Fortuna: Deity and Concept in Archaic and Republican Italy [PDF]
02 March 2018, 06:08
2018 | PDF | 31.96MB
What is good luck and what did it mean to the Romans? What connections were there between luck and childbirth, victory in war, or success in business? What did Roman statesmen like Cicero and Caesar think about luck? This volume aims to address these questions by focusing on the Latin goddess Fortuna, one of the better known deities in ancient Italy. The earliest forms of her worship can be traced back to archaic Latium, and though the chronological scope of the discussion presented here covers the archaic age to the late Republic, she was still a widely recognized allegorical figure during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
The primary reason for Fortuna's longevity is that she was a conceptual deity, symbiotically connected to the concept of chance and good fortune. When communities, individuals, and social groups interacted with the goddess, they were inevitably also interacting with the concept: renegotiating it, enriching it with new meanings, and challenging established associations. All the available literary, epigraphic, and archaeological sources on Fortuna are explored here in depth, including analyses of all the attested sanctuaries of the goddess in Italy, an updated study of inscribed gifts offered to her by a variety of individuals, and discussion of how authors such as Cicero and Caesar wrote about Fortuna, chance, and good luck. This study of the goddess based on conceptual analysis serves to construct a radically new picture of the historical development of this deity in the context of the cultural interactions taking place in ancient Italy, and also suggests a new approach to polytheism based on an exploration of the connection between gods and goddesses and concepts.
The Fortifications of Arkadian City States in the Classical and Hellenistic Periods [PDF]
02 March 2018, 06:07
2017 | PDF | 219.15MB
This illustrated study comprises a comprehensive and detailed account of the historical development of Greek military architecture and defensive planning, specifically in Arkadia in the Classical and Hellenistic periods.
Employing data gathered from the published literature, and collected during the field reconnaissance of every site, the fortification circuit of each Arkadian polis is explored. In this way, the book provides an accurate chronology for the walls in question; an understanding of the relationship between the fortifications and the local topography; a detailed inventory of all the fortified poleis of Arkadia; a regional synthesis based on this inventory; and the probable historical reasons behind the patterns observed through the regional synthesis.
Maher argues that there is no evidence for fortified poleis in Arkadia during the Archaic period. However, when the poleis were eventually fortified in the Classical period, the fact that most appeared in the early fourth century BC, strategically distributed in limited geographic areas, suggests that the larger defensive concerns of the Arkadian League were a factor. Although the defensive responses to innovations in siege warfare and offensive artillery of the Arkadian fortifications follow the same general developments observable in the circuits found throughout the Greek world, there does exist a number of interesting and noteworthy, regionally specific, patterns. Such discoveries validate the methodology employed and clearly demonstrate the value of an exclusively regional focus for shedding light on a number of architectural, topographical, and historic issues.
The Science of Roman History: Biology, Climate, and the Future of the Past [PDF]
01 March 2018, 16:31
2018 | PDF | 3.95MB
How the latest cutting-edge science offers a fuller picture of life in Rome and antiquity
This groundbreaking book provides the first comprehensive look at how the latest advances in the sciences are transforming our understanding of ancient Roman history. Walter Scheidel brings together leading historians, anthropologists, and geneticists at the cutting edge of their fields, who explore novel types of evidence that enable us to reconstruct the realities of life in the Roman world.
Contributors discuss climate change and its impact on Roman history, and then cover botanical and animal remains, which cast new light on agricultural and dietary practices. They exploit the rich record of human skeletal material--both bones and teeth―which forms a bio-archive that has preserved vital information about health, nutritional status, diet, disease, working conditions, and migration. Complementing this discussion is an in-depth analysis of trends in human body height, a marker of general well-being. This book also assesses the contribution of genetics to our understanding of the past, demonstrating how ancient DNA is used to track infectious diseases, migration, and the spread of livestock and crops, while the DNA of modern populations helps us reconstruct ancient migrations, especially colonization.
Opening a path toward a genuine biohistory of Rome and the wider ancient world, The Science of RomanHistory offers an accessible introduction to the scientific methods being used in this exciting new area of research, as well as an up-to-date survey of recent findings and a tantalizing glimpse of what the future holds.