Saturday, September 5, 2009


Version at BMCR home site
Therese Fuhrer (ed.), Die christlich-philosophischen Diskurse der Spätantike: Texte, Personen, Institutionen: Akten der Tagung vom 22.-25. Februar 2006 am Zentrum für Antike und Moderne der Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. Philosophie der Antike, Bd. 28. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2008. Pp. 438. ISBN 9783515090834. €65.00.
Reviewed by Ilaria L.E. Ramelli, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan

This rich volume, dedicated to Martin Hose and stemming from a conference held in 2006 at the Zentrum für Antike und Moderne of the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, mostly deals with Latin Christian Platonism, especially with Ambrose and, above all, Augustine, but also with late Latin Neoplatonists such as Macrobius and Martianus Capella. It is a detailed and welcome investigation into an important section of Patristic philosophy that still needs much exploration.

As the editor points out in her introduction, Late Antiquity was a period of fruitful transformation of the classical heritage, and its different philosophical and theological systems of thought and religious positions offer a unique interdisciplinary object of study. This kind of study indeed requires exceptional competence and scholarly skills, and surely also a great deal of collaboration in research. The contributors to this volume are historians of Antiquity, Church historians, philosophers and philologists, and an historian of jurisprudence.

Rebenich tackles a difficult question. The conception of friendship in Classical Antiquity has been explored by a number of scholars with very different results; the overview provided by Rebenich in the first part of his article offers a concise but clear picture of the dissensions, which mainly focus on whether to emphasize the affective aspect of friendship or its institutional value, from a social and political perspective. In fact, both sides were present, and recognizing the one should not exclude the other. This said, however, there are still many options about which respect(s) to emphasize. It comes as no surprise that the problem presents itself again when one comes to Late Antiquity and Christian authors, which is the focus of R.'s paper. In Christianity, yet new aspects of this complex relationship come into prominence. The case study is provided by the correspondence between Jerome and Augustine, "a unique document in the early Church" according to Peter Brown, which Rebenich rightly reads against the backdrop of the so-called Origenist controversy.1 Here, amicitia becomes a synonym, not only of brotherly love and goodwill, but also of agreement in orthodoxy. Likewise, the main enemies will be the enemies of the true religion. I particularly appreciated the brief reference (22) to the link between friendship and οἰκείωσις in Gregory of Nazianzus, a theme which I have developed in depth for Gregory of Nyssa and has momentous consequences on both the theological and the interpersonal planes.2

Leppin's contribution centers on the monarchy as pastoral problem in Ambrose's philosophical and political thought, to be assessed on the basis of his letters, speeches, and theological works. For the biblical text, as Leppin convincingly argues, is even more important than the Greco-Roman tradition for him. Thus, for example, Ambrose praises the virtue of humilitas in an emperor on the basis, not of classical political theorization, but of the biblical episode of King David and Nathan. He reflects on the famous comparison between bees and cranes in Hex. 5.15.50-52: if the republic symbolized by the former is "pulcherrimus rerum status," the monarchy symbolized by the latter is idealized, in that the bees are said to be "sub rege liberae," in a monarchy based on consensus. The position of the emperor, his faith and orthodoxy, is not an institutional problem for Ambrose, but a pastoral one; as Consolino also put it, for Ambrose the emperor's faith may belong more to the private than to the public sphere. A systematic comparison between Ambrose's attitude to monarchy and that of Origen--who lived when the empire was still formally pagan, and even suffered persecution in his old age, but mostly experienced a period of peace in the Severan age--might well prove quite fruitful, not least given the strong influence of the latter on the former.

Föllinger also deals with Ambrose, in particular with his relationship to classical biology, a discipline that belonged to the branch of philosophy called φυσική, according to the Stoic tripartition into λογική, φυσική, ἠθική. Föllinger offers a useful excursus on pagan biology up to the fourth century A.D.3 In Christian authors, treatments of biology are mostly to be found in Hexaëmeron literature, which is also the case with Ambrose, from whose homilies on the Hexaëmeron several examples are produced. It emerges that he is selective in picking up his materials from pagan biological sources, according to a criterion of moral usefulness for his public, and that the exploration of nature is for him--as for most Patristic authors--a means to reach its Creator. This study is eschatologically oriented: it must not be mere curiositas, but useful to spiritual progress, with a view to the eternal life.

