On the road

It’s been a few years since I last visited Ancient Corinth and I’m glad to see things in the village are still recognizable from when I was here last. The trees in the plateia have grown taller and fuller in the last several years — it’s hard to believe that not so long ago this redesigned plateia was the main route that the big buses would take on their way into and out of the villages.

Wireless interent is now everywhere, or at least can find it at many of the tavernas and coffee shops. I was hopeful that I could do a series of posts but the connection is just spotty enough — at least at my hotel — to make it challenging to upload images of the village. My trip here, in any case, is a quick strategic strike to answer a handful of remaining research questions related to my study of the Isthmus, and I’ll write with more detail and images when I return home next week. For now, a few lovely images I managed to upload while writing this post and answering some emails.

IMG_27212014-06-01 20.57.34_m2014-06-01 20.57.20_m

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A Flight Through the Corinth Canal

I’ve said before that Corinth’s Isthmus seems to draw out the crazy in people. Think of Herodes Atticus, the wealthy aristocrat of the second century AD, beholding the landscape and consumed with a desire to cut a canal through it. Or Marcus Antonius, the grandfather of the triumvir, seeing the brilliant opportunity to portage his ships across and achieve instant fame in 101 BC.

In the modern era, cutting the canal was a Herculean effort. In more recent times, we’ve seen bungee jumping, glider flights, dramatic dog rescues, SUPing (look it up), and Robbie Maddison’s mad motorcycle jump.

The latest stunt came last week. The Hungarian Red Bull pilot, Peter Besenyei, flew his plane through the canal. He flew under bridges. He twirled. He ascended and plunged downward into the canal and did loops around the bridges. How could anyone think this is a good idea? You can read about it here and here and see the video here.

 

 

 

 

 

Besenyei commented:

“A dream has come true. The Corinth Canal, a historical place in Greece, had been a challenge for me for a long time. It feels great to be in this beautiful country, full of rich history and I especially enjoyed this unique experience.”

My take away: beware of consuming energy drinks on the Isthmus.

What’s next?

[H/t to Phyllis Graham for alerting me to the news piece.]

Posted in Canal, Corinth in the Mind, Isthmus, News Stories | Leave a comment

Corinthian Scholarship Monthly (December-February). Part 2

Here is the second part to last week’s post about new scholarship in the last three months.

You can find the full collection of articles and books related to Corinthian studies at the Corinthian Studies Zotero Page. If you don’t see URLs for articles and books below (they sometimes don’t transfer in the copy), visit the Zotero group page. The new entries are tagged according to master categories .ARCHAEOLOGY AND HISTORY or .NEW TESTAMENT AND EARLY CHRISTIAN.

As I noted previously, Version 2 of the library in RIS format is scheduled to be released by summer. I am always looking for reviewers of articles or books listed in the CSM posts. If you can write and are qualified, drop me a line.

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Adams, Edward. The Earliest Christian Meeting Places: Almost Exclusively Houses? A&C Black, 2014. http://books.google.com/books?id=FNBBAgAAQBAJ.

Angeli Bernardini, Paola, ed. Corinto: luogo di azione e luogo di racconto : atti del convengo internazionale, Urbino, 23-25 settembre 2009. Pisa [etc.]: F. Serra, 2013. http://www.libraweb.net/result1.php?dettagliononpdf=1&chiave=2848&valore=sku&name=Luogo.jpg&h=870&w=600.

Balzat, Jean-Sébastien, and Benjamin W. Millis. “M. Antonius Aristocrates: Provincial Involvement with Roman Power in the Late 1st Century B.C.” Hesperia: The Journal of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens 82, no. 4 (December 2013): 651–72. doi:10.2972/hesperia.82.4.0651.

Batchvarov, Kroum N. “Clay Pipes and Smoking Paraphernalia from the Kitten Shipwreck, an Early Nineteenth-Century Black Sea Merchantman.” International Journal of Historical Archaeology 18, no. 1 (March 1, 2014): 1–19. doi:10.1007/s10761-013-0244-z.

