From Shame to Sin

The Christian Transformation of Sexual Morality in Late Antiquity

Kyle Harper, 2013


When Rome was at its height, an emperor’s male beloved, victim of an untimely death, would be worshipped around the empire as a god. In this same society, the routine sexual exploitation of poor and enslaved women was abetted by public institutions. Four centuries later, a Roman emperor commanded the mutilation of men caught in same-sex affairs, even as he affirmed the moral dignity of women without any civic claim to honor. The gradual transformation of the Roman world from polytheistic to Christian marks one of the most sweeping ideological changes of premodern history. At the center of it all was sex. Exploring sources in literature, philosophy, and art, Kyle Harper examines the rise of Christianity as a turning point in the history of sexuality and helps us see how the roots of modern sexuality are grounded in an ancient religious revolution.

While Roman sexual culture was frankly and freely erotic, it was not completely unmoored from constraint. Offending against sexual morality was cause for shame, experienced through social condemnation. The rise of Christianity fundamentally changed the ethics of sexual behavior. In matters of morality, divine judgment transcended that of mere mortals, and shame — a social concept — gave way to the theological notion of sin. This transformed understanding led to Christianity’s explicit prohibitions of homosexuality, extramarital love, and prostitution. Most profound, however, was the emergence of the idea of free will in Christian dogma, which made all human action, including sexual behavior, accountable to the spiritual, not the physical, world.

(Text by the author)




Introduction: From City to Cosmos

  1. The Moralities of Sex in the Roman Empire
  2. The Will and the World in Early Christian Sexuality
  3. Church, Society, and Sex in the Age of Triumph
  4. Revolutionizing Romance in the Late Classical World

Conclusion: Sex and the Twilight of Antiquity





Learning Greek with Plato

A Beginner’s Course in Classical Greek


Frank Beetham, 2007


Adult learners of ancient Greek are often attracted to it by the prospect of being able to read in the original a particular author or genre. Greek philosophical writing and Plato in particular is often the target. This book’s material has been tried and tested by the author over the years with adult classes, and can be used as a course textbook, or as a handbook for self-teaching. Each of 25 sections is clearly laid out – with tabulation of Greek word-forms and grammar. Each includes ample exercises and practice in reading Greek sentences. Readings in later sections consist of passages of continuous Greek from Plato’s Meno, a typical Platonic dramatic dialogue.

(Text by the author)


Table of Contents:



Introduction: Background to Plato’s Meno


Section 1

The Alphabet, Punctuation and Accents


Section 2

The Verb « I am »

Asking Questions

Nouns and Declensions




Section 3

Subjects and Verbs – Verb Endings

Personal Pronouns

Neuter Plural Subjects


Section 4

The Object

Accusative of Respect or Manner

Note on Greek Dialects


Section 5

Verbs – Middle and Passive Endings « This »,


Section 6

The Present Infinitive


The Genitive Case


Section 7


The Dative Case

« Who? » and « What? »

« Someone » and « Something »

The Vocative Case

Third and Mixed Declension Adjectivess


Section 8


Verbs – Overview of Tenses

The Imperfect Tense


Translating Plato’s Meno 70a1-70c3


Section 9

The Perfect Tense

The Perfect Tense Middle and Passive

Translating Plato’s Meno 70c3-71c4


Section 10

Demonstrative Pronouns

Present Participles

The Perfect Active Participle

Middle and Passive Participles

Translating Plato’s Meno 71c5-72a5


Section 11

« Every »/ « All »

The Aorist Tense

The Weak Aorist Indicative Active

The Weak Aorist Indicative Middle

Kinds of Condition

Translating Plato’s Meno 72a6-72d3


Section 12

Multiple Questions

The Future Active

The Future Middle

The Subjunctive Mood

Infinitive as Subject and Object

Future and General Conditions

Translating Plato’s Meno 72d4-73c5


Section 13

Adjectives with Masculine for Feminine

The Optative Mood

Future Unlikely Conditions

Translating Plato’s Meno 73c6-74a6


Section 14

The Strong Aorist Active Tense

The Strong Aorist Middle Tense

Purpose Clauses

Translating Plato’s Meno 74a7-74e10


Section 15



Strong and Doubtful Denials

Translating Plato’s Meno 74e11-75d7


Section 16

Contraction (Verbs)