Fuhrer, who is also the editor of the bookand, among other contributions, has edited a volume on the reception of Hellenistic philosophy in Late Antiquity for the same series,4 focuses here on the young Augustine, during his Milanese period (A.D. 384-387), when he absorbed the influence of Ambrose and was also in contact with the prefect Symmachus. The political context is carefully traced, and a whole network of characters who surrounded Augustine is accurately reconstructed, from Romanianus to Alypius and Zenobius, including the addressees of his works of this period. They were Catholic Christians, Manichaeans, and pagans: a trans-confessional elite, as Fuhrer rightly observes. These works show an interest in a formative program that will be shared shortly after by Macrobius and Martianus. It is noted that Simplicianus and Victorinus are never cited in these works of Augustine's, although of course the argumentum ex silentio is often feeble; Victorinus' influence on Augustine is an object of considerable discussion in scholarship. Augustine's reception of Neoplatonism also included, specifically, the reception of an already Christianized form of Platonism. It seems to me remarkable that in a work dating to the immediately following years Augustine, in order now to combat Manichaeism, reprised many of Origen's metaphysical arguments, and even accepted the doctrine of apokatastasis.5

Faller concentrates on one of Augustine's works of the Milanese period: Contra Academicos (A.D. 386). A systematic treatment is devoted to Augustine's relationship to Manichaeism, of which he was auditor until A.D. 383 or 384; Faller shows that in this work Augustine speaks of the Manichaeans many times without naming them, and illustrates further traces of Manichaeism in Augustine's thought. The other strong influence that Contra Academicos reveals is that of Neoplatonism. Faller highlights Augustine's positive judgment about Plotinus, who recovered Plato's thought after Academic skepticism, and of the "Platonici" in general (3.41;43). The "libri pleni" in 2.5 are identified by many scholars with the "libri Platonicorum" in Conf. 7.10.16. According to Heidl,6 whose discussion is not mentioned here, these were but the books of a Christian Platonist, Origen, perhaps his homilies on the Song of Songs, translated by Jerome three years before; Ambrose also employed Origen's exegesis of the Song in his homilies. They are pleni, "complete," in that they join Platonic metaphysic and Christian doctrine. Also the crucial role of St Paul in Contra Academicos is emphasized by Faller, who agrees with Curley that in this work Augustine endeavored to free himself from Manichaeism as well as of Academic skepticism. It seems to me significant that only very shortly later it is precisely in a work against Manichaeism that he will take up essential metaphysical arguments from a Christian Platonist like Origen.

Pollmann deals with the interpretations of Genesis, in particular Gen 1:6-8, by Augustine in six works of different periods, and calls attention to the importance of the various contexts of these works, which help understand the diversities of his exegeses. In De Genesi contra Manichaeos Augustine notes that Manicheans did not criticize this Genesis passage, of which he offers a Platonic allegorization as the distinction of visible and invisible matter. In De Genesi ad litteram liber unus imperfectus he insists on the multiplicity of possible meanings. De Genesi ad litteram was deeply influenced by Basil's exegesis, which also enhanced the literalism of the interpretation, just as the Jovinian controversy did, as Pollmann shows. Augustine was also concerned about pagan objections to the biblical account, such as those of Porphyry: this is why he tries to be as careful and detailed as possible. But in his Confessiones, Augustine accepts Origen's allegorical exegesis of the verses at stake as the representation of the division of different orders of rational creatures. This interpretation, however, is rejected in De civitate Dei (where, I observe, he also notoriously condemns the "misericordes" such as Origen). Exegesis thus proves to be a flexible instrument, according to the demands of polemic and context.

