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Text and Artifact in the Religions of Mediterranean Antiquity

Essays in Honour of Peter Richardson

Edited by Stephen G. Wilson & Michel Desjardins
Subjects Religion
Series Studies in Christianity and Judaism Hide Details
Hardcover : 9780889203563, 632 pages, May 2000

Table of contents

Table of Contents for
Text and Artifact in the Religions of Mediterranean Antiquity: Essays in Honour of Peter Richardson, edited by Stephen G. Wilson and Michel Desjardins


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Part One: Peter Richardson: Writer and Teacher

Giving to Peter What Has Belonged to Paul | Michel Desjardins

The Professor's House | Laurence Broadhurt

Part Two: Text and Artifact in the New Testament World

Reading the Text and Digging the Past: The First Audience of Romans | Lloyd Gaston

Peter in the Middle: Galatians 2:11-21 | L. Ann Tervis

Phoebe, the Servant-Benefactor and Gospel Traditions | Roman Garrison

Paul and the Caravanners: A Proposal on the Mode of ``Passing Through Mysia'' | Robert Jewett

Benefaction Gone Wrong: The ``Sin'' of Ananias and Sapphira in Context | Richard S. Ascough

Isaiah 5:1-7, the Parable of the Tenants and Vineyard Leases on Papyrus | John S. Kloppenborg

The Parable of the Tenants and the Class Consciousness of the Peasantry | William E. Arnal

Placing Jesus of Nazareth: Toward a Theory of Place in the Study of the Historical Jesus | Halvor Moxnes

Irony, Text and Artifact: Cross and Superscription in the Passion Narratives | Paul W. Gooch

On the Relation of Text and Artifact: Some Cautionary Tales | James D. G. Dunn

Part Three: Text and Artifact in the World of Christian Origins

Physiotherapy of Femininity in the Acts of Thecla | Willi Braun

Sex and the Single God: Celibacy as Social Deviancy in the Roman Period | Calvin J. Roetzel

``Good Luck on Your Resurrection'': Beth She'arim and Paul on the Resurrection of the Dead | Richard N. Longenecker

The Earliest Evidence of an Emerging Christian Material and Visual Culture: The Codex, the Nomina Sacra and the Staurogram | Larry W. Hurtado

The Aesthetic Origins of Early Christian Architecture | Graydon F. Snyder

``Ascent and Descent'' in the Constantinian Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem | Wendy Pullan

Part Four: Text and Artifact in the World of Late-Antique Judaism

Better Homes and Gardens: Women and Domestic Space in the Books of Judith and Susanna | Adele Reinhartz

Tyros, the ``Floating Palace'' | Ehud Netzer

Epigraphic Evidence for Jewish Defectors | Stephen G. Wilson

Jerusalem Ossuary Inscriptions and the Status of Jewish Proselytes | Terence L. Donaldson

Behind the Names: Samaritans, Ioudaioi, Galileans | Sean Freyne

Friendship and Second Temple Jewish Sectarianism | Wayne O. McCready

What Josephus Says about the Essenes in his Judean War | Steven Mason

The Archaeological Artifacts of Masada and the Credibility of Josephus | William Klassen

Mishnah's Rhetoric, Other Material Artifacts of Late-Roman Galilee and the Social Formation of the Early Rabbinic Guild | Jack N. Lightstone

Part Five: Text and Artifact in the Greco-Roman World

Apuleius to Symmachus (and Stops in Between): Pietas, Realia and the Empire | Harold Remus

Apuleius the Novelist, Apuleius the Ostian Householder and the Mithraeum of the Seven Spheres: Further Explorations of an Hypothesis of Filippo Coarelli | Roger Beck


Subject Index

Modern Authors Index

Ancient Sources Index


Can archaeological remains be made to “speak” when brought into conjunction with texts? Can written remains, on stone or papyrus, shed light on the parables of Jesus, or on the Jewish view of afterlife? What are the limits to the use of artifactual data, and when is the value overstated? Text and Artifact addresses the complex and intriguing issue of how primary religious texts from the ancient Mediterranean world are illuminated by, and in turn illuminate, the ever-increasing amount of artifactual evidence available from the surrounding world.

The book honours Peter Richardson, and the first two chapters offer appreciations of this scholarship and teaching. The remaining chapters focus on early Christianity, late-antique Judaism and topics germane to the Roman world at large. Many of the essays relate to features of Jewish life — the epigraphic evidence for gentile converts to Judaism or for Jewish defectors, ancient accounts of the Essenes or of the siege of Masada, and the material context of the first great rabbinic work, the Mishnah. Other essays connect early Christian texts with the social and cultural realia of their day — modes of travel, notions of gender, patronage and benefaction, the relation of tenants and owners — or reflect on the aesthetics of Christian architecture and the relation between building and ritual in Constantinian churches. One study relates the writing of the famous novelist Apuleius to a household mithraeum in Ostia, while another explores the changing appropriation of religious realia as the Roman world became Christian.

These wide-ranging and original studies demonstrate clearly that texts and artifacts can be mutually supportive. Equally, they point to ways in which artifacts, no less than texts, are inherently ambiguous and teach us to be cautious in our conclusions.