Translating Plato’s Meno 75d7-76c3


Section 17

Relative Pronouns: « Who », « What », « Which », « That »

Translating Plato’s Meno 76c4-77a2


Section 18

The Aorist Passive Tense

Translating Plato’s Meno 77a2-77e4


Section 19

The Genitive Absolute

The Future Passive Tense

Translating Plato’s Meno 77e5-78c3


Section 20

Temporal Clauses

The Pluperfect Tense

Translating Plato’s Meno 78c4-79a2


Section 21

Contracted Adjective Endings (Third Declension)

Reported Speech

Accusative and Infinitive used for Reported Statements

Participle Construction with « Know » or « See »

Relative Clauses, Direct and Indirect Questions

Translating Plato’s Meno 79a3-79c10


Section 22

(« Because »)

(« Although »)


Multiple Negatives

Translating Plato’s Meno 79d1-79e6


Section 23

Irregular Adjectives

Comparatives and Superlatives

Translating Plato’s Meno 79e7-80b7


Section 24

Translating Plato’s Meno 80b8-81a10


Section 25

Impersonal Verbs

Accusative Absolute

Verbal Adjectives

Reflexive Pronouns

Translating Plato’s Meno 81a10-81e6



Cases and Prepositions

Summary of Voice, Mood, Tense and Aspect in the Greek Verb

Word Order



Declension of Nouns, Adjectives and Pronouns

Reference List of Verb Endings and Irregular Verbs


Word List

Principal Tenses of Some of the More Difficult Verbs


Les impondérables de l’hellénisation. Littérature d’hiérogrammates 


Derchain P., 2000


Table des matières :


I. Les impondérables de l’hellénisation

Les règles du jeu

Un conseiller de la première heure

Le zèle d’un néophyte ?

Un provincial hellénisé à la Cour de Philadelphe

Épigramme pour la mort d’un enfant

Pour finir


II. Littérature d’hiérogrammates

Traduction des témoignages


Éthique de la traduction

L’inscription du conseiller

L’inscription d’Horembeb

Les inscriptions de Sesoucheri

La statue de Qous

La statue de Coptos

L’épigramme de Pétosiris

Annexe : la stèle d’Isemkhetés



III. Textes hiéroglyphiques

Vienne 20 (d’après CAA)

CGC 1230 (D’après Borchardt/Daressy)

BM 1668 (avec l’autorisation gracieuse des Trustees du British Museum)

CGC 70031 (d’après Petrie)

Pétosiris 56 (d’après Lefebvre)

Philosophy and Salvation in Greek Religion


Ed. by Adluri, Vishwa


Ever since Vlastos’ “Theology and Philosophy in Early Greek Thought,” scholars have known that a consideration of ancient philosophy without attention to its theological, cosmological and soteriological dimensions remains onesided. Yet, philosophers continue to discuss thinkers such as Parmenides and Plato without knowledge of their debt to the archaic religious traditions. Perhaps our own religious prejudices allow us to see only a “polis religion” in Greek religion, while our modern philosophical openness and emphasis on reason induce us to rehabilitate ancient philosophy by what we consider the highest standard of knowledge: proper argumentation. Yet, it is possible to see ancient philosophy as operating according to a different system of meaning, a different “logic.” Such a different sense of logic operates in myth and other narratives, where the argument is neither completely illogical nor rational in the positivist sense. The articles in this volume undertake a critical engagement with this unspoken legacy of Greek religion. The aim of the volume as a whole is to show how, beyond the formalities and fallacies of arguments, something more profound is at stake in ancient philosophy: the salvation of the philosopher-initiate.