Van Oort, the editor of Augustine's Acta contra Fortunatum Manichaeum (Turnhout: Brepols, 2004), makes a compelling case that in this work, which reports a debate that took place in A.D. 392, not only Fortunatus, but also Augustine uses a typical Manichaean terminology and reveals a direct acquaintance with original writings of Mani. Van Oort shows how Augustine's language is indebted, e.g., to Mani's Epistula Fundamenti. Indeed, only a few years later, in A.D. 396, Augustine wrote a treatise against this very letter. Also expressions from Mani's Thesaurus are used. And Van Oort indicates that other works of Augustine also display his direct knowledge of Manichaean writings; among these works there is also De moribus ecclesiae catholicae et de moribus Manichaeorum (388/9), precisely the one in which most of all, I note, he uses Origen's arguments against Manichaeism (whether he knew that these were Origen's or not, as is more probable, is another story).

Horn investigates Augustine's political theory, which he defines as a "political supranaturalism." Slavery is seen as a consequence of the fall--just as in Chrysostom, I observe, and in other Patristic authors--, of libido and cupiditas, of an excess of amor sui, as opposed to amor Dei. At the same time, Augustine maintains that slavery is not simply a sad general consequence of original sin, but the right punishment for individual sins. It is God who decides which humans must be slaves because of their sins ("divino iudicio"). I demonstrated elsewhere7 that Augustine's position is opposed to that of Gregory of Nyssa, who considered slavery to be a positive offense to God and an illegitimate institution to be condemned both de jure and de facto. The question of the legitimacy of State or Church persecution is also carefully tackled: Augustine thinks that sometimes it is right to persecute; he observes that Jesus called blessed only those who suffer persecution "for the sake of justice." A problem that is examined by Horn is whether Augustine envisaged legitimate forms of individual opposition to power. He placed in decreasing order of importance Deus, patria, parentes, so that, if parents order anything against the law of the State, they must not be obeyed, but if God does so, one must obey God rather than the law. Horn draws a helpful comparison with Plotinus' conception of πολιτικαὶ ἀρεταί and points out that for Augustine perfect justice is to be found only in Christ's res publica, in the civitas Dei, the dimension of frui vs. uti, of amor Dei vs. amor sui. Indeed, the unique relationship between Christ and justice in Augustine's thought has been well highlighted especially by Robert Dodaro, Christ and the Just Society in the Thought of Augustine, Cambridge: CUP, 2004.

Kuhn also studies Augustine's conception of justice and how he endeavored to promote it in legal conflicts of his day. After a brief outline of Augustine's distinction between "lex aeterna," "lex naturalis," and "lex temporalis," Kuhn illustrates how for Augustine the judge is bound to the laws, how Alypius is presented by him as an exemplary judge, and how he drew a distinction between a provincial and an ecclesiastical judge, who should refrain from death penalty and remember that he, in turn, will have to give account of his deeds before God. Kuhn also investigates how Augustine himself behaved as an episcopal judge, basing her analysis especially on Possidius' Vita Augustini and on Augustine's letters. Kuhn is right to highlight the importance of the honestiores/humiliores division in regard to the law in late antiquity and Augustine's remark that Christ was "humillimus" (166, 172); this issue has been recently studied by Judith Perkins,8 who has connected it to the Christians' stress on the resurrection of the body and a judgment where no honestiores/humiliores binary would be allowed. Kuhn also emphasizes Augustine's complaints about the corruption of judges and the diffusion of bribery.