Bradshaw, Paul F. Rites of Ordination: Their History and Theology. Liturgical Press, 2013. http://books.google.com/books?id=shQpnQEACAAJ.

Çakırlar, C., S. Ikram, and M-H. Gates. “New Evidence for Fish Processing in the Ancient Eastern Mediterranean: Formalised Epinephelus Butchery in Fifth Century Bc Kinet Höyük, Turkey.” International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, January 1, 2014, n/a–n/a. doi:10.1002/oa.2388.

Docter, Roald, and Babette Bechtold. “Two Forgotten Amphorae from the Hamburg Excavations at Carthage (Cyprus, and the Iberian Peninsula) and Their Contexts.” Carthage Studies 5 (2011) (2013): 91–128.

Forbes, Hamish A. “Off-Site Scatters and the Manuring Hypothesis in Greek Survey Archaeology: An Ethnographic Approach.” Hesperia: The Journal of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens 82, no. 4 (December 2013): 551–94. doi:10.2972/hesperia.82.4.0551.

Hall, Jonathan M. Artifact and Artifice: Classical Archaeology and the Ancient Historian. University of Chicago Press, 2014.

Heil, Andreas, and Gregor Damschen, eds. Brill’s Companion to Seneca: Philosopher and Dramatist. Leiden: Brill, 2013. http://books.google.com/books?id=9jqOAgAAQBAJ.

Jones, Catherine M. “Theatre of Shame: The Impact of Paul’s Manual Labour on His Apostleship in Corinth.” PhD Thesis, University of St. Michael’s College, 2013. https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/handle/1807/43420.

Laios, K., G. Tsoucalas, M. Karamanou, and G. Androutsos. “The Medical–Religious Practice of Votive Offerings and the Representation of a Unique Pathognomonic One Inside the Asclepieion of Corinth.” Journal of Religion and Health, 2013, 1–6. doi:10.1007/s10943-013-9811-1.

Lambert, Craig. “Norman Naval Operations in the Mediterranean.” Journal for Maritime Research 15, no. 2 (2013): 241–43. doi:10.1080/21533369.2013.852314.

Last, Richard. “Money, Meals and Honour: The Economic and Honorific Organization of the Corinthian Ekklesia.” PhD Thesis, University of Toronto, 2013.

Nichols, Aidan. Figuring out the Church: Her Marks, and Her Masters. Ignatius Press, 2013.

Polinskaya, Irene. A Local History of Greek Polytheism: Gods, People and the Land of Aigina, 800-400 BCE. Leiden: Brill, 2013. http://books.google.com/books?id=8FqNAgAAQBAJ.

Punt, Jeremy. “Framing Human Dignity through Domination and Submission? Negotiating Borders and Loyalties (of Power) in the New Testament.” Scriptura 112 (2013): 1–17. doi:10.7833/112-0-82.

Reed, David Alan. “Paul on Marriage and Singleness:  Reading 1 Corinthians with the Augustan Marriage Laws.” PhD Thesis, University of St. Michael’s College, 2013. https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/bitstream/1807/43426/1/Reed_David_A_201311_PhD_thesis.pdf.

Rowan, Clare. “Coinage as Commodity and Bullion in the Western Mediterranean, Ca. 550–100 BCE.” Mediterranean Historical Review 28, no. 2 (2013): 105–27. doi:10.1080/09518967.2013.837638.

Saliari, Konstantina, and Erich Draganits. “Early Bronze Age Bone Tubes from the Aegean: Archaeological Context, Use and Distribution.” Archeometriai Műhely [Archaeometry Workshop], 2013, 179–92.

Schoenborn, Christoph Cardinal. The Source of Life: Exploring the Mystery of the Eucharist. Ignatius Press, 2013. http://books.google.com/books?id=oydLAgAAQBAJ.

Spinks, Bryan D. Do This in Remembrance of Me: The Eucharist from the Early Church to the Present Day. SCM Press, 2013. http://books.google.com/books?id=-309AgAAQBAJ.