(Text by the editor)




Vishwa Adluri – Philosophy, Salvation, and the Mortal Condition

Miguel Herrero de Juregui – Salvation for the Wanderer: Odysseus, the Gold Leaves, and Empedocles

Arbogast Schmitt – Self-Determination and Freedom: The Relationship of God and Man in Homer. Translated by Joydeep Bagchee

Walter Burkert – Parmenides’ Proem and Pythagoras’ Descent. Translated by Joydeep Bagchee

Alberto Bernabé – Ὁ Πλάτων παρωιδεῖ τὰ Ὀρφέως Plato’s Transposition of Orphic Netherworld Imagery

Barbara Sattler – The Eleusinian Mysteries in Pre-Platonic Thought: Metaphor, Practice and Imagery for Plato’s Symposium

Stephen Menn – Plato’s Soteriology ?

Vishwa Adluri & John Lenz – From Politics to Salvation through Philosophy: Herodotus’ Histories and Plato’s Republic

John Bussanich – Rebirth Eschatology in Plato and Plotinus

Luc Brisson – Memory and the Soul’s Destiny in Plotinus. Translated by Michael Chase

Svetla Slaveva-Griffin – Between the Two Realms: Plotinus’ Pure Soul

John Finamore – Iamblichus, Theurgy, and the Soul’s Ascent

About the Contributors


Index of terms

Mystical Monotheism: A Study in Ancient Platonic Theology


John Peter Kenney, 2010


In this engaging and provocative study, John Peter Kenney examines the emergence of monotheism within Greco-Roman philosophical theology by tracing the changing character of ancient realism from Plato through Plotinus. Besides acknowledging the philosophical and theological significance of such ancient thinkers as Plutarch, Numenius, Alcinous, and Atticus, he demonstrates the central importance of Plotinus in clarifying the relation of the intelligible world to divinity. Kenney focuses especially on Plotinus’s novel concept of deity, arguing that it constitutes a type of mystical monotheism based upon an ultimate and inclusive divine One beyond description or discursive knowledge.

Presenting difficult material with grace and clarity, Kenney takes a wide-ranging view of the development of ancient Platonic theology from a philosophical perspective and synthesizes familiar elements in a new way. His is a revisionist thesis with significant implications for the study of Greco-Roman, Jewish, and Christian thought in this period and for the history of Western religious thought in general.

(Text by the author)


Table of Contents




I The Foundations of Hellenic Monotheism

1 Degrees of Reality

2 Divine Ideas

3 The Emergence of Hellenic Monotheism

4 The Demiurgic Theology of Plutarch

5 Early Platonic Theism


II The Demotion of the Demiurge

1 Numenius and the Degrees of Divinity

2 The Didaskalikos of Alcinous

3 The Exemplarism of the Athenian School

4 Middle Platonic Theology


III The Mystical Monotheism of Plotinus

1 Divine Simplicity

2 Intellect and Ideas

3 Hid Divinity


Conclusion: Mystical Monotheism




Religion in the Ancient Greek City 


Louise Bruit Zaidman  (Author), Pauline Schmitt Pantel (Author), Paul Cartledge (Translator), 2000


This book is an English translation of the French work La Religion Grecque. Its purpose is to consider how religious beliefs and cultic rituals were given expression in ancient Greece. The chapters cover first ritual and then myth, rooting the account in the practices of the classical city while also taking seriously the world of the imagination. For this edition the bibliography has been substantially revised to meet the needs of a mainly student, English-speaking readership. The book is enriched throughout by illustrations, and by quotations from original sources.

(Text by the authors)



List of illustrations

Author’s preface to the English translation

Translator’s introduction

List of sources

PART I – Introduction: How should we study Greek civic religion?