Brennecke explores Augustine's polemics against Arianism, first offering an account of the birth of Arianism and its developments up to the so-called Neo-Arians. On "Arianism" today I also refer to Lewis Ayres, Nicaea and Its Legacy, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004, and the discussion of his study in Harvard Theological Review 100 (2007) 125-241. And on the Council of Nicaea as not primarily summoned to condemn Arius, Henryk Pietras has argued that the two letters cited in the title, which most stress the condemnation of Arius, were unknown to Eusebius and Athanasius because they are apocryphal.9 Brennecke's very good reconstruction does not include a treatment of Origen, who has often been considered to be a precursor of Arianism, but in fact was an anti-subordinationist and a precursor of the Cappadocians, as I have endeavored to demonstrate.10 Brennecke traces an accurate picture of Trinitarian controversies in the fourth century, also noting that the so-called Arians in the Western empire were in fact far from maintaining Arius' ideas on the creaturality of the Son. He shows that in his handbook, De Haeresibus, Augustine described the real, old Arians, not the so-called "Arians" of his day. Augustine's later Contra sermonem Arrianorum is directed against an anonymous treatise of contemporary Arianism, but in his reply Augustine argues on the basis of his heresiologic handbooks. Brennecke also analyzes Augustine's Conlatio cum Maximino and Contra Maximinum, against bishop Maximinus who subscribed to the Rimini Synod. Brennecke points out very well how Maximinus constantly referred to Scripture in his argument. Now, this was a sensitive point in the Arian and anti-Arian debate from the beginning, as is particularly clear from the very first account available on Nicaea, the letter of Eusebius to his church: Eusebius explains how ὁμοούσιον got its way into the official declarations of the council even though it was absent from Scripture.

Erler's stimulating paper examines Augustine's doctrine of Grace in relation to imperial Platonism (in fact, essentially to Neoplatonism), taking into consideration the notion of God's help in pagan and Christian philosophy. By contrasting Iamblichus' and Plotinus' opposite positions regarding the human necessity of help from the divinity, Erler rightly observes that Iamblichus' conception of the οὐδένεια of the human being is much closer to Augustine's position that Plotinus' thought was. Augustine's notion of grace and of its necessity, I note, mainly derives from Paul, on whom Origen too based his own strong evaluation of grace. After considering Augustine's attitude to Platonism in De Civitate Dei 10, Erler keenly underlines that for Augustine Christianity is more egalitarian, as it opens up the way to happiness/salvation to all. I observe that this was also Origen's position against the Gnostics. Plato's, Plotinus', and Porphyry's Platonism was elitist, but optimistic (E. speaks of "Grundoptimismus," 194); for Porphyry, religion was just a praeparatio philosophiae, since philosophy is not for everyone, whereas Iamblichus' pessimistic view is that help from the divinity is necessary because nobody can reach happiness/salvation with his or her own intellectual forces. Indeed, for Iamblichus religious practice rests on the human being's οὐδένεια. Erler remarks that there is some pessimism in Plato, too, but Iamblichus developed it to an impressive extent; he concludes that in Plato Iamblichus did find roots for his own conceptions, but Plato had nothing on theurgy. He also highlights that Iamblichus' motif of the pure soul sent by God onto earth in order to assist other humans derives from Plato, and I would like to add that it is found in a Christian Platonist like Origen as well.

Augustine's doctrine of grace is also the focus of the paper by Drecoll. He studies its presence in synodal texts from the Pelagian controversy (411-418). He first tries to define the "North-African position" in this conflict, which had arisen independently of Augustine, who was absent from the Carthage synod. Drecoll studies the consequences of Adam's sin on babies in Augustine's debate with Caelestius in A.D. 411. The sources analyzed are Augustine, Gest. Pel. 23, and Marius Mercator, and Drecoll also observes that the problem of the baptism of babies was already debated in Africa in the time of Cyprian. Next comes the study of the canons of the Council of Carthage (A.D. 418), some of which were handed down with some divergences in their tradition. Drecoll 's analysis overcomes this difficulty and shows that here, among other things, it emerges that death is a punishment for sin and not a "necessitas naturae," that the baptism of infants "in remissionem peccatorum" is to be kept, and that grace is not only remission of sins, but also help and love.

