Volume 5 Issue 1
1. Susan Stephens, “Alexandria: the new Center” (2017) Vol.5, Iss.1, pp. 1-16.
The poets Posidippus of Pella and Callimachus of Cyrene, writing under Ptolemy II, actively construct a new Mediterranean geography in which people and luxury goods, even divinities, move from the Northern and Eastern Mediterranean to the new city of Alexandria. The building of the Alexandrian library provides a more concrete demonstration of that same trend, as the Ptolemies under the influence of both Greek thinkers like Demetrius of Phaleron and of Egyptian cultural practices like the great temple libraries strive to move the center of Greek learning from Athens to Alexandria. This paper explores the ways in which Posidippus and Callimachus shift Greek culture south.
2. Lucia Novakova, “Civic landscape of Anatolia: in search of heroes” (2017) Vol.5, Iss.1, pp. 17-27.
Anatolia is considered one of the most diverse areas of settled Greek communities by topography, climate or history, as a place where multiple language and ethnic groups moved around, being influenced by and influencing each other. Many Greek poleis in Anatolia continued to flourish and prosper in the Hellenistic period. Some of them had to come to terms with a new position of subordination to a king, but the majority of them had been familiar with such rule before. Awareness of citizenship can be seen as a formal symbol of autonomy and independence. The individual character of the ruler or city-state representative appeared in a prominent place, standing, in iconography, between the divine and human sphere. Numerous Anatolian poleis awarded euergetai during their lifetime and legitimized declining state power in this manner. There are also signs of social transformations, if gradual ones. The huge increase in numbers of inscriptions is one of most striking features of the surviving epigraphic evidence. Written sources indicate that honors as well as memorials for citizens emphasized city-state autonomy, too. A similar tendency is traceable by a process traditionally defined as private hero cult, related to the religious life as much as to the political statements and social classification.
3. Magda El-Nowieemy, “Plautus: Aulularia, translated into Arabic by A. Shaarawi, with an Introduction, Notes and Select Bibliography, World Theater Series, No 369, Quwait: National Council for Culture, Arts and Literatures, 2014. Pp. 293. Paperback ISBN 978-99906-0-403-0” (2017) Vol.5, Iss.1, pp. 28-31.
4. Stephen Quirke, “The Writing of the Birds. Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs Before and After the Founding of Alexandria” (2017) Vol.5, Iss.1, pp. 32-43.
As Okasha El Daly has highlighted, qalam al-Tuyur“script of the birds” is one of the Arabic names used by the writers of the Ayyubid periodand earlier to describe ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. The name may reflect the regular choice of Nile birds as signs for several consonants in the Ancient Egyptian language, such as the owl for “m”. However, the term also finds an ancestor in a rarer practice of hieroglyph users centuries earlier. From the Ptolemaic and Roman Periods and before, cursive manuscripts have preserved a list of sounds in the ancient Egyptian language, in the sequence used for the alphabet in South Arabian scripts known in Arabia before Arabic. The first “letter” in the hieroglyphic version is the ibis, the bird of Thoth, that is, of knowledge, wisdom and writing. In this paper I consider the research of recent decades into the Arabian connections to this “bird alphabet”.