Book Review: Animals in Greek and Roman Religion and Myth

Grumentum, the old Roman city known today as Grumento Nova in the Basilicata region of Southern Italy, was the place chosen to hold the symposium “The Role of Animals in Ancient Myth and Religion”. Between the 5 and 7 of June 2013, scholars from diverse backgrounds maintained a dialogue about the different roles that were given to animals during Ancient Greece and Rome.

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Book Review: Antiquity in Popular Literature and Culture

This volume is a collection of essays which derive from a 2014 conference at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland. Together they seek, as Martin M. Winkler notes in his useful introduction, to demonstrate “the continuing presence of the past or, to put it slightly differently, the importance of the past in the present and, by extension, for the future” (p.xiii).

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Book Announcement: Rejuvenating Medical Education: Seeking Help from Homer

Rejuvenating Medical Education: Seeking Help from Homer now available from Cambridge Scholars Publishing

Hardback, pp325, £68.99 / $117.95

Cambridge Scholars Publishing is pleased to announce the publication of Rejuvenating Medical Education: Seeking Help from Homer by Robert Marshall and Alan Bleakley.

Returning to Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey for inspiration, this book uses these epics as a medium through which we might think imaginatively about key issues in contemporary medicine and medical education. These issues include doctors as heroes, and the legacy of heroic medicine in an age of clinical teamwork, collaboration and a more feminine medicine. The authors challenge ingrained habits in medical education, such as the way we characteristically “train” medical students to communicate with patients and colleagues; the reduction of compassion to the “skill” of empathy; the rote recital of the medical history as a “song”; and the new vogue for “resilience” as response to increasing levels of stress and burnout in the profession. Continue reading

Ancient Rome in the Era of Trajan – Cambridge Scholars Publishing

This August, Cambridge Scholars is marking the 1900th anniversary of the death of the Roman emperor Trajan. Trajan was the first of Rome’s emperors to have been born outside Italy (in Spain) and under whom the empire reached its greatest extent before his death in August 117 CE. In his biography of the Spanish-born emperor, Dr Julian Bennett writes that “to Trajan … belongs the praise for bringing the developing principate to its zenith, and the embryonic imperium to its nascence.”

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Book Announcement: Varian Studies Volume Two: Elagabal

Varian Studies Volume Two: Elagabal now available from Cambridge Scholars Publishing

Hardback, pp346, £64.99 / $105.95

Cambridge Scholars Publishing is pleased to announce the publication of Varian Studies Volume Two: Elagabal by Leonardo de Arrizabalaga y Prado and Raúl de la Fuente Marcos.

Elagabal is the name of the Syrian sun god whose high priest Varius was, at the same time as Roman emperor, AD 218–222. Because of this connexion, Varius was misnamed Heliogabalus or Elagabalus long after his death. Second in the series Varian Studies, this book discusses Elagabal’s architectural and sculptural artefacts in Rome. These are represented by the Palatine site of the Varian Temple of Elagabal in Rome, and by relief sculpture on column capitals found in the Roman Forum, showing Elagabal with other deities, in a scene of sacrifice here reconstructed as Elagabal’s Idyll. The Varian Temple of Elagabal in Rome confirms on topographical grounds an hypothesis regarding the site of that temple on the Palatine, concurring with current archaeological opinion based on other grounds. It also shows that the site in question has definite astronomical implications. Elagabal’s Idyll gives a full account of scholarship concerning the three column capitals and the debate about their origin and function. It then goes on to analyse the iconography of one of them in order to explore the cosmology, theology and ritual of the cult of Elagabal. Continue reading