Löhr also is concerned with Augustine's doctrine of grace and criticizes Flasch's interpretation, which in his view provides a reductive definition of Augustine's doctrine of grace and predestination, according to which this doctrine reflects a deficit in rationality. Löhr contextualizes Augustine's doctrine of grace in the debate against Pelagianism. He carefully analyzes Augustine's De Natura et Gratia (A.D. 415)--directed against the Pelagian treatise De Natura--from which it emerges that Christian life is possible only with the help of grace, and Pelagius' Letter to Demetrias (ca. 414). Toward the end of this work, Pelagius cited, among other texts in support of his view, a passage from the third book of Augustine's De libero arbitrio. Löhr reads this debate against the backdrop of ancient ethical discourses on the true philosophical/Christian life. The comparison he draws between Origen and Augustine in respect to the issue of free will is illuminating, as they evidently belonged to the same ancient discourse. I also observe that Augustine's contention that Christianity is the "philosophy for everybody" (236: "Philosophie für jedermann") corresponds to Origen's line in his polemic against Gnosticism, in which his theodicy and eschatology are also grounded.11 Löhr 's engaging analysis compares Origen's, Augustine's, and Pelagius' positions on conceptualizing the philosophical life. His conclusion (243), which I would share, is that Augustine and Pelagius formulated their opposite positions as ancient philosophers; only, their philosophy was Christianity.

Lamberigts deals with another of Augustine's adversaries, Julian of Aeclanum, who criticized Augustine's views of Adam's sin and its consequences for humanity. While Augustine regarded marriage as good, but concupiscence as evil, Julian supported the goodness of both--concupiscentia as a natural quality of human nature is good and serves the purpose of procreation--on the grounds that all that was created by God is good. This is also the reason why Julian could not believe that a human being could be born with original sin. Anyway, Julian agreed with Augustine and other Fathers that continentia is better than married life. Since he condemned excesses of concupiscentia, putting the blame on human inordinate will, Lamberigts does not accept the view of scholars who have accused him of being a promoter of lust.

Brachtendorf's article centers on the philosophical concept of wisdom in Augustine's thought. Augustine was convinced that the attainment of wisdom is possible here in this life, but it is not given by philosophy, but by Christianity, since it is Christ who is identified with Wisdom. Of course this identification had a long history in Christianity before Augustine. Dihle considered Augustine to be the inventor of the modern concept of will, as opposed to Socratic intellectualism, and Brachtendorf shows how Augustine's Christian thought could develop this notion. His tracts on the Gospel of John are studied by Brachtendorf as a source concerning Augustine's view of the relationship of philosophy and Christian faith. The centrality of Christ's cross for him clearly emerges from this work: this is the wood that allows one to cross the sea of this life; it is because they despised it that philosophers saw truth only from a distance. However, as Brachtendorf rightly observes, Augustine's evaluation of philosophy makes his position very different from that of Tertullian.

Elm considers Augustine's sermons on the Passio Perpetuae et Felicitatis. After a brief outline of its literary status (she accepts the widespread claim that Tertullian may be the redactor), she highlights the peculiarity of Perpetua's account as one of the very few texts written by a woman that survive from antiquity.12 Then she examines Augustine's Sermones on this text, which were preached on the occasion of the martyr's dies natalis, also referring to existing literature, for instance on Augustine's attitude toward its Montanism (which, I note, is assumed by many scholars, but not by all). She draws a distinction between Sermons 280-282 and other sermons of uncertain paternity. She enucleates some elements that point to the liturgical context, and concentrates on the representation of the female martyr both in the Passio and in Augustine's sermons. In particular, the conception expressed in Serm. 280.1 ("secundum interiorem hominem nec masculus nec femina inveniuntur") is compared to the notion of "interior homo" in Augustine's works on Genesis and Börresen's position is endorsed that Augustine was a "feminist" Church Father: "Augustine's holistic definition of both maleness and femaleness as properly human marks a high point of patristic 'feminism'." I only add that this conception of the inner human being, having no gender differentiation, derived from Philo and Origen. Elm examines how Augustine allegorizes the first vision of Perpetua, how he praises both Perpetua and Felicitas even though they are no ascetics, and how he constructs a theology of martyrdom, insisting on the unity of the church and the indispensable role of Christ and grace even for saints. Here Elm accepts Robert Dodaro's insight that it was the Pelagian controversy that made Augustine feel the need to "emphasize the extent to which even the saints require grace to overcome concupiscence and its effects."13