Stoneman, Richard. Pindar. I.B.Tauris, 2013. http://books.google.com/books?id=jwlgAgAAQBAJ.

Thiessen, Matthew. “‘The Rock Was Christ’: The Fluidity of Christ’s Body in 1 Corinthians 10.4.” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 36, no. 2 (December 1, 2013): 103–26. doi:10.1177/0142064X13506171.

Toffolo, Michael B., Alexander Fantalkin, Irene S. Lemos, Rainer C. S. Felsch, Wolf-Dietrich Niemeier, Guy D. R. Sanders, Israel Finkelstein, and Elisabetta Boaretto. “Towards an Absolute Chronology for the Aegean Iron Age: New Radiocarbon Dates from Lefkandi, Kalapodi and Corinth.” PLoS ONE 8, no. 12 (December 26, 2013): e83117. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0083117.

Wallace, Christopher. “Ager Publicus in the Greek East: I. Priene 111 and Other Examples of Resistance to the Publicani.” Historia 63, no. 1 (2014): 38–73.

———. “Ager Publicus in the Greek East: I. Priene 111 and Other Examples of Resistance to the Publicani.” Historia 63, no. 1 (2014): 38–73.

Walsh, Justin St P. Consumerism in the Ancient World: Imports and Identity Construction. Routledge, 2013. http://books.google.com/books?id=XU83AgAAQBAJ.

Posted in Agriculture, Archaeological Discoveries, Bibliography, Ceramics, Christian - 1 Corinthians, Christian - 2 Corinthians, Christian - Churches, Christian - Patristic Interpretation, Christian - Post-Pauline, Christian - Saints, Christian - St. Paul, Coinage, Colonies of Corinth, Corinthian Scholarship (monthly), Economy, Isthmia, Isthmus, Marine Life, Periods, Archaic, Periods, Bronze Age, Periods, Byzantine, Periods, Classical, Periods, Diachronic, Periods, Frankish, Periods, Greek (Geometric-Hellenistic), Periods, Hellenistic, Periods, Medieval, Periods, Ottoman, Periods, Roman, Roman Religion, Territory, Trade and Commerce, Urban Center | Leave a comment

A New Bibliography for 1 and 2 Corinthians

It’s easy these days to locate books and articles related to St. Paul’s letters to the Corinthians. Bibliographies have proliferated online and lists of select commentaries and introductions are a dime a dozen. See, for a few examples, the bibliographic lists compiled on Bible.org, BiblicalStudies.org (with some PDF documents), Baker publishing group, the United Methodist Church (see Part IV), and Leaven (2 Corinthians).

Here at Corinthian Matters, we’ve been slowly building our New Testament collection in the Zotero Library. During the fall, Megan Piette, a history major at my school, invested hours and hours into adding hundreds of relevant New Testament entries. She keyed all articles published in three recent works related to archaeology, history, and the New Testament: Urban Religion in Roman Corinth (2005), Corinth in Context (2010), and Corinth in Contrast (2013). More impressively, she entered all relevant Corinthiaka listed in the bibliography sections of Urban Religion in Roman Corinth and Corinth in Context. Finally, she mined the references sections of a couple of commentaries and New Testament introductions. The collection is by no means exhaustive but it is a good one that includes 526 items representing major commentaries, books, and articles. Kudos to Megan for making this happen.

Thanks to batch tagging in Zotero (see my post from Thursday), I was able to categorize all of these under the master tag .NEW TESTAMENT and create a subcollection called “New Testament”. In addition, I tagged items with keywords such as “commentary”, “1 Corinthians” and “2 Corinthians”. So, if you want to find recent commentaries on 1 and 2 Corinthians, just select the two tags “.NEW TESTAMENT” and “commentary”. The search pulls up 33 items.

