient Greek Trade re-evaluated with amphora DNA evidence,” Journal of Archaeological Science (2011).

The abstract of the article by Foley et al. runs as follows:

Ancient DNA trapped in the matrices of ceramic transport jars from Mediterranean shipwrecks can reveal the goods traded in the earliest markets. Scholars generally assume that the amphora cargoes of 5th–3rd century B.C. Greek shipwrecks contained wine, or to a much lesser extent olive oil. Remnant DNA inside empty amphoras allows us to test that assumption. We show that short ∼100 nucleotides of ancient DNA can be isolated and analyzed from inside the empty jars from either small amounts of physical scrapings or material captured with non-destructive swabs. Our study material is previously inaccessible Classical/Hellenistic Greek shipwreck amphoras archived at the Ministry of Culture and Tourism Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities in Athens, Greece. Collected DNA samples reveal various combinations of olive, grape,Lamiaceae herbs (mint, rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage), juniper, and terebinth/mastic (genus Pistacia). General DNA targeting analyses also reveal the presence of pine (Pinus), and DNA from Fabaceae (Legume family); Zingiberaceae (Ginger family); and Juglandaceae (Walnut family). Our results demonstrate that amphoras were much more than wine containers. DNA shows that these transport jars contained a wide range of goods, bringing into question long-standing assumptions about amphora use in ancient Greece. Ancient DNA investigations open new research avenues, and will allow accurate reconstruction of ancient diet, medicinal compounds, value-added products, goods brought to market, and food preservation methods.

Although the Science and Nature pieces were useful, I wanted to have a look at the article myself.  The staff at Messiah College’s Murray Librarygenerously got me a copy (thanks!).

In the article, Foley et al. begin with the question of how do we know what was carried in those large ancient transport jars called ‘amphoras.’  Our ancient literary sources are sporadic but suggest that olive oil and wine were very common with other commodities carried with a little less frequency.  Stamps and graffiti on the amphoras sometimes reveal content but these are rare.  Occasionally archaeologists have discovered enough physical residues left on the amphora to apply some kind of chemical analysis.  Generally, though, most scholars assume that olive oil and wine were carried most often as these are, after all, the agricultural products of early modern Mediterranean societies.

The authors propose in this article a new way of determining ancient amphora contents: collect DNA samples of genetic material trapped in the surface of amphoras and try to match their sequences with genetic families (species and genera) of plants common to the Mediterranean today: olive, grape, etc…  The authors used two different techniques for extracting the DNA (cotton swabs and scraping) that are inspired in part from modern forensic science (think, police investigations and crime labs).

The sample included 9 amphoras provided by the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities at the Hellenic Ministry of Culture & Tourism.  This “random sample” of amphoras represented vessels of Classical and Hellenistic date that were literally fished from the sea over the last two decades and given to the Greek Ministry of Culture.  Although a couple of these probably originated from Northern Aegean contexts, most (n=7 of 9) are “Corinthian B” amphoras produced (according to the article’s authors) in Corfu, but associated with production centers in regions of the Ionian sea, S. Italy, and even now N. Africa.  Corinth is often connected to the production of Corinthian B amphoras although this is a matter of debate (see Carolyn Koehler, “A Brief Typology and Chronology of Corinthian Transport Amphoras” and recent discussion here).  Plate 3

Figures from “A Brief Typology and Chronology of Corinthian Transport Amphoras

Here, as an archaeologist, I wanted some sense of provenience: where exactly were these amphoras fished from the sea?  How were these amphoras selected?  Why all Classical and early Hellenistic?  Why so many Corinthian B vessels?  Some explanation of the selection process would have grounded this study in some spatial context.  As it is, the sample is floating in space.

The point of the article, of course, is not to make historical conclusions but to advertise a new technique: one can analyze trapped DNA in submerged amphoras to determine ancient contents.  This kind of enterprise has dramatic repercussions for our understanding of ancient trade and the value of submerged cargoes.

Foley et al. draw several interesting conclusions about their amphoras.  Olive sequences (oil? olives?) are common in the amphoras (6 of 9), as are grape sequences (5 of 9); juniper sequences appear in most (8 of 9).  Then there are a range of other additives that appear frequently: ginger, walnuts, legumes, beech, citrus, mint, thyme, etc…  One can only conclude (as the authors do) that there was no “pure” wine or olive oil product but that various other spices and plants were used in the production to add flavor and preservatives for the transport.  Olive oil and wine were not undiluted but “value-added products”.

The results also suggest that amphora reuse for different products (olive and wine) was rather common.  There is nothing new, of course, about the idea that amphoras carried many different products (see, for example, this collection of sources) or had many forms of reuse (see, for example, Frontinus’ Stratagems 4.7.9-10 for the hurling of amphoras containing pitch or vipers in naval battles!).  But the ability to map out the local content of a local product has ramifications for our knowledge of trade.

But one wonders: how much does this cost?