Tornau investigates the representation of learned pagans in Augustine's De civitate Dei and in Macrobius' Saturnalia. Augustine characterizes them as obstinati, always ready to respond to his arguments, given to dissimulatio, and learned. As for Macrobius' Saturnalia, Tornau accepts the dating around A.D. 430, widely (although not universally) supported by scholars, and traces a picture of the noble heathens who are the protagonists of this dialogue focused on learning. He is certainly right to state that the character of Evangelus constitutes an "Anti-Ideal" (310), although the identification with the historical person mentioned by Symmachus in Ep. 6.7 may not be so sure. His name, together with his designation of Vergil as vester rather than noster, may suggest an allusion to Christianity as well--although Tornau is not inclined to admit this (320); in this case his strongly negative presentation would be telling. Indeed, Macrobius' ideal of learning also includes a religious aspect, which is pagan and only pagan, as Tornau himself rightly acknowledges (312-313). The allegoresis of poetic and mythological texts, embraced by Macrobius (314-315) and by pagan Neoplatonists, is part of this agenda,14 as is the cult of vetustas (318).

Paulinus of Nola's speculation on the nature of Christ, with special attention to Carmen 23, is the focus of Schierl's paper. She tries to clarify how Paulinus, the correspondent of Augustine and Jerome, was related to the Christian-philosophical discourse of his day. An analysis of Paulinus' Letter 16.6 shows that for him philosophia is oriented to Christ, the summa sapientiae. Mary's virginal conception is one of the Christological themes treated by Paulinus in his poetry: he does not fear to say that Mary's child is the eternal Creator and Lord of the universe, adhering to the notion of Mary as theotokos. Schierl painstakingly analyzes how Paulinus in various places presents Christ: the fact that he penetrates everything (336), I observe, is a typical feature of the presentation of Christ as the Logos in Patristic authors, e.g. Origen and Nyssa. Water and oil, which do not mingle, well represent the union and distinction of human and divine nature in Christ; other metaphors applied to Christ are studied, such as that of the light, under which of course Schierl detects Plato's metaphor of the sun for the Good, but also closer relationships with Ambrose, Isaac 8.79, where he adapted Plotinus Enn. 1.6.9.

Harich-Schwarzbauer deals with the literary representation of philosophical discourse in Claudianus. Both Augustine and Orosius depict him as a pagan, but it is possible that he converted to Christianity. Harich-Schwarzbauer mentions the highly significant Carm. Min. 32 De Salvatore, where the mystery of Jesus' incarnation is interpreted in Neoplatonic terms, and opportunely refers to Moreschini's discussion of the status quaestionis on how Claudianus used both pagan and Christian philosophical motives.15 Harich-Schwarzbauer reconstructs Claudianus' biography in the years 395-404, those from which his poetry stems, and examines his literary portrait of the Neoplatonist Flavius Mallius Theodorus, tracing the philosophical themes therein. Interesting relationships to the circle of Theon and Hypatia are indicated. Symbolism in the series of Carm. Min. 33-39 De crystallo is highlighted; it points to the divine and alludes to the double nature of Christ.

Mratschek investigates the reception of Pliny the Younger and of the culture of the epoch of Trajan in Sidonius Apollinaris and his circle. Sidonius and Pliny were, moreover, "compatriots." Mratschek shows how Sidonius and his circle received Pliny's idealized image of Trajan and the representation of aristocracy; she points out Sidonius' ideal of erudition based on the reading of the classic authors. This is also clear in Sidonius' contemporaries, Polemius, Ruricius, and Leo, as Mratschek shows, and in the statues and other decorations that adorned Sidonius' and his peers' villas.