1 – The necessity of cultural estrangement

2 – Some fundamental notions

3 – Sources of evidence

PART II – Cult-practices

4 – Rituals

5 – Religious personnel

6 – Places of cult

7 – Rites of passage

8 – Settings of religious life

9 – Religion and political life

10 – The festival system: the Athenian case

11 – The Panhellenic cults

PART III – Systems for representing the divine

12 – Myths and mythology

13 – A polytheistic religion

14 – Forms of imaginative projection

PART IV – Envoi

15 – Concluding reflections


I – The classical Greek temple

II – The monuments of the Athenian Akropolis



Greek Thought

A Guide to Classical Knowledge


Edited by Jacques Brunschwig and Geoffrey E. R. Lloyd; Translated by Catherine Porter, 2000


Ancient Greek thought is the essential wellspring from which the intellectual, ethical, and political civilization of the West draws and to which, even today, we repeatedly return. In more than sixty essays by an international team of scholars, this volume explores the full breadth and reach of Greek thought — investigating what the Greeks knew as well as what they thought about what they knew, and what they believed, invented, and understood about the conditions and possibilities of knowing. Calling attention to the characteristic reflexivity of Greek thought, the analysis in this book reminds us of what our own reflections owe to theirs.

In sections devoted to philosophy, politics, the pursuit of knowledge, major thinkers, and schools of thought, this work shows us the Greeks looking at themselves, establishing the terms for understanding life, language, production, and action. The authors evoke not history, but the stories the Greeks told themselves about history; not their poetry, but their poetics; not their speeches, but their rhetoric. Essays that survey political, scientific, and philosophical ideas, such as those on Utopia and the Critique of Politics, Observation and Research, and Ethics; others on specific fields from Astronomy and History to Mathematics and Medicine; new perspectives on major figures, from Anaxagoras to Zeno of Elea; studies of core traditions from the Milesians to the various versions of Platonism: together these offer a sense of the unquenchable thirst for knowledge that marked Greek civilization—and that Aristotle considered a natural and universal trait of humankind. With thirty-two pages of color illustrations, this work conveys the splendor and vitality of the Greek intellectual adventure.

(Text by the editors)




Translators’ Note

Introduction: On Home Ground in a Distant Land



The Philosopher

Images of the World

Myth and Knowledge

The Question of Being




The Statesman As Political Actor

Inventing Politics

Utopia and the Critique of Politics

The Sage and Politics

The Pursuit of Knowledge

Schools and Sites of Learning

Observation and Research

Demonstration and the Idea of Science














Theology and Divination

Theories of Religion

Major Figures
























Currents of Thought

The Academy



Hellenism and Christianity

Hellenism and Judaism

The Milesians








Illustration Sources


Ancient Mediterranean Philosophy. An Introduction


Stephen Clark, 2013


Although the Greeks were responsible for the first systematic philosophy of which we have any record, they were not alone in the Mediterranean world and were happy to draw inspiration from other traditions; traditions that are now largely neglected by philosophers and scholars. This book tells the story of ‘Greek Philosophy’, paying due attention to its historical context and the contributions made by Egyptians, Hebrews, Persians and even barbarians from northern Europe. Stephen Clark provides a narrative history of the philosophical traditions that took shape over several centuries in the Mediterranean world and offers a comprehensive survey of this crucial period in the history of philosophy.

The book includes a thorough historical and philosophical overview of all the key thinkers, events and ideas that characterized the period and explores in detail central themes such as the contest of gods and giants, the contrast between the reality and appearance, and the idea of the philosopher. Ideal for undergraduate students, this concise and accessible book provides a comprehensive guide to a fascinating period in the history of philosophy.

(Text by the author)