Zotero_Corinthians_1

I also tagged articles and books that deal with specific chapters in 1 and 2 Corinthians. So if you’re interested in relevant material on 1 Corinthians Chapter 13 (the famous love chapter), simply select the tag “_1 Cor. 13”. This is a critical component of the library because the search feature of Zotero does not work as well — since articles and abstracts use different ways of referencing the texts, e.g., “I Corinthans XIII”, “1 Cor. 13”, “First Corinthians Chapter Thirteen” etc…

Note that this tag does not pull in entire commentaries on 1 Corinthians, which obviously have something to say on that chapter.

Zotero_Corinthians_2

There are lots of holes in this bibliography, and we need another round of thorough tagging, but this is a start to providing a useful bibliographic collection related to the Corinthian correspondence and St. Paul’s Corinth. We’ll keep building the Zotero Library until some better online tool takes its place.

I invite readers with a background in New Testament studies to comment below on other accessible online bibliographic resources that can guide an interested person in locating relevant books and articles. If you have articles and books that you believe should be included, you may send them to me here.

Posted in Bibliography, Christian - 1 Corinthians, Christian - 2 Corinthians, Christian - Churches, Christian - Patristic Interpretation, Christian - Post-Pauline, Christian - Saints, Christian - St. Paul, Commentaries, Digital Corinthia | Leave a comment

The Corinthia Zotero Library: New Organization

Yesterday I discovered batch tagging in Zotero. Instead of manually changing tags one at a time (an incredibly time-consuming process), one can batch tag by dragging a selection of multiple items onto any tag in the tag selector box in the Standalone version of Zotero.

This feature effectively allowed me to tackle the tags in the library. I recategorize all 1,927 items in the Corinthia (Zotero) Bibliography Library in a couple of hours. Manually tagging those items would take days.

The tag categories I’ve created are neither perfect nor complete, but there is now a little more order to the collection than it previously had. Every item has been assigned to one of two major tag categories: .ARCHAEOLOGY AND HISTORY or .NEW TESTAMENT. These show up as the first two tags in the Tags area to the lower left of the Zotero Library (see below). The following image shows the items that appear when one selects on the master tag category .ARCHAEOLOGY AND HISTORY

Zotero_1

An item may belong to both categories in the case of – for example — archaeological and historical scholarship that is directed to or clearly relevant to New Testament studies, or New Testament scholarship that informs the history and archaeology of Corinth. In the following example, I’ve selected both master tag categories and another subcategory “Periods, Hellenistic.”

Zotero_2

I’ve also slid created subfolders for browsing called “New Testament” and “Archaeology and History” for two principal audiences of Corinthian studies. Whether one browses by main tag category or by folder, the results should be the same. Note that all 1,927 individual bibliographic items can be found in the master Library folder. An item in the sub-folder collections also exists in the master folder.

Zotero_3

NB: At the time of this update, the items are still in need of a more thorough tagging, and this will require some manual input. Where I have added tags are for main places in the Corinthia: “Corinth”, “Corinthia” (for territory), “Kenchreai”, “Lechaion”, “Isthmus of Corinth” and “Isthmia”. I’ve also added periods for many (but not all) items, e.g., “Period, Roman.” These period tags parallel the chronological designations used on this website.

For now, the visitor using the server version of the library (and not the stand-alone) should experiment with a combination of direct searches in the search box, tagging, and browsing by subfolder.

One area other that I spent cleaning up this morning was the section on New Testament studies. I’ll write more about this tomorrow.

Posted in Archaeological Discoveries, Bibliography, Christian - 1 Corinthians, Christian - 2 Corinthians, Digital Corinthia, Periods, Diachronic | Leave a comment

The American School of Classical Studies: Recent Archaeological Work

Let’s face it. Excavation is pretty boring. Hours of tedium, careful digging, and extensive notetaking with occasional glorious bursts of finds and findings (and often: nothing or very little at all). I admit that I still like the process of excavation and get enthusiastic about the prospects of discoveries that change the way we think about the local past – even when we are finding nothing.

Watching the videocast of the open meeting of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens at Athens is like watching a series of ‘highlights’ clips of a sporting event, say, basketball in March Madness (or, perhaps more accurately, like an average basketball game during regular season since the March Madness games tend to keep the attention). In these open meetings, the director offers a lecture of archaeological research in the past year both directly sponsored by the school (Corinth and Athens) and fieldwork conducted by the school’s affiliated institutions.