Vössing offers an interesting comparison between Augustine and Martianus Capella, who both worked in Carthage in Late Antiquity, were sensitive to the issue of learning, and wrote analogous works. Of course, one difficulty for this comparison lies in the absence of almost any information regarding Martianus' life and dates. After a brief presentation of Martianus' De Nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii, Vössing argues for a dating that makes Martianus an exact contemporary of Augustine. Of course he analyzes the ironic "sphragis" in Nupt. 9.997-1000, the subscriptions, which present Martianus as "Afer Carthaginiensis," and 6.637, where of Rome Martianus says, "quamdiu viguit." This offers a possible terminus post quem. The terminus ante quem is established to A.D. 439, the year of the fall of Carthage due to the Vandals, on the basis of 6.669 and 9.999, where the present prosperity of Carthage is asserted. Vössing also analyzes the famous subscription of Securus Melior Felix, which is found in 25 out of 241 manuscripts and refers to a consulate of a Paulinus, datable to either 498 or 534. In conclusion, he prefers the traditional dating to A.D. 410-439. Martianus' relationship to Christianity is next investigated, and of course 6.637 is again brought to attention: Rome "viguit armis, viris sacrisque," where these "sacra" indicate pagan religion; moreover, Martianus never mentions Christianity and his work is replete with traditional deities, including the Muses. In this connection Vössing tackles the question of the importance and meaning of the artes liberales for Martianus and Augustine. He endorses Bovey's thesis that Martianus opposed the Christian tendency to separate the disciplinae and the artes (later quadrivium and trivium respectively), but notes that this tendency began, not with Cassiodorus, but with Augustine.

This, of which I could offer only an extremely selective outline due to its richness, is a careful work, also from the editorial point of view. I came across only a few misprints (e.g. on 53 "Origines" for "Origenes"; on 150 the doubling of "ergo eius crimen?"; on 158 note 73 "iudice stabunt" instead of "iudices stabunt"). Moreover, it is not merely a juxtaposition of its parts, but tends to form a coherent whole, full of insights and of valuable suggestions also for further research, which promises to be very rewarding in this field. In particular, Patristic philosophy is one of the most prominent and fruitful areas of study in Late Antiquity, and still needs and deserves much scrupulous, insightful, and competent investigation.

Table of contents:


Stefan Rebenich, "Freund und Feind bei Augustin und in der christlichen Spätantike"

Hartmut Leppin, "Zum politischen Denken des Ambrosius -- Das Kaisertum als pastorales Problem"

Sabine Föllinger, "Der Trick des Krebses: Ambrosius und die pagane Biologie"

Therese Fuhrer, "Augustin in Mailand"

Stefan Faller, "Lebensgeschichtliche Anhaltspunkte in Augustins Contra Academicos"

Karla Pollmann, "Exegese ohne Grenzen -- Augustins Genesisauslegungen im Kontext"

Johannes van Oort, "Heeding and Hiding Their Particular Knowledge? An Analysis of Augustine's Dispute with Fortunatus"

Christoph Horn, "Augustinus über politische Ethik und legitime Staatsgewalt"

Eva-Maria Kuhn, "Justice Applied by the Episcopal Arbitrator: Augustine and the Implementation of Divine Justice"

Hanns Christoph Brennecke, "Augustin und der 'Arianismus'"

Michael Erler, "Die helfende Hand Gottes. Augustins Gnadenlehre im Kontext des kaiserzeitliches Platonismus"

Volker Henning Drecoll, "Innerkirchlicher Diskurs und Meinungsführerschaft -- Augustins Gnadenlehre in synodalen texten aus dem Pelagianischen Streit"

Winrich Löhr, "Augustin, Pelagius, und der Streit um die christliche Lebensform"

Mathjis Lamberigts, "The Philosophical and Theological Background of Julian of Aeclanum's Concept of Concupiscence"

Johannes Brachtendorf, "Augustinus und der philosophische Weisheitsbegriff"

Dorothee Elm von der Osten, "Perpetua Felicitas: Die Predigten des Augustinus zur Passio Perpetuae et Felicitatis"

Christian Tornau, "Die Heiden des Augustinus. Das Porträt des paganen Gebildeten in De Civitate Dei und in den Saturnalien des Macrobius"

