“Paul’s Place in a First-Century Revival of the Discourse of ‘Equality’”

The discourse of “equality,” which originated in democratic Athens, revived in the first century CE, in response to growing inequality between the classes.  Symptomatic of the increase in inequality in the early Roman Empire were the numerous and widespread outbreaks of riots and uprisings in the cities of Greece and Asia Minor in the first and second centuries CE.  Among the thinkers who revisited the idea of “equality” in this period was Paul of Tarsus, who appealed to the principle of “equality” in order to encourage the Christ-believers at Corinth to contribute to a collection of money for the poor in Jerusalem.  This essay compares Paul’s concept of “equality” with those of seven contemporaries (Philo, Plutarch, Dio Chrysostom, Pseudo-Ecphantus, Diotogenes, Sthenidas, Pseudo-Arcytas).  Paul’s concept of “equality” is shown to be significantly more “democratic” that those of his contemporaries.  More importantly, Paul extends the principle of “equality” into the socio-economic sphere, making “equality” the goal of relations between those who enjoy “abundance” and those who suffer “lack.”  Paul’s extension of the principle of “equality” into the sphere of economic relations has virtually no precedent in the Greco-Roman world.  The source of Paul’s originality is sought in the egalitarian impulses that were at work in the earliest communities of Christ-believers, and finally in Paul’s own theology.…


“Space, Place, and the Race for Power: Rabbis, Demons, and the Construction of Babylonia”

Demons were an important part of Late Antique life across religious divides. This article explores how the authors of the Babylonian Talmud “think with” the demonic to produce meaningful rabbinic spaces.…


The ancient history and heritage of the Mosul region: an A–Z, Part II

July 2017 marked the official liberation of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, after more than three years of horrifying occupation by ISIS/Da’esh.…


Painting a poetic portrait

Michael Squire, Reader in Classical Art at King’s College London, introduces the picture-poems of Optatian, composed in the early fourth century AD, which are the subject of his forthcoming article ‘How to read a Roman portrait? Optation Porfyry, Constantine and the uultus Augusti’, to be published in Papers of the British School at Rome later this year


My Top 5 Journal of Hellenic Studies Articles – Part III

Douglas Cairns concludes his exploration of his favourite articles from the Journal of Hellenic Studies archive.  You can access these articles for free by following the links below, or you can read his previous post.…


My Top 5 Journal of Hellenic Studies Articles – Part II

Douglas Cairns continues exploring his favourite articles from the Journal of Hellenic Studies archive.  You can access these articles for free by following the links below, or you can read his previous post.…


My Top 5 Journal of Hellenic Studies Articles – Part I

When I was asked to name my top five Journal of Hellenic Studies articles, it seemed to me that the only way to get any kind of handle on the huge treasury of classic scholarship that the JHS archives contain would be to take a personal view.…


Unearthing past perceptions of Monte Testaccio

Lucy Donkin, Lecturer in History and History of Art at the University of Bristol, discusses her forthcoming article, ‘Mons manufactus: Rome’s man-made mountains between history and natural history’, in Papers of the British School at Rome (2017), which will shortly be published via FirstView on Cambridge Core.