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Classics and Ancient History


Classics and Ancient History at Manchester has a strong tradition of high-quality research publications, whether monographs or collected volumes - the latter often arising from our equally vigorous programme of international conferences and workshops.

Full details of staff publications can be found in the individual profiles on the Our people pages, but some recent, and imminently forthcoming, highlights are listed here, starting with the most recent publications.

Isidore of Seville and his Reception in the Early Middle Ages

A collection of essays on this crucial figure in the preservation and sharing of classical and early Christian knowledge. The essays explore Isidore's sources, how he selected and arranged them for posterity, and how his legacy was reflected in later generations' work across the early medieval West.

Suetonius the Biographer

This volume, developed from a Manchester conference, is the first book-length study of Suetonius in English in almost three decades. It brings together essays which investigate the various aspects of Suetonius' work, from his lost biographical writing on Roman courtesans to his imperial portraits of the Caesars.

The Oxford Handbook of Childhood and Education in the Classical World

The Oxford Handbook of Childhood and Education in the Classical World presents current research in a wide range of topics on ancient childhood, including sub-disciplines of Classics that rarely appear in collections on the family or childhood such as archaeology and ancient medicine. The handbook engages with perennially valuable questions about family and education in the ancient world while providing a much-needed touchstone for research in the field.

The Fragments of the Roman Historians

This multi-volume work, the outcome of a major research project co-ordinated from Manchester, is a definitive and comprehensive edition of the fragmentary texts of all the Roman historians whose works are lost. It is the only edition of any kind to include all known testimonia, the only full treatment of its subject in English, and includes critical texts of all the fragments with fully documented and up-to-date commentaries.

Band of Angels: The Forgotten World of Early Christian Women

In Band of Angels, Kate Cooper tells the surprising story of early Christianity from the woman's point of view. Though they are often forgotten, women from all walks of life played an invaluable role in Christianity's growth to become a world religion.

Inscriptions and their Uses in Greek and Latin Literature

This edited collection, arising from a conference held in Manchester in 2009, offers a broad set of perspectives on the diverse forms of epigraphic material present in ancient literary texts, and the variety of responses, both ancient and modern, which they can provoke.

Social Variation and the Latin Language

Languages show variations according to the social class of speakers and Latin was no exception, as readers of Petronius are aware. This book is a history of many of the developments undergone by the Latin language as it changed into Romance, demonstrating the varying social levels at which change was initiated. The book was awarded the prestigious Prose Award (2013) for Language and Linguistics.

Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science

Lucretius' didactic masterpiece De Rerum Natura (On the Nature of Things) is one of the most brilliant and powerful poems in the Latin language, a passionate attempt at dispelling humanity's fear of death and its enslavement by false beliefs about the gods, and a detailed exposition of Epicurean atomist physics. For centuries, it has raised the question of whether it is primarily a poem or primarily a philosophical treatise, which also presents scientific doctrine. This volume, the product of a Manchester conference, seeks to unite the three disciplinary aspects.

The Role of the Bishop in Late Antiquity: Conflict and Compromise

Late Antiquity witnessed a major transformation in the authority and power of the Episcopate within the Church, with the result that bishops came to embody the essence of Christianity and increasingly overshadow the leading Christian laity. The rise of Episcopal power came in a period in which drastic political changes produced long and significant conflicts both within and outside the Church. This book examines these problems in depth.

The Philosophical Works of al-Kindi

This volume presents the philosophical writings of al-Kindī, known as the 'Philosopher of the Arabs'. Acknowledged as the first philosopher of the Arabic tradition, al-Kindī helped usher the ideas of Greek thinkers and scientists into the vibrant context of the Islamic culture of his day. He was deeply involved in the translation and reception of such thinkers as Socrates, Aristotle, Plotinus, and Euclid. Drawing on this Hellenic heritage, he wrote on a wide range of philosophical and scientific topics including metaphysics, theology, psychology, cosmology, ethics, and medicine.

Epidemics in Context: Greek Commentaries on Hippocrates in the Arabic Tradition

The Hippocratic Epidemics and Galen's Commentary on them constitute milestones in the development of clinical medicine. But they also illustrate the rich exegetical traditions that existed in the post-classical Greek world. The present volume investigates these texts from various and diverse vantage points: textual criticism; Greek philology; knowledge transfer through translations; and medical history.

Reading the Letters of Pliny the Younger

This is the first general introduction to Pliny's Letters published in any language, combining close readings with broader context and adopting a fresh and innovative approach to reading the letters as an artistically structured collection.

Pliny the Elder: Themes and Contexts

This volume, developed from a conference held in Manchester, tries to 'read' Pliny's monumental Naturalis Historia, and - by examining the dominant motifs which give shape and order to the work - to construct frameworks within which we may understand and interpret Pliny's overarching agenda.

Historiae Mundi: Studies in Universal History

'Universal History' is a type of history that attempts to explain the world beyond the immediate surroundings of the author. It reflects a desire to synthesise the mass of written and oral knowledge about the past and to introduce a systematic interpretation. Arising from a Manchester conference, this collection of essays explores the historical and intellectual contexts which gave rise to universalist thought, and its reputation and reception in antiquity and beyond.

Reading Roman Comedy: Poetics and Playfulness in Plautus and Terence

Where most books stress the original performance as the primary location for the encountering Roman comedy, this work finds the locus of meaning and appreciation in the activity of a reader, albeit one whose manner of reading necessarily involves the imaginative reconstruction of performance. The texts are treated, and celebrated, as literary devices, with programmatic beginnings, middles, ends, and intertexts.

Jacob Wackernagel, Lectures on Syntax

This book is an English version of two series of highly acclaimed introductory lectures given by the great Swiss linguist and classical philologist Jacob Wackernagel (1853-1938) at the University of Basle in 1918-19 on aspects of Greek, Latin, and German as languages. Out of print in German since 1996, these lectures remain the best available introduction, in any language, not only to Greek, Latin, and comparative syntax but also to many topics in the history and pre-history of Greek and Latin, and their relations with other languages.