Petra Schierl, "Paulinus von Nola: Poetische Reflexionen über das Wesen Christi"

Henriette Harich-Schwarzbauer, "Dokumentation, Historisierung, gelehrte Andeutung und spielerische Enthaltung. Zur literarischen Repräsentation philosophischer Diskurse bei Claudius Claudianus"

Sigrid Mratschek, "Identitätsstiftung aus der Vergangenheit: Zum Diskurs über die trajanische Bildungskultur im Kreis des Sidonius Apollinaris"

Konrad Vössing, "Augustinus und Martianus Capella -- ein Diskurs im Spätantiken Karthago?"


1.   See my Apocatastasi, Milan: Vita e Pensiero, 2009, ch. 1.
2.   In "Gregory of Nyssa's Christianized Form of the Stoic Oikeiôsis," in Homo Romanus Graeca Oratione: from 2nd to 4th centuries; 300 years of Greek culture in the Roman Empire, International Conference Barcelona University, 12-14 March 2009, forthcoming.
3.   I would have liked to see the Stoic Hierocles included, for the biological interest of his Elements of Ethics (on which see my Hierocles the Stoic, Atlanta-Leiden: SBL-Brill, 2009), but clearly the summary form dictated the omission of many authors.
4.   Therese Fuhrer - Michael Erler (eds.), Zur Rezeption der hellenistischen Philosophie in der Spätantike, Stuttgart: Steiner, 1999.
5.   Demonstration in my Apocatastasi, ch. 2.
6.   Gyorgy Heidl, Origen's Influence on the Young Augustine, Louaize-Piscataway: Gorgias, 2003. He also identifies the "libri pleni" with the books of "maiores nostri" mentioned in De Ordine 1.11.31, i.e. books by Christian authors. As De Ordine was written in November 386 at Cassiciacum, the reading probably took place in Milan and may coincide with that of the "libri pleni."
7.   In my "Slavery as a Necessary Evil or as an Evil that Must Be Abolished?," Annual Meeting of the SBL, Boston, November 21-25, 2008, forthcoming.
8.   Perkins, Roman Imperial Identities in the Christian Era, Routledge Monographs in Classical Studies, London: Routledge, 2008, with my review in Review of Biblical Literature 04/2009.
9.   "Lettera di Costantino alla Chiesa di Alessandria e lettera del Sinodo di Nicea agli Egiziani: i falsi sconosciuti da Atanasio?" Gregorianum 88 (2008).
10.   See "The Trinitarian Theology of Gregory of Nyssa in his In Illud: Tunc et ipse Filius: His Polemic against 'Arian' Subordinationism and the Apokatastasis," in International Congress on Gregory of Nyssa, Tübingen Sept. 2008, forthcoming.
11.   Argument in Ilaria Ramelli, "La coerenza della soteriologia origeniana: dalla polemica contro il determinismo gnostico all'universale restaurazione escatologica," in Pagani e cristiani alla ricerca della salvezza. Atti del XXXIV Incontro di Studiosi dell'Antichità Cristiana, Roma, Istituto Patristico Augustinianum, 5-7 maggio 2005, Rome: Augustinianum, 2006, 661-688.
12.   For documentation and a demonstration that Perpetua's narrative has specific linguistic features, see my "Il dossier di Perpetua: una rilettura storica e letteraria," Rendiconti dell'Istituto Lombardo Accademia di Scienze e Lettere 139 (2005) 309-352.
13.   Dodaro, Christ and the Just Society, 86.
14.   See my essay, "Macrobio allegorista neoplatonico e il tardo platonismo latino," in Macrobio. Commento al Sogno di Scipione, ed. Moreno Neri, Milan: Bompiani 2007, 5-163.
15.   Claudio Moreschini, "Paganus pervicacissimus: religione e 'filosofia' in Claudiano," in Widu-Wolfgang Ehlers, Fritz Felgentreu, Stephen Wheeler (eds.), Aetas Claudianea, Leipzig: Saur, 2004, 57-77.

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