This year’s clip from Director James Wright gives an overview of the work of the school in 2014 and is followed by Merle Langdon’s lecture on “Rupestral Inscriptions in the Greek World”.

The bit on Corinth runs from 5:24 to 8:48 and surveys the programs of preservation and education, including plans for restoration of the Peirene Fountain and South Stoa (with discussion of the famous agonothetes / Isthmian games mosaic), excavations south of the South Stoa (which came down upon 11th century AD fills, a late antique house, and some earlier Roman levels), conservation of the Frankish city just outside of the museum, and educational programs with area schools.

Beyond Corinth, the lecture surveys recent fieldwork in the Athenian agora (near the Stoa Poikile), the Molyvoti Peninsula (in Thrace), Samothrace, Halai, Mitrou, among many others. My video crashed about the 27 minute mark yesterday so I’m not sure what lies beyond.

Posted in American School Excavations, Conferences, Lectures, and Presentations, Periods, Byzantine, Periods, Frankish, Periods, Late Antiquity, Periods, Roman, Urban Center, Video | 7 Comments

A New Book on Delphi

I was excited to see this new book on Delphi is now available for purchase via Princeton University publisher and Amazon — well ahead of the April 2 publication date originally noted by the publisher. I’ll try to run a review in the next few months. The work is relevant to Corinthian studies both because of the parallel Pan-Hellenic sanctuary at Isthmia and Corinth’s own ancient reputation as a geographic center between east and west.

Michael Scott, Delphi: A History of the Center of the Ancient World, Princeton 2014: Princeton University Press.

Cloth | 2014 | $29.95 / £19.95 | ISBN: 9780691150819

448 pp. | 6 x 9 | 8 color illus. 41 halftones. 3 maps.

eBook | ISBN: 9781400851324

The abstract from the publisher page suggests a comprehensive history of this important ancient sanctuary.

“The oracle and sanctuary of the Greek god Apollo at Delphi were known as the “omphalos”–the “center” or “navel”–of the ancient world for more than 1000 years. Individuals, city leaders, and kings came from all over the Mediterranean and beyond to consult Delphi’s oracular priestess; to set up monuments to the gods in gold, ivory, bronze, marble, and stone; and to take part in athletic and musical competitions. This book provides the first comprehensive narrative history of this extraordinary sanctuary and city, from its founding to its modern rediscovery, to show more clearly than ever before why Delphi was one of the most important places in the ancient world for so long.

In this richly illustrated account, Michael Scott covers the whole history and nature of Delphi, from the literary and archaeological evidence surrounding the site, to its rise as a center of worship with a wide variety of religious practices, to the constant appeal of the oracle despite her cryptic prophecies. He describes how Delphi became a contested sacred site for Greeks and Romans and a storehouse for the treasures of rival city-states and foreign kings. He also examines the eventual decline of the site and how its meaning and importance have continued to be reshaped right up to the present. Finally, for the modern visitor to Delphi, he includes a brief guide that highlights key things to see and little-known treasures.

A unique window into the center of the ancient world, Delphi will appeal to general readers, tourists, students, and specialists.”

Table of Contents:

Acknowledgments xi
Maps xiii
Prologue: Why Delphi? 1

Part I: Some are born great
1: Oracle 9
2: Beginnings 31
3: Transformation 51
4: Rebirth 71

Part II : Some achieve greatness
5: Fire 93
6: Domination 119
7: Renewal 139
8: Transition 163

Part III: Some have greatness thrust upon them
9: A New World 183
10: Renaissance 203
11: Final Glory? 223
12: The Journey Continues 245

Epilogue: Unearthing Delphi 269
Conclusion 285
Guide: A Brief Tour of the Delphi Site and Museum 291
Abbreviations 303
Notes 309
Bibliography 375
Index 401

Posted in Book and Article Reviews, Isthmia, Periods, Diachronic | 1 Comment