Table of contents





1. Beginnings

2. Influence from Outside

3. Inspired Thinkers

4. Travellers and Stay-at-Homes

5. Divine Plato

6. The Aristotelian Synthesis

7. Living the Philosophical Life

8. Ordinary and Supernatural Lives

9. Late Antiquity

10. An End and a Beginning


Recommended Reading

Works Cited


Christians, Gnostics and Philosophers in Late Antiquity


Mark Edwards, 2012


Gnosticism, Christianity and late antique philosophy are often studied separately; when studied together they are too often conflated. These articles set out to show that we misunderstand all three phenomena if we take either approach. We cannot interpret, or even identify, Christian Gnosticism without Platonic evidence; we may even discover that Gnosticism throws unexpected light on the Platonic imagination. At the same time, if we read writers like Origen simply as Christian Platonists, or bring Christians and philosophers together under the porous umbrella of « monotheism », we ignore fundamental features of both traditions. To grasp what made Christianity distinctive, we must look at the questions asked in the studies here, not merely what Christians appropriated but how it was appropriated. What did the pagan gods mean to a Christian poet of the fifth century? What did Paul quote when he thought he was quoting Greek poetry? What did Socrates mean to the Christians, and can we trust their memories when they appeal to lost fragments of the Presocratics? When pagans accuse the Christians of moral turpitude, do they know more or less about them than we do? What divides Augustine, the disenchanted Platonist, from his Neoplatonic contemporaries? And what God or gods await the Neoplatonist when he dies?

(Text by the author)





Part I Christians and Pagans in Dispute: Quoting Aratus: Acts 17.28

Some early Christian immoralities

Justin’s logos and the word of God

Satire and verisimilitude: Christianity in Lucian’s Peregrinus

Xenophanes Christianus?

Pagan and Christian monotheism in the age of Constantine

Notes on the date and venue of the Oration to the Saints

Dracontius the African and the fate of Rome.

Part II Gnostic Thought and its Milieu: Gnostics and Valentians in the church fathers

Neglected texts in the study of Gnosticism

Pauline Platonism: the myth of Valentinus

The tale of Cupid and Psyche

Porphyry’s Cave of the Nymphs and the Gnostic controversy

Part III Christianity and the Platonic Tradition: Socrates and the early Church’ Origen’s Platonism: questions and caveats

Ammonius, teacher of Origen

Birth, death and divinity in Porphyry’s Life of Plotinus

Porphyry and the intelligible triad

The figure of love in Augustine and in Proclus the neoplatonist


Dreams as Divine Communication in Christianity: From Hermas to Aquinas


Series : Studies in the History and Anthropology of Religion, 3

Editor : Koet B.J., 2012


In the book presented here, one encounters dreams and visions from the history of Christianity. Faculty members of the Tilburg School of Theology (TST; Tilburg University, The Netherlands) and other (Dutch and Flemish) experts in theology, Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages present a collection of articles examining the phenomenon of dreaming in the Christian realm from the first to the thirteenth century. Their aim is to investigate the dream world of Christians as a source of historical theology and spirituality. They try to show and explain the importance and function of dreams in the context of the texts discussed, meanwhile making these texts accessible and understandable to the people of today. By contextualizing those dreams in their own historical imagery, the authors want to give the reader some insight into the fascinating dream world of the past, which in turn will inspire him or her to consider the dream world of today.

(Text by the editor)




Notes on Contributors

B.J. KOET, Introducing Dreaming from Hermas to Aquinas

J. VERHEYDEN AND M. GRUNDEKEN, The Spirit Before the Letter: Dreams and Visions as the Legitimation of the Shepherd of Hermas. A Study of Vision

K. DE BRABANDER, Tertullian’s Theory of Dreams (De anima 45-49): Some Observations towards a Better Understanding

V. HUNINK, ‘With the Taste of Something Sweet Still in my Mouth’: Perpetua’s Visions

B.J. KOET, Jerome’s and Augustine’s Conversion to Scripture through the Portal of Dreams (Ep. 22 and Conf. 3 and 8)

G. DE NIE, ‘A Smiling Serene Face’: Face-to-Face Encounters in Early Christian Dream Visions

A. SMEETS, The Dazzle of Dawn: Visions, Dreams and Thoughts on Dreams by Gregory the Great

W. VERBAAL, Mysteria somniorum: Bernard of Clairvaux and the Pedagogic of Dreaming

K. PANSTERS, Franciscus somnians: Dreams in Late Medieval Franciscan Biography

G.P. FREEMAN, Clare of Assisi’s Vision of Francis: On the Interpretation of a Remarkable Vision

H. GORIS, Thomas Aquinas on Dreams

List of Abbreviations

Index of names, subjects and passages